Garo Nalbandian

The high place at Dan exemplifies the traditional understanding of a bamah as a raised platform where religious rituals were performed. In this photo, a 27-foot-wide monumental stairway, beside the tree at left, rises to the platform, which stretches across the photo. This central cult site of Israelite Dan was probably the sanctuary that King Jeroboam (928–907 B.C.E.) of the northern kingdom of Israel built to rival the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:25–30). The open-air platform was rebuilt and expanded to 60 by 62 feet in the ninth century B.C.E. The stairway, however, dates only to the first half of the eighth century B.C.E. Archaeologists have now restored the platform to an approximation of its original form (inset).