Monthly Archives: September 2012


This week I found out more information about one of the sites that we drove past during our tour of Israel. I mentioned this site in my post North of Galilee and also posted a picture of it there. One of the interesting things that I like about travel is finding out more information later about places that I visited. It then means a lot more to me when I am reading about it if I can picture the place in my mind.

Here is a picture of Tel-Abel that I took while we were parked on a side road near the tel. The second and third picture below were taken while we were driving toward our next stop. McDonald’s for lunch :-).
Tel-Abel - Abel Beth Maacah Israel Joab Sheba Head of ShebaFirst, to put the site in perspective I will give the account for which it is probably the best know. Here we have the wise woman of Abel, not to be confused with the wise woman of Tekoa, which is a different account :-).

And Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah, and all the Bichrites assembled and followed him in. And all the men who were with Joab came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah. They cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart, and they were battering the wall to throw it down. Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, that I may speak to you.'” And he came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” Then she said, “They used to say in former times, ‘Let them but ask counsel at Abel,’ and so they settled a matter. I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the heritage of the Lord?” Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. (2 Samuel 20:14-22 ESV)

I had mentioned in the previous post that not much exploration had been done on the site. This weekend I found a link in the Weekend Roundup from Bible Places Blog to a report from the first season of digging at Tel-Abel.

The first season of digging was only a short four day assessment with about 20 volunteers, but they were able to find several interesting items.
Tel-Abel Abel of Beth Maacah

The focus of the assessment was to determine where to begin excavations next year when they mount a full scale dig.

Just by looking at the shape of the mound in the pictures here you can see that there is an upper city and lower city.

The survey team found pottery dating back to the Divided Kingdom and were also able to inspect the remains of city walls that had been exposed by the construction of a military road. The walls show evidence of three cities built on top of each other. This is consistent with what is known about the site from history. They also found another wall that probably dates from the 13th Century Mamluke period.

Tel-Abel - Abel of Beth Maacah

In this third picture you can see the stepped pattern of the tel from a different perspective. You can definitely see the upper and lower city areas in this picture.

Another interesting find by the team was a nearly intact flask that was beautifully decorated. The find of the flask gives hope that they will find other similar items as it was most likely deposited during a time of sudden destruction.

Next year the plan is to mount a full-scale excavation to further explore the ruins from the time of the Assyrian conquest of 732 BC and also to look for artifacts from the time of David.

I will be watching the different archeology blogs and news sites next year during the dig season to find out what they find. I am rapidly adding sites to my watch-list :-). I am also interested in several sites in the Shephelah.


Fall Leaves

One of the things that I look forward to in the fall is the time when the color of the leaves change. Tonight I decided to post a couple of leaf pictures that I have taken through the years that bring back a few memories.

The first one has some interesting white leaves.Picture of leaves on the sidewalk in Berlin - White leavesThis picture was taken in Berlin about seven years ago. I had gone out for a long walk and found this beautiful collection of fall leaves. I really like the way that the white leaves stand out against both the cobblestone sidewalk and the yellow and red leaves. I had gone to Berlin to make a presentation. It was a follow-up presentation for an award that our training team had won the previous year. Seeing this picture brought back some good memories of both the great teamwork involved in winning the award and also the nice trip to Berlin.

Next we have two yellow leaves.Yellow leaves growing on a tree trunk - Tracy, California - Afternoon WalkThese two leaves caught my eye again while going through some of my pictures. The picture was taken while I was taking a walk around my neighborhood three years ago. I saw these two leaves growing out of the trunk of a tree. I like the way that they have a red tinge around the edges. I took many other pictures that day as it was a beautiful day for a walk. However, these leaves composed the picture that popped out from the rest. I am looking forward to the next couple months when I can take a similar walk and find many colorful leaves.

Next we take a short trip to Indiana.Beautiful Red Fall Leaves from Crawfordsville, Indiana - Lew Wallace Study MuseumThese leaves were lying on the steps leading up to the front door of the General Lew Wallace Study in Crawfordsville, Indiana. For a picture of the study, look back at my post on Ben-Hur. I just had to stop and take a picture of these perfectly placed leaves. The picture was taken in mid-September, just a week or so before the first day of fall. Thinking back, it really shows how the colors of fall start to appear at different times in different areas of the country. Our height of color here in California comes much later. Usually in November or December.

The last picture I will share this evening was taken in late November several years ago.
Beautiful Yellow Leaves in Groveland, California - Fall leavesIn this picture I love the vibrant yellow and gold of the leaves against the background of the evergreen tree and the beautiful blue sky. A beautiful late fall day. A beautiful sight to take in while recovering from a wonderful Thanksgiving Day meal in Groveland, California.

I hope you have enjoyed this splash of colorful leaves as you look forward to seeing these colors where you live.