A new article on the finds from Tell es-Safi/Gath has just been published. The article, written by Adi Eliyahu-Behar and 8 other scholars (including yours truly) deals with a metallurgical production location found two years ago at Tell es-Safi/Gath. This production location (a “smithy”) dates to the Iron Age IIA and is located in Area A right next to the Iron I/IIA temple (with the two columns – see for example here). The uniqueness of this feature is, inter alia: 1) it is the first such feature found in Iron Age Philistia; 2) its proximity to the temple; 3) that both Bronze and Iron objects were produced at this location (usually, these two technologies are not found in the same location).
For those of you interested in the biblical text, the discovery of metallurgical remains in early Iron Age Philistia is interesting in relationship to I Sam 13:19-23, which some scholars believe implied a Philistine monopoly on Iron production. If this text does reflect early Iron Age times, it should be noted that it does not have to be understood as implying an actual monopoly. Not to mention that there is evidence of metal production from Israelite sites, such as the contemporary smithy from nearby Beth Shemesh.
The finds have been mentioned previously in this blog, for example here and here.
The article is entitled:
Eliyahu-Behar, A., Yahalom-Mack, N., Shilstein, S., Zukerman, A., Shafer-Elliott, C., Maeir, A. M., Boaretto, E., Finkelstein, I., and Weiner, S. 2012. Iron and Bronze Production in Iron Age IIA Philistia: New Evidence from Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(2): 255–67.