New Paper on Tel Burna – relating to its possible identification of Libnah

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Aharon and myself have just received the proofs of our article entitled “From Lebonah to Libnah” which discusses the sites of Lebonah (near Shiloh, see Judges 21:19) and Libnah.

See here for the announcement. Below is the full bibliographic details with abstract of the paper.

2019: McKinny, Chris; Tavger, Aharon. 6. “From Lebonah to Libnah: Historical Geographical Details from the PEF and other Early Secondary Sources on the Toponymy of Two Homonymous Sites.” Pp. 107-122. Exploring the Holy Land – 150 Years of the Palestine Exploration Fund , edited by D. Guervich and A. Kidron. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom.

Charles Warren’s Map of Philistia – showing Tel Burna as “Tell Bulnard”


“There are three instances of toponyms based on לבנ in the Bible. These include Libnah/Laban of the wilderness Sinai wanderings (Num 33:20; Deut 1:1), Lebonah of Ephraim (Judg 21:19), and Libnah of the Judean Shephelah (e.g., Josh 10:29-31). Notably, the latter two are possibly preserved in Arabic toponyms from 19th century Palestine. These toponyms were recorded with varying spellings in such cartographic projects as the Van de Velde’s Map of the Holy Land (1854, 1858, 1865), Warren’s unpublished Reconnaissance of the Plain of Philistia (1867), and Conder and Kitchener’s Survey of Western Palestine (1882, 1883, 1880), the latter two which were conducted under the auspices of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Using these and other cartographic sources as the basis for our discussion, we will analyze the etymology and site identifications of Lebonah of Ephraim and Libnah of the Shephelah in connection with their occurrences in the various post-biblical sources with the purpose of understanding the linguistic development of the לבנ toponyms from the biblical period to pre-modern times. Our analysis shows that the toponymic history of these sites corroborates the current identifications of Lebonah with el-Lubban and Libnah with Tell Bornat.”

Presentation Tomorrow at SWCRS

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I will be lecturing on “Tel Burna – After a Decade of Investigation (2009-2018)” tomorrow at the SWCRS (Southwest Commission on Religious Studies) conference in Fort Worth. We have certainly made a dent in the tell 🙂

Deadline Extended until April 15

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We have had a number of volunteers sign-up over the last couple of weeks – but we still have some spots left! If you are interested in joining the project for this summer’s season – please click here. We have extended the deadline until April 15. You can also check out our freshly updated site in the “Academic” section to see how you can get academic credit for the excavation and also take part in the weekend tours.

Jane excavating a 10th Century BCE destruction layer in the 2018 season

BAS Scholarships

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For those interested in funding for excavating this summer see the just announced BAS scholarships.

Video of Itzick in the Burna Lab

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Check out the news story and video of Itzick explaining the pottery restoration process in the Tel Burna lab at Ariel University (in Hebrew).

ASOR Fellowships

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ASOR has just announced its scholarships and fellowships for the 2019 excavation year. These are great sources for funding if you are looking to excavate this summer.

And don’t forget – you can easily register for this summer’s excavation season at Tel Burna here.