Unbelievable Find in Jerusalem :: Capital of Judean Kingdom
This huge discovery from 2,700 years ago shows the importance of the capital city of Jerusalem in the ancient Israelite Kingdom of Judah… This is from the time period of the First Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Facts on the ground tell the TRUTH about Jerusalem!
Illustrative photo credit: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority
Huge Kingdom of Judah government complex found near US Embassy in Jerusalem
Article Courtesy: Times of Israel
One of the largest collections of royal Kingdom of Judah seal impressions has been uncovered at a massive First Temple-period public tax collection and storage complex being excavated near the new United States Embassy in Jerusalem. The main Iron Age structure is exceptional in terms of both its size and architectural style, said Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Neri Sapir, who co-directed the excavation.
Uncovered only three kilometers (1.8 mile) outside the Old City, the compound is believed by Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists to have served as an administrative center during the reigns of Judean kings Hezekiah and Menashe (8th century to the middle of the 7th century BCE).
Over 120 jar handles stamped 2,700 years ago with ancient Hebrew script seal impressions were discovered at the site, clearly indicating the location’s use as a storage and tax center, according to an IAA press release Wednesday. Prevalent among the stamped inscriptions is “LMLK,” “LamMeLeKh,” or “Belonging to the King,” a way of marking that the foodstuffs stored in the jars had been tithed to the Judean ruler.
This trove of LMLK seal impressions adds to the over 2,000 similar seals previously discovered at excavations and allows archaeologists to rethink the administrative and tax collection systems of the Kingdom of Judah.
“This is one of the most significant discoveries from the period of the Kings in Jerusalem made in recent years. At the site we excavated, there are signs that governmental activity managed and distributed food supplies not only for shortage but administered agricultural surplus amassing commodities and wealth,” said IAA excavation co-directors Sapir and Nathan Ben-Ari in a press release Wednesday.
According to the archaeologists, the large number of seal impressions here and at nearby Kibbutz Ramat Rachel shows that much of the Kingdom of Judah’s governmental administration took place outside the City of David during at least the final centuries of the monarchy.
The ongoing salvage excavations in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood are conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, funded by the Israel Land Authority and administrated by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation ahead of the construction of a new building project.
The IAA’s Jerusalem District Archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch said the agencies are working together to preserve the site within the plan of the new project as part of the IAA’s trend of sustainable development of local heritage.
“The archaeological discoveries at Arnona identify the site as a key site — the most important in the history of the final days of the Kingdom of Judah and of the return to Zion decades after the destruction of the Kingdom. This site joins a number of other key sites uncovered in the area of Jerusalem which were connected to the centralized administrative system of the Kingdom of Judah from its peak until its destruction,” said Baruch.
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