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Archaeologists Return to Excavate Near Temple Mount in Jerusalem


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Ilich
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« on: September 08, 2012, 09:17:52 pm »


Archaeologists Return to Excavate Near Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Fri, Sep 07, 2012

More surprises to come, says excavation director.
Archaeologists Return to Excavate Near Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Beginning August 22, 2012, a team of archaeologists, other specialists, and students from the Herbert W. Armstrong College in Edmond Oklahoma in the U.S. have returned to the site of the headline-making discoveries in the "Ophel" area near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The area contains structural features and artifacts bearing on thousands of years of human occupation.

The Ophel is the narrow promontory that straddles the southern edge of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Old City, and is thought to contain monumental remains extending from at least the time of the early Israelite and Judahite kings through the Byzantine and early Islamic periods.

Led by Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the renewed excavations are focusing on the same area where recent excavations have uncovered not only finds dated to the Second Temple, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods, but also what Mazar and others suggest may be the remains of structures attributed to builders during the period of King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. These remains included a section of a massive wall of large, well-dressed stones 70 meters long and 6 meters high. Also uncovered with the wall was a structure interpreted as an inner gatehouse, a royal structure adjacent to the gatehouse, and a section of a corner tower 8 meters long and 6 meters high, built of carved stones, all overlooking the Kidron Valley below. Associated with the complex, but as yet unexcavated by Mazar, were indications of a large tower that covered an area of about 24 by 18 meters. This was the large tower first discovered by British explorer Charles Warren in 1867, and now interpreted by Mazar as possibly a watchtower that guarded entrance to the city.

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Ilich
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 09:24:57 pm »

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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 09:25:48 pm »


A portion of the excavated gate complex. Photo credit: Shmuel Browns

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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 09:32:26 pm »



Remains of the royal structure. Photo credit: Shmuel Browns
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 09:33:05 pm »

“[W]e can be surprised by the facts”, says Mazar, speaking of the current efforts.  “[W]e are in the very heart of the Ophel—very heart of the acropolis, and what we should expect is royal construction ….”[1]

The project leadership reports that the renewed Ophel excavations are going to be "a direct continuation of what her team did in her first Ophel phase—near the water gate complex". [1]

“[W]e are in the very core of the Ophel—the most important part,” says Mazar. “The potential is fantastic.”[1]

Though the Ophel excavations have already shown promise for shedding new light on the Jerusalem of the 10th century and later centuries, the efforts do not go without scholarly controversy. Some prominent Israeli archaeologists, like Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University, have disputed Mazar's interpretation of the finds, and some other critics have even suggested that some supporters and promoters of the Ophel excavation program have been influenced in their interpretation by a political and religious agenda within the context of the political dispute about Jerusalem. 

Despite the controversy, however, the excavations, like those that began in 2010 at the same site, are expected to reveal finds that will further illuminate the historicity of an ancient monumental city that continues to lie at the center of the world's three largest religions.

Mazar has indicated that she now hopes to significantly shorten the time between discovery of the finds and their actual publication. In addition, the Armstrong College will be publishing updates of dig activities and events at an online site, The Key to David's City, soon after they occur, for public consumption. Over 20 representatives from the college are volunteering at the excavation site.

Some of the artifacts from previous excavations are now exhibited at the Armstrong College campus, including First Temple period artifacts such as the two Hebrew bullae* of Gedaliah and Jehucal, individuals noted in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah, and discovered during excavations at the site that has been suggested by Mazar to be the remains of the palace of King David.

More information about the ongoing Ophel excavations can be obtained by going to the website at The Key to David's City.

http://www.keytodavidscity.com/
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 09:33:27 pm »

[1] The Key to David's City, website http://www.keytodavidscity.com/

* a lump of clay molded around a cord and stamped with a seal. Once the clay has dried, the container (such as a vase or money bag) cannot be violated without visible damage to the bulla, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination. (Wikipedia) 

Cover Photo, Top Left: View of the excavated gate complex in the Ophel. Photo credit: Shmuel Browns

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http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/september-2012/article/archaeologists-return-to-excavate-near-temple-mount-in-jerusalem
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 09:34:10 pm »

http://popular-archaeology.com/upload/2697/discoverycoverpic3.jpg
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 09:34:24 pm »

A Public Water Reservoir Dating to the First Temple Period has been Exposed for the First Time next to the Western Wall
September 6, 2012 by HeritageDaily in Archaeology News, Middle Eastern No Comments   
Reservoir

A Public Water Reservoir Dating to the First Temple Period : IAA
According to Eli Shukron, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “It is now absolutely clear that the Jerusalem’s water consumption during the First Temple period was not solely based on the output of the Gihon Spring, but that it also relied on public reservoirs”

A large rock-hewn water reservoir dating to the First Temple period was discovered in the archaeological excavations that are being conducted in the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden at the foot of Robinson’s Arch. The excavations at the site are being carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority, underwritten by the Ir David Foundation and in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority.
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 09:34:41 pm »

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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 09:35:08 pm »

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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 09:35:41 pm »

A Public Water Reservoir Dating to the First Temple Period : IAA

The impressive reservoir will be presented today (Thursday) together with other finds from this past year at the 13th annual conference on the “City of David Studies of Ancient Jerusalem” to be held in Jerusalem.

