The Tomb of the Patriarchs is revered by all Abrahamic religions and is considered by Jews to be the second holiest spot after the Temple Mount. Like at the Temple Mount, no recent archaeological study has been permitted at the site, but a recent scientific study was conducted by Ariel University archaeologist, Prof. David Ben-Shlomo. This is the first high-tech study of the cave’s pottery.
Ben-Shlomo co-authored an article charting the systematic compositional analysis of four vessels that were taken from the cave (in Arabic: al-Ḥaram al-Ibrahimi or Ḥaram el-Khalil) in an unauthorized underground incursion in 1981. Spoiler: Ben-Shlomo’s new scientific study found that these vessels are typical of Iron Age IIB (late ninth and eighth centuries BCE) Kingdom of Judah.
Hear how the vessels got into his hands and about excavations of ancient Hebron.
Image: A general view of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the West Bank town of Hebron, June 22, 2017. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)