Dating cave inscriptions
For a more in-depth treatment of this subject, read the full article by Ralph K.
Hawkins—“Israelite Footprints: Has Adam Zertal Found the Biblical Altar on Mt.
Additionally, Hawkins’s books BAS Library Members: Read the full article “Israelite Footprints: Has Adam Zertal Found the Biblical Altar on Mt.Hawkins concludes that these sites are “unique and appear to have been built by semi-nomads who used a pottery repertoire similar to that of the new population group that entered Canaan from the east at this time [Iron Age I].” The foot-shaped sites may have served as gathering places for the semi-nomads, and it is possible that they had a cultic purpose as well—similar to the Mt. Since the pottery at the foot-shaped sites matches the pottery of the new population entering Canaan—a group that some have identified as the Israelites—some believe that these foot-shaped sites are Israelite settlements.As noted above, these sites are also called because of the term’s connotation as a gathering place.Bedhat esh-Sha’ab, another foot-shaped site, is 3 acres.
The shape of these sites was not determined by terrain; they were intentionally built in this design.
There was much opposition to this view, and although Hawkins addresses it in his article, we do not have space to cover it all here.