2,700-Year-Old Ancient Site Discovered Near US Embassy in Jerusalem

Researchers assume the discovery is from the First Temple period and had been used for catering supplies.
Loukia Papadopoulos

You would think that in terms of archeological discoveries there is not much left to uncover. But every once in a while something new comes along that blows us away.

Archeologists in Jerusalem, Israel have discovered a beautiful new ancient site near the U.S. embassy in an affluent area knows as Arnona. The site is 2,700 years old.

"This is one of the most significant discoveries from the period of the Kings in Jerusalem made in recent years,” said in a statement Neria Sapir and Nathan Ben-Ari, directors of the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

2,700-Year-Old Ancient Site Discovered Near US Embassy in Jerusalem
To the King' - two-winged seal impression, Source: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

The site would have been used to store food and supplies during ancient times. Approximately 120 jar handles were discovered with seal impressions in ancient Hebrew script along with a collection of figurines (clay statuettes).


The handles have the inscription “LMLK" which means "belonging to the king" along with the name of an ancient city. The discovery is one the largest collections of royal Kingdom of Judah seal impressions ever made.

2,700-Year-Old Ancient Site Discovered Near US Embassy in Jerusalem
Source: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority.

Due to further inscriptions dedicated to affluent people, the archeologists assume the handles are from the First Temple period between 960 BCE and 586 BCE, a period documented in the Bible by upheavals such as that of the Assyrian conquest campaign.

Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists believe the newly-discovered structure may have served as an administrative center during the reigns of Judean kings Hezekiah and Menashe. The compound is only three kilometers (1.8 miles) outside the Old City.

"At the site we excavated, there are signs that governmental activity managed and distributed food supplies not only for shortage but administered agricultural surplus amassing commodities and wealth. Evidence shows that at this site, taxes were collected in an orderly manner for agricultural products such as wine and olive oil," further wrote the archeologists.

The researchers estimate that the site was once home to large agricultural plots and orchards of olive trees and grapevines. The site also included agricultural industrial facilities such as winepresses for winemaking. 

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