Greetings From The Past

Greetings from the past: rare artifacts were found in the heart of Samaria

On the heels of the Palestinian Authority's attempts to destroy the altar of Joshua, rare findings have been unearthed at the site, including an ancient ring and beads believed to have belonged to childrens or women's jewelry.

rare findings ( Photo: Samaria Regional Council)

An ancient ring and beads that belonged to children or women's jewelry, the rim of a pottery jar typical of the days of Joshua (the settlement period), and plaster that may have originated from the 12 stones on which Joshua wrote the Torah, these are some of the findings that have been uncovered so far in the huge project of sifting the dirt from the altar of Joshua At the foot of Mount Ebal.

On Sukkot, the Samaria Council will hold the Samaria march to the place and the screening of the dirt from the altar will be open to the general public. Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Council: "Precisely in the face of the Palestinian Authority's attempt to destroy the Joshua Altar, the people of Israel will be there with the Israeli flag - right now we will connect to the roots and values"

The screening of the dirt began about a year ago, by the Samaria Regional Council in cooperation with the "Association for Biblical Research" and Dr. Scott Stripling from the United States and under the direction of the archaeologist Dr. Avi Solomon. Dr. Stripling's delegation and then in a community screening project in which high schools and families participated.

The Palestinian Authority's attempts to destroy the Joshua Altar

The screening project has so far found an object that the researchers, including the archaeologist Dr. Avi Solomon, director of the dirt screening project, speculate that it is an ancient ring from the settlement period, it may have belonged to one of the women who participated in the blessing and cursing ceremony 3200 years ago, beads that may have belonged to children or women's jewelry from that time A jug with a collar rim that characterizes the period of settlement from the days of the conquest of Joshua to the period of the monarchy, and pieces of plaster that there is a possibility that the origin of the 12 stones were plastered with lime and the Torah was written on them.

Excavations at the site (Photo: Samaria Regional Council)

Archaeologist Dr. Avi Solomon emphasizes that these are only preliminary findings, and that they have not yet undergone a laboratory test, however, since these are findings found in the dirt removed from the Joshua Altar and the items have characteristics suitable for the period, it is likely that the researchers' assessments are correct.

The screening of the dirt takes place against the background of attempts by the Palestinian Authority to destroy the site of the ancient altar. A year ago, stones were thrown from the site of the altar, and now the Palestinian Authority is building a plan to build a neighborhood on the site of the altar, and even started earthworks near the altar that were stopped just before the stones of the site were demolished. The Palestinian Authority is also promoting an activity that will define the Joshua Altar as a Palestinian heritage site as it did for Tel Jericho and the Temple Mount.

Yossi Dagan: "Another proof of Ami's unbreakable connection to his country"

As part of the activity to save the altar, the Samaria Regional Council will for the first time hold the traditional Samaritan march to the Joshua Altar, the march will take place on the second day of Sukkot. It will also allow the general public for the first time the opportunity to come and participate in the project to filter the dirt from the Joshua Altar, on the Tuesday of Sukkot .

Findings at the site (Photo: Samaria Regional Council)

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Council, responded to the revelations: "The revelations from the site of the altar are further proof of the inextricable connection between the people of Israel and its country, and certainly to Samaria, and proves the importance of the site for knowing our roots and the Jewish people for generations. Precisely now in the face of the Palestinian Authority's attempt to destroy the Joshua's Altar , the people of Israel will be there with the Israeli flag - to connect to the roots and values.

"I call on the public to come and discover the history of the people of Israel in their hands. To walk with us to the ancient Joshua altar, a unique relic of the settlement period and the return of the people of Israel to their land, and of course enjoy the multitude of heritage sites, tourism, nature, wineries and springs all over Green Samaria," concluded Dagan.

"Joshua's altar is identified with the establishment of the nation of Israel as a people"

Archaeologist Dr. Avi Solomon adds about the work at the site: "It is a privilege to work at the Mount Ebal site, which is identified as Joshua's altar, which is actually the place where the people of Israel became a people of Israel approximately 3,200 years ago, after we left our land, after 2,000 years we can return and touch our roots, in the place we became a people."

"To know that we are touching objects and actually touching our past, this place is important like no other, it is a unique place, of all the archaeological findings in the Land of Israel, the place is identified with the foundation of the people of Israel as a people and not as tribes, and its importance to the archaeological world for the people of Israel and for humanity as a whole is priceless," concluded Solomon .

A ring found on the site (Photo: Samaria Regional Council)

The dirt in which the findings were found was brought from the excavations of the Joshua's Altar, which was discovered by the late Prof. Adam Zertal in the 1980s on Mount Ebal. About a year ago, the discovery of a small lead amulet in the dirt heaps caused echoes around the world, when Prof. Gershon Galil from the University of Haifa announced that he had deciphered an ancient Hebrew inscription, The oldest Hebrew inscription in the world.


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