Jerusalem Report: Evidence Of Babylonian Seige Found -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 05:2 (Spring 1976)
Article: Jerusalem Report: Evidence Of Babylonian Seige Found
Author: Anonymous

Jerusalem Report:
Evidence Of Babylonian Seige Found

And it came to pass in the ninth year of his [Zedekiah’s] reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. And the city was beseiged unto the eleventh year of King Zedekiah...And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. (2 Kings 25:1, 2, 10)

2 Kings 24 and 25 describe the fall of Jerusalem, capital of Judah, to the Babylonians in the early years of the sixth century B.C. There was a time when a number of scholars doubted that this event ever took place. Archaeology, however, has provided ample testimony to dispel any doubts concerning the accuracy of the Bible on this point. (See Bible and Spade, Spring-Summer 1975, pp. 57-71.) Now, for the first time, evidence of the Babylonian seige has been found in Jerusalem itself.

Fortification tower from the Judean monarchy. The remains in the foreground are from the later wall dating to the Hasmonean period (152-37 B.C.). Note the difference in masonry style. The Judean tower is made of roughly-made stone blocks with the spaces between the poorly-fitting blocks filled with chinking stones. The Hasmonean fortification, on the other hand, is made of beautifully squared large ashlars (square hewn stones).

The site of the find is in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, west of the Temple Mount. The Jewish Quarter was almost totally destroyed by the Jordanians between 1948 and 1967. It was this destruction that provided archaeologists with an opportunity to dig below modern levels. In 1970 the “burnt house,” dating to the Roman destruction of A.D. 70, was discovered. (See Bible and Spade, Winter 1972, pp. 15-16.) During the seventh season in 1975, a new area 28 feet square was opened up at the northern edge of the Quarter and excavated to a depth of 43 feet below the present street level. Here, Israeli archaeologists uncovered a fortification tower which formed part of the northern defenses during the Judean Monarchy in the seventh century B.C.

At the base of the tower was a layer of ash in which four arrowheads were found. Based on the dating of the pottery sherds in the ash and the ...

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