Macquarie University-Rare Figurine of Canaanite Gold Bal Unearthed in Israel
The Macquarie University archaeologists have
unearthed a bronze figure of the Canaanite God Baal and several other artefacts
dating back to 3,300 years. A rare ‘smiting god’ figurine, a bronze calf
figurine, two seals and decorated Canaanite and Philistine pottery from the
12th Century BCE were discovered at Khirbet el-Rai in Israel by a team of 32
Macquarie University students and three high school teachers during a
three-week excavation in February. The students, from Macquarie University’s
Ancient Israel Program, have been excavating the 1.7 hectare site in
partnership with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities
“When we go on an archaeological excavation, we have high hopes and low expectations but of course it’s wonderful when we make exciting finds,” said Dr Gil Davis, Director of the Ancient Israel Program at Macquarie University. “We dream of making discoveries that will change our understanding of a significant part of the ancient past.”
The excavations were conducted over a three week period- January 26 to February 13, 2020. According to the Bible, the Philistine King Achish of Gath gave Ziklag to David — renowned for slaying the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17) —while he was fleeing King Saul. Later, after Saul’s death, David became king in Hebron and Ziklag remained in the hands of his nascent kingdom of Judah. The city’s true whereabouts have remained unknown for centuries, until now.
The team’s excavations have revealed layers from the 12th–10th Centuries BCE, which covers the city’s Canaanite foundation and rule by the Philistines as well as the Israelite Kingdom of Judah. They have also found evidence of a fierce fire, burnt mud bricks, white ash, burnt wood and numerous destroyed ceramic vessels – which coincides with the biblical account of the city being raided by the Amalekites.
More details: https://tinyurl.com/t93elnr