Archaeology Discovery: 3,000-Y-O Israeli Site Supports Old Testament Account of Philistines

(Photo: Screengrab/YouTube/Tim Bulkeley)The ruins of Tel Gezer, located in the modern state of Israel.

An ancient palatial building excavated in modern Israel that dates to around the time of King Solomon adds credence to the Old Testament account of the area.

Archaeologists at Tel Gezer found what Haaretz described as a "monumental building" dated to the 10th century BC, which included artifacts that added weight to what the Bible says about the region's history.

"According to the Old Testament, the city was also associated with the Philistines in David's time: the king broke their power 'from Geba to as far as Gezer' (2 Samuel 5:25; 1 Chronicles 14:16)," reported Haaretz.

"This excavation season has proved the Philistine link too, when the archaeologists revealed a layer with Philistine bichrome pottery. The archaeologists also found a tell-tale fragment of a so-called 'Ashdod figurine,' … Such figurines have been found associated with Philistine remains in other excavations, such as in Ashdod, Timna, Ekron and Ashkelon."

Haaretz also noted that the Gezer site "features a large central courtyard, like contemporary palace-like buildings found throughout the southern Levant, including at Hatzor and Megiddo."

Excavation was done in part by researchers from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, who has been sending archaeologists to the Gezer site for the past several summers.

"This joint project is sponsored by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Steve Ortiz and Sam Wolff co-direct the excavations with the participation of a consortium of academic institutions," noted the Seminary's Tel Gezer Project website.

"The purpose of the project is to reexamine previous results in the context of newly excavated and published material. Emphasis will be placed on ancient Gezer during the Iron Age. The excavation will focus on the south-eastern slope of the western hill where previous excavations have revealed that there are several occupational phases of the Iron Age city."

This is not the first high-profile archaeological discovery in Israel this year that centered on evidence that confirmed a biblical account. Last month, a team uncovered a first century AD era synagogue at a site called Tel Rechesh, which is located near Mount Tabor.

Motti Aviam, a senior researcher at the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, explained in a statement the significance of the Tel Rechesh excavation find.

"This is the first synagogue discovered in the rural part of the Galilee and it confirms historical information we have about the New Testament, which says that Jesus preached at synagogues in Galilean villages," explained Aviam, as reported by JNS.

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