One for the Philistines! Biblical fort excavated
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.