April 16, 2009

Ancient temple is discovered in Turkey

Canadian archaeologists say they have discovered a well-preserved monumental temple in Turkey that presents new facts about the so-called Dark Ages.

Discovered by the University of Toronto's Tayinat Archaeological Project last summer, scientists said the temple is thought to have been constructed during the time of King Solomon in the 10th or 9th centuries B.C.

Researchers said the discovery casts doubt upon the traditional view that the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive.

Our ongoing excavations have not only begun to uncover extensive remains from this Dark Age, but the emerging archaeological picture suggests that during this period Tayinat was the capital of a powerful kingdom, the 'Land of Palastin', said Professor Timothy Harrison, the project's director. Intriguingly, the early Iron Age settlement at Tayinat shows evidence of strong cultural connections, if not the direct presence of foreign settlers from the Aegean world, the traditional homeland of the Sea Peoples.

The temple's inner sanctuary -- also know as its holy of holies -- will be the focus of the project's 2009 field season, which begins July 1.