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Photo Essay: Tel Dan

David Ilan
Hebrew Union College

Oxford Biblical Studies | Photo Essay: Tel Dan
Fig. 1. The lower spring at Tel Dan. Photo by David Ilan.
Fig. 1. The lower spring at Tel Dan. Photo by David Ilan.

Located at the northeastern end of the Hula Valley, at the foot of Mount Hermon, Tel Dan (also known as Tell el-Qadi in Arabic) is on the most convenient route between the Phoenician coast and the Syrian interior, which boosted commercial ties with both regions in biblical times. The city of Dan is referenced in multiple passages, including Jos 19:47; Judg 18; 1 Kgs 12:29–31, and 15:20. (It should be mentioned here that although Dan is mentioned in Gen 14:14, this is an anachronism; Judges 18, taking place much later in the narrative, confirms that the city was renamed during that time from Laish to Dan.) The Dan River issues at the foot of the tell and is the major source of the Jordan River. A smaller spring emanates from within the tell's confines. In the photo above, the tell rises above the Dan spring to the upper right (south bank).

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