Friday, November 17, 2023

What was a "Millo" and where was the one in Jerusalem?

MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE: Lost Biblical Monument in Jerusalem Is in Plain Sight, New Theory Claims. Study suggests the monumental fortifications surrounding Jerusalem’s Gihon Spring may be the enigmatic ‘Millo’ that the Bible claims Solomon built (Ariel David, Haaretz).

This is a complicated argument, so take your time reading the article. I am not qualified to evaluate it. The underlying article in JBL is behind a subscription wall.

The gist of the case, according to the Haaretz article, is that the word Millo ("filled thing" or the like) is usually taken to refer to something full of soil, i.e.. a terrace. But it could mean something full of water, i.e., some sort of waterworks. In that case, the fortifications around the Gihon Spring fit the description of the Millo. These fortifications are much older than the time of David and Solomon, but there is some evidence that parts of them were built in the early Iron Age II. Maybe David and Solomon, like Hezekiah later on, were renovating a preexisting larger structure.

Lots of maybes and could bes here. This story is another illustration that archaeology involves many judgment calls and is not an objective science. All the more so when we try to correlate it with the Bible. Not a criticism. It's good that archaeologists and biblical scholars are out there trying.

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