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The biblical hometown of Goliath discovered in Israel, and the ruins are gigantic

Compiling Bible history is not an easy job, but archaeologists do it every day in Israel. And another piece of the puzzle came together in summer as a team found the hometown of Philistine hero Goliath.

We all know the story of David and Goliath. The Israelites and the Philistines fought and instead of sending their troops into battle, the Goliath Philistine soldier challenged every Israeli warrior to fight him in combat. Whoever wins the battle would win the war for his country. Nobody went out. But then David, who would later become an important Bible king, accepted the challenge.

Goliath was apparently a huge man, to whom David looked like a dwarf. But David knocked him down with a stone from his sling and cut off his head.

Later, David visits the hometown of Goliath, now known as Tel Es-Safi, and stares at the gate because he is very impressed by the massive fortifications and architecture of the Philistine settlement of the Iron Age.

According to Haarez:

“Gath is mentioned more than once in the Bible by each of the five major Philistine cities (the other four are Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gaza). Gath is said to have kept the covenant of the covenant briefly after the Philistines captured him from the Israelites (1 Samuel 5: 8), and it was there that David sought asylum twice from King Saul, eventually becoming the mercenary of the ruler of the city of Anchus ( 1 Kings 21 and 1 Kings 27). ”


The ancient city of Gath in front of the horizon.

Archaeologists have already found Ashkelon, where they conducted DNA tests and discovered that the Philistines were originally from Europe.

Another team of researchers, led by Bar-Ilan University professor Aren Mayer, have been digging the Gath site for years. The problem is that Gat is one of those places where people have built settlements on older settlements for centuries, making it difficult to find a specific time period. So the level that they believed was Goliath’s hometown originally was wrong. Because they have already found a level that coincides with the right time, and the ruins are massive enough for one to think that giants lived here.

“The revelation suggests that Gath was at the zenith of his own power much earlier than previously thought, which puts his heyday around the time when the city is heavily featured in the Bible story as a fierce rival of the early Israelites, as well as the hometown of Goliath and other extraordinary Bible warriors. ”

“During the summer excavation campaign, which ended last week, archaeologists decide to explore the foundations of spacious terraces located in the lower city of Gat, inhabited only during the Iron Age. Excavations reveal that these terraces lie on massive fortifications and larger buildings made of huge stones and baked bricks – a method that makes them healthier than traditional sun-dried mud bricks. ”


The ruins of Gath.

“I’ve been digging here for 25 years, but this place still surprises me,” Mayer says. “All the time we had this older, gigantic city, hidden just a meter below the city where we were digging. It was the largest Philistine city and probably one of the largest in the eastern Mediterranean during the Iron Age. There were larger cities just outside the eastern Mediterranean, such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. “

The later settlement, which was marched, was destroyed by the king of Syria, Hazael around 830 BC. during the Iron Age IIA. The earlier settlement they had just found, however, was even larger.

“Up until now, we thought that Iron City IIA – the one that was destroyed by Hazael – was the largest and most important period in Gath,” says Mayer. “This year, history is different.”

In some places these walls are four or more meters thick, and the ceramics associated with them date from the early Iron Age, to the 11th century BC. or probably earlier. “No comparatively colossal structures are known in the rest of the eastern Mediterranean of this period … or even the later incarnation of the Philistine Ghats,” says Mayer.


The ruins of Gath.

“Whatever it is, it’s huge,” Mayer added. “It’s as if Gat’s place during the early Iron Age made the later city look like a dwarf.”

And so many believe that the Philistines were great, though no skeletal remains were found to suggest such.

“Many biblical texts have to be understood as allegory,” Mayer says. “We dug several tombs in Gath and we definitely did not find any bones of particularly large people, so what is the origin of the legend that giants lived here? If there were huge wreckage around, this is the best way to start stories about giants.”

Professor Thomas Rohmer of the University of Lausanne agrees:

“We always have to be very careful about our interpretations, but that may be related to the size of Philistine cities like Gath and to this very impressive civilization that the Jews were familiar with,” says Rohmer. “When you confront such large structures, you have to explain them: so why not giants?”

