📖 Read pages 66-74 of In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel

📖 Read pages 66-74 of Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David in In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel (Thames & Hudson, 1st edition; July 24, 2018)

📖 Read pages 52-66 of In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel

📖 Read pages 52-66 of Chapter 3: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Period of King David in In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel (Thames & Hudson, 1st edition; July 24, 2018)

I find myself really appreciating all the additional maps, diagrams, and photos that are provided in this text. Too often with popular science writing, authors leave these sort of niceties out and they truly make a difference.

📖 Read pages 1-52 of In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel

📖 Read pages 1-52 of Preface; Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah Valleys; and Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel (Thames & Hudson, 1st edition; July 24, 2018)

So far a fascinating account of a multi-season excavation of a late 11th and early 10th centuries BCE city. They do an excellent job of teasing out of the biblical, mythical, and archaeological sources for setting the story of their work. They also lay out several alternate and competing contemporary theories surrounding their work.

For those who haven’t studied archaeology, they also do a great job of discussing the evolution of the topic and its application to their particular example, so you not only get the particular story they’re telling, but also a relatively firm framework for how archaeology is practiced in a modern setting.

This is a great example of science and humanities communication. I can’t wait to finish out the book.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah Valleys

The second tradition relating to the Sorek Valley tells of the Ark of the Covenant…

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah Valleys > Page 16

Traditions connected to the Elah Valley are preserved in the books of Samuel and Chronicles, which relate to Iron Age IIA.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah ValleysK > Page 16

Khirbet Qeiyafa is […] situated on the border between Judah and Philistia, […] The question then arises if and how the excavation at Khirbet Qeiyafa contributes to our understanding of this tradition [of David and Goliath].

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah Valleys > Page 17

Hidden in the biblical story of the battle between David and Goliath is valuable geographical-historical information. […] Goliath the Gittite (from the city of Gath) […] Gath was destroyed at the end of the 9th century BCE by Hazael, the Aramean king of Damascus, and Ekron was destroyed in 603 BCE by the Babylonians. […] It is thus clear that the biblical author had access to historical information originating in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah Valleys > Page 18

However, the Elah Valley was an area of border conflicts only in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, and after the destruction of Gath entirely lost its earlier geopolitical significance.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 1: The Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah Valleys > Page 20
Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology
Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 22

I’m curious about the insignia pictured on David’s right shoulder. Does it mean something specific or is it simply decoration?

No other person is mentioned more frequently throughout the Old and New Testaments [than King David]…

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 24

David began his reign around 1000 BCE in Hebron, where he remained for 7 years before conquering Jerusalem and establishing it as his capital. Solomon succeeded him in c. 970 or 960 BCE. […] According to the Old Testament, following Solomon’s death the kingdom split into two separate political units: the Kingdom of Israel in the north , with its capital at Samaria, and the Kingdom of Judah in the south, centered on Jerusalem. The northern kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians after several waves of military campaigns which resulted in the final destruction of Samaria in 722 BCE. The Kingdom of Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians after a series of invasions, which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple in 586 BCE.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 25

This was demonstrated on July 21, 1993, when the fragmentary Tel Dan stela was discovered in northern Israel. On it was carved an inscription, written in Aramaic, which refers to a battle and the subsequent defeat of the king of Israel and the king of the “House of David” at the hands of Hazael of Damascus.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 27

Subsequent studies have shown that the same phrase, “House of David,” also appears on the Mesha inscription from ancient Moab.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 28

…Jerusalem is a particularly difficult city for archaeological research for three main reasons. First, the modern city covers nearly all of [it]… Secondly, the nature of construction on such a hilly site meant that in many periods builders removed all previous structures when creating new ones and built directly upon bedrock, so that remains of buildings of certain periods are entirely absent. and thirdly, during the First Temple period of life in the city extended uninterrupted over a 400-year period until the Babylonian destruction, and buildings therefore remained in continuous use for a considerable time.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 29

…several large architectural structures have been uncovered in Jerusalem [including] the “Stepped Stone Structure” [uncovered] as early as 1923-25 [in] an expedition headed by archaeologists R.A.S. Macalister and John G. Duncan exposed a portion of this impressive structure.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 29

The date of these three monumental buildings in Jerusalem is very problematic, as they are not associated with settlement strata rich in the pottery finds that can enable the archaeologist to determine their time of use, and no organic finds appropriate for radiocarbon dating were discovered.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 30

One proposal [for the chronology of the monarchy in Judah], known as the low chronology, maintains that urbanization, i.e., the transition from a rural society (the periods of the Settlement and Judges: iron Age I) to an urban society (the period of the monarchy: Iron Age II) occurred only at th end of the 10th century BCE, and only in the north, in the Kingdom of Israel. In this scenario, David must be regarded as a local tribal chief at most.

