Soldiers and officers from the Paratroopers brigade and the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered the tower, which was apparently used to transmit messages through beacons.
An observation tower from the days of Hezekiah the King was recently exposed in archeological excavations made by soldiers of the Paratroopers brigade. This is part of the activities of the “IDF Defense for Nature – Officers taking responsibility for the environment” project, led by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Archaeologists estimate that the tower, which was built in the 8th century BCE, was established at a high geographic point and used to transmit messages through beacons.
The tower allows observation of the Hebron Mountains, the Judean plain and the surrounding area of Ashkelon that was an important town of the Philistine enemy. It was built of exceptionally large stones, some of which reach 8 tons and rise to a height of about 2 meters
About 150 soldiers and officers from the Paratroopers Brigade participated in the excavation over a period of several months. The project was established in 2014 with the aim of encouraging officers and soldiers to be actively involved in preserving the natural, landscape and heritage values in their surroundings. Today, 60 centers of activity operate throughout the country.
“The IDF, as a melting pot for the diverse Israeli population, is a unique meeting point for people from all parts of the country, through which environmental activities create a strong connection with them,” said Guy Salai, the project manager for Israel Antiquities Authority.