Gezer Calendar 

archaeology in Israel

So the Gezer calendar is a small limestone tablet with an early Canaanite inscription discovered in 1908 by Irish archaeologist R. A. Stewart Macalister in the ancient city of Gezer, not so far from Jerusalem. It is commonly dated to the 10th century BCE. Although the excavation was unstratified and its identification during the excavations was not in a “secure archaeological context”, presenting uncertainty around the dating. In addition, scholars are divided as to whether the language is Phoenician or Hebrew and whether the script is Phoenician (or Proto-Canaanite) or paleo-Hebrew.



Some More About the Gezer Calendar

The calendar is inscribed on a limestone plaque and describes monthly or bi-monthly periods and attributes to each a duty such as harvest; planting, or tending specific crops.

The inscription, known as KAI 182, is in Phoenician or paleo-Hebrew script:
???????.?????
??.???????
?????????
??????????
?????????
???????
?????
???

The text has been translated as:

Two months gathering (October, November — in the Hebrew calendar Tishrei, Cheshvan)
Two months planting (December, January — Kislev, Tevet)
Two months late sowing (February, March — Shvat, Adar)
One month cutting flax (April — Nisan)
One month reaping barley (May — Iyar)
One month reaping and measuring grain (June — Sivan)
Two months pruning (July, August — Tammuz, Av)
One month summer fruit (September — Elul)
Abij [ah]

The Interpretation of the Text

Scholars have speculated that the calendar could be a schoolboy’s memory exercise, the text of a popular folk song or a children’s song. Another possibility is something designed for the collection of taxes from farmers. The scribe of the calendar is probably “Abijah”, which means “Yah (a shortened form of the Tetragrammaton) is my father”. This name appears in the Bible for several individuals, including the king of Judah (1 Kings 14:31).

apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Eshtaol Forest

RELATED POSTS

Edward Robinson

Edward Robinson is the Father of Biblical Archeology. He is the first archeologist in the Holy Land that conducted excavations like a scholar

The Hippo Stadium at Caesarea

The Hippo Stadium at Caesarea National Park is well preserved and super impressive. If you're planning to tour the park don't skip it!

Caesarea´s Roman Port

Caesarea´s Roman Port was one of the most impressive harbors of its time. It served as an important commercial harbor in antiquity.

Ehud Netzer

Ehud Netzer is one of the greatest archaeologists of the Land of Israel. His work made a huge leap forward regarding the Herodian period.

Church of Saint Catherine

The Church of Saint Catherine is a Catholic church, located near the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. For sure worth a visit!

Flam Winery

So Flam Winery was established in 1998 by Golan and Gilad Flam and their mother Kami to produce wine in Israel at the highest international ...

Rachel’s Tomb

Rachel's Tomb is identified as the site where Rachel was buried. It is considered a sacred place in the eyes of Jews; Christians and Muslims.

Excavations at the City of David

The archaeological excavations at the City of David are long and extensive. My post explores important areas and archaeologists digging there

Solomon’s Pools

Solomon's Pools are three storage pools dating to the Second Temple period that supplied water to Jerusalem for 2,000 years! Let's go touring!

David Gerstein Studio

David Gerstein is an artist with a post-pop art style characterized by painting in bright colors on multi-layer metal cutouts.

Need help?