TEL REHOV EXPEDITION, THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM (PHOTO BY D. HARRIS)
HUNDREDS OF CLAY ALTARS were excavated at Tel Rehov, a massive mound in the Jordan Valley between Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee. Pictured here is a uniquely complete altar in the shape of a city gate that stands about 1.5 feet tall. The “rooftop” features a low parapet with horns in each of the four corners and is decorated—rather sloppily—with palm tree branches. The lower register exhibits female figures rendered with little concern for detail. Although not mentioned in the Bible, Tel Rehov is known from Egyptian temple inscriptions. This epigraphic data and excavated archaeological strata confirm that by the 10th century B.C.E. Tel Rehov was an important Israelite city. This has made Tel Rehov ideal for studying the long-debated rise of the Israelite state.