Erich Lessing

The early Israelite settlers of the site, in the 11th century B.C.E., set up their own bamah, or sacred sanctuary, in a small, bench-lined room. The rectangle of rocks in the lower foreground is the back wall of this cultic room, which extends to lower right and out of the photo. The smooth, oblong stone at lower right is a remnant of the bench that lined three walls on the south side of the room. A buried ceramic jar filled with bronze votive offerings included a figurine and other cultic objects, establishing the function of the room.