Strata (singular stratum) are the layers of occupation excavated at an archaeological tell. The most recent layer, near the top of the tell, is numbered one. The numbers progress as archaeologists dig deeper into the ground, revealing earlier and earlier occupation layers.


Regularly spaced projections in the foundations of this type of fortification wall served as bases for bastions, from which the city’s defenders could release arrows and slingstones.



See Jeffrey R. Zorn, “William Frederic Badè,” Biblical Archaeologist 51:1 (1988), pp. 28–35.


Chester C. McCown, Tell en-Nasbeh I: Archaeological and Historical Results (Berkeley and New Haven: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1947).


Joseph C. Wampler, Tell en-Nasbeh II: The Pottery (Berkeley and New Haven: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1947).


Zorn, “The Badè Institute of Biblical Archaeology,” Biblical Archaeologist 51:1 (1988), pp. 36–45.


Israel Finkelstein and Yitzhak Magen, eds., Archaeological Survey of the Hill Country of Benjamin (Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority, 1993), p. 46, no. 313.


Zorn, “Tell en Nasbeh: A Re-evaluation of the Architecture and Stratigraphy of the Early Bronze Age, Iron Age and Later Periods” (Ph.D. diss., University of California at Berkeley, 1993), pp. 114–162.


Zorn, “Tell en Nasbeh,” pp. 163–185.


I was able to conduct this research thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded to me by the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.


See Ze’ev Herzog, George Rapp, Jr., and Ora Negbi, Excavations at Tel Michal, Israel (Minneapolis: The Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1989), p. 122, fig. 9.3:2–6, where these jars (from Stratum 9) are dated to 450–430 B.C.


These three pithoi are numbered 37, 89 and 90. For pithoi 89 and 90, see Eilat Mazar and Benjamin Mazar, Excavations in the South of the Temple Mount: The Ophel of Biblical Jerusalem, Qedem 29 (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology, 1989), pp. 33, 39–40, plates 12:8–10, 17:1–2, 20:6–7, 44–46, photos 58–60; and Orna Zimhoni, “Two Ceramic Assemblages from Lachish Levels III and II,” Tel Aviv 17 (1990), pp. 42–44, fig. 31:3. For pithos 37, see Herzog, Miriam Aharoni, Anson F. Rainey and Shmuel Moshkovitz, “The Israelite Fortress at Arad,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 254 (1984), fig. 29:13.


Gloria London, “A Comparison of Two Contemporaneous Lifestyles of the Late Second Millennium B.C.,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 273 (1989), p. 44.


Zorn, Joseph Yellin and John L. Hayes, “The M(W)S|H Stamp Impressions and the Neo-Babylonian Period,” Israel Exploration Journal 44 (1994), pp. 161–183.


Abraham Malamat, “The Last Years of the Kingdom of Judah,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 9 (1950), p. 227.


See Gabriel Barkay, “The Redefining of Archaeological Periods: Does the Date 588/586 B.C.E. Indeed Mark the End of the Iron Age Culture?” in Biblical Archaeology Today, 1990 (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1993), p. 106.


Zorn, “Mesopotamian-style Ceramic ‘Bathtub’ Coffins from Tell en-Nasbeh,” Tel Aviv 20 (1993), pp. 216–224; and “Mesopotamian Burial Practices in Israel Once Again,” Israel Exploration Journal (forthcoming).