Archaeologists shed new light on Biblical site linked to the Ark of the Covenant

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Excavations in Israel are shedding new mild on the historical past of a Biblical web site linked to the Ark of the Covenant.

Particularly, archaeologists are focusing their consideration on the traditional web site of Kiriath-Jearim, which is talked about within the Bible as one of many locations the place the Ark of the Covenant stood.

Based on Haaretz, consultants are satisfied that the positioning of Kiriath-Jearim is a hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh, a village close to Jerusalem. Excavations in 2017 provided an interesting glimpse into the historical past of the hill, the place the church of Our Woman of the Ark of the Covenant now stands.

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The dig at Kiriath-Jearim is a joint mission of Tel Aviv College and the School de France, supported by the Shmunis household in San Francisco. Tel Aviv College Professor Israel Finkelstein, who leads the mission with Thomas Romer and Christophe Nicolle of the School de France, informed Haaretz that the hill is clearly artifical. 4 large carefullybuilt retaining partitions had been discovered on the web site, making a type of earth-filled platform.

The hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh. (The Kiriath-Jearim Shmunis Family Excavations)

The hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh. (The Kiriath-Jearim Shmunis Household Excavations)

The positioning was dated utilizing a way known as optically stimulated luminescence, which analyzes the final time quartz particles within the soil had been uncovered to daylight. This produced a broad date vary between 1150 B.C. and 770 B.C, though pottery sherds discovered on the web site present that it was a hive of exercise within the first half of the eighth century B.C.

Set towards this backdrop, archaeologists consider that Kiriath-Jearim was utilized by the traditional kingdom of Israel to regulate the neighboring kingdom of Judah. This conclusion runs counter to the Biblical narrative in 1 Samuel, which says that the hill was utilized by the dominion of Judah to regulate of the dominion of Israel.

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Finkelstein informed Haaretz that the dominion of Judah at the moment was too weak to assemble such a construction, concluding that the hill was doubtless constructed by the stronger kingdom of Israel. Kiriath-Jearim, he says, should be seen inside the broad context of historical past.

Archaeologists will return to the site for a second season of excavations in August 2019. (The Kiriath-Jearim Shmunis Family Excavations)

Archaeologists will return to the positioning for a second season of excavations in August 2019. (The Kiriath-Jearim Shmunis Household Excavations)

“Fairly than in search of the Ark, we’re occupied with understanding the story of the Ark within the Ebook of Samuel: who wrote it, when and why,” he informed Fox Information, by way of e-mail.

Haaretz stories that when the Bible was written from the seventh century B.C. onward in Jerusalem it was throughout the reign of the kings of Judah, therefore the Biblical reference to Kiriath-Jearim that glorifies the dominion of Judah. Jerusalem at the moment was the capital of Judah, whereas the dominion of Israel’s capital was the town of Samaria, additional north.

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Nevertheless, Finkelstein believes that the unique model of the story about Kiriath-Jearim was written within the early eighth century B.C. by an Israelite writer, and that it was related to a interval when the dominion of Israel dominated the dominion of Judah.

As well as to being a spot of worship, the hill the place the Ark of the Covenant was positioned additionally functioned as an vital administrative heart between the 2 kingdoms, he informed Haaretz. On this method, the positioning is critical because it symbolizes the unification between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

The outstanding Israeli archaeologist is famend for taking an “evidence-based” method to his analysis, which acknowledges the complexity of Biblical texts. “Studying the Bible, it is very important distinguish historic details from the ideological/theological stances of the authors,” he informed Fox Information in 2017.

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Finkelstein and his fellow archaeologists will return to Kiriath-Jearim for his or her second season of excavations in August 2019.

The Ark of the Covenant continues to be a supply of fascination. The Ark was ultimately introduced from Kiriath-Jearim to Jerusalem by King David however disappeared when the town was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C, prompting a number of theories about its destiny. Whereas some folks consider that the Ark’s gold was melted down, there have additionally been claims that it was taken to cave on Mount Nebo, Jordan, or to Ethiopia.

Comply with James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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