Daily Archives: February 14, 2012

Abel Beth Maacah excavation announced

Azusa Pacific University announced the first archaeological excavation of Abel Beth Maacah (Tel Abil; Abil al-Qamh) in northern Israel. The site is located just a few miles south of the border with Lebanon. The mound overlooks the Beka Valley to the east, with Mount Hermon in the distance.

Abel Beth Maacah. View to the east. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Abel Beth Maacah. View to the east. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The dates suggested in the following announcement seems very short (May 27-31).

This spring, Azusa Pacific University (APU) embarks on an exciting joint expedition with the Hebrew University of Israel to oversee an archeological dig at Abel Beth Maacah, a site of historical interest long envied by the world’s archeologists.

To date, the mound has not been excavated. Robert Mullins, Ph.D., associate professor of biblical studies at APU, leads the team along with Nava Panitz-Cohen and Ruhama Bonfil, faculty at the Hebrew University. On Jan. 25—26, 2012, team members plan to conduct an initial survey of the site in preparation for the May 27—31 excavation.

“I can’t overstate the huge potential of this project,” said Mullins. “First, it is an honor to partner with Israel’s oldest and most prestigious university. Given the site’s connection with the period of David and later Kings of Israel, the dig will draw worldwide interest. We can potentially solve questions regarding the nature of Israel’s ties with neighboring Phoenicia and Syria, as well as documenting through the destruction levels the various Aramean [Syrian] and Assyrian military campaigns mentioned in the Bible and other ancient records.”

The complete announcement is available here. You may observe that (a poor quality image of) one of my photos has been used in the announcement, but the copyright notice and name have been cut off. Hopefully this will be corrected in future releases.

The wise woman of Abel Beth Maacah describes the city as being “a mother in Israel” (2 Samuel 20:19).

We have written about the importance of Abel Beth Maacah here and here.

HT: Bible Places Blog; HolyLandPhotos’ Blog.