תל בטש or תמנה
|Periods||Middle Bronze Age|
|Archaeologists||Amihai Mazar & George L. Kelm|
Timnath or Timnah was a Philistine city in Canaan that is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in Judges 14 and in connection with Samson. Modern archaeologists identify the ancient site with a tell lying on a flat, alluvial plain, located in the Sorek Valley ca. 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) north-west of Beit Shemesh, near moshav Tal Shahar in Israel, known in Hebrew as Tel Batash (תל בטש) or Teluliot Batashi (plural), and in Arabic as Tell Butashi or Teleilat Batashi (plural). The site is not to be confused with neither the as yet unidentified Timna from the hill country of Judah (Josh 15:57), nor with the southern copper-smelting site of Timna in the Arabah near Eilat.
The Tel Batash mound was discovered in the 19th century by C. Clermont-Ganneau, who identified it as a Roman military camp.In subsequent years, the site was uncovered through 1977–1989, in 12 seasons of excavations, by Amihai Mazar and George L. Kelm while Kelm was serving as professor of Biblical backgrounds and archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, on a dig sponsored by the Seminary.
Tel Batash is strategically located in the Sorek Valley, an access point from the Coastal Plain through the Shephelah and into the Central Judean Mountains.
A place called Timnah (Timnath) is mentioned in Genesis 38:13 in the context of the story of the Hebrew patriarch Judah and Tamar. Some think that Judah may have gone to this Timnah (Tibna) to shear his sheep, when he met his daughter-in-law in passing,while others suggest that this would have happened in the Timnath now known in Arabic as Khirbet et-Tibbaneh.
In Joshua 15:10, a place with this name is mentioned as a point on the border of the Tribe of Judah, and Judges 14:5 refers to Timnah's vineyards.
In Judges 14:1–20, Samson went down to Timnah in order to find a wife. On his way there, he tore apart a lion. Samson married a "girl of the Philistines" from Timnah and posed a riddle for the men of Timnah, which they were only able to resolve following the intervention of his wife.
Excavations under the leadership of Mazar and Kelm during the 1970s-1980s uncovered twelve strata of continuous settlement at the site through the Hellenistic period, with sparse settlement nearby during the Byzantine period.
Not far from the tell, on the edge of Nahal Sorek (Sorek Valley), are the remains of a Roman road as well as settlement dating to the Chalcolithic and Canaanite periods.
Tel Batash was first settled in the Middle Bronze Age by creating an earthen rampart that enclosed the 10 acre (4 hectare) site.
Tel Batash during the Philistine era (Late Bronze Age to Iron Age) was a fortified city with dense mud-brick construction.
The archaeologists discovered fortifications and buildings from the Kingdom of Judah period, dating to the 7th and 8th centuries BCE. In one of the buildings, a ceramic potsherd bearing a written LMLK seal was found.
Khirbet Tibna, also spelled Kh. Tibneh, is a ruin situated ca. 3.2 kilometres (2 mi) south-west of Bet Shemesh, Israel. In the Survey of Palestine Map of 1928–1947 (Pal 1157), preserved at the National Library of Israel, it is listed in map section 14-12, at Grid reference 144.1 / 127.9 [144/127 PAL], under coordinates 31o44'36.587" N / 34o56'12.72"E. The ruin lies ca. 2 kilometers north-east of Moshav Sdot Micha and about 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) south-west of Bîr el-Leimûn. Access to the site is now restricted, as it sits in a military area, at an elevation of 225 metres (740 ft) above sea-level. Early explorers and historical geographers identified the ruin Kh. Tibna with the biblical town of Timnah, thought to be associated with stories of the biblical Samson (Judges 14:1-5). French orientalist Clermont-Ganneau also thought Tibna to be a corruption of the Hebrew word Timnah.
Edward Robinson visited the immediate area in 1838, and Tibna was already a deserted village.Archaeologist W.F. Albright visited the site in the winter of 1924–25, which he described as "Khirbet Tibneh, the Timnath of the Samson story." He wrote that the site was covered with "masses of Græco-Roman and Byzantine débris," although he was unable to come-up with Jewish potsherds. In the 1940s, archaeologist Benjamin Mazar conducted a surface survey in the region - including Tell Butashi, without digging.
