I am finally getting caught up on our trip to Israel, with details of our last day.
OnFriday we started our day by visiting one of my favorite sites near Jerusalem.
The site is known as Nabi Samwil and was in the 6th century identified as Ramah and the burial place of the prophet Samuel. Today Ramah is believed to have been at Al-Ram which is a little more than a mile to the northeast of here.
However, it is likely that this site was the high place at Gibeon. There are some very important events that took place at the high place at Gibeon, including King Solomon asking for wisdom.
Imagine the view you would have had of Jerusalem from this vantage point at the time of Samuel.
However, the picture above caught my eye as I was going through the pictures. This is a grouping of Cypriot pottery. The pottery has very distinct look. While digging the past two summers at Lachish I found several sherds from this type of pottery.
Of course Lachish is of interest to me, so I also had to take a picture of the copies they have of the Lachish reliefs. The originals are in the British Museum. The display to the left also has many items that were found at Lachish.
I only got a quick look at the Jerusalem model as I was helping find one of our tour members. I have seen it several times before so already have many pictures of it. This model was originally built on the grounds of a hotel in Jerusalem and depicts the city as it was in the first century.
I have seen several different Jerusalem models from different time periods and someday need to write a post about them.
This is the Shrine of the Book and is where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed at the Israel Museum. The roof is the same shape as the lids that were on the jars that some of the scrolls were found in.
I wish that I could have taken a picture inside of the building, but photography is forbidden.
On the way to the airport we visited several sites in the Shephelah. The first site was Beth Shemesh which overlooks the Sorek Valley. This was the stomping grounds of Samson who would have gone from the hills above down to the village of Timnah.
We also visited the Elah Valley which is the place where David fought Goliath. Here we are looking for five smooth stones in the Elah Brook. This time of the year there is no water flowing through the stream bed as it is the dry season. This is most likely not the exact place where King David would have selected his stones as he would have been further upstream.
However, this is the exact place where David selected his stones on Friday.
We had one more stop to make before heading to the airport and that was Gath which was the home of Goliath. David also visited this city when he was fleeing from King Saul. He pretended to be mad at the city gates, which may have been in this exact spot. The gates were only discovered two years ago and excavations are continuing to uncover more information. The dig season at Gath starts in a couple weeks.
We then headed to the airport and prepared for the long flight home. See: Heading Back Home from Israel
I hope that you enjoyed a look into our tour of Israel. I will hopefully write some additional posts on selected sites over the next couple months, so keep checking back.