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The History of Excavations at Tel Gezer

The History of Excavations at Tel Gezer


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The archaeological site of Tel Gezer is located in central Israel at the edge of the western mountains near the Shephelah, about 9 or 10 km southwest of the city of Ramleh. Gezer was one of the famed "Solomonic" cities of the Hebrew Bible, said to have been fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15–17), and the city appears in a number of Biblical accounts.

Tel Gezer was occupied over a period of more than 3,000 years.

Like many archaeological sites in the Levant, Tel Gezer is centered on a man–made mound called a tell. A tell consists of several layers or 'strata', each of which contains the material remains of a period of human habitation and now rests on the layer representing the previous period of habitation and beneath the remains of the period that followed. The mound of Tel Gezer is about three times as long as it is wide - about 650 m long running east to west, by 200–250 m wide, and is, with a hill on the east and west ends, connected by a low point called the "saddle".

Occupation of the Site

Tel Gezer was occupied over a period of more than 3,000 years, from the latter half of the 4th millennium BCE through the 1st century CE. It was not fortified until the Middle Bronze Age (MB, c. 2000–1500 BCE), when fortifications were first built, including stone walls and towers, a glacis and a gate on the western hill. Later on, additional fortifications and monumental structures were built, especially in the Iron Age sometime during the period from the 10th through the 8th century BCE. The site continued to be inhabited, except for brief periods, until sometime in the 1st century CE.

Summary of Excavations

Since the site was discovered in 1870, it has been excavated several times. The first excavation was conducted by the Irish archaeologist R.A.S. Macalister for the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) in the early 20th century. The site was then excavated by a joint expedition of the Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem (HUC) and the Harvard Semitic Museum, from 1964–1976 and then by teams from the University of Arizona in 1984 and 1990. Excavations are currently being conducted by two groups. One is from the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and began work in 2006. The other, from the Moskau Institute for Archaeology at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), began its excavations in 2010 and is focusing on the Gezer water system (See Tel Gezer Water System Project advertisement).

Perhaps the most notable archaeological development at the site in recent years was the discovery of evidence in the summer of 2015 that the Gezer water system was constructed in the MB, perhaps as early as 2000 BCE, unlike the water systems at Megiddo and Hazor which date to the Iron Age. In addition, as in the case of Megiddo and Hazor, the dating of the "Solomonic" Iron Age structures at Tel Gezer is being re-examined by scholars of the Ancient Near East.

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Discovery & Identification of the Site

Tel Gezer was discovered and identified by the famous 19th century CE French adventurer and scholar of the Holy Land, Charles Clermont-Ganneau. In 1870, Clermont-Ganneau read about a site called Tel ej-Jazar, and this Arabic name reminded him of the name of Biblical Gezer. He visited the site and in 1874, found two inscriptions in stone which he believed marked the boundaries of ancient Gezer. A total of nine inscriptions indicating the boundaries of Gezer have been found in total - all dating from the Roman period.

The Macalister Excavation – 1902-1905 and 1907-1909

The first excavation of Tel Gezer was conducted by R.A.S. Macalister for the PEF 1902-1905 and 1907-1909. In his excavation, Macalister discovered four sets of walls spanning more than two-thirds of the period of occupation of the site:

  • From the Early Bronze Age (EB), the Middle Wall,

  • From MB IIC, the Inner Wall with a triple gateway,

  • From the Late Bronze Age (LB), the Outer Wall, and

  • From the Solomonic period of the Iron Age (10th century BCE), the casemate wall, consisting of two parallel walls separated into compartments by stone crosspieces.

Macalister made a number of remarkable archaeological discoveries. He excavated the High Place and found the Gezer Calendar which describes the annual cycle of agricultural activities and dates to the 10th century BCE, making it the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found. He also found several archaeological treasures, including Egyptian imports, Philistine pottery, and Persian silver pieces.

However, the objects were of limited archaeological value because the findspots of the objects and their context were not properly recorded. Most importantly, Macalister did not perform a recognizable stratigraphic investigation and analysis and did not record the elevations at which the various objects were found. Instead of identifying the strata of findspots, he classified the pottery and other materials he found according to periods, identifying eight periods as follows: the Pre-Semitic period, the First through Fourth Semitic periods, and the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. Macalister also made a serious error in dating the Iron Age gate, which he dated to the Maccabean period, centuries later than its actual date.

The work was not done systematically, probably because Macalister was the only archaeologist on a project working with large numbers of laborers, and because stratigraphic techniques had been developed only a few years earlier.

Weill & Rowe Excavations – 1914, 1924, and 1934

In 1914 and 1924, areas around Tel Gezer owned by Baron Rothschild were excavated by Raymond-Charles Weill, working for Rothschild. Reports of the excavations were not published until 2004, 80 years after the later of the two excavations. In 1934, a new expedition to Gezer was initiated by the PEF under the direction of British archaeologist Alan Rowe. This was to be a full-scale excavation, but the areas identified for excavation turned out not to be workable, and so the project was abandoned after about six weeks.

The HUC & Harvard Project – 1964-1974

In 1964, the first major excavation of Tel Gezer since Macalister's expedition more than 50 years earlier was launched. The new excavation was sponsored jointly by the Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem (HUC) and the Harvard Semitic Museum.

The HUC-Harvard Expedition adopted an innovative approach to the staffing and administration of the dig, that was soon to be followed by most excavations led by American universities. For the first time, the expedition used student volunteers instead of paid laborers. It also offered the first field school for students on a dig. Following the New Archaeology that had emerged shortly before, It used specialists to explore specific issues involving the natural and social sciences and the arts, such as zoology, botany and geology.

The director of the project in the first season was G. Ernest Wright of Harvard, a legendary archaeologist long associated with the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR). William G. Dever then served as director for seven seasons, 1965-1971, followed by Joe D. Seeger 1972-1974. Excavations continued in 1984 and 1990, under the direction of Dever but sponsored by the University of Arizona.

The HUC-Harvard Expedition re-excavated areas dug by Macalister, and also opened up new areas. It found more than 20 strata dating from about 3000 BCE to 100 CE.

