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.