The Riddle Of The Sphinx: The 2012 Excavation Season At Hazor -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 26:3 (Summer 2013)
Article: The Riddle Of The Sphinx: The 2012 Excavation Season At Hazor
Author: Anonymous

The Riddle Of The Sphinx: The 2012 Excavation Season At Hazor

Murray D. Hiebert


“Hazor is number one!” This phrase would be repeated over and over again by Dr. Amnon Ben-Tor during the lectures of the 2012 Hazor excavation season. Hazor of Late Bronze Age (LB) Canaan “was the head of all those kingdoms” (Jos 11:10) and its prominent position on the main international highway gave it importance throughout the duration of the Kingdom of Israel. However, if the site is truly number one as stated, then there better be some pretty good supporting evidence.

The site of ancient Hazor, Tell el-Qedah, was first excavated in 1928 by John Garstang. His excavations did little for understanding the extent of the ancient city. The Israeli-led

James A. de Rothschild Expedition excavated there from 1955– 1958 and in 1968. These excavations, under the direction of Yigael Yadin, revealed that Hazor was truly the largest city of Canaan at approximately 200 acres, of which about 30 acres was a royal acropolis perched high above the rest of the city. The later Israelite city covered only a portion of the upper tell and never expanded to the massive lower city.

Yadin found a massive destruction level of burnt debris covering the ruins of the final Canaanite city. He attributed this destruction layer to the Israelite conquest of the site under the leadership of Joshua (mentioned in Joshua 11:11–13) and claimed that this confirmed the accuracy of the biblical narrative.1 Evidence was even found in a high place and temple in the lower city that images of deities were intentionally destroyed, hinting that the Israelites were obedient to the mandate to destroy all

Millar College of the Bible

Murray and Jennifer Hiebert and seventeen Millar College students/alumni participated in the 2012 Hazor Excavations. They are pictured here with Hebrew University dig directors Amnon Ben-Tor, Sharon Zuckerman and Shlomit Bechar.

Canaanite religious objects (Dt 7:1–5). This event, dated to c. 1235 BC, has long been used to support the late-exodus theory championed by William F. Albright.2

Excavations at Hazor begun anew in 1990 under the auspices of Hebrew University and have continued to this day. Dr. Ben-Tor, the director of this project and veteran of Yad...

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