20 February 2020 | A team of archaeologists led by Professor Yosef Garfinkel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology and Prof. Michael Hasel at Collegedale, Tennessee-based Southern Adventist University, have unearthed the remains of a Canaanite temple.
Intermountain Jewish News reported today that the 12th century BCE temple was found in the National Park of Tel Lachish. According to the publication, this is a Bronze Age-era town near the current Israeli city of Kiryat Gat. Lachish was an important Canaanite city that had power over large portions of the Judean lowlands. It is mentioned in the Bible and in Egyptian sources.
It was built around 1,800 BCE and destroyed in 1,550 BCE by Egyptian forces. The city rallied but was attacked two more times before its final destruction around 1,150 BCE.
“This excavation has been breath-taking,” said Garfinkel. “Only once every 30 or 40 years do we get the chance to excavate a Canaanite temple in Israel.
“What we found sheds new light on ancient life in the region. It would be hard to overstate the importance of these findings.”
The Lachish temple has a fairly square shape with a number of side rooms, similar to Solomon’s Temple. Close to the holy of holies there are two bronze figurines that represent “smiting gods.”
“Only time will tell what treasures still remain to be uncovered in the ancient city of Lachish,” said the research team, according to Intermountain Jewish News.