Sunday, July 24, 2011

Golden Bell Discovered in Jerusalem

From the Jerusalem Post:

A golden bell ornament that archeologists believed belonged to a priest or important leader from the Second Temple period, was found in an ancient drainage channel in ruins next to the Western Wall on Thursday, the Antiquities Authority announced.

The small bell, which has a loop for attaching to clothing or jewelry, was found underneath Robinson’s Arch. The area underneath the arch was formerly the central road of Jerusalem, which led from the Shiloah Pools in the City of David to the Old City and the Temple Mount.

The excavations were led by the Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and financed by the City of David Foundation, which runs the archeological park across the street.

“It seems the bell was sewn on the garment worn by a high official in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period (first century CE),” the excavation’s lead archeologists, the Antiquities Authority’s Eli Shukron and Prof. Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, said in a statement. “The bell was exposed inside Jerusalem’s main drainage channel at that time, among the layers of earth that had accumulated along the bottom of it.”

They believed that the bell fell off the official’s clothing while he was walking along the road and rolled into the drainage channel, where it has sat for nearly 2,000 years.

The story continues with the biblical verse that is the basis for the archaeologists’ claim that this was part of the high priest’s garments. James Davila questions the priestly connection. A large photograph of the object is posted at Dawn.com. Leen Ritmeyer has posted an illustration of the high priest’s garments.

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3 Comments:

  • I have looked at the photograph via the link and must ask: How is this a "bell" at all? Is there a clapper inside or something? I cannot help thinking that, as intriguing as the object is, the "experts" have once again jumped the gun and "over-interpreted" this find. It couldn't have anything to do with the nationalistic Jewish settler organization Elad who's funding the dig, could it...? Nah.

    TOM POWERS / Jerusalem

    By OpenID israelpalestineguide, at Sun Jul 24, 03:43:00 PM  

  • I wondered the same thing, Tom. As a standalone ornament, it probably would not make any sound; however, if it were sewn along a hem with others, they would each serve as clappers. Yah.

    By Blogger G.M. Grena, at Sun Jul 24, 10:13:00 PM  

  • As the AP article stated, "When Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority shook it Sunday, the faint metallic sound was something between a clink and a rattle."

    By Blogger Joel, at Sun Jul 24, 11:12:00 PM  

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