Archaeological Dig Uncovers Support for Old Testament Account
The most significant find of First Temple history was privately funded by a couple in New York with an interest in Biblical Archeology.
Located just outside the present-day walls of Jerusalem's Old City, next to the holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, a 231-foot long, 20 foot-high section of ancient stone wall, believed to be the city wall, was discovered.
Along with these fortifications were found a small house beside a gateway leading to what was once the royal courtyard, a building that served city officials, and a tower strategically positioned opposite the Mount of Olives and overlooking the Kidron river.
Volunteer college students from Oklahoma, hired workers, and archaeology students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem all participated in the dig under university professor Dr. Eilat Mazar. The excavations were privately funded by a couple in New York with an interest in Biblical Archeology, and took place over a three-month period.
Dr. Mazar indicated how the findings correlate to other archeological discoveries from the time of the First Temple. "The city wall that has been uncovered testifies to a ruling presence. Its strength and form of construction indicate a high level of engineering," she said.
The Scriptures tell us that the Temple and palace King Solomon built were surrounded with the walls of the city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:1). Due to their notable construction skills, historians believe the Phoenicians helped the Israelites build the structures. The finds help illustrate that 10th century Jerusalem was capable and peaceful enough to conduct such large building projects, as the Scriptures claim.
Between the large tower at the city gate and the royal building, the archaeologists uncovered a section of the corner tower that is 26 feet long and 20 feet high. The tower was built of carved stones said to be of "unusual beauty."
Pottery shards were discovered within the rubble filling the ground floor of the royal building near the gatehouse, and the largest jars ever found in Jerusalem, almost 4 feet in height, were found on the same floor in rooms that are thought to have served as storage areas.
The jars were discovered to have survived a major fire, and partial inscriptions on the jars and pottery shards, "for the king" on an ancient Hebrew seal on the jar handles, all indicate that they were possessions used by, and belonging to, high-level government officials within the monarchy.
Dating done on the discoveries supports researchers´ belief that the complex dates to the 10th century B.C. "This is the first time that a structure from that time has been found that may correlate with written descriptions of Solomon's building in Jerusalem," Dr. Mazar said.
"A comparison of this latest finding with city walls and gates from the period of the First Temple, as well as pottery found at the site, enable us to postulate with a great degree of assurance that the wall that has been revealed is that which was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem in the latter part of the tenth century B.C."
The discovery of this monumental site, the most significant find of First Temple history, is important because the existence of the Hebrew monarchy spoken of in the Scriptures, and its corresponding political strength, is disputed among Holy Land archeologists. It significantly supports the growing body of archeological evidence concerning the Davidic Kingdom spoken of in the Old Testament, a kingdom from whence came the Christ.
Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic Scripture teacher, study author and speaker. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her at http://www.pursuingthesummit.com/ and http://www.pursuingthesummit.com/
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Middle East News
- More than 100,000 Ethiopians expelled from Saudi Arabia
- Free the Nuns of St. Thekla! Pope, Orthodox Leaders Urge Prayer for Kidnapped Nuns in Syria
- 'Tolerant' Muslims threaten holy war if Jews try to pray at site of ancient temple
- Embajador palestino en España se ofrece a cambio de liberación de doce religiosas en Siria
- HIV cases skyrocketing in Iran
- THIS OLD HOUSE: Amazing 10,000-year-old house uncovered in Israel
- Young girls and boys tortured and executed in Syrian civil war
- A VERY OLD TOAST! 3,700-year-old wine cellar found
- 5,000-year-old salt mines built by prehistoric men still in use today
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?