Skip to comments.Crafty Israelites: Iron Age Crafts at Tel Hazor
Posted on 02/12/2018 8:26:49 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The Iron Age Israelites weren't known for their artistic tradition -- so much so that, according to the Bible, King Solomon had to outsource to the Phoenicians wood-cutting in the construction of the Jerusalem Temple and bronze-working for his other buildings (1 Kings 5:6-9; 1 Kings 7:13-14). But the discovery of an Iron Age basalt workshop at Tel Hazor in northern Israel reveals that the Israelites actually cultivated a basalt-carving craft, which they seem to have inherited from the Canaanites of the preceding Bronze Age...
In 2010, the archaeologists at Tel Hazor discovered a basalt workshop dating to the ninth century B.C.E., when the Israelites occupied the site. The workshop is located on the northern part of the tell just outside a large agricultural storeroom, but whether the two structures were related remains to be determined. The workshop contained unfinished basalt vessels, of which there were four main types that had also been popular in the second millennium B.C.E.: plates/platters, pedestal bowls, tripod bowls, and bowls with out-turned walls. Additionally found in the workshop were remnants of the vessel production, including basalt chips, ash, iron chisels, flint tools, and basalt hammerstones. Was this Israelite craft tradition related to that of the Canaanites, the previous occupants of Tel Hazor until the city was burned, destroyed, and abandoned around 1300 B.C.E.?
(Excerpt) Read more at biblicalarchaeology.org ...
These unfinished basalt vessels from an Iron Age workshop at Tel Hazor bear the marks of the basalt-carving process. The Iron Age crafts seem to have been luxury items for the elites. Photo: Courtesy Danny Rosenberg.
For hard, granular materials like basalt, the best (at least, the fastest-working) shaping strategy is to
1) Pound or "Peck" the surface to weaken and introduce microfractures
2) Grind or Scrape away the weakened material...
3) Repeat on "high spots" as many times as necessary...
Thanks! Good to hear from a knapper!
Did Joshua Destroy Canaanite Hatzor?Hatzor is the largest archaeological tel in Israel. The discovery of several cuneiform tablets at the 800-dunam (200-acre) site over the years points to the likelihood that Hatzor will produce the first ancient archive, other than the Dead Sea Scrolls, ever to be found in the country... Ben-Tor... hoped there might be two archives -- one in each of the two palaces identified on the acropolis atop the tel. The late Prof. Yigael Yadin had been the first to identify a palace during his landmark dig at Hatzor in the 1950s, dating it to the 18th century BC or Middle Bronze (MB) period. That fitted perfectly with the date of the royal archive in Mari, Syria, in which cuneiform messages relating to MB Hatzor were found - the first hint of a possible archive at Hatzor. However, when Ben-Tor began his excavations in 1990 he came upon a palace near Yadin's which he dated, by means of its ceramics, to a few hundred years later -- that is, to the last half of the second millennium or Late Bronze (LB) period. The generally accepted dating of the biblical destruction of Hatzor by Joshua roughly coincides with the date of this LB palace's destruction, the 14th or 13th centuries BCE. This summer, as he probed the area of the palaces, Ben-Tor began to have an uneasy feeling that Yadin, his former teacher, had made a wrong dating and that there was in fact only one palace -- his own LB structure... Even if he is a palace short, however, the one that Ben-Tor is left with is proving enormous... The basalt stones had been distorted by a terrible fire which likewise echoes the biblical description of Joshua's destruction. It was clear for anyone to see that the basalt stones had been fractured by a hot fire. Geologists report that the fire had to be over 1200 degrees to cause this kind of damage to basalt.
by Clarence H. Wagner, Jr.
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