Photos by Pamela Gaber

Within the enclosure excavators found several workrooms, one of which was used for extracting olive oil (shown here, compare with two previous photos). In an adjacent room was an ash deposit and an earthen oven (tabun); nearby, excavators found pounding stones that were used in working copper. This enclosure was clearly used for industrial purposes.

But Idalion’s excavators also found evidence that the site was a sacred place: In one room, they found numerous fragments of leg bones from sheep and goats; these are traditionally the animal parts used to make burnt offerings to a deity. The Idalion temenos was a work area and a sacred sanctuary, a combination of functions that is common at ancient holy sites in Cyprus and the Near East—such as at the Philistine city of Ekron, located about 20 miles west of Jerusalem.