Photo: The ostracon from the Valley of Elah
The Biblical Archaeological Review has posted a visual tour of Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site located in the Valley of Elah. It was in this place that Yosef Garfinkel, professor at the Hebrew University, discovered a fortified city from the Iron Age IIa (1000–900 B.C.).
Carbon dating and the pottery found at the site date the city to the time of King David, that is, in the early tenth century.
Garfinkel also discovered an ostracon containing five lines of text totaling 50 letters. According to the information provided by BAR, “The inscription also dates to the early tenth century and is written in proto-Canaanite script-the longest inscription of its kind-but the language is Hebrew. According to Garfinkel, the words "don't do," "king," "judge" and "servant" are all legible. Although a full translation has yet to be completed, it is already the earliest Hebrew inscription ever found, predating the rest by 100 years or more.”
Visit BAR online and take a visual tour of the Valley of Elah.
I have already written posts on the ostracon and on the significance of the Hebrew text.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, Khirbet Qeiyafa, Valley of Elah, Yosef Garfinkel