Monday, February 15, 2021

More on the altar on Mount Ebal

FOLLOW-UP: Is the site damaged by Palestinian road works Joshua's Altar? "Even for those who do not believe that the altar was built by Joshua, in my opinion the site remains one of the most important in Israel from the period of the Iron Age I." (Rossella Tercatin, Jerusalem Post). The quotation is from Dr. Shay Bar, who also averred:
However, a few days after damage was reported in the area caused by construction works carried out on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Shay Bar from Haifa University, who took over the work of publishing the site’s findings after Zertal’s death in 2015, stressed that several factors support his thesis, even if much more work is needed before he can give a definitive answer.
Regarding the reported damage to the site:
The damage was caused by workers who were building a road connecting the town of Asira ash-Shamaliya with the nearby Palestinian city of Nablus.

The municipality has apologized for the damage which it said was accidental.

Good. President Rivlin has also asked the IDF to investigate.

It could be that the Book of Joshua remembered the building of an altar (if that's what it is) on this spot many centuries before. Such things happen.

In perhaps thematically related news, over at the Anxious Bench, Philip Jenkins notes new discoveries that seem to vindicate Geoffrey of Monmouth's claim that Stonehenge was originally built in Wales and was later moved to its current location in England. Did Geoffrey, the famous fake news historian, have a genuine tradition going back to 3000 BCE? Maybe.

Background on the altar on Mount Ebal is here and links.

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