Archaeologists find evidence of Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem
Artifacts unearthed at Mount Zion may confirm the destruction of ancient Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
JERUSALEM — Archaeologists may have unearthed evidence to confirm the Biblical account of Jerusalem's destruction by the Babylonians.
Haaretz reports that an international team led by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has uncovered layers of ash deposits on Mount Zion, which contained artifacts such as a rare piece of jewelry and arrowheads.
According to UNC Charlotte professor Shimon Gibson, this combination of artifacts indicates some kind of destruction or devastation at the site, since "Nobody abandons gold jewelry and nobody has arrowheads in their domestic refuse."
Haaretz reports that the ash layers were dated to the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 587 or 586 B.C.E. using pottery fragments and oil lamps typical of the period.
The arrowheads were identified as Scythian, made of copper alloy and iron. They are known to have been used by Babylonian archers, according to Ancient Origins.
Haaretz reports that the discoveries support the hypothesis that Jerusalem was a sprawling and rich city when it was besieged by the Babylonians, and not a small hilltop citadel like some have suggested.
The UNC Charlotte team may have also found what may be a significant structure from the Iron Age. As the building lies beneath layers from different periods, it has yet to be excavated. Archaeologists say they will likely begin in 2020.
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