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The Bible’s book of Samuel tells us the story of a traitor who managed to escape King David’s wrath and hid in a nearby town. However, when the king’s men searched the area, they found the traitor thanks to a wise woman who informed them of his betrayal. They have the townsfolk behead the man and throw it over the wall to teach everyone a lesson. In this story appears one of the few mentions of an ancient fortification called Abel Beth Maacah. Once, this structure stood at the crossroads of three very powerful kingdoms: Damascus, Israel and Tyre.
For years, archaeologists have wondered about this fortification’s role outside the Biblical one. Now, thanks to the recent discovery of an ancient glass head, Abel Beth Maacah might be one step closer to revealing all of its fascinating secrets. According to reports, engineering student Mario Tobia is the one who stumbled upon this sculpture while he was digging at the Abel Beth site, in the south of the Israel-Lebanon border, last year. The teams of archaeologists were trying to unearth a huge iron Age structure. That was the moment when Tobia saw the small sculpture that looked like a head.
The mysterious nature of the sculpted head
— Roald Docter (@roalddocter) June 8, 2018
According to lead archaeologist Robert Mullins, despite the small size of the head, this discovery might offer experts a huge change to gaze into the eyes of a famous Biblical figure. It seems that the sculpture is made out of faience, a material that resembles glass. The artifact dates between 900 and 800 B.C. It is the head of a bearded, dark-haired man, with almond-shaped eyes.
What’s even more interesting is that he has a golden headband, suggesting a royal connection. For now, archaeologists think that the head might depict a famous king form that period. However, they need to do more research to be sure of this and to find out who exactly is the sculpture depicting. For now, they have three likely candidates: King Ahab of Israel, King Hazael of Aram-Damascus and King Ethbaal of Tyre.
Image source: wikimedia