(Aleteia) For decades, archaeologists have been trying to determine an explanation for the mysterious “Israelite footprints” that were discovered in the Jordan Valley. Dated between the 12th and 13th centuries BC, these large foot-shaped enclosures dot the arid landscape and have perplexed experts.
The “footprints” were initially discovered by the late archaeologist Adam Zertal, who found half a dozen such sites while surveying the Manasseh Hill Country. They vary in size; for example, el-’Unuq, measures 816 feet long and 228 feet wide, while another site, Bedhat esh-Sha’ab, only spans 3 acres. The shape of these sites is not determined by terrain, as they have been dug into the earth where needed.
The most famous of these footprints — or gilgalim — is found on Mt. Ebal. Zertal excavated this site through much of the 1980s and uncovered a large stone altar built from unhewn stones, which was dated to the Iron Age I.
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