Monday, July 30, 2012

Samson's Echo

A fascinating article from the Telegraph:
Archaeologists excavating the tell of Beit Shemesh in the Judaean Hills near Jerusalem disclosed they had discovered an ancient stone seal that appeared to depict the Old Testament story of Samson's fight with a lion.

The tiny seal, less than an inch in diameter, shows a large animal with a feline tail attacking a human figure.

The seal was discovered at a level of excavation that dates it to roughly the 11th century BC, when Israelite tribes had moved into the area after Joshua's conquest of Canaan. It was a time when the Jews were led by ad hoc leaders known as judges, one of whom was Samson.

The location of the find, close to the River Sorek that marked the boundary between the Israelites and their Philistine foes, also indicates that the figure on the seal could represent Samson, according to Israeli archaeologists.

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