Yesterday, Jews around the world mourned for the destruction of both the First and Second Temples during Tisha B’Av, as well as many other tragedies that have occurred on this day. During this time in the Jewish calendar, Jews fast, pray, and participate in spiritual reflection.
While for decades, Jews have relied on historical accounts and scripture to explain why both the temples were destroyed, archaeologists have recently discovered artifacts that will shed more light on this ancient story.
For nearly two thousand years, Jews have mourned the destruction of the Temples. They have traditionally relied on the account of the First Temple's destruction as told in the Bible and the external accounts for the destruction of the Second Temple—but over the past decade, archaeological findings supporting the Jewish canon have been adding evidence.
Prof. Aren Maeir, an expert on the First-Temple period from Bar Ilan University's Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, "From a chronological historical standpoint, we're talking about the year 586 BCE, when Jerusalem was destroyed. There are accounts of the siege on Jerusalem. In the Jewish Quarter, there's a tower that's an Israelite fortification on which you can actually see the arrowheads that the Babylonians shot at the Kingdom of Judea and that soldiers of the Judean Kingdom fired back. There's a difference between the Babylonian arrow and the Judean arrow.
Remnants have also been found in excavations in the City of David, layers that date to the eve of the destruction. Throughout the Kingdom of Judea at the end of the Iron Age before the destruction of Jerusalem, we have evidence of more than a few other sites that have the layer from the destruction.