Area F at Tell es-Safi

4 12 2008

Continuing the Philistine theme from yesterday I have to write about Jeff Chadwick’s paper on “Assyrian and Judean Presence at Gath of the Philistines in the 8th Century BCE.”  I dug in area F for two seasons and Jeff was (and still is) the area supervisor.

Excavations in F Upper have uncovered two distinct destruction layers; stratum F-8 dates to mid-to-late 8th century BCE and stratum F-7 dates late-to-end of 8th century BCE.  When Gabi Barkay visited the site he saw some pottery from the destruction level in stratum F-7 and immediately said that it was “Lachish 3.”  He has proven to be correct because typical Judahite torpedo-style storage jars and cooking pots were found.  25cm below this destruction level a second was found containing, amongst other pottery, distinctive black-burnished juglets.  During both periods the area excavated in F Upper was used for food preparation as distinctive areas for processing and cooking/baking were discovered.

These finds seem to indicate that there was a Judahite presence at Gath in the 8th century BCE (see 2 Chronicles 26:6, which states that Uzziah captured Gath ca. 750 BCE).  It is also now clear that there were two destruction levels in the 8th century BCE; one, F-8 which can be attributed to Sargon II in 712 BCE (see ANE 1:197) and the second, F-7, which can be attributed to Sennacherib in 701 BCE (see the Azekah inscription as interpreted by Rainey, 2 Kings 18:13, and ANE 1:200)



2 responses

10 11 2011
The Date of the Azekah Inscription | Against Jebel al-Lawz

[…] are mentioned entirely in the context of the Ashdodite campaign, and show that Ashdod ruled Gath (stratum F8) before 711/12 BC. Neither Biblical nor Assyrian source mentions any other kingdom in the area of […]

9 06 2012
The LMLK Map, Undivided Bottom Inscription Edition « Against Jebel al-Lawz

[…] the Lapidarist Map. Something about this map looks…truncated. Perhaps it’s the fact Gath was destroyed by Assyria just before this phase began. Most likely, it’s due to the 701 BC campaign of Sennacherib, […]

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