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First Ever First Temple Artifacts Found on Temple Mount

First Temple pottery found on Temple Mount (Photo: courtesy IAA)

It seems as if archaeologists are constantly making discoveries in the Holy Land that only further reinforce the biblical history of the place. The Times of Israel's Ilan Ben Zion reports on recent finds, only today presented by Israeli archaeologists, that are the first-ever First Temple artifacts found on the Temple Mount:

Israeli archaeologists on Thursday presented new details of what they said were the first tiny artifacts, unearthed in situ on the Temple Mount, ever conclusively dated to the time of the First Temple over 2,600 years ago. The discoveries were made during limited scientific excavations carried out atop the flashpoint Temple Mount in the past decade, the first of their kind since the British Mandate.

The highly sensitive Israeli excavations were conducted with minimum publicity in cooperation with the Islamic Waqf which manages the incendiary holy site. The artifacts excavated from the mount, detailed in a paper and presentations at a conference at Hebrew University, are said to include olive pits, animal bones and pottery fragments dating to the time of the First Temple, between the 8th and 6th Centuries BCE.

Archaeologists have previously found a limited number of artifacts from First-Temple-period Jerusalem, but none of those finds were uncovered atop the mount itself. Rather, they were recovered from the Ophel excavations to the south of the Mount, and from the Temple Mount Sifting Project, which examines rubble credibly believed to have been removed from the holy site and dumped in the nearby Kidron Valley.

“It’s the first time that we’ve found artifacts from this period in situ on the Temple Mount,” Yuval Baruch, the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority Jerusalem region, said Thursday of the discoveries. “As far as the biblical period is concerned, the Temple Mount is a tabula rasa, nobody knows anything,” said Baruch, who headed the archaeological work. It’s still “very limited,” but the tiny fragments of clay and bone are at least something: “It exists”...

Tags: Jerusalem

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