That the title of the July update after three weeks of digging at the Mt Zion Excavation. The report by James D. Tabor is available here. The location is a beautiful one. It lies between the road and the old city wall on the south side of the Old City of Jerusalem, and it overlooks the Hinnom Valley (Joshua 18:16). There are some nice photos of the site and some of the discoveries.
Discoveries in the past three weeks include:
- A stone vessel with an ancient inscription of ten lines in archaic Jewish script.
- Murex snail shells with holes drilled in them.
- A fire pit dated to just after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
- The threshold of a Fatimid period double gate.
- An arched doorway with mosaic floor and plastered wall.
- Several 2nd temple vaulted chambers that likely contained mikvot (ritual baths).
- Miscellaneous items such as coins, intact lamps, etc.
The excavators, Tabor and Gibson, have found evidence in some of these items that causes them to think this might have been an area were priests from the Second Temple period lived. (Second Temple means the Herodian Temple, which was really the Third Temple!).
Archaeology is hard work, but as these little things come to light it is exciting to have a better understanding of the past.
HT: Joseph I. Lauer