Tel Hadid sits straight north of Tel Gezer across from the entrance to famous Aijalon Valley. It fulfills the same strategic function as Gezer, protecting this major artery that leads up into the hill country but form the north. Also like Gezer, it protects the southern extension of the famous trade route the Via Maris (Way of the Sea).
Hadid has a clear documented history mainly form the Israelite period to modern times. The earliest reference in the Bible maybe Adithaim, a town allotted to Judah (Joshua 15:36). It is mentioned 3 more times alongside Lod and Ono as a place where returnees from the Babylonian Exile settled (Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:37; 11:34). Simeon the Hasmonaean fortifies the site with strong gates (I Macc 12:38). Josephus mentions that the Romans placed a garrison here during the First Jewish Revolt. Hadid also appears on the famous Madaba Map. Today Israel’s modern Highway 6 tunnels right under the tell.
Because of the building of Highway 6, a limited salvage excavation was conducted between 1995 to 1997. Significant remains from the Iron Age were uncovered dating to the seventh century B.C.E. Most importantly two Neo-Assyrian cuneiform tablets were found. Both were contracts, one for land sale and the other a monetary loan where the husband puts up his wife and sister as collateral. Additional tombs, presses, and agricultural installations were found beyond the tell. Because of these finds, Highway 6 was sent under the tell.
In 2018, Tel Aviv University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary formed a partnership to continue the salvage operation of the 1990s. Critical for our excavation is not only the site’s development but the interrelationships of the site because the two legal documents found refer to individuals who bear non-local (mainly Akkadian) names. They were interpreted as members of deportee communities, brought to the country by the Neo-Assyrian Empire. As such, the study of the remains at Tel Hadid holds great potential for the advancement of an archaeological understanding of dislocated communities. In addition, we aim at a high-resolution survey of its surface and a complete digital documentation of the site’s landscape, including its many agricultural features.
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Northern Shephelah; 15 km southeast of Tel Aviv, 25 km northwest of Jerusalem; above Road #6, access is from roads #444 and #443
Bronze, Iron, Hellenistic, Roman to Modern
June 2 – 27, 2019
Preference for two weeks or more
May 1, 2019
Yes; up to 96 credit hours; awarded by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Check with NOBTS; price varies for undergraduate and graduate students.
The volunteers and the scientific team will he hosted at Neve Shalom, Wahat al-Salem, Guest House, located at Latrun Junction (http://wasns.org/). Volunteers stay 3–4 per room, each room has a refrigerator, microwave, and personal bath. There is a swimming pool, internet, lounge, and a cafe/restaurant next door.
Ido Koch of Tel Aviv University has authored several articles dealing with the archaeology of Bronze and Iron Ages Southern Levant and a monograph focusing on the Egyptian–Levantine colonial encounters during the Late Bronze Age (The Shadow of Egypt, Jerusalem, 2018).
Dan Warner is the Director for The Center for Archaeological Research and a Professor of Old Testament and Archaeology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has authored several articles and books, including The Archaeology of Canaanite Cult, and most recently co-edited A City Set on a Hill, a festschrift honoring his mentor Dr. James F. Strange.
Eli Yannai of the Israel Antiquities Authority also serves as a co-director of the Tel Gezer Water System excavation and preservation project.
Jim Parker is a Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Archaeology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He specializes in Hebrew and Old Testament Studies, Greek and New Testament Studies, and Church History. He authored The War Scroll: Genre & Origin (Borderstone Press, 2012).