Friday, April 19, 2013

Royal Architecture Found Near Jerusalem

Joseph Lauer has passed along word of a report in the Hebrew daily Makor Rishon that is currently available in English only in The Jewish Press. Specifics are limited, perhaps because of fears of vandalism or political maneuvers.

The article mentions an “ancient column with a crown,” but the photo in Makor Rishon shows a proto-Aeolic capital. More than three dozen of these royal capitals have been found throughout Israel, including one in the City of David and ten at Ramat Rahel. They clearly date to the time of the kings of Israel and Judah and the quality of construction indicates that these capitals are part of royal architecture.

The capital was found in a cave between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Yaron Rosenthal believes that an entire building from the time of Judah’s monarchy may be waiting to be unearthed.

The story in The Jewish Press mostly focuses on the political angle, reporting on the allegation that the Israel Antiquities Authority has known about the discovery for the last year and a half but is ignoring it for political reasons.


Photo by Yossi Aloni, Makor Rishon

Proto-Aeolic capital at Ramat Rahel, tb031905802

Replica of Proto-Aeolic capital on display at Ramat Rahel excavations

Ramat Rahel excavations, Proto-Aeolic capitals, tb113002564

Reconstruction of Judean palace with Proto-Aeolic capitals at Ramat Rahel

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  • I'm writing without any prior knowledge on this site and/or find, but based on the picture (and what seems an excellent comparison to Ramat Rachel), there is no reason to state that this dates to the "United Monarchy" (10th cent.), as well-dated "proto-Ionic" capitals are from later phases of the Iron Age (such as at Ramat Rachel).
    Also - the charge that the IAA would not excavate a site for fear that the political implications of a find would be problematic are hard to accept - I'm not aware of a single instance in which something of the sort has happened in the past - I don't see, offhand, any reason this would happen here.

    By Blogger aren maeir, at Fri Apr 19, 11:58:00 AM  

  • Also worth mentioning is the proto-Aeolic capital fragment found in Ophel by Eilat Mazar last December.

    By Blogger A B Chrysler, at Fri Apr 19, 04:43:00 PM  

  • If the Proto-Aeolic capital found in the City of David is associated with King David's palace, then we might consider the possibility that Absalom's pillar has now been found.

    By OpenID A B Chrysler, at Fri Jan 10, 07:28:00 AM  

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