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13 July 2019

The big archaeology story for some people has been the discovery of what is claimed to be the Biblical settlement of Ziklag – go to https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/archaeologists-uncov… … archaeologists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority, together with the MacQuarrie University in Sydney, Australia, think they have discovered the Philistine town of Ziklag, near Kiryat Gath, associated with King David in the books of I Samuel and II Samuel. Achish, king of Gath, allowed David to find refuge in Ziklag (when in flight from Saul). Later, David was annointed king by Samuel in Hebron. However, the precise location of Ziklag is open to question. It was also the town which the Amalekites sacked and took women and children captive.

The projected site of Ziklag is in the Judeaen foothills, between Kiryat Gath and Lachish. The name Ziklag is unusual – apparently non-semitic. It is said to be a name bestowed on it by the Philistines (and evidence of a Philistine presence has been found at the new site under excavation). This is unsurprising as the Philistines were nearby and in the ascendancy. Above the Philistine layer was what is called a rural settlement and this has been assigned to David – presumably it was early Iron Age in date (on the assumption David was post-Bronze Age). This settlement in turn came to an abrupt end due to an intense fire – presumably blamed on the Amalekites. It has been C14 dated to the 10th century BC (calibrated). On that basis the real date may be 9th or even 8th century – uncalibrated. Ziklag, we may note, has previously been located in the northern or western Negev rather than in the foothills of Judah. In all, 12 other sites have been tentatively identified as Zikllag. This means it is far from certain that the new site has anything to do with King David.

Over at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/morocco-to-restore-l… … the Moroccan government intends to restore and spruce up the site of the ancient city of Lixus on the banks of the river Loukous. It was first settled by the Phoenicians – purportedly in the 12th century BC. This appears to imply a settlement at Lixus prior to the one at Carthage. Is this a journalistic mistake. L:ixus is of course better known for its Roman period archtecture – and its amphitheatre. Lixus was destroyed, it is thought, by the invading Islamic army that conquered Morocco in the 7th century. Lixus is also a big tourist attraction hence the allocation of funds to improve visitor satisfaction

Meanwhile, at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/5000-year-old-house-… … house ruins from as long ago as 3000BC have been unearthed by archaeologists in Shanxi Province, belonging to the Neolithci Yangshao culture on the middle reaches of the Yellow River. Yangshao is dated between 7000 and 5000 years ago,

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