chapter  9
11 Pages

From Tall Hisban to Tall al-‘Umayri: 40 Years Researching the Late Bronze Age

In 1969, R. S. Boraas and S. H. Horn published their first archaeological report about the results of their first season of excavations, conducted in 1968, at the site of Tall Hisban (fig. 1). They described the site in the following way: “Set at the edge of the rolling Moabite plain where wadis begin to cut down sharply to the Jordan Valley to the west, Tell Hesban (Biblical Heshbon) commands a panoramic view to the east, south and west from its topmost elevation of 895 meters above sea level” (Boraas and Horn 1969: 97). In the publication, it is assumed that the aim of the excavations conducted at the site was to follow the steps of the Israelites in the area located to the east of the Jordan River. This was clearly stated by identifying the modern town Hesban with the biblical site name Heshbon, the capital of Sihon king of the Amorites (Numbers 21:26-30). Moreover, the biblical narratives describe the area surrounding Heshbon as “ the plain of M oab” or “the land of M oab” (Numbers 22 :1 ; 31 :12; 33:48; 36:13; Deuteronomy 34:5-6).