Excavations At Tell Beit Mirsim, The Ancient Kirjath Sepher 1928 -- By: Melvin Grove Kyle

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 085:340 (Oct 1928)
Article: Excavations At Tell Beit Mirsim, The Ancient Kirjath Sepher 1928
Author: Melvin Grove Kyle

Excavations At Tell Beit Mirsim,
The Ancient Kirjath Sepher 1928

Melvin Grove Kyle

Introduction to the work at Kirjath Sepher during the season April-June, 1928, was published in the July issue of Bibliotheca Sacra; the approach to the field, the composition of the staff, the making of the camp, indeed all the preliminary arrangements for a season’s work under patriarchal conditions. We were just ready to take up field operations then; now we will proceed with the story of the excavations from that point and unfold it, not in journalistic fashion, but more analytically, that results as well as events may appear, thus presenting in order:

I. A cross-section of Tell Beit Mirsim.

II. Life and Culture of the Land of the Book as revealed at Kirjath Sepher.

III. Pottery Chronology.

IV. Significance of the Findings.

I. A Cross Section Of Tell Beit Mirsim

The Department of Antiquities of the Palestinian Government has a very liberal policy toward archaeologists, allowing much freedom in the methods of operation, yet some things are rigidly required; the work must be systematically done, fully and correctly recorded, and all the material of evidential value preserved and made available for study. Unfortunately it is not yet possible to have all archaeologists follow a uniform method of recording, which would contribute much toward the use and profitable comparison of results at various sites. Even a poorer uniform method would be more advantageous than various methods some of which were superior.

To effect the orderly procedure required of us, we determined this year to examine a cross-section of the ruins from the top, the latest period, down, if possible, to the bottom, the earliest civilization on the site. The size of the Tell, about seven and a half acres, precluded any possibility of stripping off layer by layer from the whole surface of the Tell. While such a procedure might be most exactly scientific and most spectacular, if fully carried out, thus enabling us to see the whole fortress at each stage of its history, that would have required either such a large force of workmen as could not be obtained in the community or such a long time for each layer of civilization that interest in the work must certainly lag with the public and probably, also, with the archaeologists themselves. The work must be done in such fashion as, if possible, would get something really completed each season. Accordingly, it was determined to carry a cross-section of the Tell, about 4,000 square meters in extent, right down from the surface to the rock of the mountain beneath the city.

The secti...

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