It will be after the death of Solomon that Jeroboam, son of Nebat challenges Rehoboam (Solomon’s son and successor to the throne of Israel) to be king.
The kingdom responds by dividing itself in a civil war.
Jeroboam knows that Rehoboam has the upper hand of influence over the majority of the people though, because within his territory of Judah, Rehoboam has Jerusalem, and thus, the temple of God.
To compete with this, Jeroboam builds his own places of worship to attract not only Israelites, but foreigners as well.
He incorporates shrines on the “high places” in Dan and Bethel (1 Kings 12
) with the comingling of altars to YHWH and idols represented by golden calves (possibly the Apis Bull of Egypt, which is often considered being the idol built by Aaron in the wilderness after the exodus).
The sanctuary built by Jeroboam has been discovered at tel Dan.
As mentioned prior, Dan was abundantly fortified, possibly for two main reasons.
First, the city was on a main artery between major trade routes in the north.
Being somewhat removed, it would be susceptible to foreign invasions, especially bordering enemy nations.
Secondly, as an established religious location, even more attention would be drawn to the assumed treasuries to the idols.
Dan continued to be a place of idolatrous worship, even through the Hellenistic periods.
Several coins from Antiochus IV, Demetrius V, Constantine I and Constantine II have been discovered.
Inscriptions written in Greek and Aramaic giving homage to “the god who is in Dan,” remain.