Monday, March 08, 2010

Is Khirbet Qeiyafa biblical Neta'im"?

ANOTHER IDENTIFICATION of the site of Khirbet Qeiyafa:
Khirbet Qeiyafa is Identified as Biblical "Neta'im"

Released: 3/4/2010 8:30 AM EST
Source: University of Haifa

Newswise — Has another mystery in the history of Israel been solved? Prof. Gershon Galil of the Department of Bible Studies at the University of Haifa has identified Khirbet Qeiyafa as "Neta'im", which is mentioned in the book of Chronicles. "The inhabitants of Neta'im were potters who worked in the king's service and inhabited an important administrative center near the border with the Philistines," explains Prof. Galil.

Khirbet Qeiyafa is a provincial town in the Elah Valley region. Archaeological excavations carried out at Khirbet Qeiyafa by a team headed by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel and Mr. Saar Ganor have dated the site to the beginning of the 10th century BCE, namely the time of King David's rule. A Hebrew inscription on a pottery shard found at the site, also dating back to the 10th century, has recently been deciphered by Prof. Galil and indicates the presence of scribes and a high level of culture in the town.

For discussions of other suggested identifications of the site, go here and here. For the inscription, go here and just keep following the links back. For Professor Galili's highly debatable decipherment, see the latter link and follow the first few links back.