The excavation, during the course of which the reservoir was discovered, is part of an archaeological project whereby the entire drainage channel of Jerusalem dating to the Second Temple period is being exposed. The channel runs north along the City of David spur, from the Siloam Pool to a point beneath Robinson’s Arch. The route of the channel was fixed in the center of the main valley that extends from north to south the length of the ancient city, parallel to the Temple Mount. In his description of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, Josephus refers to the valley by its Greek name “Tyropoeon”, which scholars believe means “Valley of the Cheese-makers”. Another interpretation identifies the valley with the “Valley of the Decision”, mentioned in the Book of Joel.

It became apparent while excavating the channel that during the construction of this enormous engineering enterprise its builders had to remove earlier structures that were situated along the route of the channel and “pass through” existing rock-hewn installations that were located along it. An extraordinary installation that was exposed in recent weeks is a large water reservoir treated with several layers of plaster, which probably dates to the First Temple period.

The reservoir has an approximate capacity of 250 cubic meters and is therefore one of the largest water reservoirs from the First Temple period to be discovered so far in Jerusalem, and this was presumably a reservoir that was used by the general public.
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 09:36:09 pm »

According to Eli Shukron, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “While excavating beneath the floor of the drainage channel a small breach in the bedrock was revealed that led us to the large water reservoir. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that a water reservoir of this kind has been exposed in an archaeological excavation. The exposure of the current reservoir, as well as smaller cisterns that were revealed along the Tyropoeon Valley, unequivocally indicates that Jerusalem’s water consumption in the First Temple period was not solely based on the output of the Gihon Spring water works, but also on more available water resources such as the one we have just discovered.

According to Dr. Tvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist of the Nature and Parks Authority and an expert on ancient water systems, “The large water reservoir that was exposed, with two other cisterns nearby, is similar in its general shape and in the kind of plaster to the light yellow plaster that characterized the First Temple period and resembles the ancient water system that was previously exposed at Bet Shemesh.   In addition, we can see the hand prints of the plasters left behind when they were adding the finishing touches to the plaster walls, just like in the water reservoirs of Tel Be’er Sheva, Tel Arad and Tel Bet Shemesh, which also date to the First Temple period”. Dr. Tsuk says, “Presumably the large water reservoir, which is situated near the Temple Mount, was used for the everyday activities of the Temple Mount itself and also by the pilgrims who went up to the Temple and required water for bathing and drinking”.

The exposure of the impressive water reservoir that lies below Robinson’s Arch joins a series of finds that were uncovered during recent excavations in this region of the city, indicating the existence of a densely built-up quarter that extended across the area west of the Temple Mount and predating the expansion of the Temple Mount. It seems that with the expansion of the Temple Mount compound to the west and the construction of the public buildings and the streets around the Temple Mount at the end of the Second Temple period, the buildings from the First Temple period and early Second Temple period were dismantled in this region and all that remains of them is a series of rock-cut installations, among them the hewn water reservoir.
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2012, 09:36:12 pm »

According to Eli Shukron, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “While excavating beneath the floor of the drainage channel a small breach in the bedrock was revealed that led us to the large water reservoir. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that a water reservoir of this kind has been exposed in an archaeological excavation. The exposure of the current reservoir, as well as smaller cisterns that were revealed along the Tyropoeon Valley, unequivocally indicates that Jerusalem’s water consumption in the First Temple period was not solely based on the output of the Gihon Spring water works, but also on more available water resources such as the one we have just discovered.

According to Dr. Tvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist of the Nature and Parks Authority and an expert on ancient water systems, “The large water reservoir that was exposed, with two other cisterns nearby, is similar in its general shape and in the kind of plaster to the light yellow plaster that characterized the First Temple period and resembles the ancient water system that was previously exposed at Bet Shemesh.   In addition, we can see the hand prints of the plasters left behind when they were adding the finishing touches to the plaster walls, just like in the water reservoirs of Tel Be’er Sheva, Tel Arad and Tel Bet Shemesh, which also date to the First Temple period”. Dr. Tsuk says, “Presumably the large water reservoir, which is situated near the Temple Mount, was used for the everyday activities of the Temple Mount itself and also by the pilgrims who went up to the Temple and required water for bathing and drinking”.

The exposure of the impressive water reservoir that lies below Robinson’s Arch joins a series of finds that were uncovered during recent excavations in this region of the city, indicating the existence of a densely built-up quarter that extended across the area west of the Temple Mount and predating the expansion of the Temple Mount. It seems that with the expansion of the Temple Mount compound to the west and the construction of the public buildings and the streets around the Temple Mount at the end of the Second Temple period, the buildings from the First Temple period and early Second Temple period were dismantled in this region and all that remains of them is a series of rock-cut installations, among them the hewn water reservoir.
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 09:37:11 pm »

Robinson’s arch in old city wall, jerusalem : Wiki Commons

According to Dr. Yuval Baruch, archaeologist in charge of the Jerusalem Region of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Upon completion of the excavations along the route of the drainage channel, the IAA will examine possibilities of incorporating the impressive water reservoir in the planned visitors’ path”.

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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2012, 09:37:42 pm »

Contributing Source : Israel Antiquities Authority
HeritageDaily : Archaeology News : Archaeology Press Releases

http://www.heritagedaily.com/2012/09/a-public-water-reservoir-dating-to-the-first-temple-period-has-been-exposed-for-the-first-time-next-to-the-western-wall/
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