Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Roundup

The Jerusalem Post has a feature story on the current excavations at the Philistine city of Gath. For daily updates, see the excavator’s blog. In particular, you may want to check out this remarkable 3-D image of Area A.

The Post also reports on a new virtual tour of the Temple Mount, online at

The sphinx found at Hazor is described by the archaeologists in a 3-minute video. Apparently this was the last of 24 years of excavations at the site. UPDATE (7/19): My interpretation that this was the final season was incorrect. See comments below.

Tel Aviv University is offering a free online course via Coursera on “The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem,” taught by Professor Oded Lipschits, Ph.D. and Ido Koch.

John H. Hayes died last week at the age of 79.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Jack Sasson

Hazor upper city aerial from west, tbs112040011

The upper city of Hazor
Photo from the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands

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  • Todd,Why do they end the digging after 24 years? Isn't there a whole lot more ruins below what they have already excavated? The tell looks so big.

    By Blogger Brian Milam, at Wed Jul 17, 01:46:00 PM  

  • Hazor.

    By Blogger Brian Milam, at Wed Jul 17, 01:47:00 PM  

  • After 24 years, they may be tired. Everyone is older. And there's still a lot of work to be done in publication. Excavators who work in the field until they die and do not publish (or fully publish) their material do no one any favors. What is excavated but not published is simply destroyed.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Wed Jul 17, 05:45:00 PM  

  • Hi Todd, I love this blog. Thank you for the service.

    I watched the video concerning the sphinx fragment found at Hazor and am wondering if it really is the last year of the excavations at Hazor? I realize Dr. Zuckerman spoke of the sphinx fragment that was found "on the last day of the last season" (0:22). However, couldn't she have meant this past season when she referred to the last season (as opposed to any of the prior seasons)? Later, at 1:25 in discussing the find Dr. Zuckerman says "Where is its head? Where is its body? We hope we will be able to find it in our excavation of the palace." Then at 2:30 the reporter says "Scientists hope they can locate the rest of the sphinx's body in further excavations."

    I dug there 6 summers ago and have longed to go back and do it again. I think it would be a shame if the excavations ended before the archives are discovered!

    By OpenID Marchaeology, at Thu Jul 18, 11:16:00 PM  

  • Perhaps by "last" she meant "most recent" and not final. I don't have any additional information yet. I wouldn't be surprised if Zuckerman continues the dig when Ben-Tor retires. And they published a major volume covering 20 years of work in the Iron Age just last year.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Fri Jul 19, 09:29:00 AM  

  • Hi Todd, I also want to thank you for your great work and dedication hosting this blog.

    I just wanted to confirm that the sphinx paws were found on the last day of the season in 2012 (by one of my students!). We are also planning on heading back there next year and in all my communication with the dig it is still a go. The plan is to reach the LB destruction layer in a new area (started this year) that is adjacent to the palace, and that should take at least 3 or 4 more years.

    By Blogger Murray Hiebert, at Fri Jul 19, 10:18:00 AM  

  • Thank you, Murray, for your kind words and the clarification. I have updated the post above and I look forward to what we will learn from the coming excavations. You will have to warn future groups that you bring that they should not all expect to make such dramatic discoveries!

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Fri Jul 19, 10:30:00 AM  

  • Actually Todd, now I expect as good a find or better... Don't all teachers mark their students based on their finds? :)

    By Blogger Murray Hiebert, at Fri Jul 19, 10:55:00 AM  

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