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Canaanite Offering Unearthed at Tel Gezer

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Israel tel Gezer cacheTEL GEZER NATIONAL PARK, ISRAEL—Haaretz reports that a team of researchers from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have discovered a 3,600-year-old pottery vessel in the foundations of a building at Tel Gezer, a city located in central Israel along the ancient strategic route between Egypt and Mesopotamia. The vessel contained figurines of Canaanite deities, including Ishtar, the goddess of fertility, sex, love, and war, and Sin, the god of the moon; a silver disc-shaped pendant carved with an eight-pointed star and topped with two narrow cylinders where a lace or chain may have been attached; and an Egyptian scarab with a gold bezel dating to the era of Hyksos rule. The valuable items were wrapped in a linen cloth, which left an impression on the artifacts, and then placed in the lidded vessel, which was secreted in the building’s foundation, perhaps as an offering to the gods. “What’s nice about this trove is that it shows Canaanite culture together with a clear Egyptian influence,” said head archaeologist Zvika Zuk. For more on archaeology in Israel, go to “Autumn of the Master Builder.”

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