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Tel Gezer

QUESTION: Tel Gezer – Hebrew Calendar and Other Discoveries


Other interesting discoveries at Gezer include the Gezer Calendar, an inscribed “pim” weight, the Gezer pictographic shard, and LMLK jar handles. The Gezer Calendar is the 2nd oldest Hebrew text yet found, dating to the 10th century B.C. The inscription is on limestone and describes time periods relating to agricultural duties. It is often suggested as a school exercise, relating to the collection of taxes from farmers, or a popular song listing the months of the year according to the agricultural seasons. The word “piym” occurs in 1 Samuel 13:21, and baffled translators for hundreds of years. However, excavations at Gezer in the early 20th century uncovered a small, rounded weight inscribed with “piym” and weighing about 2/3 of a Shekel or 7.6 grams. Subsequent pim weights have been discovered.

Gezer – Piym Weights
The use of the piym weight apparently fell out of use sometime during the Monarchy period and knowledge of it was lost for millennia until archaeology rediscovered the weight and demonstrated that the writer of Samuel was contemporary with the events or used ancient source material from the period of the Judges and early Monarchy. A fragmentary alphabetic text on a pottery shard from Gezer, Israel, called the pictographic KNB dates to about the time Joseph entered Egypt, ca. 1700 B.C. in the Middle Bronze Age.

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