A large number of scholarly articles from the past four years have been made free to the public by ASOR. This shall provide plenty of blogging material for this blog, which has for the past few weeks been significantly lacking in it. One notable set of articles in the newly available collection is one written by Bunimovitz and Lederman about their excavations of Beth-Shemesh. Though the majority of the tell had already been excavated by the present team’s predecessors, the present team has still made significant revisions to the stratigraphy of Beth-Shemesh. The present team has also publicized the fact that Beth-Shemesh, as is evident from the amount of Philistine Bichrome ware (5.3% at maximum, as at Aphek, Gezer, ect., and not over 20% as at Qasile and the Pentapolis) and pig bones (almost none, compared to over 5% of animal bones at Batash/Timnah and over 20% at Ekron), was never settled by the Philistines and was most likely a part of my hypothetical Canaano-Israelite Qeiyafa Polity. This fact makes it unlikely the Philistines were either strong enough or willing enough to penetrate deep into the Hill Country as in 1 Sam 13 and 23. Three Iron I strata were found at Beth-Shemesh (Levels 6-4), all overlapping with the Middle Iron I period (c. 1060-c. 1020 BC). The most Bichrome pottery (5.3% of assemblage) was found in Level 5.

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