The site of Beersheba is famous for its connection with the biblical patriarchs Abraham (Gen 21:14–33, 22:19), Isaac (Gen 26:23–33), and Jacob (Gen 28:10, 46:1–5). The formula “from Dan to Beersheba” defines the extent of ancient Israel (Judg 20:1, 1 Sam 3:20), situating Beersheba at the southern extreme of the land. At Beersheba was an important sanctuary (2 Kgs 23:8; Amos 5:5, 8:14; see also Gen 21:33, 46:1), and it is mentioned as belonging to the tribes of Judah and Simeon (Josh 15:28, 1 Chr 4:28). The mother of Joash, king of Judah (r. ca. 836–796 B.C.E.), was born here (2 Kgs 12:1, 2 Chr 24:1); and when Elijah escaped he came to Beersheba (1 Kgs 19:3). Beersheba can mean “well of seven,” but the main Hebrew part of the name shebaʾ more likely derived from shebuʾa (“oath”), the name meaning “well of (the) oath.”

Confusingly, there are two alternative locations discussed for biblical Beersheba with similar names. Biblical Beersheba was either at modern Tel Shebaʾ (Arabic Tell es-Sebaʾ, also called “Tel Beersheba”) or in the modern city of Beersheba (Arabic Bir es-Sebaʾ). Both sites were excavated, and at both sites remains of the Iron Age, the time of the Hebrew Bible, were found. The Arabic name Bir es-Sebaʾ was mentioned already in the fourteenth century C.E. in travel accounts by John Mandeville (“Bersabee”), Ludolf von Suchem (“Barsabee”), and Wilhelm von Boldensele (“Bersabea”) as they passed the site on their route from Sinai to Hebron. Both Arabic names Bir es-Sebaʾ and Tell es-Sebaʾ were recorded by the Survey of Western Palestine in the nineteenth century C.E. For a clear distinction, the two archaeological sites will be called hereafter “Tel Shebaʾ” and “Beersheba City.”

Tel Shebaʾ was excavated by Yohanan Aharoni (1969–1974) and Zeev Herzog (1976) for Tel Aviv University and partially described in two monographs and several articles (Aharoni, 1973; Herzog, 1984). In contrast, there were mostly small salvage excavations in Beersheba City that were published in many, often very short reports, some of them only in Hebrew. As there was no attempt to summarize these excavations, the antiquities of Beersheba City are less well known and the significance of the site remained somewhat elusive.

In addition to these excavations in the center of Beersheba City, there were a number of excavations exploring the Chalcolithic settlements that are scattered within the modern borders of the city, the most prominent being Bir Abu Matar, Bir es-Safadi (Neveh Noy), and Horvat Betar. These explorations were conducted by J. Perrot in 1951 to 1954 (Bir Abu Matar) and 1954 to 1959 (Bir es-Safadi), M. Dothan (Horvat Betar) in 1952 to 1954, and I. Eldar and Y. Baumgarten (Bir es-Safadi) in 1982. Substantial Chalcolithic remains were again uncovered between 2004 and 2006 by I. Gilead and P. Fabian during excavations at Compound C in the center of the modern city near the municipal market.

Chalcolithic.

A dense cluster of Chalcolithic sites was recorded in Beersheba and its surroundings. This cluster is part of an intensive Chalcolithic settlement in the northern Negev that extended from areas north and east of Beersheba (Tel Shebaʾ, Nabatim, Shoket Junction, Nahal Ashan, and Abu Hof) to the west along the Nahal Beersheba and the Besor River basin: Shiqmim, Gilאat, Gerar, and the Besor sites. The settlements enjoyed more favorable environmental conditions than they do in the twenty-first century, with more rainfall and water access.

Subsistence was based on agriculture and animal husbandry, both attested by flint implements and bones of domesticated animals (goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs). Early crafts specialization is reflected in copper production that processed ore and recycled discarded metal objects. Further evidence for specialized crafts production was found at the Compound C excavations in Beersheba City, where a sickle blade workshop was found. The Chalcolithic settlements are characterized by built architecture (rectangular structures) and subterranean room complexes that were dug into the hard loess soil. Clay and ivory figurines provide a rare glimpse into the cult and symbolic imaginations of the Chalcolithic societies.