The Middle Bronze AGE & Late Bronze Age

Some of the most notable discoveries of the Expedition dated to the MB and the LB. The excavators found the Inner Wall and a 25-foot (c. 7.5 m) high glacis, both dated to the MB IIC. They also re-examined the High Place found by Macalister. This was a series of ten standing stones which may have served some ritual purpose but may also have commemorated an agreement or treaty among different tribes. The HUC-Harvard excavators dated them to MB IIC. Discoveries dated to the LB included the Outer Wall and a great palace with Egyptian treasures dated to the Amarna period (14th century BCE) which was apparently destroyed by Merneptah at the end of the 13th century BCE.

The Iron Age

In their excavation of the Iron Age strata, the HUC-Harvard excavators discovered the towers of the Outer Wall and a casemate wall - two parallel walls connected by perpendicular cross pieces which create a series of chambers.

In the Iron Age, a six-chambered gate was built on the saddle. While the HUC-Harvard excavation was going on, or shortly before, the great Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin re-examined Macalister's dating of the gate at Gezer (erroneously dated by Macalister to the Maccabean period) and attributed the Gezer gate, as well as the gates at Megiddo and Hazor, to Solomon in the 10th t century BCE. However, other archaeologists have since adopted a "low chronology" and have re-dated the gates and certain other massive structures to later dates - in the 9th and the 8th centuries BCE.

The excavators also found that the apparent gap in the occupation of the site from the 10th to the 6th century BCE was probably due to the fact that Macalister had not published reports related to this period. There was evidence of the Neo-Babylonian destruction in the late 7th or early 6th century BCE.

The Current Expedition – 2006 to Present

The archaeological expedition currently responsible for the overall excavation of the site is called the Tel Gezer Excavation and Publication Project and is sponsored by the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (See Tel Gezer Excavation and Publication Project advertisement).

The expedition began work in 2006 and has been concentrating on the Iron Age strata of the mound. The team has excavated the Iron Age layers on the south central side of the mound, seeking to connect the Iron Age structures uncovered by the HUC-Harvard project with those found by the current expedition. They are also examining urbanization during the Iron Age in an area to the west of the six-chambered gate, as well as in other areas where Iron Age public buildings and domestic structures are located. Most of the material found by the current excavators dates to the 10th, 9th and 8th centuries BCE, as well as the Hellenistic period, although only a limited amount of material from the Solomonic period has been found. The current directors of the project are also re-examining the dating of the six-chambered gate, but for the moment, they continue to maintain that the gate dates to Solomon and the 10th century BCE, as Yadin said.


First Discovery of Bodies in Biblical Gezer, From Fiery Destruction 3,200 Years Ago

As the blazing Canaanite building collapsed, an adult and a child were buried under ash and mud-brick debris, and would only be found by Israeli archaeologists 3,200 years later.

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A newly discovered massive layer of fiery destruction confirms Pharaoh Merneptah's boast that he “seized Gezer,” say archaeologists concluding their tenth season of excavations in the ancient Canaanite city - and report finding actual human remains there for the first time: two adults and a child, the latter still wearing earrings.


Discover Gezer, Israel’s lost city

“Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon… conscripted to build… Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer… And Solomon rebuilt Gezer….” (1 Kings 9:15‑17)

After the exodus from Egypt and a sojourn in Sinai, the Israelites returned to the land promised to them and to their forefathers by Almighty God. But although they took over many a fortified Canaanite city in the legendary land of milk and honey, several remained tantalizingly out of reach.

One of these was Gezer, located on the edge of coastal plains in an area allotted to the tribe of Ephraim. True, Gezer’s King Horam was killed by Joshua when the king and his army went to the aid of another beleaguered city. But it wasn’t until Solomon’s reign, hundreds of years later, that Gezer became part of the Israelite empire. And it happened only because an Egyptian Pharaoh devastated the city, then offered it to Solomon as a dowry when the king married his daughter.

Archaeology buffs find Tel Gezer a fascinating site, featuring monumental columns from one of the largest Canaanite temples in Israel and an imposing Solomonic gate identical in almost every detail to the two gates at Hazor and Megiddo. Indeed, it seems safe to assume that an energetic King Solomon traveled the country checking on all of his extravagant projects, so visitors who cross the threshold no doubt walk on stones trodden by Israel’s wisest monarch.

Gezer was situated on an extremely strategic spot, above a coastal byway that serviced traders, warriors, and travelers for thousands of years. Thus, while just now Gezer looks totally desolate, over three thousand years ago it was a major city well-known to the Egyptians and ruled by people who often corresponded with the Pharaohs. There were strong commercial connections between Gezer and Egypt and pictures of the ancient city have been found in both Egypt and Mesopotamia (Iraq).

Tel Gezer overlook (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am) Canaanite entrance to the city (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am) Canaanite tower (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am) Israelite city (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)
Solomonic gate (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am) Solomonic gate (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am) Steps next to water tunnel (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am) Trough by Solomonic gate (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)

Over six millennia ago, nomads pitched tents and hunted here, as evidenced by flint arrows left from the period. Then, in about 4000 BCE, a small group decided to settle here permanently. They carried stones up the hill from the area down below and built mud-brick houses that fell into disrepair every few years. After they collapsed, settlers would level the stones and mud, dig new foundations, and build again.

Canaanite culture was particularly developed during the middle Bronze Age (about 1500 BCE), when the city was surrounded by massive stone walls and towers. Easy to spot, from ruins at the top of the tel, are portions of the Canaanite city’s southern wall and a water tunnel from the same era.

Carved out of limestone, the tunnel took advantage of a subterranean spring 29 meters deep, and was 67 meters long, four meters wide, and seven meters high. The tunnel has not been restored and cannot be entered. But its opening is clearly visible from the steps.

A path next to the tunnel and parallel to the southern wall leads to the Israelite city’s entrance. Stones on each side of the gate are of a classic Solomonic style called ashlar — square stones arranged in a specific manner. Only part of the gate was exposed during the first excavations at the site, carried out over a century ago by R.A.S. Macalister, who thought it was a remnant of a Maccabean palace. But Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin was familiar with the biblical passage quoted above. Aware of the gate at Megiddo, and once he had discovered the gate at Hazor, Yadin decided to examine Macalister’s maps more closely. In 1958, he declared this a Solomonic gate, which was uncovered in its entirety a few years later. The same architect probably designed the gates at all three sites.

Each side of the gate is lined by three guard rooms. One of those closest to the entrance still contains a water trough that may have serviced people, animals, or both. Another guard room is surrounded by benches, perhaps to seat judges, prophets, and others who spent time near the gate.

