Archaeologists Make ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Discovery’ of Biblical-Era Carvings in Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered three 2,700-year-old relics of the ancient Kingdom of Judah during ongoing excavations in Jerusalem.

The three decorated column heads bear the same style as others of the kingdom, a symbol of the Davidic dynasty. Experts believe the column heads date from the time of King Hezekiah, a descendant of King David.

“This discovery is really a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” City of David Foundation Vice President Doron Spielman told The Jerusalem Post.

“It’s not every day that we’re able to discover something that four billion people around the world — who have some type of identity to the bible, to ancient Jerusalem, to the idea of discovering the Bible and unearthing the archaeology underneath the ground and connecting it to the actual place — can relate to,” he said.

The stones, known to archaeologists as “capitals,” appeared to have been carefully hidden amid the wreckage of the site, according to the BBC.

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“At this point it is still difficult to say who hid the capitals in the way they were discovered, and why he did so,” Yaakov Billig, the archaeologist who led the excavation, said in a statement. “But there is no doubt that this is one of the mysteries at this unique site, to which we will try to offer a solution.”

The rest of the site is “just about leveled,” Billig told The Jerusalem Post.

“I’m still excited,” said Billig, who has explored the Armon Hanatziv area of Jerusalem for 30 years.

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“When we brushed it clean, it was the most beautiful decoration I believe ever found of the capitals that were created in that manner from the first temple period,” he said, according to Disrn.

In fact, he did not quite believe what he had found was real.

“I thought, ‘Yaakov, maybe you’ve been in the sun too long.’ But I looked again, and it was still there,” he said.

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Billig said other artifacts were found including a toilet — something only to be found in the homes of nobles or the rich. The stones, he believes, were used to decorate pillars in a courtyard.

Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Yuval Baruch said that the stones were displayed soon after their discovery “based on the idea and deep belief that these archaeological remains — this built, physical legacy — are the inheritance of the entire public.”

“We are making every effort so that the public will see how professional, scientific and impartial Israeli archaeology is — which is relevant to everyone, no matter where they’re located, whether in Israel or anywhere else,” told The Jerusalem Post.

King Hezekiah ruled during the seventh century B.C., prior to the Babylonian conquest that led to the vast destruction of Jerusalem.

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