I was wondering if the fieldstone found on the Altar on Mt. Ebal has any other names or a proper name, or what its composition might be of? If anyone knows? I am assuming what is fieldstone in Kansas or Germany is not necessarily the same as what was found on Mt. Ebal?

Thank you in Advance

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  • What is a field stone
    – Michael16
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 7:37
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    please edit your post to include biblical references. As it stands now it doesn't belong on this site Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 14:28
  • @Michael16 asks "What is a field stone". Fieldstone is very common in Kansas and most of the world north of that. The old joke asks what a farmer field grows, and he replies "stones". These are generally rounded and most are less than a couple of feet in diameter. They were created and deposited by the ice age. Each winter, the freezing ground pushes them upward, and each spring the field "grows" a new batch of stones. Many farms have fieldstone walls around them, illustrating the practicality of farmers, who solve two problems with one stone. Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


If the OP is referring to the structure of fieldstones found on Mt. Ebal, it is known by various names. The easiest to remember is Joshua's Altar, even though it was probably not erected by him, and is not an actual altar. As far as the stones themselves are concerned, a fieldstone is "any architectural stone used in its natural shape." The particular type of fieldstone is beyond the scope of this site.

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The biblical accounts relating to the site are found in Deuteronomy 27

2 On the day you cross the Jordan into the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster. 3 Write on them, at the time you cross, all the words of this law, so that you may enter the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 When you cross the Jordan, on Mount Ebal you shall set up these stones concerning which I command you today, and coat them with plaster, 5 and you shall build there an altar to the Lord, your God, an altar made of stones that no iron tool has touched. 6 You shall build this altar of the Lord, your God, with unhewn stones, and shall offer on it burnt offerings to the Lord, your God.

And Joshua 8:

On Mount Ebal, Joshua built to the Lord, the God of Israel, an altar 31 of unhewn stones on which no iron tool had been used, just as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded the Israelites, as recorded in the book of the law. On this altar they sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord and made communion sacrifices. 32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua inscribed upon the stones a copy of the law written by Moses.

The Wikipedia article on Joshua's altar says 'the identification is uncertain because "there are considerable difficulties in identifying the main structure as an altar: the difference between this structure and other Israelite altars"; However, [archaeologist Israel] Finkelstein believes that this is indeed a ritual site.'

  • The May/June issue of Beyond Today magazine has an article, More Proof of the Bible: Mount Ebal Discoveries, which supplies some interesting new discoveries. It says that the original altar might actually be the 6-foot circular structure beneath the external structure, and that a "curse amulet" has been found there, with the inscription "Cursed, cursed, cursed—cursed by the God YWH. / You will die cursed. / Cursed you will surely die. / Cursed by YWH—cursed, cursed, cursed". Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 16:32

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