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Archaeological Discoveries: Iron Age Stone Altar Discovered in Shiloh

(November 2013)

During an archaeological dig in Shiloh, staff of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria accidentally uncovered a stone altar dating back to the Iron Age, approximately the period of the Israelite Kings.

The altar was found amid the stones of a wall dated to the Byzantine period and is the first tangible evidence that Shiloh was a cultic center prior to and during the First Temple period. Previously, the only evidence for that theory were descriptions in the Bible about the Tabernacle at the time of Joshua and later in the time of Eli the high priest and the prophet Samuel.

The altar's discovery suggests that at least some Jewish settlement continued in the Shiloh area even after the death of Eli the high priest.

Sources: Israel Hayom (November 20, 2013)