The sifting of debris removed from the Temple Mount continues under the direction of Dr. Gabriel Barkay and Tzachi Zweig, and Haaretz provides the latest update from the work there. Many artifacts have been revealed in the project.
The oldest artifacts found are remnants of tools like a blade and scraper dating back 10,000 years. Some potsherds and shards of alabaster tools date from the Bronze Age – the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C.E. (the Canaanite and Jebusite eras). Only a handful of potsherds were found from the 10th century B.C.E. (the reigns of King David and King Solomon), but numerous artifacts date from the reigns of the later Judean kings (the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.E.), such as stone weights for weighing silver.
The most striking find from this period is a First Temple period bulla, or seal impression, containing ancient Hebrew writing, which may have belonged to a well-known family of priests mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.
Many other findings date from the Persian period (Return to Zion), Hasmonean, Ptolemaic and Herodian periods, as well as from Second Temple times. Second Temple finds include remains of buildings: plaster shards decorated a rust-red, which Barkai says was fashionable at the time; a stone measuring 10 centimeters and on it a sophisticated carving reminiscent of Herodian decorations; and a broken stone from a decorated part of the Temple Mount – still bearing signs of fire, which Barkai says are from the Temple’s destruction in 70 C.E.
The Hebrew version of the article also includes a photograph of a bronze pendant and Roman and Babylonian arrowheads.
For background on where this all came from, see the photos and explanation here.
10 thoughts on “Temple Mount Debris summary”
Too bad that Dr. Gabriel Barkay and team date the oldest artifacts at about 10,000 years. Scripture clearly teaches a much younger age for the earth. What’s your opinion on this?
Robert – I haven’t seen the artifacts in question and do not know their basis for dating, so I can’t speak about them. I do not agree that Scripture teaches a much younger age for the earth than 10,000 years; even the most conservative Bible scholars do not believe this.
I enjoy your blog and have great respect your opinion, but – with all due respect, the the most conservative Bible scholars (of both the Christian and Jewish traditions) do indeed hold that scripture does not permit placing the age of the Earth at more than 6,000 years. Indeed, most estimates based on a literal interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and in particular the belief that the Hebrew word “yom” refers to a literal 24 hour day, “cluster around 6,000 years.”
We also have the surprising testimony of nature. Here’s one article that that details why nature mandates a young Earth:
Robert – there are many who believe in a young earth, but none who hold to a 4000 BC date of creation (at least not one scholar I can think of). Young earth adherents are usually defined as those who believe the world was created 10,000 years ago or less. It simply is untenable to suggest that the world was created in 4000 and the flood was in 2500 (think pyramids and written history and other elements of civilization which are easily dated to before 2500). And the apparent gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 11 indicate that the Bible doesn’t suggest a 4000 date either. For more on that, see the appendix in Whitcomb and Morris, The Genesis Flood. In any case, you certainly cannot expect secular scholars to hold to a biblical view of the creation of the earth.
Thanks for your note. The issue of the apparent gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 11 are interesting indeed. However, there is an interesting body of linquistic evidence that explains why these apparent gaps may not be gaps at all.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing publications is Jonathan Sarfati’s 2003 article titled Biblical Chronogeneologies:
apologies: Mr. Sarfati’s article may be accessed at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/v17n3_Chronogenealogies.pdf
Todd, AiG maintains a list of degreed scientists from a wide range of disciplines who opt for a 6k history. In one of your comments, you said you knew of “not one [Young Earth] scholar”, but I believe you’re starting with the bias that anyone who believes in a 6k history is immediately disqualified as a scholar. Correct me if I’m wrong. Check out some of the scientific articles published by the Institute for Creation Research. I have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from a major university (WVU), & I know stamped jar handles well enough to be considered a scholar on that narrow ANE topic. For years I accepted the concept of “pre-history”, but have recently rejected it after actually delving into it & studying the subject for myself with a clean slate. But just so that you will no longer be able to say you don’t know of any 6k historian/scholar, check out James Kennedy’s credentials at the bottom of this page of his website. Though you may not believe it right now, all of your concerns about Egyptian/Mesopotamian dating are answerable. And for clarity, let me emphasize that I’m not saying Young-Earth is right & all others are wrong; I’m saying Young-Earth is viable & tenable based on scientific evidence.
By the way, it would be helpful to define “scholar”, Todd. Is it only limited to someone who teaches in a school? If so, I’m certainly not one. Or were you only thinking of scholars with History degrees?
Also, let’s agree that Young-Earth includes anyone who believes God created everything less than 100k years ago with no Genesis 1 gaps since most creationists will disagree over 6k, 10k, or 12k years ago. Genesis genealogy-gaps are open for interpretation (I personally don’t see any reason to believe there are any significant gaps; i.e., > 1k years’ worth). The key point is that they believe God created it all, & that they disagree with the majority scientific opinion of millions/billions of years of evolution (cosmological & biological). This is also distinct from those who believe in Genesis 1 gaps to accommodate Old Earth theories. The AiG page I cited in my previous post links to this statement page–see section D number 2 (also 4). This opens the door for the aforementioned Young-Earth scientists to believe in 6k-12k, but certainly not millions/billions.
Sad to see folks get hung up on somebody’s speculation about the age of artifacts rather than the whole idea that the Nazi-Muslims, with complete disregard for history and religion, dumped further archaeological evidence to prove Jewish attachment to the Temple Mount in the Kidron Valley and continue to practice religious discrimination daily against Jews and Christians who want to pray at the Temple Mount. May the Nazi-Muslim occupation of the Temple Mount soon be history.
Dear David Ben Ariel –
We are in the period of the desecration as foretold in the Bible. Believe! Believe! For G-d will restore the Temple.
If the desecration was foretold in the Scriptures, then we can be assured that the restoration will also come.
May G-d bless you, indeed.