Ancient Artifact Found On Har Hazeisim


har-hazeisimArchaeologists digging on Har Hazeisim in Yerushalayim have discovered a nearly 3,000-year-old jar handle bearing ancient Hebrew script, a find significantly older than most inscribed artifacts unearthed in the ancient city, an archaeologist said. The Iron Age handle is inscribed with the name Menachem, in Lashon Kodesh. The inscription also includes a partly intact letter, a “lamed,” as in L’Menachem. That suggests the jar was a gift to someone named Menachem, said Ron Beeri, who directed the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority. There is no indication the inscription refers to the melech, Menachem, who ruled over the Yidden at one point in Eretz YisroelThe name and similar variants have been found on Egyptian pottery dating back 3,500 years, and in Tanach we find Menachem Ben Gadi as an ancient melech of Klal Yisroel. But this is the first time an artifact bearing the name has been unearthed in Yerushalayim, Beeri said.

Based on the style of the inscription, the handle was dated to around 900 B.C., the time of the first Bais Hamikdosh.

artifact-har-hazeisimThe vessel the handle was attached to did not survive, so it is impossible to tell what it was used for, Beeri said. Similar vessels were known to have held products like oil or wheat.

Construction workers uncovered the archaeological site while digging the foundation for a girl’s school being built in the area, Beeri said.

Excavators also uncovered storage vessels and implements from two earlier nomadic settlements, both dating to around 2,000 B.C., he said, as well as artifacts dating from the time of the Roman Empire around 2,000 years ago.

Archaeologists have completed their dig, and construction workers building the school are back on the job, Beeri said.

{Yair Israel}