Abel Beit Maacah

Abel Beit Maacah

I am bummed out.  Why?  I am bummed out for not being able to participate in the 3rd archaeological season of digging at Abel Beit Maacah.  It is an old Testament site in northern Israel about 1/2 mile from the Lebanon border.  The dig starts tomorrow and will go to July 17th.  I am sure it will be an exciting one once again!  Even though my schedule doesn’t allow me to dig this year, I will at least bring my group that I am leading to the site on Friday, July 17th, the last day of the dig.

Area O from Season 2

Area O from Season 2 (where I dug last year)

Last season (I dug for two weeks there) uncovered some very interesting things.  Some of the finds included a scarab, bronze weapon, walls of ancient houses, and of course bucketful’s of pottery.  Some of the things I will miss this season will be the interaction and camaraderie with other diggers, the excitement of hoping to find something significant (e.g. in inscription), and snack and lunch times at the site.  The things I will not miss are the 4:15 wake-up calls, the 4:45 departures to the site, and the pottery washing.

Scarab found in 2014

Scarab found in 2014

Abel Beit Maacah is mentioned in the Bible only a handful of times.  These passages 1 Kings 15:20, 2 Kings 15:29, and the story of Joab and Sheba mentioned in 2 Sam. 20:14).  It was also known as Abel Maim in 2 Chronicles 16:4.

The dig is a joint project between Azusa Pacific University (Robert A. Mullins) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Nava Panitz-Cohen and Ruhama Bonfil) in collaboration with Cornell University (Lauren Monroe and Chris Monroe).

Area A

Area A

In the word of Dr. Bob Mullins, “We’ll be mainly digging in two areas – in the lower city (Area A) and in the upper city (Area B). The latter is a new area where a sizable wall juts out from the corner of the mound. Brief exploration last summer yielded Iron Age II pottery, so it is quite possible that we have a significant administrative building here.

I will keep you posted of the dig as it unfolds over the next 4 weeks. 

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