Ilan Sztulman

Four-horned incense altars, well known from Biblical Israel, were found throughout Ekron. Excavators uncovered 17 in all—half of all such altars unearthed in ancient Israel, Judah and Philistia. That they were found all over the city indicates a thriving, decentralized folk religion in Ekron. The same was true in Judah, though such practices were vigorously condemned by the Biblical prophets. These altars also show an even more direct link between the Philistines and the Israelites: The altars were likely made by craftsmen who had only recently been exiled by the Assyrians from the northern kingdom of Israel.