The horned altar of Tel Be’er Sheva

The archaeological site of Tel Be’er Sheva in Israel is thought to be the biblical town of Beersheba. Beersheba symbolized the Land of Israel’s southern boundary.

As shown in the second photograph, a large horned altar was rediscovered at the site, which has now been reconstructed. This altar is viewed as evidence for the existence of a cult center or temple in the city, which was dismantled during the late 8th century BCE.

This find is significant, as it has been interpreted as evidence for the reforms of King Hezekiah, and his suppression of shrines outside of Jerusalem. This is described in 2 Kings 18: "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles."

Photos courtesy & taken by Derek Winterburn.

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