MessageToEagle.com

Artifacts From The Biblical Times Unearthed At Tel Motza

28 December, 2012


Share this story:
Follow us:

MessageToEagle.com - Rare evidence of the religious practices and rituals in the early days of the Kingdom of Judah has recently been discovered at Tel Motza, to the west of Jerusalem.

The finds, dated to the early monarchic period and including pottery figurines of men and horses, provide rare testimony of a ritual cult in the Jerusalem region at the beginning of the period of the monarchy.

They were uncovered during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority, prior to work by the National Roads Company on the new Highway 1 section.


Israel Antiquities Authority archeologist Anna Ririkh displays a clay figurine used for religious rituals and practices, dated to the early monarchic period (9-10th century. BC) of the Judaean monarchy, uncovered in Tel Motza near Jerusalem during rescue excavations. The findings were uncovered near an altar of a temple and include ritual pottery vessels, fragments of chalices and figurines of animals. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)


Rare evidence of the religious practices and rituals in the early days of the Kingdom of Judah has recently been discovered at Tel Motza, to the west of Jerusalem.

In excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently conducting at the Tel Motza archaeological site, prior to work being carried out on the new Highway 1 from Sha'ar HaGai to Jerusalem by the National Roads Company (previously the Public Works Department), a ritual building (a temple) and a cache of sacred vessels some 2,750 years old have been uncovered.


Figurines of a person. Photograph: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority


According to Anna Eirikh, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz, directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple.

The uniqueness of the structure is even more remarkable because of the vicinity of the site's proximity to the capital city of Jerusalem, which acted as the Kingdom's main sacred center at the time."

According to the archaeologists, "among other finds, the site has yielded pottery figurines of men, one of them bearded, whose significance is still unknown."

Tel Motza and the surrounding region are renowned for their prime archaeological importance. Many finds have previously been uncovered at the site, from a variety of different periods. From the 1990's to the beginning of the present millennium, the site was excavated in preparation for the new route taken by Highway 1.

At the time, the site's archaeologists proposed once more identifying the site with the Biblical settlement "Mozah" mentioned in the Book of Joshua – a town in the tribal lands of Benjamin bordering on Judaea (Joshua 18: 26).

The proposal was based, among other things, on the discovery at the site of a public building, a large structure with storehouses, and a considerable number of silos. At the time, archaeologists identified the site as a storehouse, run by high-ranking officials, for Jerusalem's grain supplies.


Figurine of a horse. Photograph: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority


The current excavations have revealed evidence that provides another aspect to our understanding of the site.

According to archaeologists Eirikh, Dr. Khalaily and, Kisilevitz, "The current excavation has revealed part of a large structure, from the early days of the monarchic period (Iron Age IIA).


General view of the excavation site. Photograph: Skyview, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority


The walls of the structure are massive, and it includes a wide, east-facing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: the rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the object placed inside the temple first, symbolizing the divine presence within. A square structure which was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure.

The assemblage includes ritual pottery vessels, with fragments of chalices (bowls on a high base which were used in sacred rituals), decorated ritual pedestals, and a number of pottery figurines of two kinds: the first, small heads in human form (anthropomorphic) with a flat headdress and curling hair; the second, figurines of animals (zoomorphic) – mainly of harnessed animals.

The archeologists stress that "The find of the sacred structure together with the accompanying cache of sacred vessels, and especially the significant coastal influence evident in the anthropomorphic figurines, still require extensive research."

Ritual elements in the Kingdom of Judah are recorded in archaeological research, especially from the numerous finds of pottery figurines and other sacred objects found at many sites in Israel, and these are usually attributed to domestic rituals.

However, the remains of ritual platforms and temples used for ritual ceremonies have only been found at a few sites of this period.

According to the site's directors, "The finds recently discovered at Tel Motza provide rare archaeological evidence for the existence of temples and ritual enclosures in the Kingdom of Judah in general, and in the Jerusalem region in particular, prior to the religious reforms throughout the kingdom at the end of the monarchic period (at the time of Hezekiah and Isaiah), which abolished all ritual sites, concentrating ritual practices solely at the Temple in Jerusalem."

MessageToEagle.com

See also:
Ciudad Perdida: Uncovering Ancient Secrets Of The Enigmatic "Lost City"

Follow MessageToEagle.com for the latest news on Facebook and Twitter !

Don't Miss Our Stories! Get Our Daily Email Newsletter

Enter your email address:


Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be subscribed to the newsletter.

Recommend this article:

Most Ancient Of The Cities - Abydos With Secrets Still Buried Under The Desert Sand
Once, it was the site of many temples, especially the temple of Seti I and first of all, this very ancient city is strongly associated with the "Lord of Abydos" - Osiris, god of the dead and its cult. Today, it's considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Ancient Egypt...

Your Unique DNA Can Reveal Your Family's Past

Subscribe To Our Space, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth and Xenology News!

Grab the latest RSS feeds right to your reader, desktop or mobile phone.

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Go to - MAIN PAGE

Copyright © MessageToEagle.com All rights reserved.
Go to - MAIN PAGE


Advertise With Us!

Submissions

 Subscribe in a reader

Join Us On Facebook!

Other Popular Articles

Ancient Egyptian Statues Discovered Hidden In A Tunnel At Abusir Necropolis
A collection of fifth dynasty ancient Egyptian statues were discovered hidden in a tunnel in Abusir South, 30km north of Giza plateau and not far from the mysterious Solar Temple. Abusir means The House of Osiris, the god of the dead and resurrection...

Northern Europeans Closely Related With Native Americans Study Shows
Scientists have discovered that Northern European populations - including British, Scandinavians, French, and some Eastern Europeans - descend from a mixture of two very different ancestral populations, and one of these populations is related to Native Americans...

Historical Controversy: Grand Canyon Is As Old As The Dinosaurs - New Research Suggests
For more than 150 years, scientists have argued about the age of Grand Canyon. According to the most widespread theory Grand Canyon is only 6 millions years. Now a grupo of scientists have come forward with a new provoking theory suggesting that dinosaurs once lived in Grand Cayon...

Palmyra - Home Of The Warrior Queen Zenobia - Scientists Solved The Mystery Of The City

Three Tiny Genetic Letters Laid Foundation For Evolution of Human Brain
Changes to just three genetic letters among billions led to evolution and development of the mammalian motor sensory network, and laid the groundwork for the defining characteristics of the human brain, Yale University researchers report.

Secret History:


Scientists Present: “Alien Horned-Face” - A New Species Of Xenoceratops

Contrary To Some Of The Common Beliefs - The World Won't End In December 2012

New Discovery In The Holy Land: Millennia Old Well Unearthed In The Jezreel Valley

Climate Helped To Doom Maya Civilization

One Of The Oldest Treasures Found In Europe

"Vampire" Grave With Unusual Skeleton Discovered In UK

Two Stone Age 9,500-Year-Old Artifacts Unearthed

Archaeologists Unearth More Sumerian Secrets That Offer Clues To Our Past

Mysterious Stonehenge: A Universal Symbol Raised On A Planetary Grid Point

Scientists Search For Mythical Beasts - New Controversial Project Underway

Alien Toy? All Attempts To Solve This Ancient Mystery - Failed

Not Of This World Relics Hidden From Public View For Many Years - Forgotten And Ignored

W3Counter