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Another day, another major archaeological find in Jerusalem...

by michael January 17 2008
Municipal news

You never know what you might turn up by digging in Jerusalem. Beneath just a few feet of dirt lies the accumulated detritus of thousands of years of regional history, and with excavations at the City of David having begun in earnest recently (they had been stalled, as archaeological digs and major construction projects always are in Israel, by ultra-Orthodox opposition to the chance of graves being disturbed), impressive discoveries are being made with thrilling frequency.

Eilat Mazar, the archaeologist who may have uncovered the actual citadel of David, recently discovered in the rubble of the City of David a seal from a prominent First Temple-era family mentioned in the Bible.

A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, a prominent Israeli archaeologist said Wednesday.

The 2,500-year-old black stone seal, which has the name "Temech" engraved on it, was found earlier this week amid stratified debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig.

According to the Book of Nehemiah, the Temech family were servants of the First Temple and were sent into exile to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The family was among those who later returned to Jerusalem, the Bible recounts.

Makes Jerusalemite wonder what else is down there.

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