Directly across from the dirt road leading to Tel Gezer stands a row of strange-looking stones. Called stelae, these “standing stones” rise alone above a pastoral valley. But three or four thousand years ago this was the religious center of Canaanite society. The stelae were probably surrounded by a colonnaded structure with ornamental roofs, columns, and ritual zones.

We can only speculate as to what impelled the Canaanites to build monumental stelae. Perhaps they felt a threat to their culture from the iron‑bearing Hittites, or feared tribes coming over the mountains from the desert. Whatever the reason, they would apparently hold a large religious gathering meant to unify the ranks. Each pillar may have honored the head of a different city‑state.

Erection of pillars to commemorate a religious experience seems to have been traditional among many people of the Middle East. The Israelites, too, commemorated their unity after receiving the Law of Moses by putting up standing stones: “[Moses]. . .built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel” (Exod. 24:4).

The Bible tells us that the Canaanites sacrificed children to their gods, and practiced ritual prostitution. Jars containing the skeletons of week‑old infants were found here and could conceivably point to sacrifice. On the other hand, these babies died before they were considered people and their sorrowful families may have buried them as close as possible to the gods.

Unlike some biblical historical sites whose identity is uncertain, no one doubts that this tel is the biblical city of Gezer. For one thing, a layer of destruction was discovered here that dates to the years around 950 BCE, exactly the time when, according to the Bible, the Egyptian Pharaoh razed the city. Indeed, a mixture of Egyptian and Canaanite arrowheads from that very period were also found at that site. But the clincher came from the hill just opposite Tel Gezer. A number of stelae found standing in a row proclaimed the borders of Gezer in both Hebrew and Greek.

It isn’t at all easy to see today, but when first uncovered, there was a clear destruction level right here dating to 732 BCE. That’s when Assyria’s Tiglath Pileser III wreaked havoc on the Land of Israel. Gezer’s devastation is commemorated in a wall relief from that same year that is now located in Assyria (contemporary Iraq). It shows a city being battered by iron rams, Assyrian warriors attacking, and a Semitic-looking people defending the city. Above it are the words: “conquest of the city of Gazro.”

One of the most significant finds in the country was made somewhere on the tel. It is known as the Gezer Calendar, and is the earliest known specimen of Hebrew writing. The calendar lists the eight periods of the agricultural year, and notes the task associated with each. Contemporary Israeli farmers find this calendar particularly interesting because it proves that their ancestors reaped the same harvests as they reap, and processed the same wine.

Shmuel Bar-Am is a licensed tour guide who provides private, customized tours in Israel for individuals, families and small groups.

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Excavation at Gezer Confirms Biblical Account of City’s Fiery Destruction

Recent archeological excavations at the site of the ancient city of Gezer have confirmed the Bible’s account of the city’s destruction by Egypt through fire.

According to the Bible, Gezer, an ancient Canaanite-Jewish city located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, was destroyed at the beginning of the 10th century BCE, when the city was conquered and burned by an unnamed Egyptian pharaoh during his military campaign in the land of Israel. The pharaoh then gave the city to King Solomon as the dowry of his daughter. Solomon later rebuilt Gezer and fortified it.

This was the purpose of the forced labor which Shlomo imposed: It was to build the House of Hashem , his own palace, the Millo, and the wall of Yerushalayim , and [to fortify] Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. Pharaoh king of Egypt had come up and captured Gezer he destroyed it by fire, killed the Canaanites who dwelt in the town, and gave it as dowry to his daughter, Shlomo ’s wife. 1 Kings 9:15-16

Site of excavations and ruins at Tel Gezer. (Tel Gezer)

The Gezer Excavation Project recently uncovered three torched skeletal remains in a newly discovered massive layer of fiery destruction, attesting to the city’s ruin at the hands of the Egyptians 3,200 years ago. The remains were those of two adults and one child, the latter still wearing earrings.

Burnt skeleton found at the Gezer dig site. (Tandy Institute for Archaeology)

Remains of an adult burnt in the destruction of Gezer. (Tandy Institute for Archaeology)

Gezer’s significance and appeal was due to the strategic position it held at the crossroads of the ancient coastal trade routes between north and south, east and west. While the Egyptians may not have set out to destroy Gezer – they usually preferred to subdue vassal cities and collect subjugation payments – the widespread destruction found at the site suggests the Egyptian’s encountered strong resistance from the city’s inhabitants, who were beginning to rebel against Egyptian rule.

Indeed, Gezer is associated with Jewish rebellion. The city is mentioned in the Book of Maccabees, which is not part of the Biblical canon but which scholars consider an important work. Centuries after the Egyptian destruction, in its last stage as an important city, Gezer became the base of the Maccabees, the Jewish rebels of the Hanukkah story who revolted against the Hellenists (Greeks) in the 2nd century BCE.

Dr. Steve Ortiz of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary headed the project along with Prof. Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Though he does not go into the field looking for proof of the Bible, Dr. Ortiz noted to Breaking Israel News that after three decades of working digs in Israel, “There is nothing in the archaeological record for me to doubt the Biblical text.”

“Both sides, fundamentalists and critics, view archaeology and the text as a conflict – either to confirm or disprove their theories,” he explained to Breaking Israel News . “I see archaeology and text as complementary.”

Dr. Ortiz’s expertise is the use of archaeology to reconstruct the history of ancient Israel and the Second Temple Period. During the decade-long dig at the site, the team uncovered Canaanite treasure troves and a King Solomon-era palace.

“Due to its strategic nature the city changed hands many times, as each conquering army sought to hold the site,” said Dr. Ortiz.

The Meneptah Stele (Wikimedia Commons)

He fully believes the recent find verifies the accuracy of the Biblical account.

The destruction of Gezer is also mentioned in the famous Merneptah Stele, circa 1208 BCE, an inscription commissioned by Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah. It is also known as the “Israel Stele” because it bears the earliest known explicit mention of “Israel” outside the Bible. This engraved granite memorial commemorates a number of Egyptian victories, including that over Gezer.

The last two lines read: “Canaan is plundered with every hardship. Ashkelon is taken, Gezer captured, Yano’am reduced to nothing. Israel is laid waste – his seed is no more.”

Dr. Ortiz concluded that the archaeological and Biblical accounts go hand in hand, and both are necessary to understand the full picture, both historically and spiritually.

