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Laura grew up in Seattle and studied English literature and psychology at Washington University in St.Louis before completing her graduate degree in science writing at NYU.However, this is the first time an archaeological discovery has confirmed a "latrine" passage from the Bible, the IAA said.Laboratory tests on the stone toilet suggest that it was never used and may have served a symbolic purpose before the gate-shrine was sealed and later destroyed by Sennacherib in 701 B. In fact, the excavation also found signs of the kingdom's defeat, including arrowheads and sling stones, which indicate the practice of hand-to-hand combat near the city's gatehouse."An opening was exposed in the corner of the room that led to the holy of holies [the gate-shrine]; to our great excitement, we found two four-horned altars and scores of ceramic finds consisting of lamps, bowls and stands in this room." However, the horns on the alter were intentionally cut."That is probably evidence of the religious reform attributed to King Hezekiah, whereby religious worship was centralized in Jerusalem and the cultic high places that were built outside the capital were destroyed," Ganor said.
In the Hebrew Bible, a verse explains how "He [Hezekiah]removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles [associated with a sacred goddess]…" (II Kings 18:4), the IAA said.
[See Photos of Artifacts Recovered from the Excavation at the Gate-Shrine] The gate is located in the ancient city of Tel Lachish within an 80-by-80-foot (24.5 by 24.5 meters) six-chambered area, with three chambers on each side and the city's main street passing between them, the IAA said.
The northern section of the gate was unearthed decades ago by an expedition led by archaeologists from the United Kingdom and Tel Aviv University.
Consequently among the ancient Germans the conception of a grove was identified with that of a temple.
Among the Greeks, also, the worship of trees seems to be indicated by the word for temple, naos , which according to some authorities originally signified "tree" or "tree trunk".