A New Discovery

Ancient sites continue to be uncovered in Israel. This newly-reported discovery took place in Jerusalem. My best guess is that this was a dig that took place sometime this past winter, given the coats and hats people were waving in the photos. At any rate, the report of what was found is extremely exciting! It was reported in a few articles. The one I am using to summarize the discoveries comes from Times of Israel (July 22, 2020). You can read the entire article HERE.

What makes this dig so impressive is the incredible numbers of seal impressions found. According to the article, “over 120 jar handles stamped 2,700 years ago with ancient Hebrew script seal impressions were discovered at the site, clearly indicating the location’s use as a storage and tax center, according to an IAA press release Wednesday. Prevalent among the stamped inscriptions is ‘LMLK,’ ‘LamMeLeKh,’ or “Belonging to the King,’ a way of marking that the foodstuffs stored in the jars had been tithed to the Judean ruler.”

Credit: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

It is suggested that this site was some kind of administrative complex. It dates to the Iron Age Period (Israelite). It was apparently destroyed in 586 by the Babylonians, but later rebuilt and occupied at the end of the 6th Century upon return of the Judeans from Babylon.

According to the archaeologists, “The site once dominated large agricultural plots and orchards of olive trees and grape vines which included agricultural industrial facilities such as winepresses for winemaking.”

(NOTE: all photos are credited to Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority)

 
Excavations and surveys conducted in this area have yielded over 2000 stamped or incised jar handles dated to the very short period spanning from the late 8th century to the destruction of the kingdom at the beginning of the 6th century BCE.” (from Times of Israel article)
Seal Impression

Figurines

Also uncovered were clay figurines. About these the archaeologists commented, “Some of the figurines are designed in the form of women, horse riders or as animals. These figurines are usually interpreted as objects used in pagan worship and idolatry — a phenomenon, which according to the Bible, was prevalent in the Kingdom of Judah.

Within the Times of Israel article, a very good video can be viewed (although it is in Hebrew).

The excavation took place close to the new US Embassy in a place called Arnona.

Figurines
IAA archaeologist Neria Sapir at the Arnona

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