While substantial remains of the Chalcolithic period were found at Beersheba City, remains of this period were also recorded at Tel Shebaʾ, where they are disturbed by constructions of later periods. According to radiocarbon dating, the Chalcolithic settlement in Beersheba City dates to about 4200–4000 B.C.E. After its abandonment, human occupation returned to Beersheba City and Tel Shebaʾ only in the Iron Age.

Iron Age.

Substantial Iron-Age settlement remains were recorded at Beersheba City and Tel Shebaʾ. The excavations at Tel Shebaʾ convinced their excavators that this site should be identified with biblical Beersheba. They, thus, published the site under the name “Tel Beersheba,” while the Arabic name of the site was Tell es-Sebaʾ (translated to Hebrew as Tel Shebaʾ).

An early Iron-Age farming village at Tel Shebaʾ (strata IX–VI).

The first Iron-Age settlement at Tel Shebaʾ was recorded as stratum IX and is concentrated on the southeastern slope of the mound. It is characterized mainly by pits and probably flimsy hut constructions that did not leave substantial remains. The excavators suggested that some of the pits were also used as dwellings because one of the pits had a roof construction formed by a natural vault in the rock. Inside the pit an area with a pebble floor was excavated. The pit included also storage jars and a cooking oven. Most of the pits may have been originally used for grain storage and were reused as garbage pits after they fell out of use.

Stratum IX dates to Iron Age IB. The stratum was originally thought to begin in the twelfth century B.C.E. The finds included a late style of Philistine bowl that was in use together with red-slipped pottery, some of which was unburnished matte, while others were hand-burnished. Among the cooking pots are examples with smooth and inverted, sometimes almost horizontal, rims. These cooking pots begin to appear in the Iron-I period and continue in the early Iron IIA but do not occur in the late Iron IIA. These observations suggest that stratum IX should be dated quite late in the eleventh century B.C.E.

The stratum-IX settlement was very small, with a population of probably fewer than 150 people. Among the finds were also Egyptian scarabs, indicating that property was sealed at the site. This and the many storage pits point to a tiny independent farming community that consisted probably of only one extended family. Subsistence was based on agriculture and animal husbandry, which may have included some transhumance movements. The community, however, was not nomadic. The settlement included a very deep well dug more than 65.6 ft (20 m) into the mound. Although it is difficult to establish the correct stratigraphic context of the well, it is possible that it was dug in Iron I. This construction constitutes a considerable investment of the community in the settlement. The following stratum VIII, dating to Iron Age IB, late eleventh and early tenth centuries B.C.E., was essentially similar to stratum IX except for its substantial domestic architecture and finds like metal tools.

Tel Shebaʾ stratum VII dates to the early Iron IIA, mid- to late tenth century B.C.E. However, some of the pottery published from stratum VII appears to belong to the late Iron Age IIA, for example, a black-on-red juglet (Herzog, 1984, fig. 24.7). The freestanding and spread domestic architecture was replaced by a rigorous new plan of a line of attached dwellings of the four-room type. The excavators reconstructed the plan of stratum VII as a circle of houses. Similar plans found at Tel Esdar, Tel Arad, some of the Negev highland sites, and other early Iron-IIA sites seem to confirm this reconstruction. The excavated evidence is, however, incomplete; and the plan of an enclosed settlement remains highly speculative. Archaeological remains of structures were found only along the southeast site of the hypothetical circle, with some structures being outside of the hypothetical enclosure. Further, it is uncertain whether such a circle was completely closed by houses or whether parts of the circle were closed by thorn hedges or a wall. Within such an enclosure flocks could have been kept, and it was possible to guard the property of the inhabitants. A complete circle of houses would imply a rather large population. The community, however, was apparently still rather small and consisted probably mainly of one extended family.

The typical house of stratum VII is the four-room or three-room house. Among the scant remains of stratum VIII may have been predecessors of such a type of domestic structure. The wealth of the hamlet increased with stratum VII, and finds include jewelry, iron tools, and figurines. A considerable part of the flocks consisted of cattle, another indication of wealth.

Tel Shebaʾ stratum VII was abandoned or cleared of its inhabitants when a new chapter began in the history of the site with stratum VI. Tel Shebaʾ had been for generations the settlement of an extended family when it was dismantled and replaced by an administrative center and military stronghold maintained by a government. The process started with stratum VI, which was interpreted as a work camp for the construction of stratum V, the new fortified center. The ceramics of stratum VI date to the late Iron IIA.

An administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah (Tel Shebaʾ strata V–II).

The first level of the fortified administrative center was stratum V. The center occupied all of the mound summit and continued over four strata from the late Iron Age IIA through IIB, perhaps around the second half of the ninth century until the final destruction of the fortress in 701 B.C.E. The settlement maintained its general outline over all of the four strata, although the site was repeatedly attacked. Each of the four strata V–II was destroyed and the center three times rebuilt until the final destruction of the fortress, stratum II. Strata V–III were only partially exposed, while stratum II was excavated on a large scale with about 60 percent of the settlement uncovered.

The main plan of the fortified administrative center at Tel Shebaʾ includes a wall that surrounds the whole built-up area of 2.8 acres (1.15 ha). The fortification was constructed as a solid wall in strata V and IV and rebuilt as a casemate wall in strata III and II. The gates of the site were built with four chambers and repeatedly reconstructed. The general course of the streets did not change essentially through all four strata and are dominated by an inner and an outer peripheral alley parallel to the fortification wall and along the elevation lines. Radial streets running perpendicular to the peripheral alleys connected the inner part of the settlement with the outer one. There may have been free access to the city wall, considered by A. Faust a basic element of city planning in Judah and Israel during the Iron Age.

There are indications of thorough planning of the settlement. The streets are uniformly about 8.2 ft (2.5 m) wide, which enabled efficient internal traffic space. At curves of the outer peripheral street the house plans vary the angles of their walls to allow a harmonious and unified course of the facades along the main street. The angles of the house walls are another indication of planning as the main construction lines of the houses converge at a single point within the site. All of the houses were built with only one wall separating the units from one another. This implies that they were constructed together in one step. Another indication of careful planning are the drainage channels that gathered the rainwater and conducted it in stone channels into a main channel, which passed beneath the gate and collected the water in the ancient Iron-I well outside the gate.

The architectural constructions at Tel Shebaʾ included public buildings such as the fortification wall, the gate, a water system, storage facilities, a treasury, and main offices of the senior administration. The site may have comprised a cult place, as in the case of Tel Arad. The Bible mentions Beersheba as an important sanctuary (Amos 5:5, 8:14), and Aharoni found remains of a horned altar in secondary use as stones integrated in the walls of one of the storehouses of stratum II. He saw the altar as evidence for the identification of the site with biblical Beersheba and as remains of its sanctuary. Against an ongoing debate about the assumed cult reforms of Hezekiah (r. ca. 715–686 B.C.E.), Herzog ascertains that in the case of Arad and Beersheba there is archaeological evidence for abolishment of the cultic places before the campaign of Sennacherib (r. 704–681 B.C.E.), even if it is impossible to prove that the abolishment was part of a reform initiated by Hezekiah.

The excavators believed that the original location of the altar was where the so-called Basement House (Building 32) stands. They assume that in stratum II this building replaced the earlier temple. The Basement House is an unusual structure in comparison to other buildings of Tel Shebaʾ. It is the only construction in an exact north–south/east–west direction. South of the building was a row of deep basements connected by well-preserved subterranean doorways. The building was destroyed, the plastered walls of the basements were blackened by intensive burning, and large charred beams from the ceiling lay in the destruction debris. The Basement House is the only building with deep foundation trenches. The foundation walls were set on bedrock, the rooms were filled to a height of ca. 13.1 ft (ca. 4 m), and only the row of cellars remained open.

The Basement House may be interpreted as a tower with deep foundations that were able to carry the weight of the building. The structure resembles in many details and in its dimensions the West Gate and Tower building (or West Tower) at Tell Beit Mirsim dated to the late phase of stratum A. In fact, a third tower of similar construction, but partly destroyed, might have been found at Beersheba City in the late eighth-century B.C.E. level (Gilead and Fabian, 2010, fig. 7).

Other public buildings included a structure interpreted by Aharoni as the “governor’s residence.” Lacking domestic space and finds, the house was probably not built to accommodate someone and appears to be for public use. Considerably larger than other buildings of stratum II, this structure included several rooms and probably a treasury located in three long and narrow rooms immediately to the right of the entrance. Across the alley and east of this “residence” was another public structure, maybe an office, with several rooms and larger than the average domestic unit. This building faced the gate and opened to a small plaza.

