Thursday, September 20, 2007

Philistines! Archeology: Serendipity in the Negev
In late July, archaeologists and students from four universities in three countries - Israel, Germany and Canada - converged on a remote, blisteringly hot hilltop in the northern Negev. Their goal was to perform the first ever archaeological excavation of a Philistine agricultural village, as compared to an urban area or a tel.

"We had a surprise," says co-director Prof. Steve Rosen of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). "Based on prior surveys and test excavations of the site, Qubur al-Walaydah, we believed we'd find a Philistine farming village - an early Iron Age, transitional Bronze Age, farming community. Well, it was there and we found it - with evidence of lots of Philistines. Unfortunately, not much of it was left. It was situated very high up and most of it had been destroyed long ago by plowing."