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 30

Tells consist of layers of settlement largely superimposed one upon the other […], so that it is often necessary to uncover finds from later periods first, in order to reach the earlier ones below, a time-consuming and costly undertaking.

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 31

Since archaeological techniques were then in their infancy, the methodologies used were often lacking in precision, and early excavators did not correctly differentiate between the various strata and attributed finds from different periods to the same one.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 31

Alongside the large, stratified archaeological tell sites are so-called ruins (Arabic, knirbah; Hewbrew, horvah). Such sites were settled for limited periods of time and did not develop into deep, multi-layered tells.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 32

Thus, for example, at Khirbet Qeiyafa we exposed 5,000 sq. m (54,000 sq. ft) or around 25 per cent of the settlement in seven seasons of excavation.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 32

Interpreting the various finds from an excavation, such as pottery, stone vessels, metal tools, figurines, jewelry, and coins requires care: those from a particular layer of occupation reflect mainly the final phase of habitation in that layer–in other words, the final days, a moment before the destruction or abandonment of a settlement. But what if a settlement was established a hundred or two hundred years prior to the destruction? How can we ascertain that? This is a difficult problem and the result is that many excavators erroneously tend to compress periods of tens or hundreds of years into brief periods of a few years.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 32

As a result, surveys will fail to identify the latter’s existence and a distorted picture of a “gap in settlement” will result; in other words, the surveyor will falsely conclude that during a certain period there was no settlement at a given site.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 33

I’m enjoying the archaeological background that they describe in their extended example within the book. This book could almost be described as Archaeology 101: An applied example using an exploration of Khirbet Qeiyafa.

The conclusion based on such surveys that there were no settlements in Judah during the 10th century BCE and that a centralized kingdom did not exist at the time is therefore essentially flawed.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 34

We must also remember that the dynamic hypotheses of identifying various sources, redactors, and editors of the biblical text are “constructions of modern scholarship” and that they continue to evolve and change.
One must accept, then, that modern scholarship has no clear and objective tool for dealing with the dating of the writing of the different biblical traditions. In the current stat of our knowledge, with the evidence available, the process of formation and transmission of the texts remains unresolved, as does the time and manner in which they took on their present form.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 36

Perhaps information theory could be applied here to better tease out these questions?

According to the minimalist method [using Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar to study history] , two main conclusions may be drawn from this: first, that the Roman Empire should be dated to the 16th Century, and second that Julius Caesar is a purely literary character–both of which are patently absurd.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 37

The weakest link in archaeological research […] is frequently the lengthy time that elapses between excavation and publication of the results. Archaeological excavation destroys what it excavates. It is therefore a scholarly and scientific obligation to publish all of the data on the excavation procedure and the findings for other scholars and the public at large.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 40

In our view, archaeology finds should be independently dates; only then may attempts be made to connect them with historical/biblical figures, periods, or events.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 41

This is the first site in Judah from the beginning of the monarchy to be dated using this scientific technique [radiocarbon dating]. The results unequivocally demonstrated that the city was established at the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 10th century BCE.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 42

Scholars who attempt to apply findings from northern sites to the situation in Judah and Jerusalem are committing a methodological error. […] we refrain from using the term “United Monarchy,” which implies the existence of akingdom that also included the north of the country. Instead, we shall use here the term “Kingdom of Judah.”

