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Science / Medicine : Ruins in Israel Could Be Absalom's Palace

October 05, 1987

Ancient ruins unearthed in Israel during the summer may be the winter palace to which Absalom, the son of King David, was exiled, an archeologist who led the dig said Wednesday.

"We have found a kingdom mentioned in the Bible that has never been found before," said Ira Spar, a Ramapo College professor of ancient history. "This might be Absalom's ancestral palace. If it isn't, it's still one of the palaces of the princes or kings of the Geshurites."

Spar, the founder and director of the four-college New Jersey Archaeological Consortium, led a team of archeologists to Tel Hadar, Israel, during the summer. The New Jersey researchers worked in cooperation with others from Cornell University and the University of Tel Aviv.

At Tel Hadar, Spar said, the team located the remains of a biblical-era city surrounded by two circular walls about 13 feet thick.

Inside were three-foot-thick walls of individual buildings and, inside the buildings, piles of ash and rubble that yielded a boat anchor, pottery, flasks, bowls and an ancient mace, a weapon fashioned from a stone attached to a handle and used as a club.

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