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#Archaeologists #shed #light

Archaeologists shed new light on Biblical site linked to the Ark of the Covenant

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Published on Dec 20, 2018

Archaeologists shed new light on Biblical site linked to the Ark of the Covenant:
https://www.news.com.au/technology/sc....

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 Specifically, archaeologists are focusing their attention on the ancient site of Kiriath-Jearim, which is mentioned in the Bible as one of the places where the Ark of the Covenant stood. According to Israeli news site Haaretz, experts are convinced that the site of Kiriath-Jearim is a hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh, a village near Jerusalem. Excavations in 2017 offered a fascinating glimpse into the history of the hill, where the church of Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant now stands. The dig at Kiriath-Jearim is a joint project of Tel Aviv University and the College de France, supported by the Shmunis family in San Francisco. Tel Aviv University Professor Israel Finkelstein, who leads the project with Thomas Romer and Christophe Nicolle of the College de France, told Haaretz that the hill is clearly man-made. Four massive carefully built retaining walls were found at the site, creating a sort of earth-filled platform. The site was dated using a technique called optically stimulated luminescence, which analyses the last time quartz particles in the soil were exposed to sunlight. This produced a broad date range between 1150BC and 770BC, although pottery sherds found at the site show that it was a hive of activity in the first half of the 8th century BC. Set against this backdrop, archaeologists believe that Kiriath-Jearim was used by the ancient kingdom of Israel to control the neighbouring kingdom of Judah. This conclusion runs counter to the Biblical narrative in 1 Samuel, which says that the hill was used by the kingdom of Judah to control of the kingdom of Israel. Finkelstein told Haaretz that the kingdom of Judah at that time was too weak to construct such a structure, concluding that the hill was likely built by the stronger kingdom of Israel. Kiriath-Jearim, he says, must be viewed within the broad context of history. “Rather than looking for the Ark, we are interested in understanding the story of the Ark in the Book of Samuel: who wrote it, when and why,” he told Fox News, via email. Haaretz reports that when the Bible was written from the 7th century BC onward in Jerusalem it was during the reign of the kings of Judah, hence the Biblical reference to Kiriath-Jearim that glorifies the kingdom of Judah. Jerusalem at that time was the capital of Judah, while the kingdom of Israel’s capital was the city of Samaria, further north. However, Finkelstein believes that the original version of the story about Kiriath-Jearim was written in the early 8th century BC by an Israelite author, and that it was connected to a period when the kingdom of Israel dominated the kingdom of Judah. In addition to being a place of worship, the hill where the Ark of the Covenant was located also functioned as an important administrative centre between the two kingdoms, he told Haaretz. In this way, the site is significant as it symbolises the unification between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The prominent Israeli archaeologist is renowned for taking an “
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