2 March 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Arrowhead from the Biblical Battle Discovered in the Hometown of the Giant Goliath’s

A bone arrowhead discovered in the ancient Philistine city of Gath might have been used fired off by the city’s defenders as part of the last stand described in the Bible.

According to the Hebrew Bible, a king named Hazael), who ruled the kingdom of Aram from around 842 B.C. to 800 B.C., conquered Gath (also known as Tell es-Safi) before marching on Jerusalem. “Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem,” the Book of Kings says (2 Kings 12:17). 

Archaeological investigations in Gath, in what is now Israel, have revealed that major damage occurred in the late ninth century B.C., when the Bible claims Hazael destroyed Gath, which was home to the Philistines (Israel’s foes). Goliath, the giant warrior killed by King David, was born in Gath, according to the Hebrew Bible.

Archaeologists found a bone arrowhead in the ruins of a street in the lower city in 2019 that may have been shot by the city’s defenders in a desperate attempt to halt Hazael’s army from conquering Gath, according to an article published recently in the journal Near Eastern Archaeology.

The army of King Hazael of Aram may have passed through the lower city (shown here) while conquering Gath.
The army of King Hazael of Aram may have passed through the lower city (shown here) while conquering Gath. Photo: Tell es-Safi Gath Archeological Project

The arrowhead has an impact fracture on its tip, and the arrowhead “had been broken close to the mid-shaft, perhaps as a result of this impact,” the archaeologists said The damage suggests the arrowhead hit a target, they added. 

Desperate manufacturing in Gath

This arrowhead might have been made in a Gath workshop that was feverishly trying to make as many bone arrowheads for the city’s defenses as possible.

The workshop, which was discovered in 2006, is located roughly 980 feet (300 meters) away from where the bone arrowhead was found. Inside this workshop, archaeologists uncovered several bones from the lower forelimbs and hind limbs of domestic cattle, suggesting that people in the workshop were in the process of making bone arrowheads. “The assemblage represents bones at different stages of working — from complete bones, waste, to almost finished products,” the researchers wrote in the article. 

The defenders may have chosen cattle bone because the material was readily available and crafting a good arrowhead from it didn’t take long. One of the researchers, Ron Kehati, a zooarchaeologist with the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project made a replica of the bone arrowhead in about an hour, study co-author Liora Kolska Horwitz, who is also a zooarchaeologist with the project, told Live Science. 

This workshop “may have functioned as an emergency, ad hoc production center to supply arrowheads to fight the forces of Hazael of Aram, who put the site under siege,” the researchers wrote in the article. The team plans to resume excavations at the site this summer and future discoveries may provide more clues to the fall of Gath.  

Originally published on Live Science.

Related Articles

Rare Hittite bracelet, 3300 years old, found by a farmer

28 March 2022

28 March 2022

A farmer in Turkey’s Çorum province discovered a rare 3,300-year-old ancient bracelet from the Hittite era while plowing his farm....

The Old Fisherman Founded the Turkish Sea Creatures Museum

26 March 2021

26 March 2021

The sea gives another life to man, sometimes love, sometimes a disappointment, often a longing. The sea is reminiscent of...

Archaeologists have found an intriguing Iron Age “shrine” in the Yorkshire Wolds

19 September 2021

19 September 2021

Archaeologists have discovered an interesting ancient Iron Age “shrine” in the Yorkshire Wolds, which was marked out by meticulously placed...

Vindolanda marks the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall with an altar discovery

9 February 2022

9 February 2022

The excavation season hasn’t started yet, but the Vindolanda Roman fort has kicked off Hadrian’s Wall’s 1900th anniversary year with...

Thousand-Year-Old Christian Viking-era Graves Found in Sweden

28 June 2021

28 June 2021

Seven Christian tombs dating to the Viking Age have been found at Sigtuna. According to archaeologists, the tombs date to...

In Peru, Archaeologists Discovered an Ancient Dance Floor that can Imitate Rumbling of Thunder

21 July 2023

21 July 2023

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient “sounding” dance floor in Peru that was designed to create a drum-like sound when stepped...

Archaeologists Reveal First Settlement of Cimmerians in Anatolia

23 June 2023

23 June 2023

Continuing excavations in Türkiye’s central Kırıkkale province have revealed new findings indicating that Büklükale village was the first settlement of...

The first time in Anatolia, a legionnaires’ cemetery belonging to the Roman Empire unearthed

18 November 2022

18 November 2022

In the ancient city of Satala, in the Kelkit district of Gümüşhane in the Eastern Black Sea region of Turkey,...

According to researchers, the bones discovered underneath St. Peter’s Basilica may not be his

5 June 2021

5 June 2021

Three Italian researchers have voiced doubts about whether St. Peter’s bones are buried underneath the Rome basilica that bears his...

Sicily: Archaeologists make striking discovery in Segesta

8 June 2021

8 June 2021

Archaeological excavations in the Segesta Archaeological Park, investigating a “monumental edifice” near the portico at the end of the old...

Complex Of Early Neolithic Monuments Discovered In Herefordshire, England

22 July 2023

22 July 2023

Archaeologists discovered a remarkable complex of early Neolithic monuments while investigating the area around Dorstone Hill in Herefordshire, England. The...

The two sarcophagi discovered beneath Notre Dame start to reveal their secrets

12 December 2022

12 December 2022

The owner of one of the two sarcophagi that were found in an excavation at the intersection of Notre Dame...

God Vishnumurthy Statue Found in a Well in Karnataka

28 February 2021

28 February 2021

A statue of the god Vishnumurthy dumped into a well was found near a destroyed Udupi temple in the state...

A 1,100-year-old lead amulet of Bulgarian soldiers sieges Constantinople found

31 March 2023

31 March 2023

A lead plate amulet bearing an inscription in Cyrillic dating from the times of Tsar Simeon the Great was discovered...

Roman girl adorned with 1800-year-old jewelry found in a lead coffin on Mount Scopus

9 April 2023

9 April 2023

“After the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the exodus of the Jewish population, late Roman Jerusalem—renamed Aelia Capitolina—had a...