Friday, December 01, 2017

An Idumean temple/palace near Lachish?

BEYOND THE PALACE HEMI-POWERED DRONES SCREAM DOWN THE BOULEVARD: Drone Spots 2,200-year-old Edomite Temple in Israeli Live-fire Zone. The temple, or it may have been a palace, had been burned down by Jewish forces who conquered the region, converted surviving locals and built ritual baths (Ruth Schuster and Nir Hasson, Haaretz).
Archaeologists using drones have found what seems to be a rare Edomite temple dating to 2,200 years ago, smack in the middle of a live-fire zone. The structure seems to have been destroyed by Jewish forces, possibly under Judah Maccabee himself, who then converted the surviving locals.

The structure could be a temple, or a palace, and in any case seems to have been destroyed in one of the incessant upheavals of the region. In this case, the building, evidently a large one, may have been destroyed during the Hasmonean conquest of the region in 112 B.C.E. Following the Hasmonean victory, the locals were forced to convert to Judaism.

The structure was found on a hill at Horvat 'Amuda, in the Lachish region. After decades of being barred from the site because of its use for military training, excavation commenced a couple of months ago and uncovered this structure, from the Hellenistic period.

With apologies to Bruce Springsteen. Couldn't resist.

Seriously, this sounds like an extraordinarily important discovery which may tell us a lot about the Edomites/Idumeans. Cross-file under Archaeology.

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