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Workers have discovered artifacts on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem that date to the First Jewish Temple period, from the eighth to the sixth centuries BC.
Found by Muslim workers doing maintenance, the artifacts “may be the first physical evidence of human activity at the Temple Mount . . . in that time,” reports Mati Milstein for National Geographic News.
“This is the first time we have shards from the Temple Mount with a [uniform] date.”
The description of what was unearthed is particularly interesting. “The findings include animal bones; ceramic bowl rims, bases, and body sherds; the base of a juglet used to pour oil; the handle of a small juglet; and the rim of a storage jar,” the report echoes, based on the Israel Antiquities Authority announcement.
According to Haifa University’s Ronny Reich, the discovery “most certainly” indicates that the temple was used during the aforementioned time period. “This is the first time we have shards from the Temple Mount with a [uniform] date,” Reich told National Geographic News, adding interestingly, “You can say that this was written in the Bible—but the Bible is a text and texts can be played around with. This is physical evidence.”
Archeological finds can never independently verify the Bible’s authenticity; nevertheless, such finds continue to corroborate the Bible’s account of history, helping it show itself to unbelievers as accurate “in earthly things.” Also, Reich seems to forget that physical evidence can be “played around with,” too, and must be interpreted through a framework—such as biblical history!
The Temple Mount’s archeological secrets will likely remain shrouded in mystery, however: religious leaders do not allow archeological excavations due to the mount’s holy status in Judaism and Islam.
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