“The excavations at Gezer complement the Biblical accounts of Gezer and each dataset helps me to reconstruct the history of the ancient city.


The History of Excavations at Tel Gezer - History

The water system at Tel Gezer has thus far been excavated to a depth of 145 feet below ground. Photo: Courtesy of the Tel Gezer Water System Project.

The Tel Gezer Water System Project has spent the last seven years excavating Gezer’s rock-hewn water system, which would have provided water for the residents of the city. The water system is comprised of a keyhole-shaped entrance measuring 26 feet high and 15 feet wide, a long shaft stretching down at a 38-degree slope and a basin for water collection. Over the course of the excavation, the archaeologists have removed over 550 tons of thick, rock-filled mud and have dug about 145 feet underground. But there is still more to go—Warner and Yannai estimate that perhaps another 550 tons of mud would need to be removed to get to the bottom of the system.

Who built the Tel Gezer water system? How old is it, exactly? Since the system is so large and has been exposed for so long (Irish archaeologist R.A.S. Macalister first excavated it in the early 1900s), it’s possible that the shaft may be contaminated with pottery sherds from other periods.

As the point where three of the world’s major religions converge, Israel’s history is one of the richest and most complex in the world. Sift through the archaeology and history of this ancient land in the free eBook Israel: An Archaeological Journey, and get a view of these significant Biblical sites through an archaeologist’s lens.

Given the enormous depth at which the archaeologists would have to continue digging and the unreliability of the potsherds to provide firm dates, is there any other way to date the water system? Warner and Yannai believe that the answer can be found by investigating structures in the vicinity—a monumental Canaanite gate and the neighboring courtyards and storerooms, which have been dated to the Middle Bronze Age IIC (c. 1650–1550 B.C.E.) by previous excavations at Tel Gezer.

A scarab and pendant were discovered in one of the storerooms at Tel Gezer. Photo: Courtesy of the Tel Gezer Water System Project.

Warner and Yannai describe in BAR why they believe the Canaanite gate is the key to understanding the water system:

Although the gate lies only about 35 feet southeast of the water system, no one had previously thought to compare the level of the gate entrance with the level of the entrance into the water system. When we finally did, we realized that they are at about the same level. If one were to walk through the gate, he or she would not miss the water system almost directly in front of him or her. In addition, both the water system and the gate went out of use at the same time—the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550–1200 B.C.E.), when the water system became a refuse pit. This is significant because there was no other major water source at the site. These observations make us suspect that there is a connection between the gate and the water system.

Warner and Yannai discovered intriguing artifacts from the Canaanite period, including an infant burial and a foundation deposit comprised of a scarab and silver pendant. To get an inside look at more of what Warner and Yannai found and to learn how this informs their dating of the Tel Gezer water system, read the full Archaeological Views column “One Thing Leads to Another” in the May/June 2017 issue of BAR.

BAS Library Members: Read the full column Archaeological Views column “One Thing Leads to Another” by Daniel Warner and Eli Yannai in the May/June 2017 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Not a BAS Library member yet? Join the BAS Library today.


Contents

Ancient Egyptian sources Edit

Gezer is mentioned in the victory stele of Merneptah, dating from the end of the 13th century BCE. [2]

Biblical conquest under Joshua Edit

The biblical story of the Israelite conquest of Canaan under their leader Joshua mentions a certain "king of Gezer" ( Joshua 10:33 ) who had gone to help his countrymen in Lachish, where he met his death.

Gezer is listed in the Book of Joshua as a Levitical city, one of ten allotted to the Levite children of Kehoth - the Kohathites (Joshua, ch. 21).

The Egyptian sack of Gezer Edit

According to the Hebrew Bible, the only source for both the existence of Solomon and this particular event, the Sack of Gezer took place at the beginning of the 10th century BCE, [ citation needed ] when the city was conquered and burned by an unnamed Egyptian pharaoh, identified by some with Siamun, during his military campaign in Philistia. This anonymous Egyptian pharaoh then gave it to King Solomon as the dowry of his daughter. Solomon then rebuilt Gezer and fortified it.

. King Solomon . build . the wall of . Gezer (Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and had killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife

Identifying the Biblical pharaoh Edit

The only mention in the Bible of a pharaoh who might be Siamun (ruled 986–967 BC) is the text from 1 Kings quoted above, and we have no other historical sources that clearly identify what really happened. As shown below, Kenneth Kitchen believes that Siamun conquered Gezer and gave it to Solomon. Others such as Paul S. Ash and Mark W. Chavalas disagree, and in 2001 Chavalas states that "it is impossible to conclude which Egyptian monarch ruled concurrently with David and Solomon". [3] Professor Edward Lipinski argues that Gezer, then unfortified, was destroyed late in the 10th century (and thus not contemporary with Solomon) and that the most likely Pharaoh was Shoshenq I (ruled 943–922 BC). "The attempt at relating the destruction of Gezer to the hypothetical relationship between Siamun and Solomon cannot be justified factually, since Siamun's death precedes Solomon's accession." [4]

Tanis temple relief Edit

One fragmentary but well-known surviving triumphal relief scene from the Temple of Amun at Tanis believed to be related to the sack of Gezer depicts an Egyptian pharaoh smiting his enemies with a mace. According to the Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen, this pharaoh is Siamun. [5] : p. 109 The pharaoh appears here "in typical pose brandishing a mace to strike down prisoners(?) now lost at the right except for two arms and hands, one of which grasps a remarkable double-bladed axe by its socket." [5] : pp. 109 and 526 The writer observes that this double-bladed axe or 'halberd' has a flared crescent-shaped blade which is close in form to the Aegean-influenced double axe but is quite distinct from the Canaanite double-headed axe, which has a different shape that resembles an X. [5] : pp. 109–10 Thus, Kitchen concludes Siamun's foes were the Philistines who were descendants of the Aegean-based Sea Peoples and that Siamun was commemorating his recent victory over them at Gezer by depicting himself in a formal battle scene relief at the temple in Tanis. More recently Paul S. Ash has put forward a detailed argument that Siamun's relief portrays a fictitious battle. He points out that in Egyptian reliefs Philistines are never shown holding an axe, and that there is no archaeological evidence for Philistines using axes. He also argues that there is nothing in the relief to connect it with Philistia or the Levant. [6]

Hellenistic and Roman period Edit

Josephus writes that a certain "Gadara" was one of the five synedria, or regional administrative capitals of the Hasmonean realm, established by the Roman proconsul of Syria, Gabinius, in 57 BCE. [7] The name has been edited to "Gazara" in the Loeb edition, in accordance with an identification of Gadara with Gezer. However, other researchers prefer one of two candidates from Transjordan, Gadara in Perea, or Gadara of the Decapolis (see more at Perea and Gadara (disambiguation)).

