Tuesday, January 18th | 16 Shevat 5782

September 3, 2020 4:38 pm

Archaeological Dig in Jerusalem Reveals Remains From Era of Ancient Kings of Judah

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Archaeological remains from the era of the ancient kings of Judah are seen at the Armon Hanatziv promenade, in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo: Yuli Schwartz / Israel Antiquities Authority.

An extraordinary collection of archaeological remains from the era of the ancient kings of Judah has been discovered in Jerusalem.

The Israeli news site N12 reported that the relics were found by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) during excavations preceding the construction of a new visitors center at the Armon Hanatziv promenade in the Israeli capital.

By law, all construction projects in Israel must be preceded by an archaeological survey to ensure that no valuable antiquities are destroyed.

The most important among the latest finds are carved fragments of columns that once supported a massive structure.

Archaeologists are particularly interested in the “capitals,” or tops of the columns, which are beautifully carved in a style known as “proto-Aeolian.”

This style, involving a triangle flanked with two outwardly curving wave-like shapes, is well-known in Israel due to its appearance on the five-shekel coin.

Yaakov Billig of the IAA said, “This is a very exciting discovery. It’s the first time that we’ve found scaled-down versions of the giant proto-Aeolian capitals.”

“The level of workmanship on these capitals is the best seen to date, and the level of preservation of the items is rare,” he added.

Billig said that he believed the capitals came from a structure built between the reigns of Kings Hezekiah and Josiah, and represented the restoration of Jerusalem after the Assyrian siege of the city, which it barely survived.

Culture Minister Hili Tropper (Blue and White) said the discovery reflected “the glorious roots of the Jewish people and our rich past here in the capital city of Jerusalem.”

The artifacts will be made available for public viewing at the City of David center in Jerusalem.

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