Saturday, April 01, 2006

Beth Shemesh vs. Beth Zur

[This post is from an archive; the original message was sent Fri 7/9/2004 5:31 PM.]

Those of you with copies of my LMLK book will notice that I emphasized the possibility of a chronological division between about half of the 21 LMLK seals (12 vs. 9 to be exact) in spite of the scholarly consensus that they all pre-date Sennacherib's invasion. I originally recognized this possibility based on the Stratigraphy page I published on the LMLK Research website 2 years ago, which became the tables on pages 334-337 of my book. My opinion was strengthened after being allowed to examine the handles from Beth Shemesh at the University of Pennsylvania Museum (UPM) last year, & those from Beth Zur at the McCormick Theological Seminary (MTS) earlier this year. I recently finished processing the photos & they are now available for everyone to examine on the website:

Bear in mind that the division in time I'm suggesting is not necessarily long such as 750-700 vs. 700-650, but simply the 29-year reign of Hezekiah with the dividing point right in the middle (i.e. the 14th year of his reign per the Bible), so the presence/absence of other pottery forms at these sites isn't tremendously significant (& that's a good thing since neither of the excavations was documented very well compared to today's standards). While we can still argue over whether the presence of x4x & x2U types at Beth Shemesh vs. the x2D types at Beth Zur represent a geographical or chronological distinction, now some 7 decades after the excavations at least there is a significant body of detailed LMLK data to discuss. So thanks again to Shannon White & Charles Stuart Kline at UPM, & Melody Knowles & Homer Ashby at MTS for granting permission for us to conduct this research!

G.M. Grena

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