Today, modern archaeologists think the biblical Timnath (Timnah) associated with the saga of Samson to have been situated where Tell Butashi is now located and where extensive archaeological excavations had been conducted during the 1970s–1980s. With the town's demise, the name "Timnah" is thought to have migrated to the site now known as Khirbet Tibna, a few kilometers away from Tell Butashi.
Adullam (Greek: Οδολλάμ) is an ancient ruin, once numbered among the thirty-six cities of Canaan whose kings "Joshua and the children of Israel smote" (Joshua 12:7-24). After that, it fell as an inheritance to the tribe of Judah and was included in the northern division of the lowland cities of the land of Judah (Joshua 15:35).
Naḥal Sorek, also Soreq, is one of the largest, most important drainage basins in the Judean Hills. It is mentioned in the Book of Judges 16:4 of the Bible as the border between the ancient Philistines and the Tribe of Dan of the ancient Israelites. It is known in Arabic as Wadi es-Sarār, sometimes spelled Surar, and by various names along different segments, such as Wadi Qalunya near Motza, Wadi al-Tahuna, and Nahr Rubin further downstream.
Timnath-heres or Timnath-serah, later Thamna, was the town given by the Israelites to Joshua according to the Hebrew Bible. He requested it and the people gave it to him "at the order of the Lord". He built up the town and lived in it.
Amihai "Ami" Mazar is an Israeli archaeologist. Born in Haifa, Israel, he has been since 1994 a professor at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, holding the Eleazer Sukenik Chair in the Archaeology of Israel.
Tel Rehov or Tell es-Sarem, is an archaeological site in the Bet She'an Valley, a segment of the Jordan Valley, Israel, approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Beit She'an and 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) west of the Jordan River. It was occupied in the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
Azekah was an ancient town in the Shfela guarding the upper reaches of the Valley of Elah, about 26 km (16 mi) northwest of Hebron.
Benjamin Mazar was a pioneering Israeli historian, recognized as the "dean" of biblical archaeologists. He shared the national passion for the archaeology of Israel that also attracts considerable international interest due to the region's biblical links. He is known for his excavations at the most significant biblical site in Israel: south and south west of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In 1932 he conducted the first archaeological excavation under Jewish auspices in Israel at Beit She'arim and in 1948 was the first archaeologist to receive a permit granted by the new State of Israel. Mazar was trained as an Assyriologist and was an expert on biblical history, authoring more than 100 publications on the subject. He developed the field of historical geography of Israel. For decades he served as the chairman of the Israel Exploration Society and of the Archaeological Council of Israel. Between 1951 and 1977, Mazar served as Professor of Biblical History and Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1952 he became Rector of the university and later its president for eight years commencing in 1953.
LMLK seals are ancient Hebrew seals stamped on the handles of large storage jars first issued in the reign of King Hezekiah and discovered mostly in and around Jerusalem. Several complete jars were found in situ buried under a destruction layer caused by Sennacherib at Lachish. While none of the original seals have been found, some 2,000 impressions made by at least 21 seal types have been published. The iconography of the two and four winged symbols are representative of royal symbols whose meaning "was tailored in each kingdom to the local religion and ideology".
The United Monarchy is a political entity described in the deuteronomistic history of the Hebrew Bible as, under the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, encompassing the territories of both the later Kingdom of Judah and Samarian Kingdom of Israel. Whether the United Monarchy actually existed is a matter of ongoing academic debate, and scholars remain divided between those who support the historicity of the biblical narrative, those who doubt or dismiss it, and those who support the kingdom's theoretical existence while maintaining that the biblical narrative is exaggerated. Proponents of the kingdom's existence traditionally date it to between c. 1047 BCE and c. 930 BCE.
George L. Kelm (1931–2019) was Professor Emeritus of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. While serving there and at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, he and Amihai Mazar uncovered Timnah.
