Thursday, July 25, 2019

3,500-Year-Old Staircase Reveals Grand Dimensions of Ancient Palace in Northern Israel

I'm disappointed .... no elevators?

A recently uncovered ancient staircase at the Tel Hazor archeological site in Northern Israel, the largest biblical-era site in the country, hints to the grandiose palace that once stood at the site, used by the Canaanite kings of Hatzor.
The staircase, preserved in excellent condition, is 4.5 meters wide and consists of at least seven stairs made from wide basalt slabs. The staircase was part of a palace located at the entrance to an ancient Canaanite town of Hazor. The palace is estimated to have housed the king of Hazor, who ruled over a large area in northern Israel.
Excavation director Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor, of the Institute of Archeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, commented on the findings that “when discussing biblical sites, the staircase that was found shows once again that there are other biblical sites, and then there is Hazor.”
Dr. Shlomit Bachar, a researcher on the site, explained the significance of the staircase for the accumulative knowledge about the Hazor site.

“The staircase is indicative of the grandeur of the palace itself, to be seen when it will be uncovered,” she explained. “We already know the palace of Hazor will be architecturally significant, but the staircase is unique and impressive in and of itself and hints at the awesome findings yet to come.”
Tel Hazor is the largest, and one of the most significant biblical-era sites in Israel, covering some 200 acres. The site’s importance is internationally recognized, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first settlement at Tel Hazor is dated to the Early Bronze Age during the third millennium BCE. Its massive size and strategic location on the route connecting Egypt and Babylon gave it regional importance. Hazor’s conquest by the Israelites was key to their entry to the Land of Israel. The city was rebuilt and fortified by King Solomon and prospered in the days of Ahab and Jeroboam II until its final destruction by the Assyrians in 732 BCE.
A myriad of unique findings has been discovered at Tel Hazor, including many storage containers, basalt tools and four royal inscriptions, three of which are in Egyptian hieroglyphs and one is in Akkadian.
The site has been carefully excavated for decades, initially led by Yigael Yadin for four seasons from 1955 to 1958, and resumed in 1990 under Professor Amnon Ben-Tor.

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