Photo of Neria Sapir on site IAA

Old Jerusalem New Findings – July 2020

A new and interesting Findings were discovered in Jerusalem, and dated to be from a very important times of the G-d City history – The days of Kingdom of Judah. (930 – 587 BCE).

The diggings, which are happening close by to the new US Embassy, was conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by Israel Land Authority and Moriah Inc.

So, what the researchers have found?

An unusual huge structure dated to be from the time of kings Hezekiah and Manasseh of Judah (end of the 8th till middle of the 7th Century BCE) which was designed and operate as major storage center for the Kingdom.

photo of the digging site from above
Photo By: Assaf Peretz , Israel Antiquities Authority

In it were found over 120 Seal Impressions on jars handles that have the writing “למלכ” (“For the King” in ancient Hebrew), high ranked officials and major cities names.

It’s interesting to know that those names are of some of the most influences people in the kingdom.

These names are appearing on jars all over different sites in the region near and in the G-d City. Most of them, are of high officials’ people and of some land owners which held their own private coin stamps.    

photo of the seal impressions found in the jerusalem digging site
Photo By : Yaniv Berman, IAA

To what important challenge Judah Kingdom was preparing to 2,700 years ago? and does it connect to a major history event of these time?

According to Neria Sapir and Natan Ben Ari, the digging managers from the Israel Antiquities Authority: “It’s one of the major’s Jerusalem findings of the time of Judah kingdom in recent years. In the site that we’ve dug up we have found that a govern activity was occurred there that managed the food supply and was responsible for distribute it to the people.

 Also, it appears that they were collecting food for days of shortage and was also collecting and managing taxes. We’ve also found evidences for agricultural products as wine and olive oil that was gathered there”.

The Findings in this old Jerusalem site are dated to be from an important period of time in the ancient Israel and Judah history… When many major events took place like Assyrian Captivity under the commands of Kings Sennacherib and Hezekiah.

It could be that the economic preparations which is shown to be happened on this site are connected to these events. Although that the findings are shown that the activity on the site have continued after these historical events.   

A photo of the pile of rocks that was covering the jerusalem digging site
The Pile of Rocks, Photo By: Yaniv Berman, IAA

In one point, and for unclear reasons, this huge and magnificent site was covered by 20 meters of rocks above ground, and its size spread as long as 1.8 Acres. This pile of rocks is still visible in our days and can been seen by far.

But still the main reason for the covering of this beautiful biblical site remains a mystery.

Other findings which also shed some light on that time are statuettes collections made out of clay. According to the two archeologists: “Some of these statuettes was designed as females figures and some as animals’ figures”.

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These objects were used for religious rituals of “Avoda Zara” (“Foreign work” in Hebrew, which means to worship other gods) – A phenomenon that according to the bible was very popular at the time.

After the destruction of  Judah Kingdom at 586 BCE, which is also the year of the Babylonian exile, the place was resettled and the govern activity was continued.

This time this activity was less connected to the Israelites and more to the Persian Empire that ruled all across the ancient East and central Asia. 

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