From Israel New Excavation Started In The City Of David -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 08:1 (Winter 1979)
Article: From Israel New Excavation Started In The City Of David
Author: Anonymous

From Israel
New Excavation Started In The City Of David

The City of David, located on the Ophel Hill south of the Temple Mount along the Kidron Valley, is the most ancient part of Jerusalem. Ruins of the Canaanite and Israelite periods in the Bronze and Iron Ages are found there. From this small beginning Jerusalem spread northward and westward during the time of the Kingdom. During the Greek and Roman periods this part of the town was known as the “Lower City” and continued in use until Byzantine times.

The new excavation, under the direction of Yigal Shilo of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology, began with several probes at the southern edge of the Ophel Hill in January 1978. Sections of the ancient fortification system predating Herod were found as well as a rich collection of pottery dating to the end of the first century B.C.

The first full season of excavating was conducted from July to September 1978. Perhaps the most important find was a fragment of a monumental inscription from the eighth century B.C. It was apparently part of a wall plaque on an important public building. The ancient Hebrew writing is identical to that on the famous Siloam Inscription found in Hezekiah’s tunnel (see Bible and Spade, Spring-Summer 1975, pp. 49-51). The three-line inscription contains several numbers and three letters which may be the end of a name.

Other notable finds include the following:

* A city dump outside the ancient version of the Dung Gate containing thousands of pots, many of them complete, including 2,500 cooking vessels.

General view of the city of David archaeological dig on the east slope of Ophel Hill. The Old City wall is visible at the top of the photo.

* The first settlement layer ever found in Jerusalem from the sixth century B.C. when the Jews under Ezra and Nehemiah returned to Zion from Babylonian exile.

* A 25 meter section of city wall from the seventh or eighth centuries B.C., the first substantial section of city wall from this period. The height uncovered is three to four meters. Digging just inside this wall, the archaeologists uncovered three distinct layers from the Israelite period.

* A series of stout walls which served both as outer city fortifications and dams for the pools filled with water from the Gihon Spring.

* A 70-meter section of tunnel from the Gihon Spring southward with a series of apertures which served for irrigation purposes.

Plans call for four mor...

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