Archaeologists with the City Of David were exhilarated when they found what they termed a “once in a lifetime” discovery: three 2,700-year-old decorated column heads that date back to the reign of the Davidic dynasty.
Archaeologist Yaakov Billig enthused, “I’m still excited,” acknowledging that when the artifacts were found, “I thought, ‘Yaakov, maybe you’ve been in the sun too long.’ But I looked again, and it was still there,” as he told The Jerusalem Post.
The artifacts were found in the Armon Hanatziv area; Armon Hanatziv means Commissioner’s Palace, named for the British High Commissioner’s house when the British controlled the area.
“The stones seem to have been hidden intentionally due to their seemingly careful placement,” The Post reported. “It may have been the only thing that saved them from being destroyed, as the rest of the site was ‘just about leveled,’ with many of the surviving stones being recycled in other buildings, Billing said. Why the stones were so carefully hidden may never be known, he added. The capitals are linked to the Davidic Dynasty because such designs from the period of the kingdoms of Israel and Judea have only been found within the areas they ruled.”
The capitals dated back to the seventh century B.C. between King Hezekiah’s reign and the Babylonian conquest and destruction of Jerusalem.
The location of the site seems to indicate a sort of ‘exit from the walls’ of Jerusalem, showing that the people felt more secure in their surroundings after the Assyrian siege of the city failed,” the Post explained, adding, “The biblical story of the siege describes the defeat of the Assyrians as a miraculous event against all odds, which may explain why the residents of the city suddenly felt secure enough to settle outside the walls, Billig said.”
Finding artifacts that reflect the ancient Jewish presence in Jerusalem is a vital priority for Jews, as the Palestinians have made concerted efforts to erase any such evidence. At the end of August, a pit was uncovered on the southern side of the Temple Mount; the Temple Mount, the site of the two Biblical Jewish Temples, is the holiest area in Judaism but is controlled by the Islamic Waqf.
The discovery of the hole, which could portend discovery of ancient Jewish artifacts, was reported to the Israel Antiquities Authority, in part because Palestinians have often reportedly poured concrete into such holes to block any entry. “The Temple Mount Organizations demanded that a proper archaeological restoration be conducted at the site, but the hole was filled with concrete by the Waqf on Tuesday, according to Army Radio,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Asaf Fried, a spokesperson for the Temple Mount Organizations, stated, “The Temple Mount is the microcosm of the ancient world. Every meter on the Temple Mount has first-rate national importance. The finds on the mountain reflect 3,000 years of Jewish activity at the site, and every pit dug in the site could shed light on thousands of years of Jewish history. Whether it is a cistern from the days of Herod, or an opening of a cave from the days of King Solomon, from the escape caves he built at the bottom of the mountain, among other things to hide the Ark of the Covenant during a hostile onslaught.”
“Over the years, the Waqf has illegally removed and dumped tons of earth from the holy site which was appropriated by archaeologists and volunteers who were able to uncover half a million artifacts from 3,000 years ago into the Middle Ages, the Jewish Press reported,” I24 News added.
Author : Hank Berrien