Sporadic theological and historical musings by Edgar Foster (Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies and one of Jehovah's Witnesses).
The city extended way beyond the mound so to call it a fortress city is wholly misleading.https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Contrast-between-a-large-scale-mound-site-and-a-single-period-small-scale-settlement-Tel_fig2_260760026Megiddo is now understood to be older than the other locations stated here. And the current approaches to it have been agenda driven, not multi facited.This enormous city needs much more research.
Duncan, at least two things are being called Megiddo in the studies: a mound and the city. I think calling it a fortress city is just fine, but I mainly wanted to show that no mountain of Megiddo exists, but even if it did, a battle involving God and the kings of the earth will not be fought there. It cannot be fought there. That's all I have to say for now.
I read Gilligan's material, but don't know much about him. He does not demonstrate his claims that Megiddo was not fortified.It would be nice to see credentialed evidence.
One more thing about the fortified city thought:https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/megiddo-armageddon-dna-royal-burial-canaan-archaeology/"In the earliest recorded battle in the history of the Ancient Near East, at Megiddo, the forces of Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III besieged THE FORTIFIED CITY in the first half of the 15th century B.C. After a seven-month long siege, the city surrendered and yielded to the pharaoh, who incorporated Canaan as a province into his empire."This source is dated 2018.http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/megiddo-the-solomonic-chariot-city"A village had been established on the hill of Megiddo at the end of the 6th millennium BCE, but the first FORTIFIED urban settlement, remains of which were uncovered on bedrock in the eastern part of the tel, dates from the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE."
Let me just say that I would be happy to see any evidence of battles on this location. But as far as trusting Egyptian temple propoganda, we already take some of it with a large pinch of salt in other circumstances.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287578891_The_rise_of_a_complex_society_New_evidence_from_tel_megiddo_east_in_the_late_fourth_millenniumThis source is from 2014 but is from the horses mouth, as it were.I suggest you compare it to your 2018 sources.Also, note Megiddo is seen as a central hub, not a fortress:-Overall, the emerging impression Is of a well-integrated regional network, within which Megiddo played a central role somehow related to its elaborate cult com-plex.Would not surprise me if the temple was for some form of Innana. (Holy harlot related to agriculture and war that tend to go hand in hand. The season when the king's Sally forth as agricultural land got more and more degraded).
I don't think we can prove that a certain (determinate) number of battles occurred in Megiddo, but it seems safe to say it was a fortified city or settlement. This datum is not based solely on Egyptian propaganda: the Bible also indicates that Megiddo was fortified by King Solomon. I was reading a source late last night which cited 2 Chron. 8 and 1 Kings 9:15ff. Other evidence probably can be adduced. Even biblical critics (minimalists) talk about Megiddo being fortified.I plan to give your link more sustained attention later, but does it actually say that Megiddo was a central hub, not a fortress? Note what the site here states about fortifications of Megiddo: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/wp-content/uploads/megiddo-east.aspI don't think this site denies the fortifications either: http://www.tau.ac.il/~archpubs/megiddo/archmag.html
speaking of Megiddo: https://www.academia.edu/1070693/A_Provenance_Study_of_the_Gilgamesh_Fragment_from_Megiddohttps://popular-archaeology.com/article/archaeologists-return-to-ancient-megiddo/
Page 40 of my paper second column. Sorry, should have put it in quotes.The Gilgamesh connection adds some weight to the Lilith / inanna connection.
This site likewise mentions the fortifications of ancient Megiddo. The page is dated 2017 and it's tourist info: https://www.touristisrael.com/megiddo/9448/
Notice the mention of Megiddo's fortifications here: https://as.vanderbilt.edu/jewishstudies/undergraduates/study-abroad/archaeological-dig-at-megiddo/
More references about the fortified Megiddo: https://books.google.com/books?id=_M1bCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=megiddo+eric+cline+fortifications&source=bl&ots=pPBfAGY_M1&sig=r026z8TPGmEzfbbzERQ8b0Slalg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBm-6gmuHaAhVJzlkKHX96CU04ChDoAQguMAE#v=onepage&q=megiddo%20eric%20cline%20fortifications&f=falsewww.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/print/opr/t393/e76
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/israelexperience/history/pages/megiddo%20-%20the%20solomonic%20chariot%20city.aspx"A village had been established on the hill of Megiddo at the end of the 6th millennium BCE, but the first fortified urban settlement, remains of which were uncovered on bedrock in the eastern part of the tel, dates from the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE. Within its walls was an elongated rectangular temple, with an altar opposite its entrance; it had a low ceiling, supported by wooden columns placed on stone bases. "But the official report that I posted from 2014 is referring to the same as 4th millennium BCE & makes no reference to fortifications.Note that I have found no newer reports than this .http://www.jezreelvalleyregionalproject.com/publications-and-reports.htmlThe Field Reports referenced here only go upto 2012.All other documentation here should not be confused with the field reports.My experience and conversations with excavators at Vindolanda, UK, has given me some perspective of the difference between the initial find and excavation & its later interpretation. The way mounds of stoned are reconstructed into walls that may or may not have looked that way originally. There is much to ponder and debate but only object finds are more precise but still leave much to interpretation.So let me just reiterate that to this date, no Egyptian battle artifacts have been found & the 2014 field reports do not indicate significant fortification.I am now looking for excavation plans and sketches to make my own judgment without the benefit of "educated interpretation".
