B.C.E. (Before the Common Era), used by these authors, is the alternate designation corresponding to B.C. often used in scholarly literature.


A dromos is an entrance passageway leading to a burial chamber.


See Vassilios Tzaferis “Sussita Awaits the Spade,” BAR 16:05.


An orthostat is a large finished stone slab, usually on the lower part of a wall.


See John D. Currid, “Puzzling Public Buildings,” BAR 18:01.



The project brought together archaeologists and volunteers from institutions on three continents. A team from the Peabody Museum, Harvard University is responsible for excavating Rogem Hiri; another from several universities in Japan has begun work on Tel ‘En-Gev; and a group from the Finnish Theological Institute, Helsinki, is excavating Mitham Leviah with Israeli staff members from Tel Aviv (from 1987–1989 the Finns excavated Tel Soreg). The excavation of Tel Hadar was organized as a cooperative effort by the New Jersey Archaeological Consortium (Jersey City State College, Kean College, Montclair State, Ramapo College, William Paterson College) and the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University. The director of the Land of Geshur Project is Moshe Kochavi, Tel Aviv University. Pirhiya Beck, Tel Aviv University, is responsible for the processing and publication of the artifacts. The field director for Tel Hadar is Esther Yadin, Tel Aviv University, and the co-directors of the New Jersey Archaeological Consortium are Timothy Renner, Montclair State College, and Ira Spar, Ramapo College of New Jersey. Also digging at Tel Hadar were, in 1987, a team from Cornell University led by David Owen and, in 1988, one from Mount Union College (Ohio), led by Don Hobson.


On the Arameans of Damascus, see Wayne Pitard, Ancient Damascus (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1988).


The modern name was given to the site by a Benedictine monk who noted the beauty of the site and called it “splendid hill” in Hebrew. The Arabic name is Sheikh Khadr.


On underground domestic storage pits see John Currid and Avi Navon, “Iron Age Pits and the Lahav (Tell Halif) Grain Storage Project,” BASOR 273 (1989), pp. 67–77. For other above-ground granary types in ancient Israel see Currid, “The Beehive Granaries of Ancient Palestine,” Zeitschr. d. Deutsch. Palästina-Vereins 101 (1985), pp. 97–110. See also Currid and Jeffrey L. Gregg, “Why Did the Early Israelites Dig All Those Pits?” BAR 14:05.


See Barry J. Kemp, “Large Middle Kingdom Granary Buildings (and the Archaeology of Administration),” Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache 113 (1986), pp. 120–136, esp. 130ff, on Kahun, Uronarti and Mirgissa. The walls of these structures are wholly of mudbrick.


See Herbert E. Winlock, Models of Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1955). Most recently S. D’Auria, P. Lacovara, and C. Roehrig, Mummies and Magic (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1988), pp. 113–114, describe the model granaries found in the tomb of Djehutynakht, nomarch of the Hare Nome in the XIth Dynasty.


If the stored grain filled each room completely up to 8 feet in height, the total capacity of the granary would have been around 4,800 cubic feet. How many people this amount could sustain depends on daily consumption, but we estimate that it could have fed at least 300 people for a year. In actually, the collapsed sun-dried mudbrick that fell from on top of the stone foundations suggests the walls were somewhat higher. The massive stone construction of the lower portion of the walls could have supported a mudbrick superstructure as high as the top of the contiguous fortification wall, the height of which was probably 25 feet or more. Consequently, the amount of grain stored must have been considerably greater than the above figure. For the use of Roman and Egyptian source materials to calculate amounts of daily grain consumption, see Kemp, “Large Middle Kingdom Granary,” pp. 130ff.


For large quantities of grain produced in the Bashan (Hauran) being shipped westward through the Golan in modern times, see George Smith, The Historical Geography of the Holy Land (New York: Armstrong, 1897), pp. 612–613. On redistributive economies in general, see Karl Polanyi, “Anthropology and Economic Theory,” pp. 215–238, in Readings in Anthropology, Vol II: Cultural Anthropology, ed. Morton H. Fried, 2nd ed. (New York: Crowell, 1968). Cf. also Carol A. Smith, “Regional Economic Systems: Linking Geographical Models and Socioeconomic Problems,” pp. 1–63, in Regional Analysis, Vol II: Economic Systems, ed. C. Smith (New York: Academic Press, 1976).


Compare the tripartite halls at Beer-Sheva which were also used for storage; see Ze’ev Herzog, in Beer-Sheba 1, ed. Yohanan Aharoni (Tel Aviv: Inst. Of Archaeology, 1973), pp. 23–25.


