JERUSALEM – The recent discovery of ancient artifacts and dwelling places in Jerusalem corroborates an important event described in the Bible and confirms the wealth of the nation of Israel in ancient times.
In a statement titled “Evidence of Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem Found at the City of David,” the Israel Antiquities Authority announced that several important artifacts from the ancient city of Jerusalem have recently been unearthed.
“Evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians is currently being unearthed in the City of David in excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority,” it explained.
By conducting excavations on the eastern slope of the City of David, archaeologists discovered the remains of 2,500-year-old dwelling places covered by a rockslide.
“Nestled within the rockslide many findings have surfaced: charred wood, grape seeds, pottery, fish scales and bones, and unique, rare artifacts,” the Israel Antiquities Authority announced. “These findings depict the affluence and character of Jerusalem, capital of the Judean Kingdom, and are mesmerizing proof of the city’s demise at the hands of the Babylonians.”
This discovery of charred wood confirms the biblical account of the fiery destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians, which took place in 587 B.C. and is recorded in the Bible in 2 Kings 25 and Jeremiah 52.
“Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, [came] into Jerusalem, And burned the house of the LORD, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire,” Jeremiah 12 says.
Archaeologists also uncovered dozens of jugs in the excavation, some of which feature seals stamped onto them. Experts say these seals are significant for dating purposes.
“These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty,” explained Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, Israel Antiquities Authority excavation directors. “Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields.”
Another noteworthy finding was a carefully-carved ivory figurine, which is evidence of Jerusalem’s wealth and advanced culture at the time.
“The wealth of the Judean kingdom’s capital is also manifest in the ornamental artifacts surfacing in situ,” explained the archaeologists. “One distinct and rare finding is a small ivory statue of a woman. The figure is naked, and her haircut or wig is Egyptian in style. The quality of its carving is high, and it attests to the high caliber of the artifacts’ artistic level and the skill par excellence of the artists during this era.”
According to the excavation directors, these recent discoveries prove that Jerusalem was a large city prior to its destruction.
“The excavation’s findings unequivocally show that Jerusalem had spread outside of the city walls before its destruction, Chalaf and Uziel said. “A row of structures currently under excavation appears beyond the city wall that constituted the eastern border of the city during this period. Throughout the Iron Age, Jerusalem underwent constant growth, expressed both in the construction of the city wall and the fact that the city later spread beyond it.”
“Excavations carried out in the past in the area of the Jewish Quarter have shown how the growth of the community at the end of the 8th Century BCE caused the annexation of the western area of Jerusalem,” they added. “In the current excavation, we may suggest that following the westward expansion of the city, structures were built outside of the wall’s border on the east as well.”