More Evidence of Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem
Israeli archaeologists recently discovered 2,600-year-old artifacts they say offer further concrete evidence of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem around 586 B.C.
The Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery just days before Tisha B’Av, a Jewish fast day commemorating the anniversary of the destruction of both the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70.
The announcement comes at a time of great turmoil in and around the Temple Mount (the Haram al-Sharif in Arabic), the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina.
During the four-month excavation, carried out in the Jerusalem Walls National Park near Jerusalem’s Old City, archaeologists found charred wood, pottery, fish scales and bones, grape seeds and “rare artifacts” covered by burned charcoal and layers of building debris.
Among the most important finds were dozens of storage jars, several of them with handles stamped with the image of a petalled rose, or rosette.
The excavation also revealed an artistically rendered small ivory statue of a woman whose hair was cut in an “Egyptian style,” and indicates the wealth of some residents of the ancient city, the authority said.
It also revealed that ancient Jerusalem was larger than first thought: It extended beyond the line of the already-excavated city wall before it was destroyed.