This month we read the exciting discovery of an ancient site at Horvat Tevet which reveals a magnificent administrative complex from the era of Israel’s King Omri. The rich vein of its administrative construction and the sort of artifacts discovered in the building provide clues as to the form, function, and strength of the Israelite Monarchy during that period. The relatively quick excavation took place over the past two years as a sort of emergency project in advance of construction of the new Highway in northern Israel, about 19 kilometers southwest of the Sea of Galilee. The sad story of the construction of the modern highway project will ultimately destroy the ancient site and never to be seen again.
Among the additional finds that connect the royal administrative complex were kilns for making pottery, storage jars for the collection and distribution of goods, workshops for making textiles, and grinding stones for milling grain into flour. Another intriguing find discovered in the main building’s entrance rooms was a four-horned Israelite style altar (Exodus 27:2). This kind of cultic item would be consistent with administrative centers of the era, and part of the Israelite religion during biblical times.
In conclusion, the site was deliberately destroyed which fits the biblical narrative 2 Kings 8 & 9 and the Tel Dan Stele, when Syria was in conflict with Israel. The evidence of the Israelite monarchy during the Omrihide period at Horvat Tevet provides a physical link to the kings of the period of Omri. It was certainly a highly developed culture during Israel’s early history than previously thought by most archaeologists matching the Biblical claims extremely well.
Have a blessed Passover!
Mike “The Digger” John