Saturday, April 01, 2006

LMLK News--Lachish, Jerusalem, Ramat Rahel (not necessarily in that order)

[This post is from an archive; the original message was sent Tue 12/7/2004 9:57 PM. I eventually published the S2U handle; visit to see it.]

1) Starkey's Surprise S2U Survivor
2) Renewed Ramat Rahel/Rachel Recoveries
3) Jerusalem Junk/Junque Journal
4) Royal Oil Spoiled?


Starkey's Surprise S2U Survivor

In response to the wonderful description of Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch's efforts at the Living Torah Museum featured on pp. 47-51 of the current issue of BAR magazine, Donald F. Brown contacted the rabbi & donated his private collection of artifacts from Lachish. Isn't it illegal to pick up artifacts from sites you visit in Israel & take them home with you? Nowadays (i.e., since the 1970s) it is, but this collection preceded the formation of the state of Israel! It turns out that Donald Brown was a surveyor for the Wellcome-Marston expedition during the 1930s & is still alive! As you know, hundreds of LMLK handles were recovered from this famous excavation, & James Starkey (director of the digs) allowed members of the team to take certain items home as mementoes of their efforts. For decades they have remained with Mr. Brown, & now they will be preserved & displayed for future generations! After reading Barkay/Vaughn's discovery of LMLK handles in the Reifenberg collection (Tel Aviv Journal vol. 23, p. 63), it makes me wonder how many others are still out there never accounted for by the Diringer/Tufnell report, & how many may have already been lost/destroyed due to the owners passing away & their inheritors thinking they were just worthless, broken pieces of junk instead of treasured junque! Photos of all the items--pots found near the northern city wall blackened by destruction fire, a pair of bronze shackles, & a jar stopper--will soon be added to but for now you can sneak-peak preview photos of an exceptional H2U handle:

Speaking of Lachish, David Ussishkin's landmark 5-volume set is now available, & you can preview the complete contents in an online .PDF file (note that the LMLK chapters are in Volume IV including the Barkay/Vaughn report from TA that I just referenced):


Renewed Ramat Rahel/Rachel Recoveries

The site that has produced the third-largest quantity of LMLK handles to date (behind Lachish & Jerusalem respectively) will possibly produce more next summer! Yohanan Aharoni performed the initial work there in the late 1950s & early 1960s but was not able to conclude anything decisive about the seal types due to the poor documentation system at the time. Were there any indications that certain types were found beneath the Stratum V palace (ascribed to King Jehoiachin by Aharoni) or amongst its rubble? Gabriel Barkay's data still awaits publication, but whatever he found has led him to assert that King Hezekiah had a palace there prior to the Assyrian occupation & that Ramat Rahel was MMST. Note that the Ramat Rahel article he submitted to BAR in early 2003 is still pending publication as well. For now, you can read all about the upcoming excavation activity at 2 new websites; the first contains info about the digs, the second promotes the beautiful/luxurious new resort hotel adjacent to the site & fit for a king:
Registration is possible until March 19, 2005. For any additional questions, please write to Peter van der Veen, especially if you'd like to visit other important LMLK sites such as Lachish, Timnah, & Beth Shemesh while you're there.


Jerusalem Junk/Junque Journal

For those of you participating financially in the Temple Mount sieve salvage reported in the previous LMLK mailinglist, Zachi Zweig informed me that the material has been successfully transferred to a safe storage location & the operation has begun with a special screen machine! It's a noble, respectable effort even if nothing significant is recovered, but I'm hopeful that many wonderful things will be found. My use of junk/junque in this E-mail are from memories of a book I saw during my childhood entitled, "One Man's Junk is Another Man's Junque". "Junk" was written in clumsy, scratchy handwriting, while "Junque" was written with elegant, cursive penmanship.


Royal Oil Spoiled?

I've posted some comments challenging the LMLK oil jar inscription published in "Windows to the Past" (1997) by Robert Deutsch & Michael Heltzer, & invite others to express their opinions--the more the merrier:
I apologize for my text editor that omits my paragraph breaks, but in hindsight my super-long paragraph hearkens back to the ancient days before paragraphs were invented, & sets the mood for discussing ancient inscriptions (at least that's my story & I'm stickin' to it). I also followed it up tonight after noticing my ***GIANT*** goof that the authors did publish the volume (48.6 liters), & I'm embarrassed by this mistake, yet I stand by my other critiques. And you can see the inscription at:


G.M. Grena (tonight only, the "G" stands for "goof")

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