Saturday, December 01, 2018

Franklin Reflects on Jezreel

Today I received a courtesy copy of a chapter Norma Franklin wrote for a new volume edited by Shuichi Hasegawa, Christoph Levin, & Karen Radner, The Last Days of the Kingdom of Israel. It appears in "Part III: Views from Archaeology" with the title, "Megiddo and Jezreel Reflected in the Dying Embers of the Northern Kingdom of Israel." The only other LMLK-related author appears to be Ron E. Tappy, just ahead of her in Part III with "The Annals of Sargon II and the Archaeology of Samaria: Rhetorical Claims, Empirical Evidence."

Apparently the electronic version was published last month, but the hardcover is scheduled for a 2019 printing (according to its copyright page).

In her section 5, "Jezreel after Tiglath-pileser III" she includes the 2 Jezreel LMLKs as "evidence for activity ca. 701 BCE." The "circa" is important, because one of the handles bears an unclassified stamp; & the other bears an M2D, which I (& Lipschits et al.) contend belongs to the post-Sennacherib period down in Judah. Most of the other items she lists belong to that mushy chronological horizon as well:

1) a restorable storage jar that has close parallels in the southern Coastal Plain and Judah, best known from contexts dating to the late 8th and 7th centuries BCE

2) a 7th–6th-centuries-BCE wedge-shaped decorated bowl

3) two ceramic horse heads that date to the 8th–7th centuries BCE

4) three weights that compare with similar weights found in Megiddo Stratum III or II

5) a fragment of a stone-carved incense bowl that compares with examples from Megiddo Stratum III or II (dated to the 7th and 8th centuries BCE)

6) a stone cosmetic palette dated to between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE (with parallels from Megiddo Strata I to III)

7) Grave 1260 contained an alabaster palette dated to the 7th century BCE

So it would seem to me that until the other Jezreel handle is located for classification purposes (which might never happen), Jezreel will remain a battleground for LMLK dating.

G.M. Grena

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