Sunday, October 29, 2006

Neat Link: Iron Age Images

Tim Bulkeley has another neat on-line resource that people should know about. One of his sites has a fine collection of images from various archaeological sites relating to the period of the Hebrew Bible (click here). His albums of photos include Arad, Beersheba, Carmel, Gezer, Hazor, Lachish, and Megiddo. Several of these albums also have video introductions. A few weeks ago, he added a video introduction to Ancient Empires, Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia, which lasts about 7 minutes. Our thanks to Tim for all the work that has gone, and is going, into this e-resource.

Here is a sample image from his album on Gezer:



This is the well-known City Gate of Gezer. Note the monumental scale of the gate, and the expensive ashlar ("cut stone") building materials. To the upper right of the image, a casemate (two-layered) city wall and barracks extends in a south-western direction. Israel made a major investment in fortifying this site, since it commanded a major crossroads in the land. By building up Gezer, the monarchic leadership was claiming a state for itself, bearing witness to its rule and the rule of its God.

Note also how an ancient city gate was really a gate-complex, an entire building with several rooms. The city's elders would meet in such rooms, and legal cases would be decided there. This gate at Gezer has the six-chambered "Solomonic" form, three chambers, each lined with benches, on each side of the central road running up to the top of the image and out of the city. You can see a large stone basin in the upper-left gateroom.

The road has been artificially raised and a drain runs down its middle and out and down steeply into the valley. In ancient times, that is how a city got rid of its waste, and only lepers and outcasts would spend much time in a valley below a city's gate.

5 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Joseph Ray Cathey said...

Steve,

Having been a square supervisor at Gezer this summer I have some much cleaner photos of this gate complex. If you want I can email them to you. We will be in the field again this summer and I will again be supervising a square. Interested in going?

Mon Oct 30, 10:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Joe, terrific! If you have time to include brief description, that would be a real bonus. I promise to get what you send up and posted without delay. And yes, I'd love to dig with you at Gezer. Of course, the timing all depends on when our baby arrives. Hard to focus on much besides that these days... --Steve

Mon Oct 30, 10:18:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Tim said...

Stephen,

Thanks for the kind comments and the notice!

I have emailed Joe, to ask if he would be willing to share some of his photos more widely, in which case I could add them to those I have of the site. I also asked him to check what I wrote there for silly mistakes!

Mon Oct 30, 01:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Tim, Sounds like a plan! Well done. ---S.

Mon Oct 30, 02:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Matt said...

Hello Gentlemen,
Thanks for posting your photos, I find them of great interest.

Can you tell me whether structures like this, of ashlar construction, were ever painted?

I'm keen to find some information on this. So if you can point me to a useful URL I would be grateful.

Thanks again for sharing - Matt

Sun Nov 25, 10:15:00 AM GMT-5  

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