June 18, 2013

Gezer VII - I’ve Been Waiting Four Decades For This

Gezer VIIMy very own copy of Gezer VII: The Middle Bronze and Later Fortifications in Fields II, IV, and VIII just arrived. You can get your copy at Eisenbrauns. The drawings are great, the photographic reproductions are much better than in the previous 6 (or is it 5?) Gezer volumes. The volume comes with a CD full of plans and photographs.

I was the area supervisor in Field II (area 4) in 1973. This much belated volume documents my work and that of many others who labored under the sun. Much of my own work that year focused on the excavation of wall 4026. A few years ago I wrote a couple of speculative posts about this wall. Joe Seger, Sy Gitin and Karen E. Seger address wall 4026 on pages 109 and 110. Here is, in part, what they say about my favorite wall,

The most likely interpretation is that Wall 4026 served as a defensive parapet or outer screening wall set on the edge of the glacis plateau. It would have thus formed a protective room or corridor along the foot of the MB fortification wall (that is, along Mcalister’s Inner Wall system). Wall segments positioned just outside the main wall line on the plateau of the glacis with the same putative functions were found in Field IV.

Joe was kind enough to send me a pre-publication draft on which I built my more speculative posts. So, none of this is a surprise.

I’m sure that Joe and the rest of the publication team will agree that the length of time that it has taken to publish this report is unconscionable! Many, more recent excavations have done better. As is often said, “To excavate is to destroy.” Without documentation, that destruction is permanent. Without timely documentation, the destruction might as well be permanent for those who do not out live the delay. No excavation should enter the field unless it has a clear, doable publication plan. Such a plan should, at worst, be able maintain a schedule measure in years rather than decades.

Still, it is good to see this volume and to remember those wonderful times and people.

Posted by Duane Smith at June 18, 2013 1:13 PM | Read more on Archaeology |

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