About Safi: I am not LC fan and did not attempt to down-date your dear
levels. Someone suggested that your 9th c pottery date may be a chronology
matter, so it can fit a 10th c paleographic date. I tried to say it only
works to the opposite effect.
It's up to you if you get high or stay conventional, we need not argue
about terminology. The basic difference is LC to HC/Conventional/Revised
Conventional. Simply put, it boils down to what date one assigns to the
start of Megiddo Va, the first Iron Age level with large public buildings.
Anything pre c. 925 places this level in the time of the united monarchy
and means HC=Conventional=Revised; anything after that, LC.
Since archaeology cannot date beginning of layers precisely, it goes back
to history, to the question of united monarchy.
LC was a respectable archaeological option andorsed by Kenyon, Wightman
and others for more than 50 years before Finkelstein jumped on board. He is
now ruining it by trying desperately to push Qeiyafa *up* instead of
*down*as he tried with all other "suspected" 10th century sites.
2013/7/16 Peter van der Veen <van_der_Veen@...
> Dear colleagues,
> I completely agree with what Aren Maeir has written. Due to a lack of
> archaeological context for epigraphic material from the end of the Late
> Bronze to the beginning of the second half of the Iron Age, palaeographic
> dating has relied too much on the personal perceptions of (otherwise
> excellent) epigraphists. As I have also shown in my own PhD, the right
> direction should however have been to start off with the stratigraphically
> reliable epigraphic finds and take the issue from there. Naturally this is
> much easier to do for the end of the Iron Age, which of course I have
> examined in my PhD thesis for the University of Bristol (2005), where I
> mainly dealt with stratified seals and bullae from Israel and Jordan. But
> as Aren has rightly stressed, we do have an increasing number of finds that
> can help us also for the earlier periods. Especially the Tell es-Safi
> ostracon (to which he refers) is an important find. Not only can it be
> dated clearly to a (late) Iron Age IIA stratum at Gath (9th century B.C.)
> the inscription is found on a hand-burnished sherds which also clearly
> dates to the Iron Age IIA. The forms of the letters are archaic and had the
> other indications for its archaeological context not been there, one would
> have assumed a much older date for the find (11th cent. ?). Similarly the
> Khirbet Qeijafa ostracon - which was found in a late Iron Age I-IIA context
> - reveals letters that are palaeographically "older". Evidently the older
> scripts continued to be used by some scribal schools depending on the
> region and the traditions in which the worked. In fact already the study of
> the Aramaic inscription on the Tell Fekherijeh statue had pointed the way
> that we need to be very careful not to base too much weight on palaeography
> alone. While the script resembles earlier types, the names in the
> inscription are closely linked to the Neo-Assyrian period of the 9th cent.
> Best wishes
> Peter van der Veen
> Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
> Am 15.07.2013 um 21:40 schrieb aren:
> > I'm definitely not a "high chronologist" - at most a "revised
> conventional" and my 9th is not 8th? Would anyone seriously date the
> "Hazael" destruction at Gath to the 8th?
> > As to comparisons between ceramic and epigraphic typologies: The former
> is based on many, excellent contexts - many well-dated (historical and
> cosmogenic based datings), in which we can see tight stratigraphic and
> chronological sequencing along with distinct regional developments.
> > On the other hand, most of the epigraphic chrono-typologies are based,
> mostly, on non-provenanced materials, with very few examples from good,
> well-dated contexts. And in fact, very often, when such examples are found
> in context, they disagree with the conventional typologies (e.g., Cross and
> Stager's suggested dating of the ALWT/WLT sherd from Tell es-Safi/Gath -
> which flew in the face of the typology of the sherd on which it was written
> - and the context from which it was found!).
> > If one reads the IEJ article on the new Ophel inscription carefully, the
> authors note that there are two types of pithoi in the context, one early
> and one late, and the inscription is on the LATE type - and they even bring
> the 9th cent parallels to it.
> > I simply can't comprehend how people can still argue for an early date
> of letter types based on a simplistic comparison to letter types from other
> sites. First of all, as mentioned above, many of the examples come from
> unprovenanced or poorly contexted examples (such as ALL the bronze
> arrowheads, the Gezer calendar, the Ezbet Zarta sherd (which comes from a
> pit with an extended data, etc.). Also, the comparison to other
> inscriptions from diverse regions - when we clearly know that the alphabet
> developed at different paces in different regions and in different strata
> of society. Even if we eventually can build a robust chrono-typology of the
> development of the early Iron Age alphabetic script, one will have to take
> into account regional variations and "battleship curve" typological charts.
> > It's time to drop the concept that the same letter type appears all over
> at the same time - and disappears at the same time as well!
> > Aren Maeir
> > gath.wordpress.com
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