From quarry to completion

Ḫirbet Qēyafa as a case study in the building of Ancient Near Eastern settlements

Kyle H. Keimer, Igor Kreimerman, Yosef Garfinkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The excavations at Ḫirbet Qēyafa provide the first instance in pre-classical Levantine archaeology where every stage of the construction of a settlement is archaeologically attested and contemporaneous: from the quarry to completion. Stones of various sizes and in various stages of extraction were uncovered at the numerous quarries excavated inside the site's wall and provide clear evidence of the quarrying techniques used. One of these techniques is rare and only now can be dated due to the excavations at Ḫirbet Qēyafa. Stones quarried from within the site then were used in the construction of the settlement's two gateways, casement wall, and public and private buildings. This article offers a detailed discussion of the quarrying process and then articulates the sequence of Ḫirbet Qēyafa's construction. It concludes by offering insights emerging from the excavated remains concerning early city planning, resource management, and administrative organization in early Israel/Judah.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalZeitschrift des Deutschen Palastina-Vereins
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Khirbet Qeiyafa
  • ancient technology
  • quarrying technology
  • site formation process
  • Ancient Israel
  • Iron Age II

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