Israeli Paratroopers Discover an Ancient Observation Tower on Their Base

June 20, 2019 | Jerusalem Post

According to archaeologists, a recently unearthed lookout post—located in what is now an IDF base in southern Israel—was built during the reign of King Hezekiah, near the end of the 8th century BCE. The Jerusalem Post reports:

“The strategic location of the tower served as a lookout and warning point against the Philistine enemy, one of whose cities was Ashkelon,” said Valdik Lifshitz and Sa’ar Ganor, directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The tower was estimated to be about 16.4 by 11.5 feet. “In the days of the First Temple, the kingdom of Judah built a range of towers and fortresses as points of communication, warning, and signaling to transmit messages and field intelligence.”

The messages would be transmitted though smoke and fire, depending the time of the day.

The [excavation] was carried out by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority in a joint effort with the IDF and the Ministry of Defense. . . . Some 150 recruits and commanders from the paratroopers’ brigade participated. . . . Part of the IDF’s involvement in the project was to instill in soldiers and commanders a sense of connection to Israel’s heritage and natural landscape.

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