“The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced that for the first time in the history of the archaeological research of Jerusalem, that building remains from the First Temple period, Solomon’s Temple, have been exposed close to the Temple Mount – on the eastern slopes of the Upper City,” writes Hillel Fendel, in a special Jewish Arutz Sheva report, in IsraelNationalNews.com. This, in the face of incredulous Muslim claims to the temple mount, is a historic find.
The report continues, “Archaeologists say that the discovery has unearthed a rich layer of buried remains from the latter part of the First Temple period, dating to the 8th-6th centuries B.C.E.” The excavations are in the northwestern part of the Western Wall plaza, near the staircase leading up towards the Jaffa Gate.
Fendel says that The Israel Antiquties Authority has been conducting the excavations for two years under the direction of archaeologists Shlomit Wexler-Bdoulah and Alexander Onn, in cooperation with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. Among their other finds are a magnificent colonnaded street [i.e., lined by columns] from the 2nd century C.E., a street that appears on the mosaic Madaba map and is referred to by the name Eastern Cardo.
The level of the Eastern Cardo is paved with large heavy limestone pavers that were set directly atop the layer that dates to the end of the First Temple period. Since the Roman road was laid above the layer beneath it, it thus “seals” the finds from the First Temple period, and has protecting them from being plundered. The walls of the buildings found in the dig are preserved to a height of more than two meters.
Other finds included a Ring Seal inscribed with the owner’s name, a Hebrew item. A vast amount of pottery was also discovered, including three jar handles with an inscription written in ancient Hebrew script, “Belonging] to the King of Hevron.”
This report was filed by Hillel Fendel, and adapted. Arutz Sheva – IsraelNationalNews.com