A Serendipitous Find!
So many archaeological discoveries in Israel happen unexpectedly, accidentally. That is what happened recently when Israel Defense Forces (IDF) paratroopers unearthed a watchtower from the 8th Century B.C. The watchtower comes from the time of Hezekiah. Excavation directors Sa’ar Ganor and Valdik Lifshitz explain:
“In the days of the First Temple, the Kingdom of Judah built a range of towers and fortresses as points of communication, warning and signaling, to transmit messages and field intelligence. This tower is one of the observation points connecting the large cities in the area, located in the Beit Mirsim (Mirsham), Tel Eton and Tel Lachish sites. It is likely that the watchtower now uncovered was one of the towers that bore some of the beacons [for transmitting messages].”
The Paratroopers Brigade provided 150 recruits and commanders for the excavations which lasted for several months. The IDF has a Nature Defense Forces Project, which this excavation was part of, and this allows for “a connection between the soldiers and their surroundings. It creates a stronger awareness both to the preservation of nature and the Israeli heritage.” As a result of this project, and others like it, the soldiers are reminded “why it’s so important to protect this land as they belong to an ancient people who inherited it from God.”
The team discovered the watchtower remains on a hilltop inside a paratrooper base in southern Israel. “It is estimated that the original tower measured 15’x10’5 feet, built from large stones, some weighing as much as eight tons. The current structure stands six feet high.”
In Israel often the ancient history and heritage combines with modern structures and technology. In the case of this discovery, modern warriors meet ancient warriors who defend and protect the same land. A serendipitous find, indeed.
(Source: Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz; Breaking Israel News)