The Milwaukee Area Biblical Archaeology Society presents Dr. Jeffrey A. Blakely

Date posted: September 12, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Dr. Jeffrey A. Blakely will speak at Wisconsin Lutheran College on Tuesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. on the topic of "Using Archaeology and Text to Identify Judah's Border with Philistine Gaza and Ashkelon." The lecture is presented by the Milwaukee Area Biblical Archaeology Society.

Forty years of archaeology at Tell el-Hesi, followed by detailed survey of the region, is beginning to clarify how the region functioned during biblical times. It seems to have served as the border between Philistine Gaza and Ashkelon and the Judahit Kingdom from about the end of the 11th century BCE to the 8th century BCE. Tell el-Hesi seems to have served as a governmental outpost in the 10th century before it and surrounding sites were destroyed about 925 BCE. Hesi was rebuilt as a fort that was used until the 8th century. 

To the west, a small site called Khirbet Summeily has been the focus of excavations for two seasons. It has an occupational history quite similar to Hesi's. Khirbet Summeily seems to have been a small border site of Judah's, while the next contemporary site to the west, Burayr, seems to have been Philistine. If this synthesis is correct, then it is possible to suggest identifications for both Summeily and Hesi that clarify geographic issues in the region in the 9th and 8th centuries BCE.

Dr. Blakely has studied the Hesi region for 40 years, first as part of the Joint Archaeological Expedition to Tell el-Hesi, next as part of the Hesi Regional Survey, and most recently as co-director of the Hesi Regional Project with Jimmy Hardin. He is from Madison, Wisconsin, and has written on a wide range of subjects relating to the Hesi area, most recently on Amr bin al-As's estate in a recent issue of Near Eastern Archaeology.

The presentation will be held in the Black Box Theatre on the lower level of the college's Center for Arts and Performance, 8815 West Wisconsin Avenue. It is free and open to the public.

The Milwaukee Area Biblical Archaeology Society promotes the study of the archaeology of Bible lands. It organizes lectures throughout the school year by internationally recognized archaeologists.