Rare ‘smiting gods’ among artifacts found at 12th century BCE Canaanite temple

Once-in-a-career Bronze Age findings from Lachish described as ‘breathtaking’ by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel, who published a comprehensive report on 2013-2017 excavations

Temple at Tel Lachish (Courtesy of the Fourth Expedition to Lachish)

A pair of smiting gods and other rare ritual artifacts are among the fascinating discoveries described in a recently published comprehensive report of the 2013-2017 excavations of the archaeology-rich Lachish site. The report digs deep into 12th century BCE Canaanite worship practices, from the modest temple structure, to ritual items discovered inside.

“This excavation has been breathtaking,” said lead archaeologist Professor Yosef Garfinkel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology in a press release on Monday. The excavation report, “The Level VI North-East Temple at Tel Lachish,” was recently published in the academic journal Levant: The Journal of the Council for British Research in the Levant.

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