See Ziony Zevit, “The Problem of Ai,BAR 11:02.


See Strata: Milestones, “Anson F. Rainey (1930–2011),BAR 37:03.



Nahum Sarna, Genesis, JPS Torah Commentary (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989), p. 99.


See E.A. Speiser, Genesis, Anchor Bible (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964), pp. 96–97.


For definitions and usages of kikkar and other Hebrew terms identified in this article, see L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, eds., Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros: A Dictionary of the Hebrew Old Testament in English and German (Leiden: Brill, 1985); W. Holladay, ed., A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988); F. Brown, S.R. Driver and C.A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1975); and W.A. VanGemeren, ed., New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, 5 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997).


K. Yassine, ed., Tell Nimrin: An Archaeological Exploration (Amman: University of Jordan, 2011), p. 30. Middle Bronze Age paleobotanical and faunal analysis is principally from Tall Nimrin and Tall el-Hammam with consideration of data from Tall Kafrayn and Tall Iktanu.


In a series of 2006 email correspondences with me, Rainey wrote, “Your arguments about the kikkar are the most cogent … Gen[esis] 13 has to do with the high ground east of Bethel … The references to the kikkar fit better with the area N. [North] of the Dead Sea.”


T.J. Papadopoulos and L. Kantorli-Papadopoulos, “Preliminary Report of the Seasons 2005–2008 of Excavations by the University of Ioannina at Tall al-Kafrayn in the Jordan Valley,” Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (ADAJ) 54 (2010), pp. 283–310; S. Collins, K. Hamdan and G. Byers, “Tall al-Ḥammām: Preliminary Report on Four Seasons of Excavation (2006–2009),” ADAJ 53 (2009), pp. 385–414; S. Collins and H. Aljarrah, “Tall al-Ḥammām Season Six, 2011: Excavation, Survey, Interpretations and Insights,” ADAJ 55 (2011), pp. 581–608; Yassine, ed., Tell Nimrin. Virtually no Late Bronze Age pottery has been found at Tall el-Hammam or Tall Nimrin. “Rare” Late Bronze Age sherds from Tall Kafrayn may actually belong to the Middle Bronze II corpus, as some Middle Bronze II forms did carry into Late Bronze I. No Late Bronze Age architecture exists at any of these or other eastern kikkar sites.


Collins and Aljarrah, “Tall al-Ḥammām Season Six, 2011.”


Although microprobe analysis reveals that the glass formed under magma-like temperatures, volcanism as a cause is not an option. There is no geological evidence within the past 10,000 years at least for volcanic activity in the middle or southern Ghor of the Dead Sea region.


Scattered pottery fragments from excavated Middle Bronze II contexts at Tall el-Hammam have surfaces melted into glass. Analysis reveals that the surface glass was formed when the kaolin of the clay body became heated by temperatures minimally in the range of volcanic magmas. Before the viscous glass could “run” barely 1 or 2 mm over the edges of the sherd-break, the heat dissipated, signaled by a molecular structure identical to the “quench texture” of volcanic glass. The temperature index was likely much higher than that associated with magmas because zircon crystals in the center of the kaolin-body (3-5mm below the glass) formed spheroids (“bubbles”), which typically occurs at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. (Analysis of sherd/object HO.5–6.UB.21W.7.367 by Cameca SX-100 Microbrobe; performed by USGS geophysicists at New Mexico Technical University.)