Near the plaza was yet another large structure, immediately west of the gate, Building 430. The house was identified as the sanctuary of Tel Shebaʾ and the original location of the altar found at the site. This identification was refuted for convincing reasons. The building contained three ovens and three constructed silos; it may have functioned as a central bakery.

Tripartite pillared structures were a multipurpose type of building that served as a storage facility and sometimes also as stables. A complex of three such buildings was built in stratum III immediately east of the gate. The structures were rebuilt in stratum II. Upon entering the settlement, pack animals could be unpacked on the small plaza and the goods carried a few meters to the storage buildings. The central hall had a width of 6.6 ft (2 m), while the two flanking halls were 8.2 ft (2.5 m) wide. Cobblestone floors in the flanking halls were sunk ca. 1.3 ft (ca. 0.4 m) below the level of the street and below the floor of the central hall, which was made of beaten earth. In the case of Tel Shebaʾ stratum II the finds proved that the buildings were storage houses and not stables. The finds included many clay and stone household vessels, figurines, mallets, metal tools (knives, an axe, and arrowheads), bone tools, a stone altar, and two ostraca. Most of the finds were kept in the two flanking halls of the storage houses. The objects may have been stored and provided by the central government to the population. In addition to storage, other activities such as crafts production may have been practiced in these multipurpose buildings.

Another typical public installation at Iron-Age administrative sites in Israel was a water system that was built and maintained by the government. In the case of Tel Shebaʾ stratum II a deep, stone-lined shaft was dug in the northeastern corner within the settlement. Stairs led down to cisterns that were hewn into the rock. The water was supplied by channels leading water from the wadi into the cisterns. Only during the winter rainfalls did water run in the wadi, and the water collected then was stored in the cistern for months.

Most buildings of the administrative center were domestic units inhabited by the families living in the center. The architecture of the domestic structures follows in most cases the plan of the four-room or three-room house. Houses along the fortification wall are incorporated into the casemate wall, and their broad rooms (or back rooms) form the casemate chambers, another indication of strict planning in the construction of the site.

The reconstructed settlement plan of stratum II provides sufficient space for at least 85 domestic units. If one accounts for five to six people per household, there would have been a population of about 400 to 500 people.

The small domestic units most probably housed nuclear families. One can speculate that some of these families may have clustered as extended families with several domestic units as neighborhoods. It is unclear whether all of the families were part of the employed personnel of the administrative center. However, the high degree of planning and control within the settlement suggests that all residents were in one way or another under the supervision of the administration. Thus, the population would have included officers and military personnel as well as administrative staff, along with their families and even possibly retired members of the families.

There is no evidence for communal meals, and the personnel of the center apparently cooked for themselves at their homes. Although the storage facilities imply that part of the supplies were provided by the central administration, it is likely that the population sustained themselves by agriculture, gardening, and animal husbandry in addition to their official duties. Some structures housed craft specialists, like Building 76 that served as a potter’s workshop. An iron plowshare and other agricultural tools made of iron were found in this house as well.

Household cult was apparently practiced. Seventeen small stone altars were found in stratum II, some of them in public buildings and others in domestic houses. No small stone altar was found in the western and southern quarters. Traces of burning indicate their use as incense burners.

Lily Singer-Avitz analyzed the household activities at Tel Shebaʾ stratum II. She identified households that “functioned as consumption and production units, which were identified with family dwellings, and households that accommodated only consumption activities, whose inhabitants were not necessarily families” (Singer-Avitz, 2011). Domestic production activities like grinding grain, preparing food, cooking, spinning, and weaving were located in some of the large central rooms of the four-room houses, representing probably female activities. Although a small number of households appear to have been more wealthy than others, in general Singer-Avitz observed little socioeconomic differences within the settlement, a pattern not surprising in a settlement dominated by administrative and military functions.

Although the administrative center at Tel Shebaʾ is often described as a “city,” it is a question of definition whether such a small settlement should be called “urban.” Certainly, this type of settlement is neither a village nor a large city with a mercantile component and substantial crafts production like the coastal cities of the southern Levant during the Iron Age. It appears to be a highly specialized site with a defined set of functions and limited independent economic initiative of its population. The main economic activities at the site may have been restricted and tightly controlled by the state administration. With the high degree of internal spatial control that characterized the center it is likely that its administration exerted its control also over the economic sector of the site. The administration, thus, may have monopolized most economic activities. It is even possible that the agricultural activities that provided the main food supply of the center were organized in the form of a royal estate.

