Dan

Also known as Tel Dan, Tell el-Kadi, Tel el-Kady, Tel/Tell el-Qadi, Antiochia, Dan-jaan (?), Danjaan (?), Daphne, Kefar-Dan, Laish, Leshem

Headwaters of the Jordan River at Tel Dan

Headwaters of the Jordan

The largest of four sources of the Jordan River, the Dan Spring emerges at the base of Mt. Hermon next to Tel Dan.  It flows for four miles before joining the second largest source of the Jordan River, the Banias Spring.  Together the four sources (also the Iyon and Hasbani) of the Jordan River drain a total area of more than 2700 sq. kilometers.

 

Middle Bronze Gate

Built about 1800 B.C., this mudbrick gate was in use approximately 50 years before it was covered (and thus preserved) by an earthen rampart.

The style of the gate is typical for this period; it is a "Syrian gate" with three pairs of piers and four chambers, like those found at Megiddo, Shechem and Gezer.

Middle Bronze mudbrick gate at Dan

 

Iron Age gate at Dan

Iron Age Gate

On the northern frontier of the kingdom, Dan was particularly well fortified.  This gatehouse was built in the ninth century, probably by Ahab, and is part of a series of gateways discovered.

The foreground of this picture is the area of the discovery of the Dan Inscription which mentions the "House of David."

 

Podium for Ruler

This may have been a place for the ruler next to the gate or a place for an idol to be set up.

2 Samuel 18:4 "So the king stood beside the gate while all the men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands."

2 Kings 23:8 "He broke down the shrines at the gates."

Podium at city gate of Dan

 

High place of Jeroboam at Dan

High Place of Jeroboam

Nearly all archaeologists agree that this excavated podium was the one that Jeroboam constructed to house the golden calf at Dan.  Archaeologists now think the platform was roofed.

Evidence of a four-horned altar has been found as well as religious objects such as three iron shovels, a small horned altar, and an iron incense holder. 

Related Websites

Dan (Walking in Their Sandals)  Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc.  Features links to photographs and on-line scripture references.

Tel Dan (Camp S'dei Chemed International)  Gives a concise history of the area from a distinctly Jewish perspective.

Dan: The Biblical City (Israel MFA)  Highlights the history of the site, beginning with the Canaanite city, and several of the important archaeological findings, including the "House of David" inscription.  Includes a translation of the inscription as well as a photograph of the fragments.  A copy of this page at the Jewish Virtual Library.

Tel Dan (Christian Travel Study Program)  Limited text, but site features several good pictures with excellent identifying captions.

Tel Dan (The Department for Jewish Zionist Education)  Includes sections on Ancient Dan, the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, and the Ecology of the area.

Dan: Great Blessing, Great Failure (Personal Page)  A flash presentation by David Niblack.  Brief sections on geography, history, archaeology, "Dan in the Bible," "the Blessing and Failure," and links.

The Tel Dan Inscription (K.C. Hanson)  Technical description of the Tel Dan Inscription (a.k.a. The Bytdwd Inscription, a.k.a. The House of David Inscription.)