Revisiting mount Gerizim: the foundation of the sacred precinct and the Proto-Ionic capitals

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The 1983-2003 excavations at Mount Gerizim, directed by Y. Magen, uncovered the remains of a large compound, defined as a sacred precinct due to its architecture and finds. Although the final report has not yet been published, several preliminary reports are available. Magen distinguished between two stratigraphic phases in the precinct: an early phase, dated to the Persian and early Hellenistic periods (fifth-early second century BCE), and a later; short-lived phase that existed for only several decades until its final destruction around 110 BCE by John Hyrcanus. Until now, the fifth-century BCE dating of the early phase, which was considered revolutionary as according to Josephus the temple of Gerizim was constructed with the permission of Alexander the Great, had almost never been challenged. The early phase of the precinct and its finds were systematically discussed in the last two decades. Almost all scholars dealing with this phase were convinced of its construction date in the Persian period. However, the discovery of three fragments of Proto-lonic capitals, traditionally dated to the Iron Age, posed difficulties on this dating. Stern and Magen suggested that the capitals Were brought from a nearby destroyed Iron Age temple, probably from Shechem, symbolizing the continuous cultic tradition of the Northern Kingdom of Israel on Mount Crim, accepted the Iron Age dating of the capitals, although he believed that they could have originated from any monumental building in Shechem, not just its temple. Zangenberg also believed that the capitals dated to Iron Age, though he explained their appearance at Mount Gerizinas evidence for an Iron Age monumental building on site. He claimed that such a building predated the Persian-period sacred precinct and i still to be located. In any event, in his preliminary publication, Magen changed his opinion and concluded that the capitals should be dated to the Persian period, relating to the early phase of the precinct.
Translated title of the contributionמבט מחודש על הר גריזים: ייסוד המתחם והכותרות הפרוטו-איאוליות
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39*-64*
Number of pages26
Journalחידושים בארכיאולוגיה של ירושלים וסביבותיה
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

שער שני: הנוף המלכותי של ירושלים

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Architecture, Ancient
  • Eretz Israel -- Antiquities -- 586 B.C.-70 A.D., Exilic and Second Temple period
  • Gerizim, Mount (West Bank)
  • Iron age
  • Pottery, Ancient
  • אדריכלות עתיקה
  • ארץ ישראל -- ארכיאולוגיה -- תקופה פרסית (587-332 לפנה"ס)
  • הר גריזים
  • כותרות (אדריכלות)
  • כלי חרס עתיקים
  • תקופת הברזל


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