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"Tel Gezer tablet

"Tel Gezer tablet" - an inscription from the 10th century BC engraved on a small limestone tablet. Its dimensions: 7x11 cm.

The tablet was found by McAllister at the beginning of the 20th century, in the waste pile of his excavation, and it is displayed today in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.



The tablet was written in an ancient Hebrew script that developed from the proto-Semitic / proto-Canaanite script, which developed from the Egyptian hieroglyphic script.

Historians of the development of the script date the script according to its form. Enough inscriptions have been found where the development of the script can be seen.

The accepted opinion is that the inscription indicates the agricultural operations done in the 12 months of the year:




Gezer lies next to an important road junction in the lowlands, in a strategic location and was therefore a target for military occupation in ancient times.

The mound extends to the northeast, is 600 meters long, 200 meters wide, and has an area of 130 dunams.


The site was identified by Charles Clermont-Ganot in 1874 (who took part in identifying the tombstone of Misha, and the inscription "Tomb...Jehovah is on the house" found on the Mount of Olives).

The place is called by the locals Tel Gezar which resembles a carrot, a name that corresponds to biblical, external, Muslim and Crusader sources. Charles Clermont-Ganot found a number of rocks around the site on which "carrot domain" was engraved, and this is how a carrot was identified.

On each stone, under the Hebrew words "Thamum Gezer", a continuous line is marked, and a person's name is written in Greek, such as Alkios, Alkisah, Archileaus. The words "Tahum Gezer" are read as the reader faces the city, and the Greek names as the reader faces from the city and beyond. The stones can be interpreted as marking the border of the city of Gezer and the beginning of the territory of Greek people bearing one of these names.

They found 13 inscriptions around Gezer, at a distance of 1-1/2 km. One of the inscriptions is in the grass of a private house in Keremi Yosef. This marking method is not known elsewhere, for example Megiddo, Yarmouth, Azkah or Lakish. The writing dates to the Hasmonean period.

In the Hasmonean period, after the battles of Judah the Maccabee: "And in those days Shimon camped at Gezer and surrounded it with camps, and built the Halpolis (a tower for capturing cities) and brought it close to the city, and struck one tower and captured it. And the people in the Halpolis jumped into the city and there was a great commotion in the city. And the men of the city came up with their wives And they knocked on the wall, and tore their clothes and cried out with a loud voice, and asked Shimon to give them his right hand (to have mercy on them). They said: Do not do to us as our wickedness, but as you have mercy. And Shimon submitted to them and did not fight with them. And he drove them out of the city, and cleansed the houses that were in them. figurines, and come to it with singing and blessing. And remove all impurity from it and let people who keep the law (the Torah) live in it, and fortify it and build a house for him in it." (1 Maccabees, 13:48-43)




The water plant is similar to the one found in Be'er Sheva, Hazor and Megiddo, but now only a small section of the tunnel that goes down to the water plant is exposed.

McAllister from the PEF (Palestine Exploration Fund) began to dig Gezer, and because of the British digging methods - covering the excavation with material removed from it - caused damage. He excavated the Canaanite tower, the Canaanite gate, the water system, and uncovered the water plant - he reached almost to the level of the water.

Excavations by an Israeli-American delegation are being carried out at the site. The party went down to McAllister's dig, the dirt was removed, and they reached the pavers that McAllister had laid so they wouldn't step in the mud. The ceramic findings cannot be relied upon because McAllister threw the whole sheaf back into the mix.

The water plant was carved in the Middle Bronze Age 2 (1650-1500 BC), however some claim it is from the 7th-8th century BC, from the same period as the other archaeological mounds with similar water plants found in Beer Sheva, Arad, Beit Shemesh , Megido and Hazor.

In times of peace, the source of water for the residents was a spring outside the walls - Ein Yarda. The water system made it possible to reach water during the siege, to groundwater, and was a kind of well (unlike in Be'er Sheva that reached the stream).

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