Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pagan Altar Found in Ashqelon

A 24-inch-high, 2,000-year-old granite structure ~ adorned with carvings of three bull heads, ribbons, and laurel wreaths ~ was found last week in the southern Israel city of Ashqelon.

One of the oldest port cities in the Holy Land, Ashqelon may have been inhabited as early as the Neolithic period, which began around 9,500 B.C. The cemetery where the altar was found served Ashqelon's general pagan population.

The newfound altar was probably imported to the city from elsewhere in the Roman Empire by an upper-middle-class family and placed at their family burial plot. The altar's bulls’ heads probably represented the god Zeus, authorities believe.

Click here for the National Geographic article.

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