The identification of Khirbet Qeiyafa: A new suggestion

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Khirbet Qeiyafa is a small, fortified, early Iron Age site in the Judaean Shephelah, situated on a low hill overlooking the Elah Valley, at approximately the place described in 1 Samuel 17 as the site of the duel between David and Goliath. The main phase of occupation seems to have extended for only a short time during the Iron I/Iron IIA transition. Various scholars have suggested different identifications, most notably Shaaraim and Netaim. This paper refutes previous suggestions while proposing that this site be identified with the ma'gāl, Saul's fortified camp at which David leaves his pack in 1 Sam 17:20, and reaffrming that the real value of the site is not its biblical identity but its position, on both the geographic frontier between Iron Age Judah and Philistia and the chronological transition from Iron Age I to Iron Age IIA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
StatePublished - Aug 2012


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