Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Archaeological Treasures from the Temple Mount

These are just some of the remarkable finds discovered in the rubble from the areas of the Temple Mount destroyed by the Islamic Wakf:

On the 27th of September, 2005, a bulla with a seal impression was found in the sifting project. The bulla made of clay was originally attached to a document ora parcel, and still retains part of its original text on its face. The bulla is black in color as a result of being burned by the fire that ironically caused its preservation. The bulla became fragmented in ancient times and is incomplete. The letters preserved on the middle register are are "...LYHW" while the bottom register reads "..AMR." In light of another published seal, it may be possible to complete the writing as "belonging to Galiyahu son of Imer." The house of Imer was a well-known priestly family at the end of the First Temple period, roughly from around the 7th - 6th centuries BCE, and the days of Return to Zion. This is a direct relic from the Temple Mount of the days of the Kings of Judah. Though tens of bullae have been found in the past in the City of David, this is the first time that a written item from the First Temple period was found on the Temple Mount itself.

A "pinched style" spout of a Hasmonean oil lamp was found on the eve of Chanukah. The festival of Chanukah celebrates the victory of the Hasmoneans over the Seleucid Empire.

A tiny ceramic flask, apparently used for precious liquids, possibly perfumes, or as an amulet to contain a parchment. It is mould-made and is ornamented on both sides with human images: One side shows a roman styled helmeted soldier's head, and the other side shows a head of a woman with coiffed hair.

A collection of various game pieces. Among them a 1st-2nd century CE Roman period ivory dice.

The first coin recovered was from the period of the First Revolt against the Romans that preceded the destruction of the Second Temple. It bore the phrase "For the Freedom of Zion." The find was particularly meaningful inasmuch as it was found in the rubble from the Temple Mount, which was one of the focal points of the war.

A Christian amulet made of silver on which appear figures from the Christian liturgy. Possibly from the 16-17th century.

Remnants and tile pieces from the previous mosque which once stood on the Temple Mount.

A gold coin left by soldiers of Napoleon II - 1858 CE.

Napoleonic coin: rear.

Fragments of ornaments or inlay pieces made from mother of pearl with incised decorations.

1 comment:

Ephraim said...

Cool! I'd be honored to link to you! I've been meaning to update my links for a while now. Actually, I'm a long-time reader of Dry Bones, which helped me understand the political scene here far better than any newspaper ever could.