Israel Fortress Discovered in Sinai

On a lonely, isolated hill called Kuntillet Ajrud, overlooking a vast and empty desert plain, an Israeli archaeological team has discovered an ancient Judean fortress containing a rare collection of Hebrew and Phoenician inscriptions dating to about 800 B.C. The inscriptions were discovered on pottery and the plaster walls of a remarkable 2,800 year old fortress, apparently built by King Jehoshaphat of Judea, to protect the Solomonic route to the port of Elath and the rich Red Sea trade lanes to the Biblical Ophir.

The inscriptions are considered doubly significant because several refer to "Yehovah," the traditional name of God that the ancient scribes wrote rarely because it was so extremely sacred. It is the largest collection of eighth century B.C. inscriptions ever found at a single site. The site itself had been discovered in the 19th century by a Briton who drew erroneous conclusions from what he found.

-- Wake Up! November 1978


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