John on February 25, 2009 at 10:56 am
The Israel Antiquities Authority on Monday announced the discovery of a large building dating to the time of the First and Second Temples during an excavation in the village of Umm Tuba in southern Jerusalem.
The archaeological remains include several rooms arranged around a courtyard, in which researchers found a potter’s kiln and pottery vessels. The pottery remains seem to date from the eighth century B.C.E. (First Temple period).
According to the antiquities authority, the site was destroyed along with Jerusalem and all of Judah during the Babylonian conquest. Jews reoccupied it during the Hasmonean period (second century B.C.E.) and it existed for another two hundred years until the destruction of the Second Temple.
During the Byzantine period, the place was re-inhabited during the settlement of monasteries and farmsteads in the region between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
The excavators also found royal seal impressions on some of the pottery fragments that date to the era of Hezekiah, King of Judah (end of the eighth century B.C.E.).
Four “LMLK” impressions (which indicate the items belonged to the king) were discovered on handles of large jars used to store wine and oil. Seals of two high-ranking officials named Ahimelekh ben Amadyahu and Yehokhil ben Shahar, who served in the government, were also found.
The seals were found accidentally during a construction project.
Category: Archaeology |