Joshua’s forgotten altar is now a land battle


Staff member
Joshua’s forgotten altar is now a land battle
Israel must find a way to protect and preserve the area as an archaeological park.
FEBRUARY 22, 2021

There is nothing to let a casual wanderer know that the scenic, rock-filled hill on Mount Ebal behind a small olive grove could be the ancient site mentioned in Deuteronomy and the Book of Joshua. The site is not fenced off. Nor are there any signs denoting that this pile of rocks thousands of years ago served as an altar where Joshua sacrificed animals to God. Unlike the Western Wall or the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the exact location of the altar was unknown until it was unearthed by University of Haifa archeologist Adam Zertal in 1980. Zertel’s claim that this was Joshua’s Altar was never universally accepted. Moreover, its location in Samaria placed it in the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and kept the site from development as an archaeological park.