We had a great final day in the field today – beautiful weather and more nice finds.
Here is a group shot of the spring team – Thanks guys!
In Area A1 – we are continuing to pick up hints of the Iron Age IIA city at Burna, as we are finding some burnt pottery similar to the destruction level of Hazael at nearby Tell es-Safi/Gath (2 Kings 12:17 – ca. 830 BCE). Could this level be related to the insurrectionist city of Libnah mentioned in 2 Kings 8 (ca. 845 BCE)?
“So Edom revolted from the rule of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?” (2 Kings 8:22–23 ESV)
In Area A2 – we are also finding bits of evidence for a possible destruction level related to the end of the 8th cent. BCE (Sennacherib???). Additionally, today we found a very strange fragmentary figurine(?) with decorations similar to Philistine Bichrome. Could this level of a walled-city in the 8th cent. BCE be related to Sennacherib’s great sweeping conquest of Hezekiah’s Judahite kingdom in 701 BCE?
“As for Hezekiah, the Judean,7 I (Sennacherib) besieged forty-six of his fortified walled cities and surrounding smaller towns, which were without number. Using packed-down ramps and applying battering rams, infantry attacks by mines, breeches, and siege machines,8 I conquered (them). I took out 200,150 people, young and old, male and female, horses, mules, donkeys, camels, cattle, and sheep, without number, and counted them as spoil. He himself, I locked up within Jerusalem, his royal city, like a bird in a cage.9 I surrounded him with earthworks, and made it unthinkable10 for him to exit by the city gate. His cities which I had despoiled I cut off from his land and gave them to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron and S¸illi-bel, king of Gaza,11 and thus diminished his land. I imposed dues and gifts for my lordship upon him, in addition to the former tribute, their yearly payment. (William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger Jr., eds., Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World (COS 2; Accordance electronic ed. Leiden: Brill, 2003), 303.)
In Area B – we found an amazing 9 full buckets of Late Bronze Age pottery (of various types) from 1 square! We also found additional architecture that seems to clarify the nature of this occupation level during the 14th or 13th cent. BCE. Our prize find for the day was a heavy, well-preserved axe-head (see picture below). Could this level be related to the Canaanites living at the site around the time of the biblical account of Joshua’s conquest of the Shephelah?
“Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. And the LORD gave it also and its king into the hand of Israel. And he struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it; he left none remaining in it. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish and laid siege to it and fought against it. And the LORD gave Lachish into the hand of Israel, and he captured it on the second day and struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it, as he had done to Libnah.” (Joshua 10:29–32 ESV)
Remember – you can help us answer those questions and many others by joining us this summer! The deadline is May 1st – so now is the time to secure your spot for digging up (possible 🙂 ) biblical Libnah!