Cover image for Tel Beth-Shemesh: A Border Community in Judah: Renewed Excavations 1990–2000: The Iron Age By Shlomo Bunimovitz and Tzvi Lederman

Tel Beth-Shemesh: A Border Community in Judah

Renewed Excavations 1990–2000: The Iron Age

Shlomo Bunimovitz, and Tzvi Lederman

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$189.50 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-452-9

8.5" × 11"
2016

Tel Beth-Shemesh: A Border Community in Judah

Renewed Excavations 1990–2000: The Iron Age

Shlomo Bunimovitz, and Tzvi Lederman

“Located in the Judahite lowlands (Shephelah), Tel Beth-Shemesh offers an intriguing story of a border town that had to adjust to the changing geopolitical situation of the region. Accordingly, the guiding theme of the publication is the phenomenon of being located on a political and cultural border.”

 

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  • Table of Contents
Excavations at Beth-Shemesh are actually a story within a story. On the one hand, they are the story of the archaeology of the Land of Israel in a nutshell: from the pioneering days of the Palestine Exploration Fund, through the “Golden Age” of American biblical archaeology, to current Israeli and international archaeology. On the other hand, they are the fascinating story of a border site that was constantly changing its face due to its geopolitical location in the Sorek Valley in the Shephelah—a juncture of Canaanite, Philistine, and Israelite entities and cultures.

It is no wonder that two celebrated biblical border epics—Samson’s encounters with the Philistines and the Ark narrative—took real or imagined place around Beth-Shemesh. In this report, summarizing the first ten years (1990–2000) of archaeological work in the ongoing project of the renewed excavations at Tel Beth-Shemesh, the authors have strived to tell anew the story of the Iron Age people of Beth-Shemesh as exposed and interpreted. Using the best theoretical and methodological tools that modern archaeology has made available, every effort has been made to keep in view archaeology’s fundamental duty—to read the ancient people behind the decayed walls and shattered pottery vessels and bring alive their lost world. Furthermore, the story of ancient Beth-Shemesh has been written in a way that will enable scholars, students, and other interested people to learn and understand the life of the communities living at Beth-Shemesh.

As a result, the book is organized in a manner different from usual archaeological site reports. The two volumes will be essential for anyone who wishes the best and latest information on this important site.

“Located in the Judahite lowlands (Shephelah), Tel Beth-Shemesh offers an intriguing story of a border town that had to adjust to the changing geopolitical situation of the region. Accordingly, the guiding theme of the publication is the phenomenon of being located on a political and cultural border.”

Part One: Introductory Essays

1. A Tale of Three Expeditions: Tel Beth-Shemesh Excavators, Excavations, and Site Reports in Context

2. Archaeology of a Border Community

Part Two: Strategy And Methodology

3. Strategy, Goals, and Stratigraphical Synopsis

4. Data Acquisition, Recording, and Management

Part Three: The Last Days of Beth-Shemesh

5. Epilogue: Water Drawers and Vicious Neighbors Level 1: Iron IIC ca. 650–635 BCE

Excursus: Petrographic Analysis of Iron II Holemouth Jars Yuval Goren

Part Four: Early Iron Age Village

6. A Peasant Community on the Philistine Border Levels 6–4: Iron I ca. 1150–950 BCE

Excursus A: Petrographic Analysis of Selected “Philistine Ware” Vessels Yuval Goren

Excursus B: Jar of Dried Figs Ehud Weiss and Yael Mahler-Slasky

7. Animal Husbandry in the Early Iron Age at Tel Beth-Shemesh Brian Hesse, Emmett Brown, and Timothy Griffith

8. Crossing the Border with Samson: Beth-Shemesh and the Bible’s Geographical Imagination Steven Weitzman

Part Five: The State at Beth-Shemesh

9. Royal Intervention: From Village to Administrative Center Level 3: Iron IIA ca. 950–790 BCE

10. The Lithic Assemblage . . . . . . Jeffrey I. Rose

11. From Village To State: Changes in the Animal Economy of Beth-Shemesh during the Iron Age Brian Hesse and Emmett Brown

Part Six: Olive-Oil Producers’ Town

12. “Your Country Is Desolate, Your Cities Are Burned with Fire:” The Death of a Judahite Border Town Level 2: Iron IIB ca. 790–701 BCE

13. A Priest’s House at Beth-Shemesh? An Incised qdš Bowl Dale W. Manor

14. Lmlk and Official Seal Impressions Andrew Vaughn

Excursus: Petrographic Analysis of lmlk and Official Sealed Jar Handles from the Renewed Excavavations Yuval Goren

Part Seven: Complementary Studies

15. Anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic Figurines and Hollow Vessels Raz Kletter

16. Iron Age Artifacts

Excursus: A Scarab of Thuthmosis III Nir Orlev

17. The Iron Age Jewelry Amir Golani

Excursus: An Inscribed Egyptian Amulet Deborah Sweeney

18. Loom Weights

19. Ḥnn Gaming Board Michael Sebbane and P. Kyle Mccarter

20. The Name “Beth-Shemesh” and the Toponomy of the Region around Tel Beth-Shemesh Ran Zadok

21. Archaeobotanical Remains Nili Liphschitz

Part Eight: Radiocarbon Studies

22. Tel Beth-Shemesh Radiocarbon Analyses: A Commentary

23. Radiocarbon Dating of the Iron Age Stratigraphic Sequence Elisabetta Boaretto, Ilan Sharon, and Ayelet Gilboa

24. Radiocarbon Dating at Tel Beth-Shemesh: A Second Look Eli Piasetzki

Part Nine: Data in Context

Main Occupational Units: Context and Contents

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