Kh. el-Maqatir 1999 Dig Report -- By: Bryant G. Wood

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 012:4 (Fall 1999)
Article: Kh. el-Maqatir 1999 Dig Report
Author: Bryant G. Wood

Kh. el-Maqatir 1999 Dig Report

Bryant G. Wood

From May 24 to June 17 a fourth season of excavation was carried out at Kh. el-Maqatir, 15 km (9 mi) north of Jerusalem. The dig is sponsored by the Associates for Biblical Research, endorsed by the Near East Archaeological Society, and under the direction of Bryant G. Wood. A total of 58 people participated in two two-week sessions, with another group of 50 on a Master’s College tour joining the dig for one day. Participating consortium members included Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies; Bryan College; Dallas Theological Seminary; The Master’s College, IBEX (Israel Bible Extension); and Trinity College and Seminary Southwest Campus. Also participating were representatives from Austin Seminary of Biblical Languages, David Lipscomb University, Ozark Christian College and University of Alabama.

15th Century BC (Late Bronze I Period), the Time of the Conquest

The Massive North Wall

The most significant result of this season’s work was further clarification of the plan of the Late Bronze I (15th century BC) fortress from the time of Joshua. In Squares Q9 and R11 well-preserved sections of the north wall were found. The wall here is 4.0 m (13 ft) wide, equal to the largest wall from that time period found in Israel! It would have stood to a height of some 12 m (40 ft)! It is interesting that the dimensions of all of the architecture we have found from the LB I period are in even half-meter increments. It is evident

North wall of the Late Bronze I fortress at Kh. el-Maqatir. The wall, constructed of fieldstones, is 4.0 m (13 ft) wide. At the point where it connected to the gate it was cut through by a later. (first century BC) Hasmonean wall. (Drawing by the author.)

The outer face of the curving north wall. Equivalent to the widest wall from this period found in Israel (4.0 m, 13 ft), it originally stood to a height of some 12 m (40 ft). It is understandable why Joshua lured the defenders of Ai out of their fortress rather than attempting to assault the walls.

Square S14 where the Late Bronze I fortification wall was robbed out. The small stones on the right (north) side of the square were originally piled against the outer face of the Late Bronze I fortification wall. When a Hasmonean wall was built a short distance to the east, the stones from the Late Bronze I wall were removed for reuse, leaving a negative impression of where the wall once stood. A number of very large stones were left behind ...

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