Gezer was located on the northern fringe of the Shephelah region, approximately thirty kilometres northwest of Jerusalem. It was strategically situated at the junction of the Via Maris, the international coastal highway, and the highway connecting it with Jerusalem through the valley of Ayalon, or Ajalon.

Verification of the identification of this site with biblical Gezer comes from bilingual inscriptions in either Hebrew or Aramaic, and Greek, found engraved on rocks several hundred meters from the tell. These inscriptions from the 1st century BCE read "boundary of Gezer" and "of Alkios" (probably the governor of Gezer at the time).

Chalcolithic Edit

The first settlement established at Tel Gezer dates to the end of the 4th millennium BCE during the Chalcolithic period, when large caves cut into the rock were used as dwellings. [2]

Bronze Age Edit

Early Bronze Age Edit

At the beginning of the Early Bronze Age (early 3rd millennium BCE), an unfortified settlement covered the tell. It was destroyed in the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE and subsequently abandoned for several centuries. [8] [2]

Middle Bronze Age Edit

In the Middle Bronze Age IIB (MBIIB, first half of the 2nd millennium BCE), Gezer became a major city, well fortified [8] and containing a large cultic site. [9] It may have grown due to MBIIA-sites like Aphek becoming weaker. [ citation needed ]

The fortifications consisted of two lines of defense surrounding the tell. [2] First, an outer earthen rampart c. 5 metres high, built of compacted alternating layers of chalk and earth covered with plaster. [2] Second, a 4 metre wide inner wall made of large stone blocks, reinforced with towers. [2] [ dubious – discuss ] [ citation needed ] The city gate stood near the southwest corner of the wall, was flanked by two towers which protected the wooden doors, a common design for its time. [2] The tell was surrounded by a massive stone wall and towers, protected by a five-meter-high (16 ft) earthen rampart covered with plaster. The wooden city gate, near the southwestern corner of the wall, was fortified by two towers. [8]

Cultic site with massebot

Cultic remains discovered in the northern part of the tell were a row of ten large standing stones, known as massebot or matsevot, singular masseba/matseva, oriented north–south, the tallest of which was three meters high, with an altar-type structure in the middle, and a large, square, stone basin, probably used for cultic libations. The exact purpose of these megaliths is still debated, but they may have constituted a Canaanite "high place" from the Middle Bronze Age, ca. 1600 BCE, each masseba possibly representing a Canaanite city connected to Gezer by treaties enforced by rituals performed here. Both the number and size of the standing stones confer a unique character to this cultic site. [9] Such massebot are found elsewhere in the country, but those from Gezer massebot are the most impressive examples. [10] [2] [11] [12] A double cave beneath the high place was shown to be predating it and not connected to it. [ citation needed ]

Late Bronze Age Edit

The Canaanite city was destroyed in a fire, presumably in the wake of a campaign by the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III (ruled 1479–1425 BC). The oldest known historical reference to the city is to be found on an inscription of conquered sites at Thutmose's temple at Karnak. [13] [15] A destruction layer from this event was found in all excavated areas of the tell. [2]

The Tell Amarna letters, dating from the 14th century BCE, include ten letters from the kings of Gezer swearing loyalty to the Egyptian pharaoh. The city-state of Gezer (named Gazru in Babylonian) was ruled by four leaders during the 20-year period covered by the Amarna letters. [8] Discoveries of several pottery vessels, a cache of cylinder seals and a large scarab with the cartouche of Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III attest to the existence of a city at Gezer's location in the 14th century BCE - one that was apparently destroyed in the next century [16] - and suggest that the city was inhabited by Canaanites with strong ties to Egypt. [17]

In the Late Bronze Age (second half of the 2nd millennium BCE) a new city wall, four meters thick, was erected outside the earlier one. [2] It is a very rare example of Late Bronze Age fortifications in the country, witness for the elevated political status of Gezer in southern Canaan during Egyptian rule. [2]

In the 14th century BCE, a palace was constructed on the high western part of the tell, the city's acropolis. [2] Archaeologists also discovered remains of what might have been the Egyptian governor's residence from the same period in the northern part of the tell. [2]

Toward the end of the Bronze Age, the city declined and its population diminished. [2]

Iron Age Edit

In 12th-11th centuries BCE, a large building with many rooms and courtyards was situated on the acropolis. Grinding stones and grains of wheat found among the sherds indicate that it was a granary. Local and Philistine vessels attest to a mixed Canaanite/Philistine population. [ citation needed ]

Tiglath-Pileser III and the Neo-Assyrian period Edit

The Neo-Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III put Gezer under siege between the years 734 and 732 BC. [18] The city was probably captured by the Assyrians at the end of the campaign of Tiglath-Pileser III to Canaan. [ citation needed ] A reference to Gezer may have appeared in a cuneiform relief from the 8th-century BCE royal palace of Tiglath-Pileser III at Nimrud. [15] The siege may have been the one depicted on a stone relief at the royal palace in Nimrud, where the city was called 'Gazru'. [ citation needed ]

Hellenistic period Edit

During the Hellenistic period, Gezer was fortified by the Maccabees and was ruled by the independent Jewish Hasmonean dynasty ( Maccabees 1 13:43-48 ). [ citation needed ] [ dubious – discuss ]

Roman and Byzantine periods Edit

Gezer was sparsely populated during Roman times and later times, as other regional population centers took its place. [1]

Crusader period Edit

In 1177, the plains around Gezer were the site of the Battle of Montgisard, in which the Crusaders under Baldwin IV defeated the forces of Saladin. There was a Crusader Lordship of Montgisard and apparently a castle stood there, a short distance from Ramleh. [19]

Early modern and modern periods Edit

Archaeological excavation at Gezer has been going on since the early 1900s, and it has become one of the most excavated sites in Israel. The site was identified with ancient Gezer by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau in 1871. R. A. Stewart Macalister excavated the site between 1902 and 1909 on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Macalister recovered several artifacts and discovered several constructions and defenses. He also established Gezer's habitation strata, though due to poor stratigraphical methods, these were later found to be mostly incorrect (as well as many of his theories). Other notable archaeological expeditions to the site were made by Alan Rowe (1934), G.E. Wright, William Dever and Joe Seger between 1964 and 1974 on behalf of the Nelson Glueck School of Archaeology in the Hebrew Union College, again by Dever in 1984 and 1990, as well as the Andrews University. [15]

Excavations were renewed in June 2006 by a consortium of institutions under the direction of Steve Ortiz of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The Tel Gezer Excavation and Publication Project is a multi-disciplinary field project investigating the Iron Age history of Gezer.

