Digging Up Joshua’s Ai: The 2009-2010 Seasons At Kh. El-Maqatir -- By: Bryant G. Wood

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 24:1 (Winter 2011)
Article: Digging Up Joshua’s Ai: The 2009-2010 Seasons At Kh. El-Maqatir
Author: Bryant G. Wood


Digging Up Joshua’s Ai:
The 2009-2010 Seasons At Kh. El-Maqatir

Bryant G. Wood

After a hiatus of nine years due to political unrest in Israel, the Associates for Biblical Research resumed excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir for a seventh season May 22–June 5, 2009, and an eighth season May 24–June 4, 2010, under the direction of the author.1 In 2009, 23 volunteers from the US and Canada, plus a number of local residents participated. In 2010, 38 volunteers from the US, Australia and Israel made up the dig team. The site is located in the West Bank 9 mi (15 km) north of Jerusalem. Finds continue to support the identification of the site as the Ai of Joshua 7-8.

Michael Luddeni

West wall of the 15th century BC fortress at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Square supervisor Oral Collins, of the Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies, stands atop the western fortification wall of the Late Bronze I (ca. 1500-1400 BC) fortress at Khirbet el-Maqatir, the proposed location of the Ai of Joshua 7-8, at the end of the 2009 excavation season. The preserved width of the wall is 12 ft (3.6 m) at its base and the remaining height is 4 ft (1.2 m). Behind Dr. Collins is a modern wall enclosing an agricultural area which covers the southwest sector of the fortress.

Plan of the gate area on the north side of the late Bronze (LB) I fortress. Obj. 59 is an upper gate socket stone, and are lower gate socket stones. The Hasmonean installations and west fortification wall are later constructions from a fortress buill over the east half of the LB I fortress during the Hasmonean period (152-37 BC).

Michael Luddeni

Passageway of the LB I gate, view west. In the upper half of the photo is the west chamber of the gate, with walls 6.5 ft (2 m) wide. passageway. The two small rectangular installations in the lower part of the photo are from the second–first centuries BC.

The 2009 Season

Gate Passageway

In 1996 the west chamber of the gate of the fortress of Joshua’s time (LB I, 15th century BC), was excavated. Much evidence for fire in the form of burned stones and calcined bedrock was found. ...

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