Royal economic interests are also reflected by the finds of stratum II. The site was situated on the ancient route to Arabia. Small finds from stratum II include cylinder seals, ritual objects (some with figurative decoration), alabaster vessels, and stone objects from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and southern Arabia, one even with a south Arabian inscription. Modest amounts of pottery imports from Phoenicia, Philistine coastal sites, and Edom are still more numerous than in contemporary neighboring settlements. These finds at Tel Shebaʾ distinguish the site from the larger contemporary settlement in modern Beersheba City, where such a variety of imports was not found.

The finds underline the special status of the royal administrative center at Tel Shebaʾ strata V–II. There is a general consensus that Tel Shebaʾ stratum II was destroyed by Sennacherib in 701 B.C.E.

Iron-Age remains at Beersheba City.

Only 2.8 miles (4.5 km) west of Tel Shebaʾ are the remains of the Iron-Age settlement within the modern city of Beersheba (hereafter “Beersheba City,” Arabic Bir es-Sebaʾ). They are located on the north bank of the Nahal Beersheba (Wadi es-Sebaʾ) around the municipal market of the city, where wells provided sufficient water for an extended settlement.

The archaeological remains were investigated in several salvage excavations after the installation of a military fuel station in 1955 damaged the area of the so-called Compound C, exposing remains from the Chalcolithic, Iron Age, Late Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, and Abbasid periods. Finds from the construction site were collected by Zvi Ofer, who published a selection of it (1965). Regular salvage excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority began at the Iron-Age site in 1962 and continued until 1968. In 1992 Fabian returned to the area northeast of the municipal market for salvage excavations. The area at the entrance to the municipal market of Beersheba was investigated from 1996 to 1997 by a team of the Hebrew University under R. Shimron. S. Talis and G. Seriy excavated in 2001 southeast of the old Bedouin market, on the southern side of Hebron Road, and the so-called Moval Hebron with Iron-II structures was opened in 2004. These salvage operations exposed only limited areas with Iron-Age domestic architecture, pits, and remnants of floors.

Between 2004 and 2006, Compound C, west of the municipal market, was excavated under the direction of Gilead and Fabian in a joint project of Ben-Gurion University and the Israel Antiquities Authority. This was the first multiseasonal archaeological investigation in the center of Beersheba City. In most areas, the expedition found mainly small domestic houses. In Area A, however, parts of a large public building were found. The walls and floors of this structure were wider and constructed slightly better than the rest of the architecture around it. The large building is located on what appears to have been the highest elevation at the site in antiquity. As the largest Iron-Age building excavated in Beersheba City and being situated on such a prominent location the structure was interpreted as a tower guarding the settlement in the Iron Age IIB.

The northern and eastern extensions of the large building were destroyed by modern construction (Gilead and Fabian, 2010, fig. 7). Although not completely preserved, the building can be compared with contemporary tower buildings in the region like the West Gate and Tower building (or West Tower) at Tell Beit Mirsim stratum A and the Basement House (Building 32) at Tell Shebaʾ stratum II.

The pottery reading of the Compound C excavations is only preliminary. The earliest Iron-Age pottery dates apparently to the early Iron IIA. Other excavations in Beersheba City confirm this date (Aharoni, 1973, pl. 79; Panitz-Cohen, 2005, p. 152). Substantially more ceramics date to the late Iron IIA, and the majority of the pottery is contemporary with Lachish stratum III of the eighth century B.C.E. Imports are rare and include black-on-red juglets and Phoenician transport jars. Among the small finds are stamped handles, one of them with an LMLK stamp, and fragments of figurines, especially Judean pillar figurines.

The Iron-Age settlement at Beersheba City was founded in the tenth century B.C.E. and probably destroyed together with Tel Shebaʾ stratum II by Sennacherib in 701 B.C.E. Since the pottery types in use around 700 B.C.E. were not immediately replaced in the early seventh century B.C.E., there may have been an immediate modest resettlement in Beersheba City in the early seventh century B.C.E. There is, however, no evidence for a late seventh-century B.C.E. settlement. Remains of the seventh century B.C.E. and the Hellenistic period were found at a small site halfway between Beersheba City and Tel Shebaʾ. Beersheba is, however, mentioned in a seventh-century B.C.E. ostracon found at Arad.

