Dig shows Ramat Rahel was once major royal Judean site
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH (Jerusalem Post)
A highly sophisticated ancient water system dating back to the end of the Kingdom of Judah in the Seventh Century BCE and a Muslim structure from the Eighth or Ninth Century CE have been uncovered by Israeli, American and European archeologists at Kibbutz Ramat Rahel south of Jerusalem.
Experts from Tel Aviv University, the University of Heidelberg and other academic institutions were involved in the dig. Its discoveries are said to have changed the known historical picture of Ramat Rahel, which turns out to have been a major royal site whose exact identity is not yet known.
The Ramat Rahel dig began in the summer of 2005 to investigate a number of principle questions such as the nature of the biblical-era citadel and the magnificent palace at a place that served as an administrative center during various important historical periods.
Evidence for this is provided by a large collection of seals marked "The King," "Lion" and "Yehud." The current digging season is the second of five that are planned. Some experts claim the fortress - which has no parallel inside Jerusalem - was used by the kings of Judah, while others claim it dates back to the Assyrian Empire or to the Israelite kings who ruled for a certain period in Judah.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
THE RAMAT RAHEL EXCAVATION has uncovered an impressive Iron Age water system: