Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavation and Publication Project

Between 1981 and 1996, the Albright Institute, under the direction of the Albright’s Dorot Director and Professor of Archaeology, Seymour Gitin, and Professor Trude Dothan of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, excavated at the ancient Philistine site of Tel Miqne-Ekron, one of the five Philistine capital cities mentioned in the Bible.

Ekron Royal Dedicatory Inscription, 7th century BCE

The most significant find – the seventh century BCE Ekron Royal Dedicatory Inscription – was uncovered in 1996, during the last season of excavation. It confirms the identity of Tel Miqne as Philistine Ekron, and gives a king-list of the rulers of Ekron, fathers to sons: Ya’ir, Ada,Yasid, Padi, and Ikausu. Both Padi and Ikausu are mentioned in the Neo-Assyrian Royal Annals of the late 8th and 7th centuries BCE. It also includes the name of the Goddess Patgayah, the Aegean mother goddess of Delphi to whom the temple is dedicated. Her name and that of Ikausu, meaning the Achaean or the Greek, may point to the Greek heritage of the Philistines or reflect contact between the Philistines and their ‘homeland’ Greece in the Archaic period of the 7th century, during which there was intensive economic and cultural exchange.

This discovery is perhaps the second most important archaeological find of the 20th century in Israel, after that of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Tel Miqne-Ekron Publications:

Published to date: 

SY and T

T. Dothan and S. Gitin,
Directors Tel Miqne-Ekron excavations

–  One hundred forty two publications including journal articles, chapters and encyclopedia articles

–  Seven preliminary field reports

–  Field INE East Slope-Iron Age I Final Report

–  Final Field IV Lower (Elite Zone) Iron Age I and II report in 6 volumes

In preparation – Final Reports:

–   Field IV Upper (Elite Zone) Iron Age II in 2 volumes

–   The Sondage and related areas Iron Age I in 2 volumes

–   Field III Iron Age I and II in 5 volumes

–   Field INW/SW The Summit, Late Bronze Age–Iron Age II in 2 volumes

–   The final synthetic volume – Ekron I-II: The Bronze Age and the Iron Age I-II Philistine Cities

–   A popular volume