See Paul W. Lapp, “The 1968 Excavations at Tell Ta’annek,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 195 (1969), p. 34.
Yigael Yadin, Hazor: Schweich Lectures (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1972), p. 129.
In 1979 one of the authors (Currid) accompanied Professor Edward F. Campbell on a short fact-finding trip to Shechem. Probably the greatest surprise for the author was the numerous pits yet evident in the exposed balks of the longstanding excavation areas. Each of the pits viewed was from the Iron Age.
See especially John D. Currid, “Archaeological Investigations Into the Grain Storage Practices of Iron Age Palestine,” Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Chicago, 1986.
Peter J. Reynolds, Iron Age Farm: The Butser Experiment (London: British Museum, 1979), p. 75.
G. Ernest Wright and Lawrence E. Toombs, “The Third Campaign at Tell Balatah (Shechem),” BASOR 161 (1961), p. 34. The main problem with the “robber pit” hypothesis is that the pits are so uniform and undamaged. How could the diggers remove any architecture without damaging the sides of the pits? Also, from the plans of the excavations it appears as if the pit diggers were attempting to avoid previous wall lines and architectural features. For further comments, see Campbell, James F. Ross and Toombs, “The Eighth Campaign at Shechem (Balatah),” BASOR 204 (1971), p. 16.
In support of Toombs’s theory are two facts: (1) the areas where the pits were dug are primarily composed of chalk, and (2) chalk is valuable for cultivation purposes. The main problem with the theory is the fact that the Shechemites had no need to dig pits for chalk, because it was available almost everywhere around them. As G. E. Wright points out, “did the inhabitants of the area of Balatah dig frantically all over the cella different types of unlined pits to get floor chalk which abounded on the mountain sides and indeed almost wherever they looked?” (Toombs, “Stratigraphy of Tell Balatah,” Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 17 , p. 107, note 45.)
Reported to me by Edward F. Campbell of McCormick Theological Seminary.
Jacob Kaplan, “And He Prepared Great Provision For Them,” Bulletin of the Israel Exploration Society 17 (1952), pp. 49–51.
Z. Goffer, M. Molcho and Itzhaq Beit-Arich, “The Disposal of Wastes in Ancient Beer-sheba,” Journal of Field Archaeology 10 (1983), pp. 231–235.
Lapp, “1968 Excavations,” p. 34.
Joseph A. Callaway and Robert E. Cooley, “A Salvage Excavation at Raddana, in Bireh,” BASOR 201 (1971), pp. 9–19.
G. R. H. Wright, “The ‘Granary’ at Shechem and the Underlying Storage Pits,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 82 (1970), pp. 275–278.
Reynolds, “A General Report of Underground Grain Storage Experiments at the Butser Ancient Farm Research Project,” in Les techniques de conservation des grain a long terme, vol. 1, ed. Marceau Gast and Francois Sigaut (Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1979), p. 74.
D. W. Hall, G. A. Haswell, and T. A. Oxley, Underground Storage of Grain (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1956).
These tests were run in conjunction with the Department of Stored Products, Ministry of Agriculture, Bet Dagan, Israel. For a detailed account of each test and its results, see Currid and Avi Navon, “Iron Age Pits and the Lahav (Tell Halif) Grain Storage Project,” forthcoming in BASOR. See also, Currid and Navon, “The Tell Halif (Lahav) Grain Storage Project,” ASOR Newsletter 37:2 (1986), p. 7.
Jean Perrot, “Excavations at ‘Eynan (‘Ein Mallaha), Preliminary Report on the 1959 Season,” Israel Exploration Journal 10 (1960), pp. 14–22.