Pagan Relic Found at Ashkelon Hospital Site

Published: May 21st 2010
in News » Israel

Pagan incense altar
Pic: Israel Antiquities Authority

Israeli archaeologists have unearthed an ancient incense altar that is believed to be pagan at the future site of a hotly contested emergency room that has been fraught with controversy over haredi claims that graves found there are Jewish.


The relic was found while the site was being excavated in preparation for the construction of the ER for Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.


The archaeologists stated that the find is conclusive proof that the ancient graves unearthed at the site are not Jewish, but pagan. The future location of the ER has been a source of uproar for ultra-Orthodox Jewish protestors who claim that the bones found there, thought to date back 1,400 years, are Jewish. If that were the case, the removal of the remains would be considered a sacrilegious act. Protests began after officials began the process of removing the graves. News of the construction led to riots in haredi areas of Jerusalem.


The Israel Antiquities Authority reported on Thursday that the 2,000 year old incense altar, when taken with the pagan characteristics of the graves, proves once and for all that the site is undoubtedly of pagan origin.

Related articles: (Ashkelon, emergency room, Barzilai, pagan, altar)

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