Gath or Gat, often referred to as Gath of the Philistines, was a major Philistine city and one of the five Philistine city-states during the Iron Age. It was located in northeastern Philistia, close to the border with Judah. Gath is often mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and its existence is confirmed by Egyptian inscriptions. Already of significance during the Bronze Age, the city is believed to be mentioned in the El-Amarna letters as Gimti/Gintu, ruled by the two Shuwardata and 'Abdi-Ashtarti. Another Gath, known as Ginti-kirmil also appears in the Amarna letters.
Khirbet Qeiyafa, also known as Elah Fortress and in Hebrew as Horbat Qayafa, is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley and dated to the first half of the 10th century BCE. The ruins of the fortress were uncovered in 2007, near the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh, 30 km (20 mi) from Jerusalem. It covers nearly 2.5 ha and is encircled by a 700-meter-long (2,300 ft) city wall constructed of stones weighing up to eight tons each. Excavations at site continued in subsequent years. A number of archaeologists, mainly the two excavators, Yosef Garfinkel and Saar Ganor, have claimed that it might be one of two biblical cities, either Sha'arayim, whose name they interpret as "Two Gates", because of the two gates discovered on the site, or Neta'im; and that the large structure at the center is an administrative building dating to the reign of King David, where he might have lodged at some point. This is based on their conclusions that the site dates to the early Iron IIA, ca. 1025–975 BCE, a range which includes the biblical date for the biblical Kingdom of David. Others suggest it might represent either a North Israelite, Philistine, or Canaanite fortress, a claim rejected by the archaeological team that excavated the site. The team's conclusion that Khirbet Qeiyafa was a fortress of King David has been criticised by some scholars.
Khirbet Tibnah, is located on the West Bank, between the villages Deir Nidham and Nabi Salih.
Tell ej-Judeideh is a tell in modern Israel, lying at an elevation of 398 metres (1,306 ft) above sea-level. The Arabic name is thought to mean, "Mound of the dykes." In Modern Hebrew, the ruin is known by the name Tell Goded.
Chezib, also known as Achziv of Judah, is a biblical place-name associated with the birth of Judah's son, Shelah (Genesis 38:5), corresponding to the Achziv of the Book of Joshua (15:44), a town located in the low-lying hills of the plain of Judah, known as the Shefela. In I Chronicles 4:22, the town is rendered as Chozeba. The place is now a ruin.
Khirbet et-Tibbâneh (Arabic: خربة التبانة), sometimes referred to by historical geographers as the Timnah of Judah, is a small ruin situated on a high ridge in the Judaean mountains, in the Sansan Nature Reserve, 622 metres (2,041 ft) above sea level, about 3 kilometers east of Aviezer and ca. 7 kilometers southeast of Bayt Nattif.
The Book of Joshua lists almost 400 ancient Levantine city names which refer to over 300 distinct locations in Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Each of those cities, with minor exceptions is placed in one of the 12 regions, according to the tribes of Israel and in most cases additional details like neighbouring towns or geographical landmarks are provided. It has been serving as one of the primary sources for identifying and locating a number of Middle Bronze to Iron Age Levantine cities mentioned in ancient Egyptian and Canaanite documents, most notably in the Amarna correspondence.
The so-called Bull Site at Dhahrat et-Tawileh, also spelled Daharat et-Tawileh, in the West Bank is an open air ancient cult installation from 12th-century BCE Canaan, where the bronze statuette of a bull was found. There is agreement that the statuette represents a sacred bull, but which god was represented by it is unclear. The statuette has been associated with the god Baal.
Judges 14 is the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Judges in the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible. According to Jewish tradition the book was attributed to the prophet Samuel, but modern scholars view it as part of the Deuteronomistic History, which spans in the books of Deuteronomy to 2 Kings, attributed to nationalistic and devotedly Yahwistic writers during the time of the reformer Judean king Josiah in 7th century BCE. This chapter records the activities of judges Samson. belonging to a section comprising Judges 13 to 16 and Judges 6:1 to 16:31.
Tel Beit Shemesh is a small archaeological tell northeast of the modern city of Beit Shemesh.