Tel Dan is located in the Hula valley, where the largest tributary of the Jordan river begins its course south. In the Hebrew bible, the site is also referred to as Laish (Genesis 14:14; Joshua 19:47; Judges 18:29). The name appears in ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian texts dating from the 19th to the 15th century BCE.
Massive ramparts and an intact mud-brick gate with three complete arches dating to approximately 1750 BCE were uncovered, the gate being one of the earliest found anywhere.
Other important finds include: a sacred precinct (high place) and two gate complexes from the Iron Age (1000-586 BCE). Several features highlight the importance of Dan as a cultic center for the Israelite Kingdom and perhaps for the Arameans as well. Especially significant is the discovery of three fragments of an Aramaic inscription mentioning the House of David and a king of Israel, probably written in the second half of the 9th century BCE.
Tel Dan ceased to be a major cultic center by the end of the Iron Age. Major settlement at Tel Dan ended with the late Roman period (c. 400 CE).
University credit course (3 credits, Hebrew Union College) includes:
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