Again, Gath was destroyed several times. It would be easy for later visitors to see the massive rubble and conclude that there must have been giant people living there, further perpetuating the stories of the Goliath giant, while he might not have been much bigger than David. People who wrote bible stories about Gath have done it centuries after these events happened. In addition, the inclusion of giants in history added excitement to the scriptures and made the Philistines look even uglier.

After all these centuries, it turns out that the only true giant was the city itself.

“We still don’t know very much why a new city was built on the old one, with different building orientations,” Mayer says. “But one thing is for sure – we are slowly awakening a sleeping giant.”

Probably the next excavation of the site will find a tomb with an inscription identifying it as belonging to Goliath himself. That would be an even bigger discovery.

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Ancient

Mysterious frescoes depicting fantastic creatures found in Sahara

The Tassilin-Ager National Park has long attracted the attention of many archaeologists with its cave paintings, as it depicts many drawings that are of particular interest to researchers.

10 thousand years ago on this territory, lived people of which little is known. Now archaeologists managed to open the veil thanks to the found cave paintings. However, there are a number of images that cause researchers a number of questions.

Back in the mid-19th century, in the Sahara, scientists began to explore illustrations on stone. So, thanks to the cave paintings, the researchers were able to conclude that in prehistoric times the Sahara was not a desert.

In those days there were rivers, the animal world flourished, there was vegetation, and even heavy rainfall fell.

Also, archaeologists came to the conclusion that the civilization that once lived in the Sahara was on a par with the mighty peoples of Ancient China, India, Egypt. Then the desert began to advance, which evicted people from their homes. Despite the fact that people left, the cave paintings remained. So, the earliest drawings are at least seven thousand years old.

Most of all, historians were interested in images of people. Since most of them were depicted with a non-standard large head size, the work of artists of that era was nicknamed the “round-headed style”. The figures of people changed over time, but their heads remained round.

“The murals are placed so thoughtfully, and the figures are depicted in such strange poses that they make a strong impression. Seeing one of them in the first grotto, we were scared. The figure was about three meters high. She held an egg-shaped object in her raised hand,” researcher Henri Lot wrote.

Henri Lot, an archaeologist from France, was the first to discover incredible murals in the Sahara. He managed to find one of the largest prehistoric paintings, whose height was 6 meters. Henri Lot gave named it the “Great Martian God.” Specialists who study UFOs, looking at the picture, came to the conclusion that it depicts an astronaut in a spacesuit. However, according to scientists, the picture does not depict an astronaut, but a priest in clothing characteristic of the rituals.

Researchers also found drawings of humanoid and fantastic creatures. So, in one picture, the artist portrayed a man in a helmet that comes out of a disk-shaped object.

In addition, on the cave paintings you can find hybrids – an ostrich with the head of a lion, an antelope with the body of an elephant. Now researchers can only guess where the artists of that time were so imaginative.

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Ancient

The mystery of the disappearance of Sanxingdui culture

In 1929, a Chinese peasant was digging a ditch. Suddenly, his shovel turned a layer of earth with jade figures. It was luck, there were many figures. Most of them went into private collections, and of course, archaeologists became more active. The area was studied for a long time, but there were no more finds.

However, in 1986 there was a sensational event. Workers at a local brick factory accidentally discovered two huge pits filled with artifacts made from various materials – clay, jade, bronze, gold – about 1,000 pieces.

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Archaeologists began an intensive search around, and at the end, there was a lucky strike. Just thirty meters from the first, a second cache was found.

The artistic style in which bronze, ivory and gold objects were made was completely unknown to connoisseurs of ancient Chinese art.

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The contents of the caches turned out to be so unusual that from that moment, the name of the carried out locality was forever inscribed in the history of Chinese archeology.

The artistic style of these works has struck the whole world.

There were gold masks, axes and jade knives, many shells … and mysterious bronze heads with large slanting eyes and sharp ears.

