Qubur al-Walaydah Excavations

3 12 2008

This paper was supposed to be read by Gunnar Lehmann, but he wasn’t there.  So being the Philistines II session, Aren Maeir read the paper (his second relief appearance of the morning).  The paper was a preliminary report of excavations in 2008.  The site is located near Tell el-Far’ah south along the Nahal Besor.  It is one of the few rural Philistine settlements to have been excavated.  The site is best known for a ostracon dating to the 12th-11th centuries BCE, published by Cross a few years ago.

The Philistine village consists of poor walls, agricultural installations, and grain/refuse pits.  Finds from this village include unperforated cylindrical loom weights, bichrome ware, and cooking pots all typical of Philistine settlement in the Iron Age I.

The village was built into the remains of a massive mud brick complex dating to the LBII.  The walls were up to 2m wide and the overall architecture is that typically identified as “Egpytian Residencies”.  There is now evidence for a chain of these buildings from Tell Jemmeh to Tell el-Far’ah South, approximately 5km apart.  This building was destroyed and there appears to be a 50 year gap before the site was resettled by the Philistines in the Iron Age I.

Excavations will continue next summer and they hope to expose more of the Egyptian-style building.  A fascinating site, which little was known about, hopefully will reveal more about rural Philistine settlement and about Egyptian presence in the Negev area.

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