Plotting the Iron-Age remains of the various excavations at Beersheba City on a map, a settlement area of at least 24.7 acres (10 ha) emerges. How densely the settlement was inhabited is unclear. Observing the ruins of Bir es-Sebaʾ in 1838, E. Robinson wrote, “the houses appear not to have stood compactly, but scattered over several little hills and in the hollows between” (Robinson and Smith, 1856, vol. 1, p. 204). Although Robinson saw the remains of the Byzantine period, described by Eusebius as a “large village” with a garrison (Onom. 50:1), the Iron-Age site may have resembled such a scattered occupation.

Where was biblical Beersheba?

In principle Beersheba City and Tel Shebaʾ are possible locations for biblical Beersheba. Both sites were inhabited during the Iron Age. The excavation team of Tel Shebaʾ was convinced that their site was the biblical Beersheba. The excavations at Beersheba City, however, make the location there more likely. Most important, the ancient name is reflected in the modern Arabic name Bir es-Sebaʾ, and indeed, the excavation area is famous for its ancient wells (Hebrew beאerot). The Iron-Age site at Beersheba City is more than 10 times larger than Tel Shebaʾ and was doubtless the largest site in the northern Negev during the eighth century B.C.E.

In the Hebrew Bible the names Beersheba and Sheba both appear. In Joshua 19:2–3 they appear even both together in one list: “Beersheba, Sheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem.” This reflects exactly the toponyms that exist in the twenty-first century in the area, Bir es-Sebaʾ and Tell es-Sebaʾ.

Later Phases at Tel Shebaʾ and Beersheba City.

In Tel Shebaʾ stratum I the excavators found remains of a resettlement above the ruins of stratum II. These were poor constructions in comparison to the earlier buildings of the administrative center. The pottery resembles that of stratum II and indicates a date to the reign of King Manasseh (fl. seventh century B.C.E.). If the settlement was still a royal site, it would have reflected the limited means of Manasseh. But the function of stratum I remains uncertain.

After a gap of almost 300 years, a Persian-period fortress was built at Tel Shebaʾ during the fourth century B.C.E. Among the finds were 40 ostraca in Aramaic. These mention an international multitude of populations with different ethnic origins such as Jews, Edomites, and Arabs who were connected with the site.

During the Hellenistic period another fortress and a sanctuary were constructed at Tel Shebaʾ. The sanctuary resembles the Solar Shrine at Lachish. A favissa, or underground disposal area, of this sanctuary contained clay and bronze figurines and a Babylonian cylinder seal.

During the first century B.C.E., a residence with a bathhouse stood at Tel Shebaʾ, which was overbuilt by a Roman fortress of the second and third centuries C.E. The last construction found was a way station built in the eighth century B.C.E.

The large Iron-Age settlement at Beersheba City ceased to exist in the seventh century B.C.E., and only few and isolated remains were discovered from the Persian and Hellenistic periods (sixth–first centuries B.C.E.). The site was resettled during the Late Roman period (third–fourth centuries C.E.), when a fortress guarded Beersheba. Settlement continued through the Byzantine period until the Umayyad and Abbasid periods. Byzantine churches were still standing when Wilhelm von Boldensele rested at Bir es-Sebaʾ in the fourteenth century B.C.E. (Boldensele, 1855, p. 258).

Iron-Age settlement in the Beersheba region followed the same pattern as other sites in the region. Since the eleventh century B.C.E., small farming communities settled in the arid zones of the northern Negev. These communities grew throughout the tenth century B.C.E., and most of them disappeared in the ninth century B.C.E. Both sites, Beersheba City and Tell Shebaʾ, were part of this settlement pattern but continued to exist in the second half of the ninth century B.C.E. after many other settlements were abandoned. While a small administrative and military outpost was built at Tel Shebaʾ, the site at Beersheba City developed during the eighth century B.C.E. into the largest settlement in the northern Negev with an important sanctuary. Both settlements were destroyed by Sennacherib in 701.

[See also BIBLE AND HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY.)]

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Gunnar Lehmann