News And Notes -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 03:4 (Autumn 1990)
Article: News And Notes
Author: Anonymous


News And Notes

Excavations At Jezreel In 1990

Jezreel in Galilee, an Israelite royal residence, was the scene of Ahab and Jezebel’s murder of Naboth to get his vineyard. It was also where Jehu had Jezebel thrown out of a window and eaten by dogs. Other occurrences of Biblical events there include Gideon choosing300 at a spring in nearby Harod, and Saul and his forces, before the battle on Mt. Gilboa, camping at «the spring of Jezreel.”

Recent construction work at the edge of Tell Jezreel exposed a finely-constructed Iron Age wall which might be related to the royal palace of Ahab’s time. The University of Tel Aviv and the British School of Archeology cooperated in the six-week effort which, at times, involved 120 volunteers. Accomodations were at nearby Kibbutz Jezreel. This was the first time that Jezreel has been excavated.

ABR director, David Livingston, participated in opening the excavation. His assessment was that John Woodhead of the British School, and David Ussishkin of Tel Aviv University had done a thorough job of research in preparation for the dig as well as being fully prepared logistically. Morale among the volunteers was excellent, and although digging is always hard work, it was a very satisfying learning experience for all.

This first season, many squares were opened, but most of them did not go very deep. So there are not many finds to report yet. In Area B, on the southeast edge of the site, the base of what was probably a two-story tower was uncovered. It seems to have been destroyed, possibly by Tiglath-Pileser (in 732 BC?) or later by Nebuchadnezzar. In Area D the base of another tower (?) was found and, inside, three storage jars full of charred grain.

Pottery from as early as the Middle Bronze Period (ca 2000–1500 BC) indicates that the site was in use long before the time of Israel’s kings.

Calf Figurine Found

Reminiscent of the golden calf made by Aaron for the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings, a small bull-calf figurine made of bronze and silver was uncovered this summer in excavations at Ashkelon. The figurine was probably burnished to appear golden. Found in the rubble of a temple destroyed about 1500 BC, the calf is 4 1/2 inches high and the same length. Since it apparently was in use shortly before the Exodus, it may lend some clues on the use of a golden calf by the Israelites.

The Canaanite god, Baal, was represented by a cow. He was the god of the weather (similar to Zeus). Even after the tragic experience with the golden calf in the wilderness, the Israelites apparently continued to revere this Canaanite god. This is evident in the northern kingdom’s acceptance of the use of calves more than 400 years later, whereas the...

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