Mt. Zion Excavations

2 12 2008

Yehiel Zelinger of the Israel Antiquities Authority spoke on “The Southern Fortifications of Jerusalem during the Hasmonean and Byzantine Periods.”  As most of you probably already know, this dig was carried out to reexamine the previous excavations of Bliss and Dickie in the late 1800’s.  The excavations revealed remains of the Byzantine wall (dating to the 5th century CE, the time of empress Eudocia) reported by Bliss and Dickie and a Hasmonean tower as well (dating to the end of the second century BCE).

The big news, which hadn’t been previously revealed, was that an Iron IIC wall had been recently uncovered slightly below and adjacent to the Hasmonean tower.  Associated with this wall was found a single wing LMLK handle and another handle with the inscription lmay nr’ (update: ayin added see comments, apologies the Hebrew font isn’t working).  This find just increases our knowledge of the fortifications of the southern hill during the end of the Iron Age.

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3 responses

3 12 2008
G.M. Grena

Did he show a photo of the “single wing” handle?

And can you double-check the inscription from your notes (assuming you wrote this down)? I’m not aware of any with “LMY” (Lamed Mem Yod) at the beginning. Or did your Hebrew font reverse the order of some of the letters? Did he say this was the only specimen known? Did he show a photo or drawing of the inscription?

Thanks again for you reports!

3 12 2008
ochesnut

He did show a photo, but it was so worn I couldn’t make out any letters or other details. As for the name this is what it said: lamed mem yod and then nun resh aleph. I suppose its possible I wrote it down incorrectly (always have to take notes so quickly at these things), but I’m pretty confident about it. I’ll double check with someone else who was there.

3 12 2008
ochesnut

Ah, I looked over my notes again and talked with one of my prof’s it was: lamed mem ayin yod. This makes a lot more sense, I remember him saying there was a possible connection to a name in Nehemiah, but I can’t remember the passage.

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