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 42

The data are like pieces of a mosaic that can be combined in different ways to form different images; the pieces themselves do not change, but the images they form can be modified. Here we briefly summarize five of the conflicting paradigms regarding David’s kingdom, and their development.
* The biblical paradigm […]
* The mythological paradigm […]
* The chronological paradigm […]
* The ethnic paradigm […]
* The Kingdom of Judah paradigm […]

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Pages 43-50

However the heavily fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, with its planning and public spaces suggests a centralized urban social organization rather than a dispersed rural population.
We believe Khirbet Qeiyafa is a Judahite site for six main reasons, which we summarize briefly here […]

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 47

casemate wall [is] a wall built of two parallel walls with the space between them divided by perpendicular walls into long narrow rooms called casemates.

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 47

The term “Hebrew” is familiar from the Bible, where it is used to describe populations particularly during the Patriarchal period.

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 49

The term “Jew” entered into use only at the end of the First Temple period and appears primarily in the biblical books dealing with the Second Temple period. […] Therefore, in modern research it is customary to use this term only in describing populations from the Second Temple period onward.

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 49

To summarize: the mythological, chronological, and ethnic paradigms are in reality variations of the same minimalist approach.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 49

The original minimalist approach, as expressed in the mythological paradigm, was a consistent worldview that maintained that the history of ancient Israel should only be based on extra-biblical data. Both of the approaches that followed, the low chronology paradigm and the ethnic paradigm, were variations that attempted to solve questions that the previous paradigm could not answer.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 50

What about future possible paradigms?

ossuary [is] a small stone chest for holding the bones of a dead person

Highlight (orange) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 50

Christopher Rollston suggested therefore that there could be some connection between the Arabic name Khirbet Qeiyafa and the name of the family of priests, Caiaphas, known from the New Testament, and that perhaps the family had a rural estate in the area of the Elah Valley, a memory of which is preserved in the Arabic name of our site.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Pages 50-51

[…] in the Elah valley […] the soil is not terra rossa but rather a type known as rendzina.

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 2: In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History, and Archaeology > Page 51
Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

📗 In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel

📗 Started reading In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor, and Michael G. Hasel (Thames & Hudson, 1st edition; July 24, 2018)

I was reading a post by Greg McVerry when I happened upon the credit for his featured photo. At first I had thought it was a stock photo, and when I realized it was from a IndieWebCamp, I looked closer and noticed that Aaron Parecki’s website was featured on the photo in the cell phone. I looked a bit closer and thought “someone has doctored his avatar as it’s tilted in the photo.” Then, knowing Aaron, I thought I had better check on my cell phone. 

It turns out if you visit his site on a cell phone, his avatar rotates with the phone!

The whimsy of this just brightens my day.

I’ve been stockpiling episodes in my podcast queue for far too long, but Haley and Angie have been killing it on Human Current doing interviews with some of my favorite complexity systems thinkers. My listened to list is slowly growing. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend subscribing.

Walking through the neighborhood this morning, I’m noticing that The Epoch Times is distributing physical newspapers for free in an effort to encourage subscriptions. I’ve never heard of the newspaper and initially suspected it had some religious perspective. Apparently it is an anti-communist Chinese paper. Sadly their distribution zone didn’t include my street. Might have been interesting to sample.

I’m a fan of the concept of George Lakoff’s “Truth Sandwich” idea in journalism. I’m curious with his recent spate of great publicity for it if any major outlets have taken it directly to heart? Are there any examples of major newspapers or online publishers taking it closely to heart? Has George or anyone created a news feed or Twitter account of articles covering Trump (or topics like the Alt-right, Nazis, etc.) that highlights articles which pull off the idea? I’d love to support journalism which goes to greater lengths to think about their coverage and it’s longer term effects. Having an ongoing list of articles as examples would help to extend the idea as well.

It would be cool to have something like NewsGuards’ browser extension for highlighting truth sandwiches, but I’m not sure how something like this could be built to be automated.

The best example of a truth sandwich I’ve come across thus far actually went a few steps further than the truth sandwich and chose not to cover what was sure to be untruth from the start: MSNBC declines to allow Sarah Sanders to dictate its programming (Washington Post).

 

📖 Read pages 21-24 of Abstract and Concrete Categories: The Joy of Cats by Jirí Adámek, Horst Herrlich, George E. Strecker

📖 Read pages 21-24 of Abstract and Concrete Categories: The Joy of Cats by Jirí Adámek, Horst Herrlich, George E. Strecker