An archaeological dig near Goliath's biblical hometown has yielded evidence of Judean religious practices 3,000 years ago, pointing up fresh historical connections to the stories of King David and King Solomon.
The site, known today as Khirbet Qeiyafa, is about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem, on top of a hill overlooking the Valley of Elah.
For the past five years, Garfinkel and his colleagues have been excavating the ruins of a fortified city there, situated across from what was once the Philistine city of Gath.
In the Bible, the giant Goliath came out from Gath to face the Israelites, and was smitten by a rock hurled from David's sling.
"Over the years, thousands of animal bones were found, including sheep, goats and cattle, but no pigs," he said in a news release from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"Now we uncovered three cultic rooms, with various cultic paraphernalia, but not even one human or animal figurine was found. This suggest that the population on Khirbet Qeiyafa observed two biblical bans — on pork and on graven images — and thus practiced a different cult from that of the Canaanites or the Philistines."
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