New Evidence Of Babylonian Conquest Of Jerusalem Discovered
New evidence unearthed in the City of David further verifies the biblical account of an actual Babylonian conquest of First Temple-period Jerusalem, according to the Times of Israel.
Led by Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologist Dr. Joe Uziel, the excavation team discovered a row of 2,600-year-old rooms, all of which were covered with layers of charcoal ash.
Researchers also discovered several rare artifacts within the rooms, including an Egyptian ivory statue, and smashed pottery jars with a rosette seal. The seal, according to Ortal Chalaf, co-director of the dig, was used by royal administrators just before the fall of the First Temple.
“Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields. The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system,” said Chalaf.
According to the biblical account, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar razed Jerusalem to the ground in 586 BCE, before he “burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great man’s house, burned he with fire.”
Uziel said that the findings are consistent with those of British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon, who excavated the site when it was still under Jordanian control.
He also said that new questions have been raised by the findings. “Are we outside the city? Are we excavating an external quarter? Are these domestic buildings?,” he asked.
The find comes ahead of Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of Jerusalem and the first and second temples by the Babylonians and Romans.
Contact Jesse Bernstein at [email protected] or on Twitter @__jbernstein