Israeli archaeologists unveiled Wednesday what may be the earliest fortified settlement in the Golan Heights, from the time of King David about 3,000 years ago, according to reports.
The fortress, found near the Jewish settlement of Hispin during excavation work to build a new neighborhood, is believed to have belonged to the Geshurites, King David’s allies,
Agence France-Presse reported. Barak Tzin, who co-directed the dig for the Israel Antiquities Authority, said workers at the 10,000-square-foot site found a large stone with an engraving of two horned figures with outstretched arms and a statue of a woman holding a musical instrument.
Tzin said there is source material indicating “family ties” between the Geshur kingdom and the kingdom of David.
The Hispin fortress, the first of its kind to be excavated, adds a rare “piece to the puzzle” of Golan archaeology, Tzin said.
The small fort was built on a hilltop that would have served as a lookout at a strategic river-crossing location above the El-Al River canyon.
Be’eri said the fort itself is evidence of the era of conflict and struggle for control that began after the fall of the northern Hittite empire in circa 1180 BCE.