Thursday, November 29, 2007

More on "Nehemiah's Wall"

Yesterday the Jerusalem Post finally reported on the discovery of "Nehemiah's wall" first announced several weeks ago.  Today the AP has a report.  Most of the material is similar to what was reported before, but the Jerusalem Post says that not only the tower but the wall as a whole is from the time of Nehemiah.  That would be a significant development, because the wall is large and easily visible to tourists.  The AP version quotes two scholars with different views on Mazar's conclusion.  Stern's expertise is Persian period.

Ephraim Stern, professor emeritus of archaeology at Hebrew University and chairman of the state of Israel archaeological council, corroborated Mazar's claim. "The material she showed me is from the Persian period," the period of Nehemiah, he said. "I can sign on the date of the material she found."

Another scholar disputed the significance of the discovery.

Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, called the discovery "an interesting find," but said the pottery and other remains do not indicate that the wall was built in the time of Nehemiah. Because the debris was not connected to a floor or other structural part of the wall, the wall could have been built later, Finkelstein said.

"The wall could have been built, theoretically, in the Ottoman period," he said. "It's not later than the pottery — that's all we know."

You can read the full story here.

 

First Wall and Palace of David excavation area, tb102306083
Wall (center foreground and below wooden staircase) dated by Eilat Mazar to Nehemiah's time

City of David Area G from southeast, tb091306302labeled

On the picture above, the wall redated to Nehemiah's time is in between the "Southern Hasmonean period tower" and "Northern Hasmonean period tower," behind the "Stepped Stone Structure."

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3 Comments:

  • Todd, you amaze me.
    1. I can't figure out where you stood to take that first picture. It looks like your on top of the Northern Tower.
    2. How on earth did you know to take that picture months ago when you were still on site?

    By Blogger Al Sandalow, at Fri Nov 30, 05:54:00 PM  

  • Al,
    1. Something like that.
    2. I try to take pictures of everything because you never know what will next turn out to be of importance.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Sat Dec 01, 10:23:00 AM  

  • Hey Todd,

    I'm going through Ezra in my devotions. Not like I understand the hisory w/o a commentary or anything, but I would've been lost even with a commentary before IBEX. :D

    Thanks for all you do! Study hard @ DTS!

    Merry Christmas,
    Abi Escobar

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 10, 01:46:00 PM  

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