Mar 20, 2007

British Museum Display

I just returned from teaching the Archaeology course at Oxford with our ABU and Redeemer students. Last Wed we took the students to the British Museum to look at all the artefacts related to our course. During my wandering I spotted several displays from sites I had been on in January. Here is the pottery display at the British Museum from Bab edh-Dhra (see post for Friday, January 12, 2007 for details on this site). This is the southern location for those who believe Sodom located at the bottom of the Dead Sea. However, as this pottery proves (Notice the ledge handles on the storage jars a clear indication that these are definitely Early Bronze Age storage jars) the occupation is from the Early Bronze Age and too early for Abraham and Lot. Not only is this site is the wrong place to be Sodom but it has the wrong stuff from the wrong time. Tall el-Hammam is a much better location for ancient Sodom. Right place, right time, right stuff!!

2 comments:

Beth'sMomToo said...

Thanks for the picture. One of the things I find most challenging is hunting down WHERE artifacts from a particular dig are located.
Sometimes, if the archaeologist is well known, he will have a museum dedicated to his finds. But often it's a matter of searching for the artifacts and hoping they are on display and properly labeled, not stored away and uncatalogued...and also hoping there's a website showing pictures. Thanks.

My only question would be, is this the ONLY type of pottery found there? Were there later levels?

David E. Graves said...

Hi Beth's Mom Too,

The site at Bab edh-Dhra was destroyed about 2350 BC for the fortified town and about 2250 for the unwalled rebuild. It was excavated by Paul Lapp in 1965-67 and then in the 70's by Walter E. Rast and R. Thomas Schaub. This and other similar sites in the area only have Early Bronze pottery. It was not occupied during the Middle Bronze Age like the ruins in the Northern district of the Dead Sea (Kikkar or Jordan Valley). I have a bit more information on my website www.abu.nb.ca/ecm/topics/historyx.htm. from here go to the arcaheology section and select Sodom and Gomorrah. Thanks for the note. There is a big probem with not knowing where the pottery has been displayed. For example the Cairo museum has a poor set up for diplaying their finds as many are not labelled.