Friday, April 16, 2010

Izbet Sartah

We got up this morning with the sun and the wife, the boy and I visited Izbet Sartah.
Izbeth Sartah is on the outskirts of Rosh Ha'ayin and so only about a 15 minute drive from home. The site is interesting because it was occupied for a short period only between 1200-1000 BCE. It was excavated by Israel Finkelstein who's course on the beginnings of settlement in this area, I am attending at TAU. The village is about 3 kilometers from the Philistine city of Aphef and was possibly where the Israelite armies mustered thir armies at the beginning of the Philistine wars (Eben Ezer, see 1 Sa. 4).
Finding the site was non-trivial and we stumbled around in the bush behind the houses until we literally fell into the site. We then found the easy access path and the archaeological signposts. There is a find example of a typical "four-roomed house", which was used during this period. There are also numerous stone lined silos.
You can see the industrial area of Rosh Ha'ayin in the background, there are the remains of a small settlement at the site.
Here is a close up of one of the stone lined silos that must have been used for storing grain.
The boy protecting the coffee from the wind. He really takes his job seriously.
These are the outskirts of the village. There are quite a few walls and stones.
Thats rosh Ha'ayin in the background.
The flowers were still in bloom although it soon will be to hot from any living thing. The weather this morning was perfect.

The single biggest find, or the one with the most written about it, was two fragments of a large jar that had an alphabet and some text that seemed to be a copying exercise for a scribe in training. There is a lot written about this on the net (it was written in perhaps Proto-Canaanite) as any writing from Bronze/Iron age Israel is very politically/biblically charged. (to read more about this ostracon look here and here).

We were home by 8am, ready for the family brunch.

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