Hershel Shanks

Canaanite High Place. Like giant tombstones, ten monoliths mark Gezer’s High Place, extending southward from the northern inner wall at the far right of the photo.

The Irish archaeologist, R. A. S. Macalister, first exposed these stones in September of 1902, but fearing the effects of weather and vandals, he reburied them. Exposed for the second time in 1967, they stand today as mysterious markers of uncertain ceremonies.

Some archaeologists have suggested that ritual sacrifices were made here, but the generally accepted theory holds that these stones commemorated treaties and that the High Place was a fairgrounds—a place of festival and celebration where tribes gathered to feast and renew their allegiance to each other.