The Excavations of Beth Shemesh, November-December 1912: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Excavations of Beth Shemesh, November-December 1912

1st Edition

By Duncan MacKenzie, Shlomo Bunimovitz, Zvi Lederman, Nicoletta Momigliano

Routledge

150 pages

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Description

In 1909 the Scottish archaeologist Duncan Mackenzie, Sir Arthur Evans’s right-hand man on the excavations of the legendary ‘Palace of Minos’ at Knossos since 1900, was appointed ‘Explorer’ of the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF). From the spring of 1910 until December 1912 he was engaged in archaeological fieldwork in Palestine, especially directing excavation campaigns at Ain Shems (biblical Beth Shemesh) – an important site in the Shephelah of Judah at the crossroads of Canaanite, Philistine, and Israelite cultures. Mackenzie published the results of his work in various issues of the Palestine Exploration Quarterly and Palestine Exploration Fund Annual. Because of a financial dispute with the PEF, however, he never submitted a detailed publication of his very last campaign at Beth Shemesh, conducted in November–December 1912.

In 1992 Nicoletta Momigliano rediscovered Mackenzie’s lost manuscript on his latest discoveries at Beth Shemesh, which one of his nephews had kept for nearly 80 years at his old family home in the Scottish Highlands, in the small village of Muir of Ord. At about the same time, Shlomo Bunimovitz and Zvi Lederman initiated new excavations at Beth Shemesh which considerably changed previous interpretations of the site. This volume presents Mackenzie’s detailed discussion of his last excavations at Beth Shemesh in the light of these more recent discoveries. Although written over a century ago, Mackenzie’s manuscript deserves to be better known today; it not only provides significant new information on this important site but also constitutes an intriguing historical document, shedding light on the history of field archaeology and of biblical archaeology. Moreover, Mackenzie’s pioneering approach to archaeological fieldwork and the significance of his finds can often be better appreciated today, from the perspective of more recent developments and discoveries.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgements ix

List of Illustrations x

Abbreviations xiii

1. Introduction N. Momigliano, S. Bunimovitz and Z. Lederman 1

1.1. Duncan Mackenzie’s life and work: a brief overview N. Momigliano 1

Works by Duncan Mackenzie N. Momigliano 7

1.2. Mackenzie’s work at Beth Shemesh S. Bunimovitz, Z. Lederman and N. Momigliano 8

1.3. Work conducted at the site after Mackenzie S. Bunimovitz and Z. Lederman 11

Elihu Grant’s excavations (1928–33) 11

The renewed excavations (1990 to the present) 11

Middle and Late Bronze Ages 12

Iron Age I 14

Iron Age IIA 15

Iron Age IIB–C 18

1.4. Mackenzie’s manuscript on the third campaign of excavations at Beth Shemesh

of November–December 1912: its rediscovery and transcription N. Momigliano 20

2. Transcription: The excavations of Beth Shemesh November–December, 1912

Duncan Mackenzie (transcription and notes by N. Momigliano) 25

2.1. Further Investigations in the Area of the South Gate 25

2.2. The City Well of Beth Shemesh 33

2.3. The Exploration of the High Place Grotto Sepulchre 41

2.4. The Pottery of the High Place Grotto: First Beth Shemesh Period 45

2.5. The Hypogeum in the Area of the High Place 49

2.6. The Hypogeum-cistern by the Olive Press 54

2.7. Further Excavations in the Central City Area 65

2.8. The Stratification of the Deposits 67

2.9. The Deposits of the First Period 71

2.10. The Deposits of the Second Period 75

2.11. The Deposits of the Third or Israelite Period 82

2.12. The Deposits of the Period of Re-occupation 89

2.13. The Olive Press 93

2.14. Small Finds from the City Site of Beth Shemesh 97

vi the excavations of beth shemesh

3. Mackenzie’s third campaign at Beth Shemesh in the light of the renewed excavations

at the site S. Bunimovitz and Z. Lederman 108

3.1. The renewed excavations of the South Gate 108

The eastern gate tower 108

The western gate tower 111

The gate passage 111

The gate’s construction 111

The end of the South Gate 113

3.2. ‘Water of Beth Shemesh’: The ‘City Well’ and underground water reservoirs of

Beth Shemesh 117

The City Well 117

The hypogea in the Central City Area 118

Deciphering depositional processes: water drawing and its aftermath 119

Sequencing the water installations at Beth Shemesh 122

3.3. The High Place Grotto Sepulchre, a Middle Bronze Pre-fortification Phase? 123

3.4. The Central City Area Deposits, from the First to the Third Periods 124

The deposits of the First Period 124

The deposits of the Second Period 126

The deposits of the Third Period 130

Mackenzie’s revised stratigraphical scheme of the First to Third Periods at

Beth Shemesh 131

3.5. Deconstructing the Myth of the Reoccupation at Beth Shemesh 131

3.6. Mackenzie’s Olive Press and the Iron Age IIB Oil Industry at Beth Shemesh 134

3.7. Small Finds: The Iron Age Sickle Blades of Beth Shemesh 139

Bibliography 142

Index 146

About the Authors

Duncan Mackenzie

About the Series

The Palestine Exploration Fund Annual

The Palestine Exploration Fund Annual

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC003000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology