“And the Lord sent Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second working day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls therein…” -Joshua, ten:32
The Biblical Reserve of Joshua tells the story of the ancient Israelites’ entry into the Promised Land immediately after a forty-yr sojourn in the desert. Now, a group of archaeologists led by Professor Yosef Garfinkel at the Hebrew College of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology and Professor Michael Hasel at Southern Adventist College in Tennessee, have opened a window on to the Canaanite society that inhabited the land all through that era.
In a examine released previous thirty day period in Levant, Garfinkel and his co-authors disclosed, for the initially time at any time, substantial ruins of a Canaanite temple courting to the twelfth century BCE that they uncovered in Nationwide Park Tel Lachish, a significant Bronze Age-era settlement near the existing-working day Israeli town of Kiryat Gat.
Lachish was a person of the most critical Canaanite towns in the Land of Israel all through the Middle and late Bronze Ages its men and women controlled significant elements of the Judean lowlands. The town was created all around 1800 BCE and later ruined by the Egyptians all around 1550 BCE. It was rebuilt and ruined 2 times extra, succumbing for very good all around 1150 BCE. The settlement is talked about in equally the Bible and in many Egyptian sources and was a person of the couple of Canaanite towns to endure into the twelfth century BCE.
“This excavation has been breath-having,” shared Garfinkel. “Only when each 30 or forty many years do we get the opportunity to excavate a Canaanite temple in Israel. What we located sheds new mild on ancient daily life in the region. It would be really hard to overstate the relevance of these findings.”
The structure of the temple is comparable to other Canaanite temples in northern Israel, between them Nablus, Megiddo and Hazor. The front of the compound is marked by two columns and two towers primary to a significant hall. The internal sanctum has 4 supporting columns and quite a few unhewn “standing stones” that may well have served as representations of temple gods. The Lachish temple is extra square in form and has quite a few facet rooms, common of later temples which include Solomon’s Temple.
In addition to these archaeological ruins, the group unearthed a trove of artifacts which include, bronze cauldrons, Hathor-motivated jewelry, daggers and axe-heads adorned with hen visuals, scarabs, and a gold-plated bottle inscribed with the title Ramses II, a person of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs. In close proximity to the temple’s holy of holies, the group located two bronze figurines. Not like the winged cherubs in Solomon’s Temple, the Lachish figurines were armed “smiting gods”.
Of certain desire was a pottery sherd engraved with ancient Canaanite script. There, the letter “samek” appears, marked by an elongated vertical line crossed by 3 perpendicular shorter strains. This will make it the oldest recognised case in point of the letter and a special specimen for the examine of ancient alphabets.
Only time will explain to what treasures continue to remain to be uncovered in the ancient town of Lachish.
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