The Valley of Elah

Photo: The Ostracon from the Valley of Elah

The Biblical Archaeological Review has posted a visual tour of Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site located in the Valley of Elah. It was in this place that Yosef Garfinkel, professor at the Hebrew University, discovered a fortified city from the Iron Age IIa (1000–900 B.C.).

Carbon dating and the pottery found at the site date the city to the time of King David, that is, in the early tenth century.

Garfinkel also discovered an ostracon containing five lines of text totaling 50 letters. According to the information provided by BAR, “The inscription also dates to the early tenth century and is written in proto-Canaanite script-the longest inscription of its kind-but the language is Hebrew. According to Garfinkel, the words “don’t do,” “king,” “judge” and “servant” are all legible. Although a full translation has yet to be completed, it is already the earliest Hebrew inscription ever found, predating the rest by 100 years or more.”

Visit BAR online and take a visual tour of the Valley of Elah.

I have already written posts on the ostracon and on the significance of the Hebrew text.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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4 Responses to The Valley of Elah

  1. Matthew says:

    >I saw a news report on this so I here looking for more information. Thanks for linking to the articles!It’s really a great discovery.


  2. >Matthew,This is indeed a great discovery. Now, we wait for the translation of the ostracon.Claude Mariottini


  3. RM4Draw says:

    >Dr. Mariottini, thanks for your blogs on this topic. I am doing a research paper for an anthropology class, and the Valley of Elah is my site of choice. I read the BAR article when it first appeared and look forward to reading more of your comments.


  4. >RM4Draw,Thank you for your comment. I wish you well as you write your paper. This is a very interesting topic and I am sure you will write a very interesting paper.Claude Mariottini


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