The first season of the Gezer excavations concluded successfully and revealed some interesting details. Among other things is a discovery of A thick destruction layer may be dated to the destruction at the hands of the Egyptians, which some associate with the biblical episode from 1 Kings 9:16 .<<“(Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer, killing the Canaanite population and burning it down. He gave the city to his daughter as a wedding gift when she married Solomon.” 1 Kings 9:16 NLT|date=November 2020>>

In 2013, two separate archaeological survey-excavations were conducted at Tel Gezer, the one by Tsvika Tsuk, Yohanan Hagai, and Daniel Warner, on behalf of the IAA, [20] and the other led by a team of archaeologists from the SWBTS and Andrews University's Institute of Archaeology. [21]

Canaanite water system Edit

A large Canaanite (Bronze Age) water system comprising a tunnel going down to a spring, similar to those found in Jerusalem, Hazor and Megiddo, was first excavated by Macalister and was re-excavated as part of [ citation needed ] the 2006-17 campaigns of the Tel Gezer Excavation and Publication Project. [22]

"Gezer calendar" Edit

One of the best-known finds is the Gezer calendar. This is a plaque containing a text appearing to be either a schoolboy's memory exercises, or something designated for the collection of taxes from farmers. Another possibility is that the text was a popular folk song, or child's song, listing the months of the year according to the agricultural seasons. It has proved to be of value by informing modern researchers of ancient Middle Eastern script and language, as well as the agricultural seasons.

Israelite city gate, wall Edit

In 1957 Yigael Yadin identified a wall and six-chambered gateway very similar in construction to remains excavated at Megiddo and Hazor as Solomonic [23] they have since been reinterpreted by some as dating from several centuries later. [ citation needed ]

Boundary stones Edit

Thirteen boundary stones have been identified near the tell, distanced between less than 200 metres to almost 2 km from it, probably dating from the Late Hellenistic period (late second [24] - first century BCE), the most recent having been found by archaeologists from SWBTS in 2012. [25] See also Location.

There are only a few "lost" biblical cities that have been positively identified through inscriptions discovered by means of archaeological work (surveys or digs). [25] Gezer is the first among them thanks to Clermont-Ganneau's discovery of three such inscribed stones in 1874 and of a fourth in 1881. [25]

Ten of the thirteen inscriptions are bilingual, [26] including the first three ones, containing two distinct parts, one in Greek and one either Hebrew or Aramaic, [26] and written in what is known as square Hebrew characters. [25] Clermont-Ganneau's reading of the Hebrew/Aramaic part as "the boundary of Gezer" was later confirmed. [25] The inscriptions' Greek part contains personal names, either (H)alkios, Alexas, or Archelaos, for instance Clermont-Ganneau's four stones were all bearing the inscription "of Alkios". [25] Sometimes the two parts are upside-down, or "tête-bêche", in relation to each other, [25] on the last discovered one the lines being separated by a line and the Hebrew/Aramaic inscription "Tehum Gezer" ("the boundary of Gezer") [24] facing the tell. [25] With the discovery of the last nine inscriptions it became evident that their distribution does not support Clermont-Ganneau's initial interpretation, of them marking Gezer's Sabbath limit, but rather that they probably mark the boundaries between private estates, or between city land and these estates. [25] Analysis of the lettering have led to the conclusion that they were all contemporaneous, with opinions based on palaeography and history slightly diverging in regard to their date - either Hasmonean or Herodian. [25] The earlier date and the Hebrew script can be connected to what we know from the First Book of Maccabees about Simon replacing the gentile inhabitants with Jewish ones ( 1 Macc. 13:47-48 ) The later date can be supported by a scenario in which Herod, after acquiring the lands of the vanquished Hasmoneans, gave them to (H)alkios, Archelaos and Alexas, all three names mentioned by Josephus for members of a powerful land-owning family from Herod's court. [25]

Language: Hebrew or Aramaic Edit

According to David M. Jacobson, who states that the inscriptions are in Hebrew, this is an interesting fact, considering that Aramaic was the common administrative language in Judaea by the late Second Temple period. [25]

Other scholars are not convinced that the language of the inscriptions is indeed Hebrew, not Aramaic, leaving both options as possible, as is the case in the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae. [26]

Egyptian-era remains Edit

In July 2017, archaeologists discovered skeletal remains of a family of three, one of the adults and a child wearing earrings, believed to have been killed during an Egyptian invasion in the 13th-century BCE. [27] [22] A 13th century BCE amulet, various scarabs and cylinder seals were also found on the site. The amulet bears the cartouches —or official royal monikers— of the Egyptian Pharaohs Thutmose III and Ramses II. [16]


The History of Excavations at Tel Gezer - History

Tel Megiddo, a World Heritage Site, holds the remains of over 30 settlement layers ranging from the Chalcolithic to World War I. Known for its major contributions to the archaeology of the Bronze and Iron Ages, Megiddo is still providing exciting new information about the history of the biblical world and beyond.

Join us in 2021 to explore the Middle Bronze city gate, follow the clues for an undiscovered Iron Age palace, uncover a Greek mercenary’s barracks. Stay for one, two, three or all four weeks. Undergraduate and graduate credits available through Tel Aviv University. Visit https://megiddoexpedition.wordpress.com.

Details

Geographic Location

Jezreel Valley, 60 miles northeast of Tel Aviv

Periods of Occupation

Dates of the Dig

Minimum Stay

Application Due

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Accomodations

Team Members are housed at nearby Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek in shared rooms with private bathrooms and air conditioning. Final costs to be announced in early 2021. There is a 10% discount for Consortium Institution Members. Regulations permitting, common recreational and light cooking spaces are available. Team members have access to some kibbutz facilities such as the pool, grocery store, and athletic fields.

Directors

Israel Finkelstein

Dr. Israel Finkelstein is the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is the Director of excavations at Megiddo. Previously, he served as Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University from 1996–2002. Dr. Finkelstein is the 2005 recipient of the Dan David Prize. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences.

Matthew Adams

Dr. Matthew Adams is the Dorot Director of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and Codirector of the Megiddo Expedition. He has excavated at numerous sites in Egypt and Israel. He is also Director of the Jezreel Valley Regional Project (JVRP), a survey and excavation project focusing on the entire valley over time. In that context he is also Codirector of the JVRP Excavations at Legio, the base of the Roman VIth Legion at the foot of Tel Megiddo.

Mario Martin

Dr. Mario Martin conducts research at the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University and is Codirector of the Megiddo Expedition. Martin, a distinguished field archaeologist, completed his doctorate work at the University of Vienna with Professor Manfred Bietak. Dr. Martin’s extensive field experience includes his long-time work at the Austrian Archaeological Institute’s expedition to Tell el-Dab’a, Egypt, as well as work at Tel Dor, Jaffa and Timna, Israel.

Contact

Dr. Margaret Cohen
American Archaeology Abroad
6862 East Tawa Street
Tucson, AZ 85715
Phone: (814) 880-7170


Establishing Tel Hazor

The name Hazor is said to mean “Protected by Ramparts.” Tel Hazor is located to the north of the Sea of Galilee and covers an area of about 200 acres (80.9 ha). This makes it the largest tel (or archaeological mound) in Israel. Prior to its identification with the Biblical site of Hazor, the tel was known by its Arabic name, Tel el-Qedah. This tel was first identified with Hazor in 1875 by the Irish-Presbyterian minister Josias Leslie Porter. This identification was repeated in 1926 by the British archaeologist John Garstang. Two years later, Garstang conducted soundings at the site. It was only during the 1950s that the first major excavations of Tel Hazor were conducted. The Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin led four campaigns at the site, as part of the James A. de Rothschild Expedition, which lasted from 1955 to 1958. In 1968, a fifth archaeological campaign was carried out at Tel Hazor. The excavation of the site was renewed in 1990, under the direction of another Israeli archaeologist, Amnon Ben-Tor. Excavations have continued till this day.

Access structure at the entrance to the Israelite underground water system at Tel Hazor in Israel showing modern and ancient stair steps and the surrounding stone support structure. ( Sarit Richerson / Adobe Stock)


ARCHAEOLOGY: History beneath Solomon’s city

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report is adapted by Baptist Press from a report on the website of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary by Steven Ortiz and Samuel Wolff, co-directors of the Tel Gezer archaeological excavations in Israel. Ortiz is professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds and director of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Charles D. Tandy Institute for Archaeology in Fort Worth, Texas. Wolff is senior archaeologist and archivist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem.

Steven Ortiz, professor of archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is co-director of the archaeological excavations at Tel Gezer, site of one of the famed cities of Solomon located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. (Photo by Matt Miller)

The period of the United Monarchy has received much press and attention this summer as current excavation projects in Israel have presented sensational results. While much attention has been paid to King David’s activities, archaeologists have been quietly excavating one of the famed cities of Solomon since 2006. A team of nearly 80 staff and students from several countries (U.S., Israel, Palestinian Authority, Russia, Korea, Hong Kong) spent the summer digging at Tel Gezer, located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in a valley that guards the pass that leads up from the coastal road (the “Via Maris”) to Jerusalem.

Tel Gezer is known from several ancient Egyptian and Assyrian texts as a major city located on the coastal highway between the kingdoms of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It is known from biblical texts as a city conquered by an unnamed Egyptian pharaoh and given to Solomon as a wedding gift between the Israelite king and pharaoh’s daughter. Solomon is credited in the Bible with building the walls of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer (1 Kings 9:15-16) — four major sites that are currently being excavated.

The excavations at Gezer are sponsored by the Tandy Institute of Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with several consortium schools. The excavations are directed by Steven Ortiz of the Tandy and Samuel Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

In this, the sixth season of excavation, one goal was to remove a portion of the city wall built in the Iron IIA period (10th century BCE) in order to investigate a Late Bronze age destruction level (ca. 1400 BCE) that lay below it. To the surprise of the team, in the process of excavating the city wall, an earlier wall system dating to the Iron Age I (1200-1000 BCE) was discovered. This wall was one meter thick with several rooms attached to it. These rooms were filled by a massive destruction, nearly one meter in height, that included Canaanite storage jars, Philistine pottery and other items. A fragment of a Philistine figurine also was found this season.

Beneath this city was an earlier city that was destroyed in a fierce conflagration. This city was functioning during the Egyptian 18th Dynasty’s rule over the southern Levant. Within the destruction debris were several pottery vessels along with a cache of cylinder seals and a large Egyptian scarab with the cartouche of Amenhotep III. This pharaoh was the father of the heretic King Akenaton and grandfather of the famous Tutankhamun (King Tut). This destruction corresponds to other destructions of other cities in the region, a reflection of the internecine warfare that was occurring between the Canaanite cites as reflected in the well-known Tell el-Amarna correspondence.

The archaeology of Solomon has been controversial, fueled by various theories over the dating of the archaeological record. The dating of the Gezer Iron Age Gate is at issue. The Gezer expedition is slowly stripping away layers of public and domestic structures of the 8th and 9th centuries BCE in order to reveal the 10th century city plan adjacent to the City Gate. This summer the tops of the 10th century walls began to poke out, making the archaeologists optimistic that in future seasons more of the Solomonic city will be exposed.

The results of the Tel Gezer excavations will be presented at the end of the month at the 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies to be held in Jerusalem. The excavation results will be presented along with other projects in the region in a joint session on the history of the Shephelah region (foothills of Judah).

The Gezer Excavation Project is one of three field projects of the Tandy Institute for Archaeology. Gezer is the flagship archaeological field school of the Tandy Institute including the support of the following consortium schools: Andrews University (2013), Ashland Theological Seminary, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, Lycoming College, Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Marian Eakins Archaeology Museum and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


King Solomon's Gate at Tel Gezer archaeologically proved King Solomon's reign and was surrounded by numerous apocalyptic events.

