Biblical Archaeology Review 12:1, January/February 1986
Different Interpretations

Joshua’s Altar—An Iron Age I Watchtower

By Aharon Kempinski

I vividly remember a hot day in late October 1982—October 27, to be exact—when, with two other archaeologists, I first visited Adam Zertal’s excavation on Mt. Ebal. Even then, during the first season of excavation, rumors had spread that Zertal had found “Joshua’s altar.” It seems that from the beginning Zertal really thought he had discovered “Joshua’s altar.” By the time we visited the site, notices had already appeared in the Israeli daily press that the altar that Joshua had built on Mt. Ebal, according to Joshua 8:30–35, was being excavated.

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