An exciting archaeological find

Posted by Tory Historian Tuesday, February 23, 2010 , ,

Tory Historian found some exciting news about an archaeological find in the Holy Land, nowadays known as the Middle East or Israel. Well, East Jerusalem, to be quite precise. Setting aside the political implications, which have no place on this blog, it is fascinating to learn:

The excavations conducted by archeologist Eilat Mazar in the Ophel area revealed a section of an ancient city wall of Jerusalem. According to the press release from the Hebrew University, under whose auspices the project was carried out, the dig uncovered the wall as well as an inner gatehouse for entry into the royal quarter of the ancient city and an additional royal structure adjacent to the gatehouse as well as a corner tower. While ancient buildings are not uncommon in the city, the significance of this discovery is the fact that these edifices can be dated to the 10th century before the Common Era — the time of King Solomon, credited by the Bible for the construction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. Pottery found at the lowest levels of the dig is dated to this era.

Even more telling is the fact that bullae — seal impressions — with Hebrew names were found, as well as seal impressions on jar handles inscribed with the words “to the king,” which means they were employed by the Israelite state in that time. Inscriptions on the jars, which Mazar says are the largest ever found in Jerusalem, showed them to be the property of a royal official.
Before the Common Era is what used to be known as BC. The article continues in its explanation:
The significance of this extraordinary find is that it provides new proofof the existence and power of the Davidic monarchy, the Israelite state that it led, and the more than 3,000-year-old Jewish presence in Jerusalem. These new discoveries, along with those of a previous dig in a different area of the city of David, contradict contrary Palestinian claims that the Jews have no claim to the area. They also debunk the assertions of some Israeli archeologists who have sought to portray the kingdom of David and Solomon as an insignificant tribal group and not the regional empire that the Bible speaks about. Indeed, Mazar believes that the strength and the form of construction required to build these structures correlates with biblical passages that speak of Solomon’s building of a royal palace and of the Temple with the assistance of master builders from Phoenicia (modern-day Lebanon). Moreover, contrary to those who speak of the Jewish presence in the city as a passing phase in ancient times, the discovery of Jewish seals, which speak directly of an Israelite state, proves that what Mazar has found are not the remains of a Jebusite fort conquered by the Jews but rather of a great city built by David and his son Solomon.
Yes, that does stray into the political arena but that cannot be quite avoided. Even Tory Historian recognizes that. As Marc Bloch, the great French historian(though most definitely not a conservative in any form) explained in his last, tragically unfinished book, The Historian's Craft, the past can help us understand the present but the present can help us understand the past.

1 Responses to An exciting archaeological find

  1. Hiraeth Says:
  2. What fascinates me is that the Muslims should be so eager to employ the findings of so-called revisionists when it comes to Jewish history, when a consistent acceptance of such views would cause them to embrace Orientalist views of their own history which would undermine the Koranic picture of Mohamed and render the Koran a nullity. After all, doesn't the Koran accept the view of Solomon and David found in the Scriptures?

    By relying on that sort of archeology, they undermine their religious views, like the Christian who relies on rationalist arguments against Islam.

    One is tempted to observe that such Muslims who hold to that sort of historical viewpoint are either dishonest or fools. It is certain that they cannot cite the Koran in support of their views.

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