(The Algemeiner) For decades archaeologists have been searching for evidence to support the hypothesis that Shiloh served as a religious center in ancient times. Now, a stone altar dated to the Iron Age—the period of Israelite kings—was accidentally exposed during a dig conducted by an archaeological staff officer of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.
The altar was found amid the stones of a wall dated to the Byzantine period. Apparently, the Byzantines removed the altar from its original location in Tel Shiloh and used it to build a structure at the foot of the tel. The discovery is the first tangible evidence that Shiloh was a cultic center prior to and during the First Temple period.