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315918588_Metalworking_at_Megiddo_during_the_Late_Bronze_and_Iron_AgesThis demonstrates part of the reason why subsequent settlements collapsed here (note also that the photographs do not indicate re constructed fortifications).2 large trees for each kilo of smelted bronze.This also forced the transition to iron which requires less energy.But as most reports tend to do, they side step the energy issue (its a little to close to home).
http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2014/11/05/Megiddo-The-Place-of-Battles.aspx"This was also the time when Megiddo became the target of the first known recorded military campaign. An Egyptian tomb inscription from the Early Bronze Age described how Weni, a general under Pharaoh Pepi I (ca. 2325–2275 BC), invaded the **region** and found **fortified towns**, excellent vineyards and fine orchards (Aharoni 1979: 135–37). Weni campaigned four more times around Megiddo to put down insurrections, probably local farmers chafing under oppressive Egyptian rule (Hansen 1991: 85)."Note - nothing to indicate Megiddo itself."After the siege, the amount of agricultural spoils captured by Thutmosis is impressive: “…1,929 cows, 2,000 goats, and 20,500 sheep…[The] of the harvest which is majesty carried off from the Megiddo acres: 207,300 [+ x] sacks of wheat, apart from what was cut as forage by his majesty’s army…” (Pritchard 1958: 181–82). It is estimated the wheat, alone, measured 450,000 bushels (Pritchard 1958: 182 n.1). Megiddo was a very wealthy and fertile target, indeed!"I would take all this with a very large pinch of salt. Especially if you way the wheat yield against the grazing requirements.
Also the Six-chamber gate images show the walls are no more significantly thick than the walls in general of the earlier settlement (images can be seen in my earlier postings).
First, with all due respect, I don't limit my beliefs to archaeological discoveries. Why are we privileging archaeology? It's only one tool of many in history or religion. Secondly, even some things you've posted suggest that Megiddo at some point was a fortified settlement, which would comport with 2 Chronicles and 1 Kings. I don't believe in being credulous, but nor do I think we should automatically reject biblical accounts that suggest Megiddo and other areas were fortified, like many archaeologists and minimalists want to do. At this point, I've seen very little to make me doubt Megiddo was not fortified. Maybe it wasn't, but that is yet to be QED (quod erat demonstrandum). It is not QED yet.
My one Oxford link did not work; so I'm reposting this link: http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/article/opr/t94/e1228
When we start talking about thickness of walls, that goes away from my expertise or interest. It's an important point. However, I don't consider it a deal breaker.
I have been mulling it over. A critical question that we cannot answer is in regard to johns Revelation. Who's revelation was it? I he interpreting something that he has seen in his own term's or is he just writing what he sees. The author would be aware of the earlier accounts but the author of all would know the entire history.To argue from a lack (qed) seems problematic when we do have a significant and growing data set to work with but I will leave it at that until I see the find maps. As noted in one of the links it truly is a pitty that early archeological method corrupted, and dislodged so much of the strata in some places at least.
To clarify, on the question you ask regarding John, what about Rev. 1:1?We don't fully understand inspiration in the biblical sense of the word, but at the very least, inspiration has to be something given by God. It someohow originates with him.Lest I be misunderstood, my argument is not based on silence (something the texts or data don't mention). What I meant to say was that I see little evidence to convince me that Megiddo was not fortified at some point in its history. Furthermore, when I mentioned QED, I'm contending that the assertion that Megiddo was not fortified has not been demonstrated/proved yet. Let's not act like it has been demonstrated. QED is what someone writes after writing a proof or demonstrating an argument. I see no reason to write QED for the claim that Megiddo was not a fortified settlement.
And to be fair, I could need my view adjusted.
This is the kind of paper I was looking for:-https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/OIP127.pdfMuch to go through & this is just for one strata. But for this layer states on page 8 that it was an unfortified layer mainly agricultural.I am careful of comments that include "presumably".The term "fortification" is used a few times but with no specific evidences that I have found yet.There is an interesting reference to the use of cornerstone basalt blocks - this may have had to come from somewhere like mount Hermon.As time permits I will plough through it, Just need to find the rest now.
