Hebrew Bible and ANE History Lists Commentary

News and Comments that relate to the Hebrew Bible and to my posts on various ANE and Hebrew Bible related mailing lists - Yitzhak Sapir

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jerusalem Municipality orders halt to City of David excavations

The crack in the kindergarten wall
Photo source: Kobi Gideon
for Baubau/Haaretz
Meron Rappaport for Haaretz reports (English and Hebrew) that the Jerusalem municipality issued a warrant ordering excavations by the Ir David Foundation to be halted:

Kindergarten management said they fear the building will collapse and that if disaster struck they will hold the municipality and those running the excavations responsible.

The kindergarten operates in the courtyard of a mosque in the Wadi Hilwe neighborhood of the East Jerusalem suburb of Silwan. The excavations funded by the Elad association for Jewish settlement of East Jerusalem take place a few meters away from the mosque.

The excavations nearby the kindergarten
Photo source: Kobi Gideon for Baubau/Haaretz
The Hebrew article includes a little tidbit that the excavations are near the Siloam pool, which suggests the excavations are those conducted by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukran, currently focusing on probably late 9th century BCE remains in the Siloam pool.

Rena Rossner reported in The Jerusalem Post a few months ago that

Reich's and Shukran's digging has unearthed valuable finds. Most recently, they have uncovered over 60 bullae (broken clay seals) and six stamps used to seal letters, attesting to the fact that literacy and a system of administration were in place in Jerusalem as early as the ninth century BCE.

They have also discovered thousands of fish bones that, together with the bullae were found in an area that Reich and Shukran believe to be the Shiloah Pool, used as a ritual bath for the Temple Mount, and a tiled road which ends at the pool and has its origins near the Temple Mount. Ostensibly, this is the road that worshipers used to go back and forth between the Shiloah Pool and the Temple Mount.

The excavated pool and the steel scaffolding
Photo source: The Jerusalem Post
To support the excavation, a huge steel scaffolding system was constructed underneath. My understanding was that right now, the remains found at the site were still being very carefully sifted for the bullae, seals, and fish and animal bones, so I am not sure if any true further excavations have been made.

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Blogger Jim said...

The English version link doesn't work.

5/11/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Yitzhak Sapir said...

The entire Haaretz website (English and Hebrew) seems to be down now.

5/11/2006 09:00:00 PM  

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