10th century city wall possibly built by King Solomon found in Jerusalem

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Washington, Feb 23 (ANI): A section of an ancient city wall of Jerusalem from the tenth century BCE, which was possibly built by King Solomon, has been revealed in archaeological excavations.

The section of the city wall revealed, 70 meters long and six meters high, is located in the area known as the Ophel, between the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount.

Uncovered in the city wall complex are: an inner gatehouse for access into the royal quarter of the city, a royal structure adjacent to the gatehouse, and a corner tower that overlooks a substantial section of the adjacent Kidron valley.

Archaeology students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as volunteer students from the Herbert W. Armstrong College in Edmond, Oklahoma, and hired workers all participated in the excavation work.

"The city wall that has been uncovered testifies to a ruling presence. Its strength and form of construction indicate a high level of engineering," Mazar said.

The city wall is at the eastern end of the Ophel area in a high, strategic location atop the western slop of the Kidron valley.

"A comparison of this latest finding with city walls and gates from the period of the First Temple, as well as pottery found at the site, enable us to postulate with a great degree of assurance that the wall that has been revealed is that which was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem in the latter part of the tenth century B.C.E.," said Dr. Eilat Mazar, director of the archaeological excavations.

"This is the first time that a structure from that time has been found that may correlate with written descriptions of Solomon's building in Jerusalem," she said.

"The Bible tells us that Solomon built - with the assistance of the Phoenicians, who were outstanding builders - the Temple and his new palace and surrounded them with a city, most probably connected to the more ancient wall of the City of David," she said.

Mazar specifically cites the third chapter of the First Books of Kings where it refers to "until he (Solomon) had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about."

The six-meter-high gatehouse of the uncovered city wall complex is built in a style typical of those from the period of the First Temple like Megiddo, Beersheva and Ashdod.

It has symmetrical plan of four identical small rooms, two on each side of the main passageway. (ANI)

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