3,200-year-old Egyptian built fortress found in Israel
A HUGE fortress dating back to the 12th-century BC has been unearthed in Israel and experts are linking it to a structure described in the Bible.
The Canaanite citadel is said to be similar to a building in the Book of Judges, a section of the Bible that describes intense warfare between groups of Canaanites, Israelites, and Philistines.
The design of the fortress and pottery found there indicate that it belonged to Canaanites who would have lived under Egyptian rule at the time.
Canaanites are often referred to as the ‘lost people’ of the Bible because a lot of what we know about them just comes from ancient texts describing interactions with civilization.
The 3,200-year-old fortress was found in southern Israel. It measures 60 feet by 60 feet and would have been two stories high. There is evidence to suggest it had watchtowers on each corner and a courtyard featuring stone slabs and columns.
The Israeli archaeologists working on the dig think the Canaanites built the structure with help from their Egyptian overlords.
Fortresses like this would have been necessary to try and stay protected from the invading Philistines.
The site contained hundreds of pottery vessels inside the rooms of the courtyard. This included one piece of pottery suspected to be used for religious reasons.
IAA archaeologists Saar Ganor and Itamar Weissbein said: “The fortress we found provides a glimpse into the geopolitical reality described in the Book of Judges, in which the Canaanites, Israelites, and Philistines are fighting each other.
“In this period, the land of Canaan was ruled by the Egyptians and its inhabitants were under their custody.”
Pottery found at the site was similar to the Egyptian style at the time and even the fortress was similar to an Egyptian ‘governor’s houses’. The Egyptians are thought to have left the Canaan area in the middle of the 12th-century BC.
This means the fortress inhabitants would have been left to defend themselves as the area descended into territorial battles. The archaeological site will soon be opened to the public for free tours.