Courtesy of The Penn Museum, Image #152819

There’s a New Cult in Town. In around 1140 B.C.E., the Egyptian presence at Beth Shean ended and the city was destroyed with a massive fire—perhaps by the local Canaanites who resettled and rebuilt the site soon after. This cult stand comes from the 11th-century Canaanite temple there. This is the phase of Beth Shean that existed when the Bible says the Philistines hung Saul and his sons from the city wall. There is no evidence of Philistine settlement here at the time—or of the wall—so many questions remain unanswered about the Biblical story.