Pagan altar found at Israel construction site

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Israel on Thursday announced the discovery of a 2,000-year-old pagan altar at the site where plans for a new hospital wing have come under fire from ultra-Orthodox Jews who fear bones found there may be of Jews

The find of what the Israel Antiquities Authority calls a “magnificent” altar gives a boost to the authorities at a time when ultra-orthodox Jews condemned the removal of bones from ancient graves at the site in the southern city of Ashkelon.

“The find further corroborates the assertion that this place is a pagan cemetery,” the IAA said in a statement.

The altar is about 60 centimetres (24 inches) tall and is decorated with a bull’s head from which dangle laurel wreaths. Such altars usually stood in Roman temples, the statement said.

It was discovered as the IAA was overseeing development of a hospital wing designed to withstand rockets fired from the nearby Gaza Strip by Palestinian militants.
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– Source / Full Story: Pagan altar found at Israel construction site, AFP via Yahoo! News, May 22, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: May. 21, 2010