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A wall mentioned in Nehemiah—but thought by some archaeologists not to exist—has been found, according to an Israeli archaeologist.
The Associated Press reports on the work of Eilat Mazar, head of the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center’s Institute of Archaeology, whose team conducted the excavation of the wall. Found in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David, the wall was accidentally discovered “during a rescue attempt on a tower that was in danger of collapse.”
The wall was accidentally discovered “during a rescue attempt on a tower that was in danger of collapse.”
Mazar’s team concluded from artifacts found under the tower (including pottery shards and arrowheads) that both the tower and the wall belonged to Nehemiah’s time, the fifth century B.C., three or four centuries older than was originally thought by other scholars.
“This was a great surprise. It was something we didn't plan,” said Mazar, who believes the first part of the excavation revealed the remains of King David’s palace. The AP story notes that many scholars had argued the wall did not exist.
Archaeological finds, as with paleontological, geological, astronomical, etc., discoveries, must be filtered or interpreted through a worldview. This is especially the case with discoveries from the past, such as a dinosaur fossil or an ancient wall, because almost all such finds can only be dated indirectly and circumstantially; thus, without the testimony of someone who was there, we cannot know for certain much of anything about objects from the past.
Matching up archaeological discoveries with the Bible can’t prove the Bible; however, such discoveries remind us of the Bible’s real account of history and often force unbelievers to ask just how the Bible ends up being right, time and time again, when it comes to the questions of archaeology—and beyond.
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