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Horn of the Stone Altar Discovered at Shiloh

And the height of the mizbayach hearth shall be 4 amot, with 4 horns projecting upward from the hearth: 4 amot. Ezekiel 43:15 (The Israel Bible™)

Excavations at the Biblical Tel Shiloh, a potential site of the Jewish Tabernacle. (Wikimedia Commons)

The archaeological dig at Shiloh in Samaria has produced yet another wonder straight out of the Bible: stone horns from the altar that once stood in front of the Tabernacle.

Archeologists and volunteers from the Associates for Biblical Research in Texas, a Christian organization that brings together Biblical research and archaeology to mutually advance both disciplines, led by Dr. Scott Stripling, provost at The Bible Seminary in Katy (Houston) Texas, made the discovery. Dr. Stripling served as a field supervisor of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project from 2005 to 2010 before moving on to lead the dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir from 2013 to 2017. Stripling moved his team ten miles north to Shiloh in 2017. 

In addition to its significant archaeological relevance, Shiloh is important for being mentioned in the Bible as being the site of the Jewish Tabernacle for 369 years. Dr. Stripling supports this claim though some archaeologists disagree. The claim is difficult to prove since the Tabernacle was a portable structure and had few elements that would remain intact to this day. 

Three altar horns were discovered during ABR’s excavations at Shiloh, Israel this season. Horn one: 38 cm long and 23.5 cm wide (15” x 9.25”). One of the few elements that would stand against the sands of time was the stone horn-shaped edge of an altar the researchers believe dates to the Iron Age (1200–586 BCE ). The horns were an essential part of the altar and used in the Temple service.

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