An excavagation in a 3,000-year-old city yields evidence of an ancient religion.
- The shrines themselves reflect an architectural style dating back as early as the time of King David.
- Some of the features and styles of the structures appear analogous to those described in the Bible.
- The new finds don't conclusively prove the site was inhabited by Israelites.
For the first time, archaeologists have uncovered shrines from the time of the early Biblical kings in the Holy Land, providing the earliest evidence of a cult, they say.
Excavation within the remains of the roughly 3,000-year-old fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, located about 19 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem, have revealed three large rooms used as shrines, along with artifacts, including tools, pottery and objects, such as alters associated with worship.
The three shrines were part of larger building complexes, and the artifacts included five standing stones, two basalt altars, two pottery libation vessels and two portable shrines, one made of pottery, the other of stone. The portable shrines are boxes shaped like temples.