As for the prophecy, I meant is this instance like that for Daniel where he does not understand what he is writing down, or is Jesus imagery been framed in Johns understandings.It could make a difference.
The paper is definitely worth perusing. But one problem is that most theologians/religion scholars aren't trained in epigraphy or archaeology and related fields. It takes time to read such works and assimilate them. The document's also dated 2004.I'm fairly certain that John did not understand what he wrote. Think about his response to seeing the great crowd. And in other cases, he is befuddled about the things he writes. Revelation mirrors Daniel in numerous ways, and both works have been classified as apocalyptic literature.
Unfortunately these reports are a one shot deal in many respects. Once the artifacts are removed from situe and not adequately documented it is pretty much lost forever (one of the big problems for a large segment of the DSS).We are working from the top down which start here:-https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/oip42.pdfDated 1934 and there is no going back.At Vindolanda the evidence is meticulously recorded & the preservation labs are now on the actual site but it is an inherently destructive process.
http://www.ebaf.edu/2018/01/video-conference-de-matthew-adams-megiddo/Also, need to get a transcript or video of:-https://oi.uchicago.edu/article/lecture-matthew-j-adams-megiddo-and-egypt-intermediate-and-middle-bronze-ages
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dvory_Namdar2/publication/307094968_Micro-archaeological_indicators_for_identifying_ancient_cess_deposits_An_example_from_Late_Bronze_Age_Megiddo_Israel/links/5a1a50d0aca272df080d8a97/Micro-archaeological-indicators-for-identifying-ancient-cess-deposits-An-example-from-Late-Bronze-Age-Megiddo-Israel.pdfThis kind of research should be done on all these ancient sites - its a whole new perspective.
https://www.heritagedaily.com/2014/08/climate-change-and-drought-in-ancient-times/104475This also has bearing on a major reason why Babylon remain uninhabited.https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-170-98/
As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I have no problem with all these digs: they are good for enhancing our knowledge of the ancient world. I just don't believe in privileging archaeology and what they find still has to be interpreted. Agendas can also drive archaeologists in their quests. Besides, realistically, most theologians/biblical commentators are not going to study these digs.
And this demonstrates the other side of the coin:-https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/material-culture-of-early-christianity/Every asset needs to be addressed.Agendas and interpretation applies to all concously or unconsciously but as the video lecture I posted mentions. Do not rely on tourist information sites. Also in this lecture the speaker does seem to differentiate between the physical evidence as found and the possible uses of those finds being speculative. The antiquity though is not in doubt or the scale of the site. The mound being only partially utilised at the peak of size & the majority being in the valley, not on the mound.Just like texts, some things are uncertain but other things are fairly certain.
I respect Hurtado, but disagree with about everything he writes. I concur that we should not rely on tourist sites, and I have quoted journals and books. The main points of this discussion were supposed to be the mount of Megiddo and whether Megiddo was fortified or not. I'm fairly certain that evidence is available to substantiate the fortress language in the scholarly literature.
My point is not the fortification (which evidence is limited to the gate ways) but WHEN they were first installed.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270936172_Shifting_settlement_patterns_in_the_southern_Jordan_Valley_and_desert_fringes_of_Samaria_during_the_early_Bronze_Age_I_period"To the sites presented above we should also add others whose fortification is uncertain, or the time of the fortification is in dispute. The sites attributed to this kind include Tel Erani (Kempinski and Gilead), the Samarian “enclosures” (Zertal), Tell Esh-Shuna North (Baird and Philip), Megiddo (Finkelstein et al.), Bet Yerah (Getzov), and Tell el-Far’ah (North) (in the opinion of de Vaux (),Hout (), and Amiran () on one hand, and of de Miroschedji (,) and Kempinski () on the other)." Pg 100This relates to the Solomonic fortifications (disputed installation date) as currently there is no evidence for earlier structures even though excavation trenches go much lower (earlier)."In fact two groups of sites, whose locations were influenced by geographic conditions and economic considerations, were identified in the study: the settlement centres in the Bet Shean valleys and in Wadi Far’ah, and isolated sites in the Samarian foothills. Around each of the fortified sites (the central settlement) were seven to fifteen open sites (secondary settlements), while some of the sites had an open settlement adjacent to them (for example, at Tel Shalem; ‘Ain Juraish—next to Khirbet Juraish, at ‘Ain Duma—next to Khirbet Rahiyeh, and also at remote sites such as Megiddo). These may have become “lower cities”, some of which were also fortified (Tell Za’anuni)."Pg 102
Time will tell, and it will be interesting to see where all the spade work leads us.
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