Until the summer of 1971 archaeology had failed to prove the historical basis of the Bible, the Torah, nor the Quran. Were they contemporary recordings of events seen through the eyes of Iron Age Man, or merely later political inventions? The walls of Jericho had been discredited, the dream of Biblical Archaeologist William Foxwell Albright was still just a theory. That summer Yigael Yadin would complete the first scientific proof of King Solomon's reign by finding the city gate of Gezer which King Solomon built circa 960 BC, and the Bible described in 1 Kings 9:15.

"Now this is the way King Solomon conscripted the Labor Corps to build the house of the Lord, his house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer "

The Holy Bible 1 Kings 9:15

The Solomonic Gate and wall complex at Tel Gezer was the third Solomonic Gate discovered. Scientifically, combined with the discoveries of the Megiddo Gate in the 1930's and the Hazor Gate in the 1950's, the discovery of the city gate of Gezer completed the scientific proof of Solomon's reign with rocks on the ground. It validated the historical basis of the Bible, Torah, and Quran and confirmed the rationale for the state of Israel's existence. It naturally follows that if Solomon really built the three Gates, then he also built the "House of the Lord", and the identical structures indicate one team of master masons. It was the long sought after historical nexus where scientific theory finally validated one critical piece of History sitting at the hinge of western civilization. The Old Testament was indeed written around the same time as the events it describes and is a valid recording of the viewpoints of Iron Age Man ( Archaeological Summary )

"William Holden cries out
"I saw Damians face on the wall"

Seven years after the excavation, in the hollywood horror blockbuster movie "The Omen II", the Solomonic Gate Excavations by Yigael Yadin played a featured role as "Yigael's Wall". In the hollywood reality, Yigaels Wall shows the face of the Anti-Christ . In the real world, the counterpart of movie archaeologist Carl Bugenhagen, is a personal friend.

In the summer of 1971, I was one of the Yigael Yadin's diggers (along with Duane E Smith author of Abnormal Interests Blog / Pictured) laboring in 100+ degree heat, swinging a pick axe, digging for the truth. had Solomon really existed, or was it all fiction. The answer came when my pick axe struck the inside of the stone basin of the structure. It resonated with a thud that rang like a deep throated bell in a sound I will never forget and that all nearby both heard and dramatically reacted to. Salime* raised his fist and shouted Ya heee, Duane exclaimed in an excited shout "That sounds like something !!", Doc Holliday and others immediately crowded around on the balks of the square for a look.

Unrecognized by me at the time, my life changed at that point. A pervasive wildness where the improbable became commonplace took hold. Adventure seemed to be, and was, everywhere. Risk aversion disappeared. Life became defined by a long series of crazy risks, phenomenal circumstances and coincidences that spanned decades. Many of Life's events bewildered me, and particularly in my younger years, often thrilled. Thrills that in time were replaced by intense misgivings and foreboding, and yes wonder, as the meaning became clear.

It is a very long list of events, but still represents only a minority of what has occurred. The intertwining coincidental phenomena clearly defy probability, and as a result, challenge belief. The sum total reflects the text that provides its milieu in detail, from a televised revelations drama at the Election of Pope Benedict, to a violent encounter with John Paul's almost assassin disguised as a Money Changer in the courtyard of the church of Justinian in Istanbul. It includes incidents from a contemporary Holocaust of an entire people (Cambodia) and from their international exodus, replete with its own Moses figure (Jerry Daniels). Even the slaughter of the innocents makes an appearance, and as if to make the point fine, does so on Christmas Day as a witness in the murder of Jon Benet. (I was the guy in the bus station. and it was John Mark Karr.) The one point I really could have missed in all this, was the murder of my good friend Able Harris by co- Cain crazed James Wallace on Aug 1, 1987 in my presence. That very morning in front of six witnesses he had said to me "I'm Abel like in the Bible, I am my brothers keeper". That very night he was publicly murdered in front of 300 witnesses trying to protect others in a crowded Boston Night Club parable of Cain and Able. But there are also lighter interludes and occasional high humor. All of it is accompanied by numerous. obvious. Biblical and Talmudic parallels and replays that inexplicably repeat and inter-relate throughout. In total these factual stories can only be called unusual on a Biblical Scale. especially in combination. The deeper you look, the more interesting, stranger, and darker , it gets.

Some, far from all, of the events are described and documented herein.

The Aftermath: Stories from a Lifetime
Best Read in Top-down order

Photos taken during Hazor 2003 Excavations with archaeologist Dr. Amnon Ben-Tor (featured in "Digging for the Truth") at the Solomonic Gate at Hazor. Amnon was a student under Yigael Yadin and was periodically present during the Solomonic Gate excavation at Tel Gezer in 1971. and at several of the late night parties that summer at the Gezer High Place. He now runs excavations at the Biblical site. Hazor, and is the current Yigael Yadin professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. An utterly honest and honorable man, if a litte blunt :) who called Finkelstein like he saw it. and he was right, as usual.

Solomonic means justice, Wiesenthal means persistence in the pursuit of Justice
In honor of his Memory

and (never again) in support of the Cambodian Wiesenthal's of Today

Footnote - Additional Events yet to be written down: a partial sample for my memory John Moulton's Akron Adventure, R Bud Dwyer's Allegheny Reporter, Solomon's Lamp, Charlies Girl, Damocles and Diane at Kalaelock, Fran Dresher on the Pinball Machine at the scrap bar, Joans Ankle, Spirit in the Sunroof, Crows of the Eve, Chicago Subway Truth, Treadmill Company, Taj Mahal Snapshot, Rings in the Rafters, Mishawaka Tattooed Knuckles, The Naked Truth, The Grave of Tel Gezer, Squeezing with Rob and TL, Two Lights Dancing on the reflecting pool, Singles Weekend at the Holocaust Survivors reunion, Daddy Warbucks, Carrying the Chair, Biblical Passages replay, Crow commentary, The Day Johnny Cash Died, Spring 1956(?) UN Gen Assembly "walk-on debut" trailing rope and harness. Also, It increasingly appears that there is an entire second tier of signs and marks just beyond my view that happen to many people on the periphery of these events which I periodically hear about but have no way of documenting at present.

Solomon's Chariot

Full Bio

*Salime was a bedouin laborer assigned to help us move the dirt, he usually operated the pulley. I have no idea what happened to him after I left the dig, but I expect the story could amaze if it is ever uncovered.


Watch the video: Bethlehem: Birthplace of Christ u0026 Church of the Nativity (June 2022).


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