Friday, December 7, 2012
Extensive New First Temple Period Remains Unearthed in Jerusalem
Findings include what could be the largest haul yet of pottery fragments from the time of Jerusalem's First Temple.
Archaeologists, students and volunteers have unearthed archaeological remains that will shed additional light on the occupation of ancient Jerusalem's royal precinct of the time of the Israelite and Judahite kings, going back to the 10th century BCE.
Under the direction of Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, painstaking excavation by a team of archaeologists, including a group from the Herbert W. Armstrong College in the U.S., has revealed extensive architectural elements, including floor layers and walls, that suggest at least one very large structure of yet-to-be-determined function. This, after weeks of excavating through layers containing artifacts, architectural elements and other features representing later periods of occupation, including those of the Byzantine and Second Temple (Herodian) periods.
"Now", says Mazar, "all over the place we have Iron Age (1300 - 600 BCE ) floor layers, we have alot of Iron Age pottery, 10th century BCE pottery......I think it's the richest assemblage we have ever had from the 10th century until now in Jerusalem."
Like the other structures within the vicinity, a building of possible monumental proportions may be emerging. As she stood above looking down at the excavation area spread out below her, she speaks to a small group of observers standing next to her, sharing her vantage point. "We have these large walls that show that this was a very large structure -- it's huge..."