Staircase of 3,500 years old biblical palace revealed in Tel Hatzor

"The revelation of the staircase in Hatzor proves once again that there is Hatzor and there are all the other archaeological sites," Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor exclaimed.

By ALON EINHORN
July 25, 2019 03:19
2 minute read.
The archeological site at Tel Hazor

The archeological site at Tel Hazor. (photo credit: THE KEREN ZELTS EXCAVATIONS AT HAZOR IN MEMORY OF YIGAEL YADIN)

A rare, well-preserved staircase belonging to a 3,500-yearold palace has been uncovered at the Tel Hatzor archaeological site.

The palace is believed to have been destroyed in the fire that ravaged Canaanite Hatzor, which is depicted in the Bible as part of the conquest of Israel (Joshua 11:10-13).

The staircase, which had not yet been completely uncovered in full, is believed to have led from the paved courtyard into the main entrance of the palace, which included walls towering over two meters (which were also preserved). The stairs are 4.5 meters in width and made of basalt plates.

Professor Amnon Ben-Tor and Doctor Shlomit Behcar at the archeological site at Tel Hazor (Credit: John Rinks)

The archaeological site is a project led by researchers from the Hebrew University, 2019 Israel Prize winner Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Shlomit Bechar, as part of the Keren Zelts excavations at Hatzor in memory of Yigal Yadin, who led the first delegation to the site in 1955.

“The revelation of the staircase in Hatzor proves once again that there is Hatzor, and there are all the other archaeological sites,” Ben-Tor exclaimed.

The staircase revealed at the Tel Hazor archeological site (Credit: The Keren Zelts excavations at Hazor in memory of Yigael Yadin)

Bechar added that “the staircase tells us of the power of the palace itself, which is yet to be unveiled. The staircase tells us of the splendor that is due to be revealed.”

Ben-Tor and Bechar were joined by dozens of students and volunteers, including a group of students from the Archaeology Institute, a group of students from France, and volunteers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, the United States, Canada, Finland, Australia and China. Most of the volunteers have worked there in the past and returned for another round of excavations.

The Tel Hatzor excavations were been in progress from 1955-1958, again between 1968 and 1970, and finally continued from 1990 onward under the supervision of Ben-Tor.

It is considered the biggest and most important archaeological site in Israel, and as such had been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

The archeological site at Tel Hazor (Credit: The Keren Zelts excavations at Hazor in memory of Yigael Yadin)


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