NEW YORK (Nov. 13)
Archaeological evidence relating to the Biblical description of the bloody battle in 1150 B. C. E., in which Abimelech, King of Shechem, suppressed a revolt in that city, has been uncovered at the site of the ancient stronghold east of Nablus, in Western Jordan, it was announced here this weekend by Harvard University. Harvard scientists participated in the excavations last summer, along with archaeologists from Drew University, McCormick Theological Seminary and a number of other American institutions.
The discovery, which dated the reign of Abimelech to the 12th Century B. C. E., came from analyses of pottery fragments found at the site over a period of several years. According to the announcement, the expedition sought to “flush out” details of Biblical history, by bringing them into context with known ancient history.
This year’s excavations, the announcement said, revealed that the three sites mentioned in the Bible–the house of Baal-Berith, the house of Millo, and the tower of Shechem–are one and the same. Archaeologists now have a good history of the building, which was first constructed by Hyksos tribes in the 17th Century. The building was finally captured by the Israelites in the 13th Century B. C. E. Shechem became the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel after the tribes revolted.