Archeologists have uncovered remains of what they believe to be a tabernacle that once housed the Ark of the Covenant, according to Fox News. Associates for Biblical Research, a consortium of individuals and universities, spent the months of May and June digging at the site on the West Bank. Their goal is to eventually locate the tabernacle.
“We have just begun the process of accumulating evidence but we’re confident that the tabernacle rested at Shiloh,” said Dr. Scott Stripling, director of excavations at Shiloh and provost at The Bible Seminary in Houston, Texas. “The tabernacle was set up at Shiloh in 1400 B.C. – Joshua 18:1 mentions it.”
The tabernacle, he said, was located at Shiloh for about 350 years. During the excavation from May 21 to June 17, researchers uncovered a copious amount of animal bones which, Stripling believes, could have been used for animal sacrifices, indicating that the tabernacle is nearby.
“We excavated through a tremendous amount of bone. … You have 350 years of sacrifices – where do all of those bones go?” he said. “If the bones match the animals of the Biblical sacrificial system and the type and age specified, then we may be looking at evidence that the tabernacle sat nearby.”
The ABR team found other important artifacts as well, including seals and scarabs, which were ancient beetle-shaped carvings. These were used for inscriptions and amulets.
“We registered 700 objects this last [excavation] season – seal impressions, scarabs, tools, weapons, jewelry, utilitarian objects, cultic objects,” said Stripling. “And about 2,000 pieces of pottery a day.”
The section of excavation dates back to 1700 B.C. During that era, Shiloh was part of the ancient Canaanite civilization. When the Israelites entered the area about 300 years later, the site became a major center of worship.
In 1050 B.C., the tabernacle was destroyed by the Philistines, who captured the Ark of the Covenant -- but only briefly, before it was recaptured by the Israelites. The Ark was brought to Jerusalem by King David in 1000 B.C. In 587 B.C., Babylonians destroyed the city and at the same time, the Ark of the Covenant disappeared. Archeologists have been searching for its whereabouts; the Shiloh excavation could provide important clues to its locale.
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