The Temple Institute: First Temple Era Remains Exposed West of Temple Mount

 

 


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First Temple Era Remains Exposed West of Temple Mount

reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
Jan. 1, 2007

reprinted from Arutz 7
6 Adar Bet 5768, 13 March 08 09:45

(IsraelNN.com) For the first time in the history of archaeological research in Jerusalem, the remains of a building that existed during the time of the First Temple were exposed on the western side of the Temple Mount, announced the Israel Antiquities Authority in a statement issued Thursday. A seal bearing an inscription in ancient Hebrew that reads, "[belonging] to Netanyahu ben Ya'ush" was also found at the site, located in the northwestern part of the Western Wall plaza, approximately 100 meters west of the Temple Mount. The excavation is being conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in cooperation with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, under the direction of archaeologists Shlomit Wexler-Bdoulah and Alexander Onn.

Building remains from First Temple period exposed west of Temple Mount

reprinted from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
13 Mar 2008

A rich layer of finds from the latter part of the First Temple period (8th-6th centuries BCE) was recently discovered in archaeological salvage excavations in the northwestern part of the Western Wall plaza.

In an excavation being carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority in partnership with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation in the northwestern part of the Western Wall plaza a rich layer of finds from the latter part of the First Temple period was recently discovered. Also found was a seal that bears an inscription in ancient Hebrew which reads: [belonging] to Netanyahu ben Yaush.

A rich layer of finds from the latter part of the First Temple period (8th-6th centuries BCE) was recently discovered in archaeological salvage excavations that are being carried out in the northwestern part of the Western Wall plaza, c. 100 meters west of the Temple Mount.

In the excavations, which the Israel Antiquties Authority has been conducting for the past two years under the direction of archaeologists Shlomit Wexler-Bdoulah and Alexander Onn, in cooperation with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, remains of a magnificent colonnaded street from the Late Roman period (2nd century CE) were uncovered that appears on the mosaic Madaba map and is referred to by the name - the Eastern Cardo. The level of the Eastern Cardo is paved with large heavy limestone pavers that were set directly on top of the layer that dates to the end of the First Temple period. Thus the Roman road "seals" beneath it the finds from the First Temple period and has protected them from being plundered in later periods.

This is actually the first time in the history of the archaeological research of Jerusalem that building remains from the First Temple period were exposed so close to the Temple Mount - on the eastern slopes of the Upper City. The walls of the buildings are preserved to a height of more than 2 meters.

Another impressive artifact that was found in the salvage excavations is a that was apparently inlaid in a ring. The scarab-like seal is elliptical and measures c. 1.1 cm x 1.4 cm. The surface of the seal is divided into three strips separated by a double line: in the upper strip is a chain decoration in which there are four pomegranates and in the two bottom strips is the name of the owner of the seal, engraved in ancient Hebrew script. It reads: לנתניהו בן יאש ([belonging] to Netanyahu ben Yaush).

The two names are known in the treasury of biblical names: the name נתניהו (Netanyahu) is mentioned a number of times in the Bible (in the Book of Jeremiah and in Chronicles) and the name יאוש (Yaush) appears in the Lachish letters. The name Yaush, like the name יאשיהו (Yoshiyahu) is, in the opinion of Professor Shmuel Ahituv, derived from the root או"ש which means "he gave a present" (based on Arabic and Ugaritic). It is customary to assume that the owners of personal seals were people that held senior governmental positions.

It should nevertheless be emphasized that this combination of names - נתניהו בן יאוש (Netanyahu ben Yaush) - was unknown until now.

In addition to the personal seal, a vast amount of pottery vessels was discovered, among them three jar handles that bear LMLK stamped impressions. An inscription written in ancient Hebrew script is preserved on one these impressions and it reads: למלך חברון ([belonging] to the king of Hebron).

These finds, as well as the numerous fertility and animal figurines, are characteristic of the Kingdom of Judah in the latter part of the First Temple period - the end of the 8th century BCE to the destruction of the Temple in the year 586 BCE.

 

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