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.
Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.
Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.