Monday, April 3, 2017

Israel Pilgrimage 5- Tel Dan

 The Gate at Tel Dan.
Excavation and reconstruction
 of the Eastern Bronze Age gate.

Built about 1800 B.C., this mudbrick gate 
was in use approximately 50 years
 before it was covered 
(and thus preserved
by an earthen rampart.

The style of the gate is typical for this period;
 it is a “Syrian gate” with three pairs of piers 
and four chambers, like those found at Megiddo, 
Shechem and Gezer.

Scale model of the rendering
 of how the original gate looked. 

Iron Age Gate area

On the northern frontier of the kingdom,
 Dan was particularly well fortified.  
The gatehouse was built in the ninth century, 
probably by Ahab, and is part of a series of gateways discovered.
 This area has the discovery of the Dan Inscription-
 which mentions the “House of David.”

Few modern Biblical archaeology discoveries 
have caused as much excitement as the Tel Dan inscription—
writing on a ninth-century B.C. stone slab
 (or stela) that furnished the first historical evidence of
King David from the Bible.

The Tel Dan inscription, or “House of David” inscription,

 was discovered in 1993 at the site of Tel Dan in northern Israel
in an excavation directed by Israeli archaeologist Avraham Biran.
The broken and fragmentary inscription commemorates
 the victory of an Aramean king over his two southern neighbors: 
the “king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David.”
 In the carefully incised text written in neat Aramaic characters, 
the Aramean king boasts that he, under the divine guidance of the god Hadid, 
vanquished several thousand Israelite and Judahite horsemen and charioteers 
before personally dispatching both of his royal opponents. 
Unfortunately, the recovered fragments of the “House of David”
 inscription do not preserve the names of the specific kings
 involved in this brutal encounter, but most scholars
 believe the stela recounts a campaign of Hazael of Damascus 
in which he defeated both Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah.
11-8-2016- Biblical Archeology (originally published in 2011.)

High Place of Jeroboam

Nearly all archaeologists agree that this excavated podium
 was the one that Jeroboam constructed
 to house the golden calf at Dan.  
Archaeologists now think the platform was roofed.
Evidence of a four-horned altar has been found
 as well as religious objects such as three iron shovels,
 a small horned altar, and an iron incense holder.

 2 Kings 12, Jeroboam built new temples at Bethel
 (on Israel’s southern border) and at Dan (on the northern border). 
At each of these shrines, he set up a golden bull calf, 
calling them Elohim, the gods who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. 
This appropriation of the Hebrew name for God
 and the Exodus tradition signified a savvy political attempt 
to construct a new national epic for the north-
 centered around the resonant themes
 of the erstwhile United Monarchy. 

This is in a part of  
the northernmost section 
of the Galilee in our travels to Israel.
Near here the waters of the Jordan River
 flow down from Mount Hermon.

The Nature Reserve at Tel Dan 
makes for a beautiful stop on your time 
"up North".

1 comment:

  1. Love this, Connie - thanks for the research and connections!


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