For three-aisled halls of this general type see Larry Herr, “Tripartire Pillared Buildings and the Marketplace in Iron Age Palestine,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 272 (1988), pp. 47–67. For the most recent discussion interpreting such buildings as stables, see John S. Holladay, “The Stables of Ancient Israel,” ed. Lawrence Geray and Herr, pp. 103–166, in The Archaeology of Jordan and Other Studies (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews Univ. Press, 1986) with discussion in the Herr article.


Analysis of the clay suggests that the distinctive “egg” jars were made locally. The shapes of several very distinctive, rib-necked kraters show affinities to vessels from cemeteries at Irbid in Gilead, and analysis of the clay shows that they do in fact come from the Yarmuq area in the general region of Irbid (in modern Jordan to the southeast of the Golan). Cf. Rafik W. Dajani, “Four Iron Age Tombs from Irbid,” Annals of the Dept. of Antiquities of Jordan 11 (1966), pp. 88–101, esp. Pl. 34, nos. 1 and 2.Some of the storage jars from Tel Hadar have two handles, the tops of which are attached directly to the rim, an unknown phenomenon in Iron Age Israel. The only parallel to these amphoralike storage jars can be found in the Early Iron Age cemetery at Syrian Hama (Biblical Hamar).


See Z. Erez, et al., “The Conflagranon at Tel Hadar” an appendix to M. Kochavi, “The Land of Geshur Project: Regional Archaeology of the Southern Golan,” Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 39 (1989), pp. 16–17.


The traditional Hebrew text (the Masoretic text or MT) includes an instruction to pronounce the name Amihur as Amihud. For examples of the intermingling of Semitic and Hurrian names in one family, see Donald Lowie, “A Remarkable Family of Draughtsman-Painters from Early Nineteenth-Dynasty Thebes.” Oriens Antiquus 15 (1976), esp. pp. 98ff.; Kenneth Kitchen, “The Family of Urhiya and Yupa, High Stewards of the Ramesseum: Part II, The Family Relationship,” in Glimpses of Ancient Egypt. Studia in Honor of H. W. Fairman, ed. J. Ruffle, A. Gaballa and K. Kitchen (Warminster: Orbis Aegyptorium Speculum, 1979). Our thanks to Prof. Kitchen for calling our attention to these references.


See 2 Samuel 2:1–4, which says that Abner, Saul’s army commander, took Saul’s son Ish-bosheth (his name was in actually Ish-Baal) across the Jordan to Mahanaim and made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites and other areas. In place of “Ashurites,” the Latin Vulgate and the Syriac translation of the Bible known as the Peshita read “Geshurites.” It has been suggested that “Geshurites” is the correct reading: see Aryeh Bartal, The Kingdom of Saul (Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1984), pp. 102–104 (in Hebrew).


On these hostilities see 2 Samuel 8:3–8 = 1 Chronicles 18:3–8 and 2 Samuel 10:1–19 = 1 Chronicles 19:1–19 with the remarks of Pitard, Ancient Damascus, pp. 89ff.


The stratum I house plans have recognizable similarities to houses known from central and northern Syria and from Tel Qiri in Israel.


The figurine is similar to another tambourine-holder figurine found at Tell Deir ‘Alla (Biblical Succoth), further south in the Jordan Valley. For discussion see Pirhiya Beck, “A Figurine from Tel ‘Ira,” Eretz-Israel 21 (Ruth Amiran Volume), 1990, pp. 87–93.


See Pitard, Ancient Damascus, chaps. 5–6.


For the two-week salvage excavation see Benjamin Mazar, et al., “‘Ein Gev Excavations in 1961,” IEJ 14 (1964), pp. 1–49. In the summer of 1990 the Japanese Expedition to ‘En-Gev, part of the Land of Geshur Project, began new excavations at the site with ten staff members and 40 students from several universities and museums in Japan. Professors Hiroshi Kanaseki (Tenri University) and Hideo Ogawa (Keio University) act as co-directors and Gil Kobo (Tel-Aviv University) serves as Israeli liaison and area supervisor.


Cf. Mordechai Cogan and Hayim Tadmor, 2 Kings, Anchor Bible series (New York Doubleday, 1988), pp. 147–152.


This identification was first suggested by Moshe Dothan, one of the 1961 excavators of ‘En-Gev; he was already aware of the absence of Iron Age remains at Fiq, see “Aphek on rhe Israel-Aram Border and Aphek on the Amorite Border,” Eretz-Israel 12 (1975), pp. 63–65.


For the two tablets (referred to as EA 256 and AO 7094) see Benjamin Mazar, “Geshur and Maacah,” Journal of Biblical Literature 80, 1961, pp. 16–28; William F. Albright, “Two Little Understood Amarna Letters from the Jordan Valley,” BASOR 89, 1943, pp. 7–17; William Moran, Les lettres d’El Amarna (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1987), pp. 483–485. Letter No. 256 is translated in James B. Pritchard, ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd ed. (Princeton, 1969), p. 486.