Daily Mail

One for the Philistine­s! Bi­b­li­cal fort ex­ca­vated

- Mail For­eign Ser­vice

AR­CHAE­OL­O­GISTS have found a 3,200-year-old fortress in Is­rael that matches struc­tures de­scribed in the Bi­ble.

It is thought the citadel was built by the Canaan­ites, pos­si­bly with help from their Egyp­tian over­lords, to fend off in­vad­ing Philistine­s.

Mea­sur­ing 60ft by 60ft, the two-storey build­ing had watch­tow­ers in each cor­ner and a paved court­yard with col­umns in the cen­tre. This fol­lows the de­sign of citadels built for Egyp­tian rulers.

Hun­dreds of pot­tery ves­sels, in­clud­ing ones prob­a­bly used for re­li­gious rites, were found.

Again, some were based on Egyp­tian styles.

‘ The fortress pro­vides a glimpse into the geopo­lit­i­cal re­al­ity de­scribed in the Book of Judges,’ said ar­chae­ol­o­gists Saar Ganor and Ita­mar Weiss­bein. ‘In this pe­riod, the land of Canaan was ruled by the Egyp­tians and its in­hab­i­tants were un­der their cus­tody.’ In the 12th cen­tury BC ‘two new play­ers entered the game: the Is­raelites and the Philistine­s. This led to a se­ries of vi­o­lent ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes’, they said.

The dig, which is 35 miles from Tel Aviv, was funded by the Is­rael An­tiq­ui­ties Au­thor­ity.

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