Iron Age fort found on the Golan Heights

Iron Age fort discovered on the Golan Heights

A fortified complicated from the time of King David (Iron Age, eleventh to tenth centuries BCE) was uncovered for the primary time in archaeological excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA)​ in Hispin within the Golan Heights. The archaeologists think about that the fort was constructed by the dominion of Geshur, the ally of King David, as a way to management the area. The excavation was undertaken previous to the development of a brand new neighbourhood in Hispin, and funded by the Ministry of Housing and Building and the Golan Regional Council, with the participation of many residents of Hispin and Nov, and youth from the pre-military academies at Natur, Kfar Hanasi, Elrom, Metzar and Qaztrin.

Iron Age fort discovered on the Golan Heights
The engraved stone found within the excavation at Hispin within the Golan, which dates to circa
11th century BCE, and might be the earliest proof of the biblical ‘Geshurites’
[Credit: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority]

In accordance with Barak Tzin and Enno Bron, excavation administrators on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The complicated we uncovered was constructed at a strategic location on the small hilltop, above the El-Al Canyon, overlooking the area, at a spot the place it was doable to cross the river. The c. 1.5 m broad fort partitions, constructed of enormous basalt boulders, encompassed the hill. Within the excavation, we have been astonished to find a uncommon and thrilling discover: a big basalt stone with a schematic engraving of two horned figures with outspread arms. There may additionally be one other object subsequent to them.”

Iron Age fort discovered on the Golan Heights
The engraved stone found within the excavation [Credit score: Yaniv Berman,
Israel Antiquities Authority]

It’s noteworthy that in 2019, a determine carved on a cultic stone stele was discovered within the Bethsaida Expedition Venture, directed by Dr. Rami Arav of Nebraska College, at Bethsaida simply north of the Sea of Galilee. The stele, depicting a horned determine with outspread arms, was erected subsequent to a raised platform (bama) adjoining to town gate. This scene was recognized by Arav as representing the Moon-God Cult. The Hispin stone was positioned on a shelf subsequent to the doorway, and never one, however two figures have been depicted on it. In accordance with the archaeologists, “it’s doable that an individual who noticed the spectacular Bethsaida stele, determined to create a neighborhood copy of the royal stele.”

Iron Age fort discovered on the Golan Heights
Fertility figurine of a lady with a drum discovered at a fortified complicated
[Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP]

The fortified metropolis of Bethsaida is taken into account by students, to be the capital of the Aramean Kingdom of Geshur, that dominated the central and southern Golan 3000 years in the past. In accordance with the Bible, the dominion upheld diplomatic and household relations with the Home of David; one in every of David’s wives was Maacah, the daughter of Talmi, King of Geshur.

Iron Age fort discovered on the Golan Heights
The Israel Antiquities Authority excavation on the Golan’s Hispin, the place the circa 11th century
fort was found [Credit: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority]

Cities of the Kingdom of Geshur are identified alongside the Sea of Galilee shore, together with Tel En Gev, Tel Hadar and Tel Sorag, however websites are hardly identified within the Golan. This distinctive fortified complicated raises new analysis points on the settlement of the Golan within the Iron Age.

Following this discovery, modifications within the improvement plans shall be carried out along with the Ministry of Housing and Building, so that the distinctive fortified complicated is not going to be broken. The complicated shall be developed as an open space alongside the El-Al riverbank, the place educational-archaeological actions shall be carried out, as a part of the cultural heritage and a hyperlink with the previous. This aligns with the Israel Antiquities Authority’s coverage that studying the previous via experiencing work within the discipline, strengthens the younger technology’s bonds with their roots.  

Supply: Israel Antiquities Authority [November 11, 2020]

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