Archaeologists in southern Jerusalem have uncovered the ruins of a 2,700-year-old luxurious palace, Ruth Schuster and Ariel David report for Haaretz.

The finds, unearthed along a ridge near the Armon Hanatziv promenade-include three limestone columns capitalsOr toppers, and dozens of stone artifacts, according to a statement Israel Antiquities Authority (AAI).

Based on the capitals proto-wind designThe team dated the treasure at the time of the Bible First TempleWhich was built by King Solomon around 1006 BC This distinctive column shape features a triangle flanked by two large spirals; today, the same motif adorns the Part Israeli currency five NIS.

“This is the first discovery of models of proto-wind giant capitals, of the kind found so far in the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, which have been incorporated over the doors royal palace, “says Yaakov Billig, the archaeologist who led the excavation, in the release. “The level of production of these capitals is the best seen to date, and the degree of conservation of objects is rare.”

Pottery fragments found at the site helped researchers to further reduce the height of the palace, placing its peak in the early seventh century BC.

“The pottery, jugs, pots, lamps, clay containers directory fractured all date from this period,” says Billig. Haaretz.

Future studies will seek to corroborate the age of the artifacts by performing tests related to the physical properties of their materials.

The modern Israeli five-shekel coin features the same design as the recently discovered capital cities.

(Yaniv Berman / Israel Antiquities Authority)

As the Israel Times notes, researchers suspect that the stone mansion was built between the reigns of HezekiahWho led Judah between 715 and 686 BC approximately, and Josiah, who served as king between about 640 and 609 BC Probably built after the late Assyrian king Sennacherib siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC, the area reflects the revival of the region.

“We reveal villas, mansions and government buildings in the area outside the city walls,” Billig said in the statement. “This reflects the relief felt by the inhabitants of the city and the resumption of development of Jerusalem after the end of the Assyrian threat. “

The IAA speculates that the owner of the palace may have been a king of Judah, or perhaps a wealthy member of one of the noble families of Jerusalem. Whatever their identity, the mysterious occupant would have had a breathtaking view of the First Jewish TempleAnd the area now known as the City of David, or Wadi Hilweh in Arabic, reports BBC News.

According to the statement, archaeologists found two of the three capitals neatly stacked on top of each other, as if they had been carefully buried or hidden.

“Was it a question of holiness? Someone did not want them to be desecrated? At the moment we don’t know, ”said Billig Haaretz.

The invaders probably destroyed the remainder of the opulent abode during the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC. J.-C., explains Yuval Baruch, chief archaeologist of the district of Jerusalem at the IAA, for Haaretz. Aside from the buried capitals, all of the fragments that survived the destruction were likely reused in new buildings.

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