April 05, 2008

Israeli Archeologist Finds Artifacts from Time of Solomon's Temple

Via Canadian Jewish News:

Yuval Baruch, Jerusalem's district archeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, made archeological history in October 2007 when he uncovered pottery artifacts on the site of Jerusalem's Temple Mount dating from the time of King Solomon's Temple (the First Jewish Temple).

"The Muslim Waqf does not allow Israeli archeologists to conduct any excavations on the site. But I got access to a small tunnel where electrical cables run....I was not supposed to be left there alone, as the Waqf always has someone present when Israeli archeologists are on the site....By chance the Arab electrical workers left me and a member of my staff for about 15 minutes while they went to pray. When I was alone in that brief time, I found the pottery shards among dust near the bedrock level," he says.

Baruch's findings include ceramic bowl rims, bases and body shards; the base of a juglet used to pour oil; the handle of a small juglet; and the rim of a storage jar. The finds are dated from eight- to six-century BCE. In particular, the bowl shards were decorated with wheel burnishing lines characteristic of the First Temple Period.