Archaeologist claims to have discovered “the face of God”
Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says he found the “face of God”Examining artifacts from 3,000 years ago. Other archaeologists consider thebold statement and are skeptical. The various artifacts studied by Garfinkel’s team were found in three different archaeological sites located in the territory of the ancient Kingdom of Judea.
Garfinkel explains that the sculptures represented a ‘visible image of YHWH (read Yahweh), the tetragrammaton name used in the Hebrew tradition to represent the sacred name of God. Therefore, the artifacts are representations of the figure of God.
The findings were published this month in the scientific journal Biblical Archeology Review, despite being poorly received by several colleagues. Many accuse Garfinkel of giving in to sensationalism. “When we discovered the first statuette in Kirbhet Qeiyafa, in 2010, there were no parallels,” Garfinkel said. “Just two years later, two similar heads were found in Tel Moza. When I saw how similar these three heads were, I started looking for other objects and found two similar objects in the Moshe Dayan Collection at the Israel Museum ”.
Head figurines found in Tel Moza were discovered along with horse figurines. Garfinkel realized that God is sometimes described as a knight in the Hebrew Bible. The archaeologist has rejected the idea that the figure could be a representation of a kingas the idea of the monarchy as a deity was not in line with any tradition known in Judea.
“The question is: who is the God they represent? We know the Canaanite pantheon and all of its different gods and we have Canaanite figures representing them, ”Garfinkel said. “However, these figurines are completely different, so they don’t depict any of them. We know that there was a new God in Judea. If this is not the God of Judea, who could it be? “.
The researcher also asks: “If the people of Israel had not produced statues, why would the biblical text be so interested in the subject?”. This practice, known as idolatry, is prohibited in the biblical scriptures.
Oded Lipschits, head of the archaeological dig at Tel Moza, disagrees with Garfinkel, saying his study is fraught with “factual inaccuracies”.