Especially a lot of them were cast bronze products, and the manufacturing technology was amazing. For large objects, the ancient metallurgists used stronger alloys, for this, lead was added to the amalgam of copper and tin, at that time they already knew such subtleties.

Among the large artifacts there is a 4 m high tree and the largest bronze statue in the world, the height of which together with a pedestal is 2.62 m. The statue weighs 180 kg and has an unusual tiara on its head.

The carbon analysis which was carried out, allowed us to determine their age – it ranged from 3 to 5 thousand years.

What is Sanxingdui? Now that archaeologists have been working in these places for many years, it is clear that people lived in Sanxingdui long before Qin Shi Huang established the first imperial dynasty and created the famous terracotta army, and even before the era of the Battle of the Kings.

The settlement appeared here at the end of the Neolithic (the earliest finds date back to about 2800 BC) and continued to exist during the Early Bronze Age.

It reached its heyday in 2100-1400 BC, which corresponds to the so-called “kingdom of Shang-Yin” in traditional Chinese historiography, located in the Yellow River basin, that is, northwest of Sichuan, where Sanxingdui is located.

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In 1992, the Sanxingdui Museum was opened, where you can see all these artifacts.

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Researchers will determine the age of the ‘Giant of Cerne Abbas’ geoglyph

Phillip Toms of the University of Gloucestershire and his colleagues will study samples taken from the elbows and feet of the Giant of Cairn-Abbas, the famous geoglyph located in the English county of Dorset. Scientists want to clarify the age of this image.

The Giant was carved on a hillside near the present village of Cerne Abbas. Due to the removal of the surface soil layer, the Cretaceous rock was exposed, and as a result, an image of a naked man appeared. Its height is 55 meters, width – 51 meters (due to arms apart). In his right hand he holds a club with a length of 37 meters. Studies have shown that the giant had a cloak draped over his left hand.

The first mention of the Giant of Cerne Abbas in written sources dates back to November 4, 1694. In the “Reports of Church Ministers from St. Mary’s Church in Cerne Abbas” on this date it is indicated that three shillings were spent on the “restoration of the giant”. In 1734, the Giant was described by the Bishop of Bristol, who examined the local landmark during a visit to Cerne Abbas. Four years later, the giant was mentioned in a letter by the antique dealer Francis Wise, and in 1764 he was discussed at a meeting of the London Society of Antiquaries.

Scientists have not yet agreed on whether it appeared in the 16th century or was created earlier. There are currently three main theories. According to one of them, the Giant was carved in a hillside on the orders of the local Lord Denzil Holles and is a caricature of Oliver Cromwell. Halls and Cromwell, although both sided with parliament, were fierce political opponents, and Cromwell even put forward charges against Holz of clandestine ties with King Charles I, who was in besieged Oxford. The version of Halls’s connection with the Giant of Cerne Abbas is based on a report from the 18th century antiquary John Hutchins, who mentioned in a letter that the estate manager told him that “the figure was modern, carved in the time of Lord Hall”.

Proponents of another theory believe that the Giant dates back to Roman times. They note the similarity of the figure with the traditional images of Hercules , which became especially noticeable after the discovery of traces of the cloak (in this version the “cloak” is considered the skin of a Nemean lion). Finally, the third version connects the Giant of Cerne Abbas with Celtic culture. Its appearance is caused by the similarity of the Giant with the image of the Celtic god on the handle of the pan found in Hod Hill in Dorset, which dates from about 10-51 years of our era.

Current researchers intend to use optically stimulated luminescent dating, which allows us to establish how long ago sunlight was exposed to minerals for the last time. “It is likely that the tests will give us a range of dates, not a specific age, but we hope that they will help us better understand and take care of this famous landmark,” says archaeologist Martin Papworth.

Gordon Bishop, chairman of the historical society of Cerne Abbas, said that although some villagers “would prefer the age and origin of the Giant to remain a mystery,” most would like to know at least if he is ancient or only a few hundred years old.

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