Friday, June 29, 2012

More of Tel Dan Temple is Unearthed

Steps leading to the temple platform.

Discoveries continue at the northern Israel site of “Tel Dan” near Mount Hermon and the location of one of the region’s greatest ancient temples. Late Neolithic people first settled the area as early as 4500 BC, and Bronze Age inhabitants constructed the world’s oldest known gated archway.
According to Popular Archaeology:
Known today as Tell el-Qadi, more popularly as "Tel Dan", the site is located near Mount Hermon in Northern Israel adjacent to one of the sources of the Jordan River. The 'Tel', or mound, was defined very early on during the Middle Bronze period when massive defensive ramparts were constructed, encircling the city. 
It was first identified based on historical records as the city of Laish, a town allied with the Phoenician Sidonians and later renamed "Dan" after the early Isrealite tribe of Dan, which conquered and settled it as documented in the Book of Judges. 
Thanks to a bilingual Greek and Aramaic inscription found at the site in 1976, this city name has been confirmed. Translated, that inscription reads, “To the God who is in Dan, Zoilos made a vow.”
Ancient Egyptian texts and cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia document Dan’s significance during the second millennium BC.  Later, during the Iron Age, Aramaeans, Israelites, and Assyrians battled over the city. Dan was a recognized cultic center even into the Greco-Roman period.

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