Double Your Ark Encounter Donation Impact

Artifacts Thought to be from Ancient Pagan Temple

on June 19, 2010

National Geographic News: “Pictures: Pagan-Cult Worship Objects FoundArchaeologists in Israel have excavated artifacts thought to be from an ancient pagan temple.

The cache dates to between 1550 and 1200 BC and includes some 200 objects, of which half were “perfectly preserved,” National Geographic News reports. Among the objects are small ritual stands, a cup sculpted with a human face, oil vessels, and tableware, all found in a rock hollow at the Tel Qashish site in northern Israel. The scientists have not yet uncovered the temple itself, but they believe it is buried nearby.

The site itself was destroyed at some point.

Team member Edwin van den Brink described the probable uses of some of the artifacts:

“On top of these stands were placed either food offerings or incense for a pleasant scent during worship of the god or goddess in the temple. . . . The face was part of a vessel in which libations were offered to the god or goddess of that temple. It is not assumed to be a face of the god or goddess, but is probably of one of the worshipers who gave this as a gift to the gods.”

Van den Brink added that many of the ritual items were imported from Greece. The site itself was destroyed at some point, and the objects may have been stored away specifically for safekeeping.

Where do the artifacts fit within biblical history? If the archaeologists’ dating is accurate, the objects may have belonged to the peoples who occupied the land before the Israelites destroyed them (mostly), in accordance (partially) with God’s command. If the dating is inaccurate, however, the objects may have belonged to idol worshippers of Israel (either the unified nation or the Northern Kingdom—such as the heterodox religious system built by Jeroboam). In any event, the find comports with the idol worship we know occurred at various points in the history of Canaan and ancient Israel.

Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.

(Please note that links will take you directly to the source. Answers in Genesis is not responsible for content on the websites to which we refer. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.)


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

See All Lists

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390