Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bronze Age building uncovered near Gaza

Source: The Jerusalem Post

A building from the Late Bronze Age apparently constructed for Egyptian authorities before the Israelite settlement in the Land of Israel has been uncovered in an excavation on the edge of the Negev desert near the Gaza Strip, Ben-Gurion University announced Monday.

The month-long summer dig on the eastern section of the Besor Stream, about 12 kilometers east of Gaza, revealed the 3,000-year-old site buried underneath a 7th century Philistine rural village from the Second Iron Age, said Ben-Gurion University archeologist Dr. Gunnar Lehmann.

The Israeli and German archeologists working on the dig had known of the existence of the Philistine village at the site due to earlier surface exploration in the area, but were stunned to find the much earlier structure which lay underneath it, he said.

About 10-15 such buildings are known to exist off the Egyptian border, but most have been found in an urban context.

"We did not expect to find an administrative building in such a rural site," Lehmann said.

The site has features of Egyptian architecture, as well as Egyptian pottery and amulets.

Archeologists are not sure why this site was built there, but assume it was some type of rural estate.

Among the signs of the Philistine village which existed at the site include a taboon for pita bread, the remains of a wine press installation and storage jars for agriculture.

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