According to the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites set up the Tabernacle—a portable sanctuary they had constructed at the foot of Mount Sinai—in the city of Shiloh, about 20 miles north of Jerusalem, not long after entering the Promised Land. Shiloh remained the main center of Jewish worship for most of the period preceding King David, who relocated the Tabernacle to Jerusalem, where it would later be replaced by the Temple. In the 20th century, archaeologists identified the ancient city’s remains, which dated back to the second millennium BCE. Hanan Greenwood reports on more recent discoveries:
A century after the first archaeological excavations at the site of ancient Shiloh, . . . a new dig has unearthed a number of rare finds, including five intact jugs that date back some 2,000 years to the time of the Talmud. The jugs were in a row, underneath a floor, most likely to keep their contents cool. Their location is also likely what kept the vessels intact.
The Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, which operates the Shiloh antiquities site, said that the dig was attempting to determine the location of the ancient wall and the entrance to the city. Workers dug a trench on the edge of the southern tel (mound) and exposed layers from all the periods of history when the site was active, from the Bronze Age to the Ottoman Empire. The Canaanite wall itself was first uncovered by a group of Danish archaeologists 100 years ago.
The excavation also turned up a number of coins, a key apparently used to unlock a chest, and even wooden dice identical in shape to dice used today.