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Re: [ANE-2] Finkelstein's theory- a few remarks on an Iron I Site and a query or two

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  • Eliot Braun
    I excavated a site in Upper Galilee, Horvat Avot. The full excavation report is in press (it was submitted more than 5 years ago) and will likely be in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2007
      I excavated a site in Upper Galilee, Horvat 'Avot. The full excavation report is in press (it was submitted more than 5 years ago) and will likely be in the next 'Atiqot (at least I hope so--this is not an implied criticism because the IAA publishes much and has a great record which gets better all the time as my not so occasional postings to this list can avouch). There is a preliminary report on Horvat 'Avot in the Anchor Bible Dictionary.

      Basically I excavated at the fringe of a settlement on a slope. I found extremely well-built houses of the Iron I period, good rectangular architecture, with much pottery. The pottery, certainly not made locally, included two types of pithoi. One type is the so-called Tyrian/Wavy-lined, the other the 'Galilean Collared-rim'. Scores of such vessels were brought to the site; we found much evidence of them in large quantities of fragments. Other pots included typical cooking pots, smaller jars, etc. The assemblage is 11th century BCE.

      I'd like to make several points:
      1. There is no proof that the entire settlement was 'circular or oval'; I only worked at one edge of it where I revealed a short segment of the perimeter overlooking the steep Nahal Avivim. The center of the site, untouched, is covered by a massive pile of stones; the remainder is unexcavated.
      2. Nothing in the nature of the settlement would suggest that these people had any particular affinities with nomads or a nomadic way of life.
      a. The buildings were quite nicely planned, often (albeit not exclusively) rectangular plans (i.e. 90 degree angled corners). Walls were of nice sized field stone
      foundations of even width.
      b. The large quantity of pottery found at the site was normative for the period and, as noted above, included pithoi, one of which was so massive that I could probably
      fit in it (no mean feat). The site had enormous potential for storage (almost certainly of foodstuffs).

      1. How does the known archaeological record of this site fit into current paradigms of what happened in Iron I?
      2. How much do we know of Galilee, Upper and Lower do we known of the LB Age and Iron I periods? Enough to really understand and build a convincing theory or paradigm of human utilization, settlement, that may be compared and contrasted with the biblical account?

      Eliot Braun

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