Nothing like a free day to take my parents to a new archaeological exhibition, especially if it presents finds from a site in the area where we once lived – Tel Rehov.
I grew up in a nearby kibbutz, and in sports classes we would sometimes run up to the mound..
The new excavations at Tel Rehov are famed especially because the first-of-its-kind discovery of an industrial bee hive from Biblical times, providing (finally) evidence that match the reputation of the Holy Land as –”The Land of Milk and Honey”.
And yet to my great surprise (and disappointment) this important subject was displayed in only one vitrine, and only one cylinder (of dozens!) of the hives was presented!.
Another object that was sadly not on display was a decapitated skeleton found in an Iron age II layer at the site, a result of the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel.
I knew of this significant and unique discovery, but this find and subject was not presented.
On the other hand I was very impressed by the wealth and diversity of other finds. I was especially impressed with the large number of inscribed jars that were found. One said “MTA1”, the other was bearing the name “eltsedek[so of] shali”, another “[of the official of liquids] Namesh”, and the other as “[of] Namesh”.
“Namshi” was known as the father or grandfather of Jehu, an officer who killed king Yoram and replaced him as King Israel. Apparently an official with a similar name resided in Tel-Rechov. Perhaps it is even the same person??
The large number of figurines on display were also an intriguing issue. It seems that the residents of Biblical Rechov, although Israelites, were very involved in a cult which was not necessarily following a single divinity worshipped in Jerusalem.. Frankly the Bible itself admits to the idolatry worship of the Israelites, especially in the days of the reign of Phoenician Queen Jezebel, wife of Ahab, who introduced foreign cults.
At the exit we passed by a large aerial photo of Tel Rehov and its vicinity. My mom and I were trying to identify some of the sites from when we lived there, and my camera caught a moment of my mother seeing in this photo my childhood, as well as her youth..
Very interesting and recommended exhibition!