Thursday, April 24, 2014

Second-Temple-era chisel?

DISCOVERY NEWS: Ancient Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Found
(Rossella Lorenzi).
A 2,000-year-old stonemason’s chisel that may have been used in the construction of Jerusalem’s Western Wall has been unearthed at the bottom of the structure along with a number of Second Temple-era objects, claims an Israeili archaeologist.

Some of the artifacts, which include a Roman sword, cooking vessels, a gold bell, coins and a ceramic seal, would suggest the Western Wall, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews, had not been built by King Herod at all.

Eli Shukron, an archaeologist working for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), found the chisel last summer during a dig near a tunnel at the lower base of the Western Wall.

The IAA is still studying the artifact and has not yet verified anything about it. Further to the above, this is interesting:
According to Shukron, the excavation revealed a number of coins beneath the wall which date decades after Herod’s death.

This would suggest that construction of the Western Wall had not even begun at the time of Herod’s death and was likely completed only generations later by one of his descendants.
It couldn't have been very many generations later. Herod died in 4 BCE and the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

Watch this space ...