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Southern Adventist University excavated Area D, where Hellenistic fills and floors associated with a large wall produced various finds, including bronze and silver coins from the period. For the first time a silver tetradrachm of Alexander the Great was found by the excavation team, providing an absolute date for the Hellenistic floor. Below this floor, inside the casemate walls, earlier Iron age IIA floors, from the time of David, were discovered. On the surface were almost-complete restorable vessels, including a lamp, chalice, and large storage jars with thumbprint impressions. This was the first time that restorable vessels were found inside the casemate rooms. The bottom course of the casemate walls rested on bedrock, indicating without a doubt that the massive wall system associated with the western gate does in fact date to the early 10th century B.C, despite recent opposing suggestions by some scholars.
The Hebrew University team excavated Qeiyafa’s second gate in Area C. The eastern portion of the gate was well preserved, together with several casemate rooms. It has been suggested by director Dr. Yosef Garfinkel that this second gate may be evidence for the identification of the site with biblical Sha’arayim (1 Sam. 17:52), Hebrew for “two gates.” If this conclusion is correct, Khirbet Qeiyafa was a major fortified garrison built during the time of Saul or David adjacent to the valley of Elah, where the Bible places the famous battle between David and Goliath. There is no question that the massive fortifications of this city required centralized organization and supervision. This represents a major argument against the objection by some scholars that David’s kingdom was nothing more than a minor regional chiefdom. Moreover, the discovery of the earliest Hebrew inscription and its location in this border area confirms that literacy extended to the outskirts of Judah.
In the summer of 2010 the joint excavation team will work in two different areas of the site: The Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem team will excavate the casemate walls and houses in Area C. A full team of about 60 staff, students, and volunteers will be excavating Area D on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology, Southern Adventist University. Southern's goals for this season will be: (1) to expand the area excavated in 2009 to 8-12 squares in order to discover the nature of the architecture in Area D; (2) perfect the use of new GPS/GIS equipment and software for 3-D reconstruction and production of architectural plans; and (3) to train archaeology students and volunteers in field work.
All 6 weeks: $5,095 June 16-July 27, 2010 – Excavations and all tours; 6 hrs credit
First 3 weeks: $3,770 June 16-July 8, 2010 – Excavations and tour to Galilee and two weekends inJerusalem; 3 hrs credit
Second 3 weeks: $3,770 July 6-27, 2010 – Excavations and tour to Eilat/Petra and two weekends inJerusalem; 3 hrs credit
On the weekends, 6-week participants will travel through Israel and Jordan, visiting some of the most well-known sites like Jerusalem, Masada, Hazor, the Golan Heights, Caesarea Philippi, the Sea of Galilee, Petra, and the Red Sea. If you are interested in learning more about participating, feel free to contact us.
2010 Khirbet Qeiyafa Information
2010 Khirbet Qeiyafa Application and Disclosure
2010 Khirbet Qeiyafa Medical Form
2010 Khirbet Qeiyafa Tour Itinerary