See Larry G. Herr and Douglas R. Clark, “Excavating the Tribe of Reuben,” BAR 27:02. The excavation at Tall al-‘Umayri is part of the Madaba Plains Project (MPP). MPP-‘Umayri is sponsored by LaSierra University, Canadian University College and Walla Walla College.



Susan Ackerman, Warrior, Dancer, Seductress, Queen (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1998), p. 70; Leila Leah Bronner, “Valorized or Vilified? The Women of Judges in Midrashic Sources,” in Athalya Brenner, ed. A Feminist Companion to Judges (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), p. 91; Robert G. Bolling, Judges: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, Anchor Bible Series (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975), p. 182. Authors who, like Bolling, suggest that she “drops” a millstone on Abimelech’s head include Lillian R. Klein, “A Spectrum of Female Characters,” in Feminist Companion to Judges, p. 32; William E. Phipps, Assertive Biblical Women, Contributions in Women’s Studies No. 128 (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1992), p. 44; and C.G. Rasmussen, “Mill, Millstone,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986).


J. Gerald Janzen points out the irony of a solitary woman throwing the millstone: “One who would rule Shechem single-handedly as its head (v. 37), and who to that end killed seventy brothers upon (‘al) a single stone, in the end is killed by a single woman who drops [sic] a mill-stone upon (‘al) his head.” “A Certain Woman in the Rhetoric of Judges 9, ” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 38 (1987), p. 35.


We later weighed 18 upper millstones that were readily available to us from previous seasons and estimate that the average weight for a complete upper millstone is 6 pounds, 13 ounces.


See George F. Moore, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges, International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1895), p. 268; and Mieke Bal, Death and Dissymmetry: The Politics of Coherence in the Book of Judges (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1988), pp. 220–221.


Karel van der Toorn, “Mill, Millstone,” Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992); Rasmussen, “Mill, Millstone.”


For example, the 1998 season at Tall al-‘Umayri produced fragments of 18 querns and 45 upper millstones.