Experts

Experts launch excavations to find biblical tabernacle

Archaeologists have completed the first in a series of excavations at the site of the ancient city Shiloh, in hopes to uncover evidence of a biblical structure that once held the Ark of the Covenant.

The long sought-after tabernacle is cited in the Bible, where it’s said to house a wooden and gold-plated chest containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

During the month-long dig, experts discovered hundreds of artifacts, including pottery fragments, coins, jewelry, weapons, and a trove of animal bones thought to line up with accounts of religious sacrifice.

Archaeologists have completed the first in a series of excavations at the site of the ancient city Shiloh, in hopes to uncover evidence of a biblical structure that once held the Ark of the Covenant

Archaeologists have completed the first in a series of excavations at the site of the ancient city Shiloh, in hopes to uncover evidence of a biblical structure that once held the Ark of the Covenant

THE ANCIENT CITY

According to ABR, Shiloh was first established around the year 1650 BC, during the Middle Bronze II period.

The tabernacle is thought to have been built in the year 1,400 BC.

But, at some point, some suspect a compound was built around it.

It was destroyed by the Philistines during the middle of the first Iron Age, around the year 1050 BC, and later rebuilt during Iron II.

Then, it remained occupied through the early Roman era, with structures built by the Byzantines and Crusaders.

According to ABR, it was the ‘center of Israelite worship for at least 300 years.’

The excavation this spring, led by Associates for Biblical Research, kicked off on May 21 and continued on until June 17.

It’s the first of at least five annual digs led by this group at the site on the West Bank, according to Fox News.

While Shiloh has seen numerous previous excavation efforts, the tabernacle still remains elusive.

And, earlier digs have resulted in ‘several areas of disagreement’ with the bible, according to ABR.

The mysterious tabernacle is thought to have been a tent-like structure built in Shiloh in the year 1,400 BC.

But, at some point, some suspect a compound was built around it.

‘The tabernacle was erected at Shiloh and may have been later replaced by a more permanent structure,’ according to ABR.

While Shiloh has seen numerous previous excavation efforts, the tabernacle still remains elusive. And, earlier digs have resulted in ‘several areas of disagreement’ with the bible, according to ABR

While Shiloh has seen numerous previous excavation efforts, the tabernacle still remains elusive. And, earlier digs have resulted in ‘several areas of disagreement’ with the bible, according to ABR

While Shiloh has seen numerous previous excavation efforts, the tabernacle still remains elusive. And, earlier digs have resulted in ‘several areas of disagreement’ with the bible, according to ABR

During the month-long dig, experts discovered hundreds of artifacts, including pottery fragments, coins, jewelry, weapons, and a trove of animal bones thought to line up with accounts of religious sacrifice

During the month-long dig, experts discovered hundreds of artifacts, including pottery fragments, coins, jewelry, weapons, and a trove of animal bones thought to line up with accounts of religious sacrifice

The excavation this spring, led by Associates for Biblical Research , kicked off on May 21 and continued on until June 17

The excavation this spring, led by Associates for Biblical Research , kicked off on May 21 and continued on until June 17

During the month-long dig, experts discovered hundreds of artifacts, including pottery fragments, coins, jewelry, weapons, and a trove of animal bones thought to line up with accounts of religious sacrifice

The experts say the ancient city was first established around the year 1650 BC, during the Middle Bronze II period.

It was destroyed by the Philistines during the middle of the first Iron Age, around the year 1050 BC, and later rebuilt during Iron II.

Then, it remained occupied through the early Roman era, with structures built by the Byzantines and Crusaders.

According to ABR, it was the ‘center of Israelite worship for at least 300 years.’

The long sought-after tabernacle is cited in the Bible, where it’s said to house a wooden and gold-plated chest known as the Ark of the Covenant(illustrated above), containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments

The long sought-after tabernacle is cited in the Bible, where it’s said to house a wooden and gold-plated chest known as the Ark of the Covenant(illustrated above), containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments

The long sought-after tabernacle is cited in the Bible, where it’s said to house a wooden and gold-plated chest known as the Ark of the Covenant(illustrated above), containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments

CONTROVERSY AT SHILOH 

According to Associates for Biblical Research, excavations by Israel Finkelstein from 1981-84 brought several ‘areas of disagreement’ with the Bible to light.

The researcher found a large deposit of bones, lining up with beliefs that the site had a history of animal sacrifice.

But, Finkelstein also claimed Israelites did not arrive to this ‘cultic center’ until the 13th century, in contrast to biblical accounts.

He also hypothesized that the tabernacle did not exist at the location, causing him to decide against excavating the summit based on the assumption that it only held shallow soil above the bedrock, according to ABR.

Finkelstein also claimed the remains discovered there were linked to Canaanite inhabitants, not Israelites as the Bible says.

The ABR researchers say the new excavation efforts could help get to the bottom of these discrepancies.

With hundreds of items discovered this season, the experts say they’re ‘confident’ that Shiloh was the site of the tabernacle, according to Fox News.

Over the course of four weeks, the researchers found thousands of pottery sherds – with as many as 2,000 found per day – as well as more than 700 objects.

This includes jewelry, tools, and weapons crafted from stone or metal, along with 15 pieces of Jewish ritual stone vessels, two near-complete pottery vessels, and 100 coins.

‘The tabernacle was erected at Shiloh and may have been later replaced by a more permanent structure,’ according to ABR

‘The tabernacle was erected at Shiloh and may have been later replaced by a more permanent structure,’ according to ABR

‘The tabernacle was erected at Shiloh and may have been later replaced by a more permanent structure,’ according to ABR

And, the discovery of a large amount of animal bones further supports its significance as a religious site.

The researchers say these will be sent to a bone specialist for analysis. 

‘The Bible specifies which animals are sacrificial animals and it also says that they are young animals,’ Dr. Scott Stripling, director of excavations at Shiloh and provost at The Bible Seminary in Houston, Texas, told Fox News.

‘If the bones match the animals of the Biblical sacrificial system and the type and age specified, then we may be looking at evidence that the tabernacle sat nearby.’ 

With hundreds of items discovered this season, the experts say they’re ‘confident’ that Shiloh was the site of the tabernacle

With hundreds of items discovered this season, the experts say they’re ‘confident’ that Shiloh was the site of the tabernacle

With hundreds of items discovered this season, the experts say they’re ‘confident’ that Shiloh was the site of the tabernacle

Over the course of four weeks, the researchers found thousands of pottery sherds – with as many as 2,000 found per day – as well as more than 700 objects

Over the course of four weeks, the researchers found thousands of pottery sherds – with as many as 2,000 found per day – as well as more than 700 objects

Over the course of four weeks, the researchers found thousands of pottery sherds – with as many as 2,000 found per day – as well as more than 700 objects

 

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