Desecrated Shrine Discovered in Lachish Gatehouse
Archaeologists working at Tel Lachish have excavated the second half of a six-chamber gate and claim to have discovered two horned altars suggested that this was a “shrine in the gate” that was desecrated in the reforms of Hezekiah (2 Kgs 18:4). The evidence of the desecration is a stone toilet that was never used but that recalls Jehu’s conversion of the Baal temple in Samaria into a latrine (2 Kgs 10:27). The horns of one(?) of the altars were removed in the reform as well. The gate was destroyed in the invasion of Sennacherib in 701 BC.
For more information, take a look at the IAA press release or read the reports in the Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel. The first four photos are courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority. More photos and videos are available here. I’m curious to see Aren Maeir’s take, but he has not yet posted on it.
HT: Joseph Lauer, Chris McKinny
Aerial view of the excavated gatehouse at Tel Lachish.
Photo by Guy Fitoussi.
Excavation of the gate shrine with the “altar” visible in the center. Photo by Saʽar Ganor.
Evidence of “altar’s destruction.” Photo by Yoli Shwartz.
Removal of the stone toilet. Photo by Igor Kramerman.
Reconstruction of gatehouse, taken in June, following the January–March excavations.