Fortress From The Era of Prophet Jonah Discovered
Feb 8th, 2012 by SM

February 2012: The foundation of a large fortress from the First Temple period was exposed in an excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) conducted at Giv’at Yonah in Ashdod. Giv’at Yonah, according to various traditions, is identified with the burial place of the prophet Jonah. Jonah is the prophet who was commanded by G-d to got the city of Nineveh and proclaim against it. When he refused to do so, G-d ordered a large fish to swallow him. The archaeological finds that were exposed verify the existence of life there during the First Temple period, at the time of this prophet.

Sa'ar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Sa'ar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

The archaeological excavation the IAA carried out on in the area, exposed the remains of massive walls more than one meter wide that are dated to the late eighth century and early seventh century BCE. Excavation director Dmitri Egorov of the IAA stated the walls constituted the base of a large building from the First Temple period, the time when Jonah the prophet was active.

The IAA noted that the discovery of this fortress joins other finds from an excavation that took place very close to this site in the 1960s. One excavation directed by Magen Broshi of the Department of Antiquities, which was carried out before the construction of the Ashdod lighthouse, discovered similar wall remains that date to the First Temple period and Persian period.

Sa’ar Ganor, the Ashkelon District Archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority, stated, “Giv’at Yonah, which rises c. 50 m above sea level, is the highest hill in Ashdod, hence one can look out to sea, to Tel Mor, located in the Nahal Lachish estuary; which was probably an ancient anchorage to Tel Ashdod. Due to its strategic location, it is not surprising to discover remains of a fortress that overlooked the region in the First Temple period”.

Sa'ar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Sa'ar Ganor, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Ganor staated, “There are two possibilities regarding who inhabited the fortress at that time: one possibility is that it was controlled by the Assyrians who were the regional rulers in the Iron Age. Another possibility is that Josiah, king of Judah, occupied the fort at the time, who we know conquered territory from the Assyrians and controlled Ashdod-Yam in the seventh century BCE.”

The Prophet Jonah
Feb 9th, 2009 by Shahriar

On one of the two most prominent mounds of Nineveh ruins, rises the Mosque of Prophet Younis “Biblical Jonah” [Book of Jonah -Hebrew Bible], the son of Amittai, from the 8th century B.C.E.; and which is believed to be the burial place of Jonah and where king Esarhaddon had once built a palace. In the middle of the mosque is a sepulcher, covered with a Persian carpet of silk and silver and at the four corners, great copper candlesticks with wax candles, besides several lamps and ostrich shells that hung down from the roof. A whale’s tooth, appropriate to Jonah’s well-known adventure at sea, is said to be preserved there. It is one of the most important mosques in Mosul, Iraq and one of the few historic mosques that are found in the east side of the city. This old shrine standing on the site of once was a Christian church (an Nestorian-Assyrian Church before) is a short distance from the built-up walls and gates of Nineveh.

Tomb of the Prophet Jonah - Exterior

Tomb of the Prophet Jonah - Exterior

Tomb of the Prophet Jonah - Closeup

Tomb of the Prophet Jonah - Closeup

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