Near Eastern Archaeology Vol 75 No 4

196 TEL AZEKAH 113 YEARS AFTER: Preliminary Evaluation of the
Renewed Excavations at the Site
Oded Lipschits, Yuval Gadot,  and Manfred Deming

Tel Azekah is located  on a prominent ridge in the heart of the Judean Lowlands, Israel. Biblical as well as extrabiblical sources mention  Azekah as one of the Judahite border  towns of the late eighth to early sixth century B.C.E. that faced the territory of the Philistines. The site was first excavated in 1898-1899 by the British archaeologist F. J. Bliss, assisted by R. A. S. Macalister,
on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund. In the sum­ mer of 2012, 113 years later, excavations were renewed by the Tel-Aviv and Heidelberg Lautenschlager Azekah expedition.  This article presents the research goals of the team, followed by a preliminary report of the finds from  the first season,  including substantial remains from the Late Bronze Age. Other remains found date to the Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, Iron Age II, and Hellenistic and Late Roman periods.

208    DESERT TRACES: Tracking the Nabataeans in Jordan’s Wadi Ramm
Glenn ]. Corbett
In the  centuries around the  turn of the  era,  the Nabataeans-a Hellenized Arabic-speaking people of nomadic Arabian  origin-maintained a strong  stra­ tegic and commercial presence in the southern  desert frontier  of the I:Iisma, the area known today as Wadi Ramm. Nearly a century of archaeological work in the region has uncovered Nabataean settlements, shrines, and water systems, but far less attention  has been given to the thousands of Hismaic  inscriptions and rock drawings left by the local tribesmen  who fell under  Nabataean rule. This article reviews the varied  historical, archaeological, and epigraphic evidence for the Nabataeans in the I:Iisma, before turning to a closer inspection  of how and in what ways the lesser known  Hismaic  carvings  inform our understanding of Nabataean  influence  in the region. I then assess what these apparent  cultural similarities reveal about  the pluralistic nature  of Nabataean society.

220    THE QARQUR CHALLENGE: The Bronze Age and Earlier
Rudolph H. Dornemann
In the September issue of NEA, a brief summary was presented of the Iron Age through early Mam­ luk remains excavated  by the American Schools of Oriental  Research Expedition  at Tell Qarqur in the Orontes Valley of Syria. This article deals with the earlier  range of materials  encountered by the expedition, covering  the Bronze Age to the Neo­ lithic. Important materials of Early Bronze IV and Middle  Bronze  II are being  exposed, and so far only scanty but important remains of critical peri­ ods such as Middle  Bronze I and Late Bronze II. It has become obvious that the Early Bronze Age was one of the major and most impressive periods of occupation on the site. The Early Bronze Age occupation needs to be seen in its regional  con­ text, and a good collection of samples, particularly paleobotanical and paleozoological, allow com­ p risons of cultural developments  and changes to be, made through  time.

232 JEZREEL REVEALED IN LASER SCANS:
A Preliminary Report of the 2012 Survey Season
Jennie Ebeling, Norma Franklin, and Ian Cipin

In June 2012, the Jezreel Expedition  team conducted a landscape survey of 3 km²  of greater  Jezreel to the west, north, and east of Tel Jezreel in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. In this preliminary report, we review the results of previous
exca­vations and surveys at the site, briefly present the types of features we documented  on the landscape, and discuss our plans for future excavation seasons. We also describe the results of an airborne LiDAR laser scan we commissioned in February  2012-the first time this technique  has been used by an archaeological  project in Israel-and the his­torical background of an uncultivated area near ‘Ein Jezreel that will be a focus of future excavations.

TAL-E KHANDAGH (“MOATED MOUND”):
A Military Structure  in Ancient Fars
Parsa Ghasemi

The ancient  province  of Pars in southern Iran was the home of a number  of capital cities over several dynasties. The present article introduces  archaeological monuments known as tal-e khandaghs, so named because of the pres:­ ence of a deep moat that invariably surrounds a substantial rampart. The tal-e khandagh at Sar Mashhad, which Trüm­pelmann interpreted  as a tower of silence, is the earliest of these structures. In a survey carried out in 2007 between Bishapur, Borazjan, and Firouzabad, the author identified and studied  a number of similar  structures and came to the conclusion that they probably functioned  as defensive military installations

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