Archaeologists in Israel recently discovered a Philistine temple at the site where the giant warrior Goliath's hometown would have been.
The temple ruins are located in the ancient city of Gath and dates back to the 10th century B.C., according to Prof. Aren Maeir of Bar Illan University's Martin Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology. The uncovered temple has a similar architectural image to the one described in the Bible story of Samson who pulled down the Philistine temple of Dagon on himself.
"We're not saying this is the same temple where the story of Samson occurred or that the story even did occur," said Maeir, who has directed the excavation at the site for the past 13 years, to The Jerusalem Post last week. "But this gives us a good idea of what image whoever wrote the story would have had of a Philistine temple."
This is the first Philistine temple found at Gath.
In addition to the temple discovery, the team also found evidence of a major earthquake from the 8th century B.C. that could be the quakes mentioned in the books of Isaiah and Amos.
"If the seismologists are right, an 8 on the Richter scale would have leveled a major city," said Maeir. "The intensity of the energy required to move the walls seem to have been from something very powerful."
"What we have here is very strong arch-evidence of a dramatic earthquake, a natural event that left a very significant impression on the biblical prophets of the time."
Maeir and his international team uncovered the temple at the ancient ruin mounts of Tel Tzafit National Park on the Southern coastal plain.