Saturday, September 15, 2018

Everywhere I Go, There I Am

And I'm not complaining! I'm flattered, grateful, privileged, & thrilled to be used by God, even if it's in a relatively small, esoteric niche.

Back in July, the IAA announced the launch of their online reference library:

"The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) Library is the most important archaeological library in the Middle East, which was established during the British Mandate around 1926. It holds an extensive collection of the archaeological and historical research of the Land of Israel and the Levant."

First term I entered in their Search box was "lmlk". Very happy to see more results than I had time to explore (53, some of which are redundant), but not thrilled that the ones I did explore were the typical library catalog entries rather than full texts (bearing in mind that I visited the site as an ordinary browser rather than through an academic institution's portal).

Kudos for Nadav Naaman for having the top-ranked result for his landmark TA v43#1 article. Kudos to my not-so-secret alter-ego for the #40 result, which is the Wikipedia entry for "LMLK seal". I was happy to see the LRW mentioned in the IAA's catalog Description field:

The library's Advanced interface is helpful for narrowing the results, but it's very slow in response to clicks due to a ridiculously long-running background script. So sad that many websites nowadays are more difficult to browse than ones I used back in the early days of my LMLK research, circa 2002. I hate it when organizations hire programmers to design websites for the most powerful computers with the weakest security settings rather than the weakest computers with the highest security settings, but I digress...

My 2nd entry was "grena", & although I was disappointed that my Lv1 book wasn't listed, at least one of my philatelic articles was! Woo-hoo! I'm officially & permanently a part of the IAA!


Also at the end of July, I finally found a significantly discounted copy of David Ussishkin's 2014 popular-audience book, "Biblical Lachish". I thought it would simply be a highly condensed, slightly reworded version of his landmark, 5-volume, highly technical final reports; however, I was thrilled to see a freshly written chapter on LMLKs, including remarks about my work! Woo-hoo-number-two! In fact, I'm even listed in the book's index!

(And yes, I know this image is rotated, but that's Blogger/Google's fault--not mine, because I also uploaded 3 alternate versions where I manually rotated & re-saved it, but they all appear upside-down thanks to the millionaire programmers at Blogger/Google who know what's best for you. To view it properly, visit their competitor's version at LMLK WordPress.)

I need to write a detailed review/rebuttal, so that's all I'll say about it for now. I'd really like to read the entire book, but have too much else on my personal agenda at this time ... which is a good thing--again, not complainin', just sayin'.


Also last month, I learned that Michael Hasel, Yosef Garfinkel, & Shina Weiss published a book last year on their 2010 Socoh survey, & promptly found a highly discounted copy for sale. I knew it would be excellent due to an awesome S2U photo on its cover; but when it arrived, I was even more ecstatic to see references to Lv1!

As with Ussishkin's book, I need to read the entire work before making any explicit comments; however, in addition to the S2U, it contains photos of a splendid S4L, & an x2x, which is probably an H2D. The authors also mention Yuval Goren's 2011 survey, but simply note that he's not yet published a report on it. Interestingly, this book contains photos of pottery/kiln slag, & indicates it may date to the Crusader/Mamluk period(s) rather than to the Iron Age. In other words, Goren's theory about the site possibly being the LMLK factory seems less likely now.


Then last month, I learned that Raz Kletter posted a pre-print PDF chapter from a book edited by Amit Re'em. It's "Chapter 10: Lmlk and Concentric Stamp Impressions". The Israel Exploration Society had published this back in May about excavations conducted many years ago at a Jerusalem police-station site named Qishle. Here's an overview from the back cover:

"The archaeological excavations near the Jaffa Gate, the main entryway to the Old City of Jerusalem, are among the most significant excavations of recent decades. They uncovered a large area beneath the Qishle, a historical prison within a 19th-century structure, revealing remarkable findings from the Iron Age to modern times. The remains of an imposing wall were found - probably a city wall of the First Temple period, dating to the 8th century BCE, as well as a large portion of the First Wall - Jerusalem's Hasmonean-era fortification. Other noteworthy discoveries include retaining walls and a sewage system from the time of Herod the Great that were part of Herod's Upper City palace; medieval installations, and a section of the curtain wall from the Crusader/Ayyubid period. The Qishle excavations have opened an extraordinary window onto underground Jerusalem, revealing a striking example of the ancient city's stratigraphy and allowing us a glimpse of the fascinating history of ancient Jerusalem."

The Hebrew word sometimes gets transliterated "Kishleh" or "Kishle", as in this 2014 IBA News report, which includes an interview with "Reem":

Raz mentioned in his Introduction that all 12 handles found at the site are nowhere to be found today. Fortunately he included photos of them rather than mere textual descriptions. In his Discussion, I was thrilled to see him reference Lv1, & list it in his Bibliography!

He had drafted the article in 2002 at the time I was building the LRW, then updated it 2010 & 2015 in the midst of Lipschits scandal. Again, this publication merits a detailed review, which I'll treat in a separate post when I find the time amidst this shower of blessings! In 2002 I did not even dream of seeing my own name in a major archeological book, on the same page with Aharoni, Barkay, Vaughn, Cross, Diringer, Garfinkel, & Lapp. Wow!

"The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it."--Proverbs 10:22

G.M. Grena

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Wisdom vs. Wisdumb

I had an excellent staircase workout today. God enabled my legs to carry over 80 pounds of iron weights up 3/4's of a mile in 3.5 hours. Quite possibly more extra weight than any other elite staircase racer in the world has ever carried for such a distance. I hope I never take the good health God has granted me for granted!

I enjoy challenges. And today's workout reminded me of the event recorded in Matthew 14:1-11 & Mark 6:14-28.

It's too bad King Herod [Antipas] didn't "exercise" the wisdom of Solomon with the daughter of Herodias. Instead of simply caving to her request for the Baptist's head, he should've challenged her:

"I graciously offered to YOU whatsoever YOU would ask, unto the half of my kingdom. I did NOT extend this offer to your mother, Herodias. Because I keep my oaths, I am going to grant your request. Then, after the executioner delivers the Baptist's head to you, I am going to order him to cut off your legs. You danced so well & pleased me so greatly, that I want to keep them here to remind me of this occasion, since you probably won't be able to dance this well as you grow old & feeble ... unless of course you think there is something else you'd rather have than the head of this just and holy man."

G.M. Grena