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Earliest evidence of Biblical cult found in Israel

Archaeologists working at the 3,000-year-old city of Khirbet Qeuyafa have found three large rooms used as shrines.

Garfinkel suggests some of the features and styles of the structures appear analogous to those described in the Bible. For instance, one of the shrines, the clay one, is decorated with an elaborate façade that includes two guardian lions, two pillars, folded textile and three birds standing on the roof. The two pillars are suggestive, he said, of Yachin and Boaz described in the Bible as belonging to Solomon’s Temple.

The announcement was met with some skepticism from scientists such as Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, who has studied the ruins of the nearby Philistine city of Gath. Maeir told the Times of Israel the new finds don’t conclusively prove the site was inhabited by Israelites, and that the images of lions and birds also undercut that no animal or human figures were found.

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Story: Wynne Parry, LiveScience | Photo: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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