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Archaeologists excavating at Tel Abil el-Qameh, identified as the biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah, continue to uncover evidence of cultic activity at the site spanning several hundred years. One structure, dating to the Iron Age I, had two standing stones, benches and fragments of a bull figurine. A series of later buildings included a room with standing stones, an offering table, a cylindrical cultic stand and plastered basins. Another discovery dating to the ninth century BC was a jar on a round podium filled with astragaloi (knucklebones) which were often used in divination. The most recent discovery was yet another shrine with unmarked standing stones. Excavators have suggested this site may be associated with the "wise woman" of 2 Sam. 20:18-19, who they propose may have served in the role of an oracle. Given the number of cultic shrines in the city, some have suggested that both Dan and Abel Beth Maacah were the two main northern cities for divine inquiry in the Iron Age.

Off-site Links:

- https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-signs-of-3-000-year-old-oracle-cult-found-in-israel-archaeology-1.6472911

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019