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Research Topics

Archaeologists excavating a six-chambered gate at the biblical city of Lachish have made three discoveries that they claim confirm details described in the Old Testament:

1) Benches were unearthed at the city gate, confirming what is known from history, that the city gates were a place the elders, judges, governors, and kings sat to do business. 'Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land' (Prv 31:23).
2) Within one of the rooms in the city gate, excavators found two four-horned altars with the horns intentionally broken off. This is believed to be evidence of the reforms of King Hezekiah, who 'removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles' as part of his reforms (2 Kgs 18:4).
3) Finally, a stone chair with a hole in the middle, which archaeologists have identified as a toilet, was found in the corner of the room. This suggests an intentional desecration of the gate-shrine, and is reminiscent of the Bible's description of Jehu turning the temple of Baal in Samaria into a latrine (2 Kgs 10:27).

The gate-shrine of Tel Lachish has been dated to the eighth century BC using artifacts that were found in the rooms, including jars, grain scoops, and jar handles stamped with a lmlk ('belonging to the king') seal. The city gate structure is the largest discovered to date from the First Temple period, measuring 80' by 80'. It has six chambers, three on each side, with the main street passing between them, and has been preserved to a height of 16'.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.timesofisrael.com/iron-age-toilet-is-evidence-judean-king-dumped-on-the-gods/
- https://kehilanews.com/2016/09/30/archaeologist-in-tel-lachish-confirm-biblical-account-of-king-hezekiah/
- http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Gate-shrine-from-First-Temple-period-unearthed-at-Tel-Lachish-National-Park-468904

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019