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November 19 2012

Temple scarred by conflict is unearthed near Jerusalem


At a biblical border city outside of Jerusalem, archaeologists have uncovered a temple from the 11th century B.C. that they say bears evidence of conflict among the ancient Israelites, Canaanites and Philistines.

Spread across what would have been the floor at the complex at Tel Beth-Shemesh, an ancient village about 12 miles (20 kilometers) west of Jerusalem, excavators found shards of painted chalices and goblets not the type of containers that would have been used for daily household activities. They also found animal bones surrounding a flat stone inside the building and discovered two more flat stones seemingly designed to direct liquids. Lacking the typical traces of domestic use, the excavators believe the building served as a place of worship that was possibly connected to an Israelite cult.

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