A quick look at: Gezer, one of the main Canaanite cities of pre-Israelite Palestine.
First of all, a little historical context:
During the Middle Bronze Age, ca. 2000-1500 B.C.E., Gezer grew into one of the most massively fortified Canaanite sites in Palestine. […] This period was brought to an end ca. 1482 B.C.E. in a violent destruction, no doubt to be attributed to Pharaoh Thutmosis III. […] A decline in the 13th century B.C.E. was followed by a localized destruction, probably the work of Pharaoh Merneptah […] According to both archaeology and the Biblical tradition (cf. Josh 10:31-33) Gezer was not destroyed in the Israelite conquest. There are at least five levels on the summit that reflects continued Canaanite occupation, plus incursions of Philistines, in the 12th and 11th centuries B.C.E.
W. Mills, R. Bullard, Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, Mercer University Press, 1990.
The Standing Stones at Gezer are shown in the first image. The meaning and function of these stones are debated; popular explanations include the suggestions that they represented other cities who owed tribute to Gezer or represented Canaanite deities. In the third photo is the six-chambered gate at Tel Gezer -the fortification of Gezer has been attributed to Solomon in biblical texts.
Shown in the second photo is a reproduction of the Gezer calendar. Discovered in 1908, this calendar is one of the oldest surviving Hebrew texts, and provides us with key information about the ancient Israel agricultural cycle. Scholars have suggested that this calendar could have been a schoolboy’s memory exercise, or the text of a popular children’s/ folk song. The calendar reads the following (via: Michael D. Coogan, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament, Oxford University Press, 2009):
- Two months gathering (September, October)
- Two months planting (November, December)
- Two months late sowing (January, February)
- One month cutting flax (March)
- One month reaping barley (April)
- One month reaping and measuring grain (May)
- Two months pruning (June, July)
- One month summer fruit (August)
The original tablet is currently displayed at the Museum of the Ancient Orient, Turkey.
Photos courtesy & taken by Ian Scott.