Maeir on the Qeiyafa Finds

11 05 2012

Aren Maeir (director of excavations at Tell es-Safi, biblical Gath) has written a post on the cultic finds from Kh. Qeiyafa.  Yossi Garfinkel has written a brief response to Aren on his interpretation of the model shrines as biblical term aron elohim (in this case “ark of the gods“).  I am traveling today so I can’t comment more, but I think Aren’s comments are exactly right.

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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)