Canaanite God Baal Found in Israel

3,300-year-old figurine among the ancient artifacts excavated at Khirbet el-Rai

Smiting God Figurine, Baal

Credit: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Macquarie University has announced the discovery of a “smiting god” figurine of the Canaanite god Baal, two seals, pottery, and a bronze calf figurine at Khirbet el-Rai. The  Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authority partnered with Macquarie University to conduct the excavation.

The finds further support the team’s contention that Khirbet el-Rai may be the location of ancient Ziklag, the city that the Bible says Philistine King Achish granted to David as a haven when he was fleeing King Saul. After Saul died, and David became King, Ziklag became a part of the kingdom of Judah.

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The decorated pottery was of both Canaanite and Philistine origins. It was from the 12th century B.C.E.

The Khirbet el-Rai Dig is co-directed by Yosef Garfinkel, Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Kyle Keimer, Lecturer in the Archaeology, History, and Language of Ancient Israel at Macquarie University, and Sa’ar Ganor, archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority. A team of 32 students at Macquarie University and three high school teachers did the excavating over three weeks in February, 2020.

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