Under restaureringen av et tårn i Davids by i Jerusalem fant israelske arkeologer ut at det var langt eldre enn før antatt og stammet fra Nehemjas tid, 5. årh. f. Kr. Til syne kom også en mur som er beskrevet i Nehemjas bok i Bibelen, men som flere trodde aldri har eksistert.
A team of archaeologists discovered the wall in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David during a rescue attempt on a tower that was in danger of collapse, said Eilat Mazar, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research and educational institute, and leader of the dig.
Artifacts including pottery shards and arrowheads found under the tower suggested that both the tower and the nearby wall are from the 5th century B.C., the time of Nehemiah, Mazar said this week. Scholars previously thought the wall dated to the Hasmonean period from about 142 B.C. to 37 B.C.
The findings suggest that the structure was actually part of the same city wall the Bible says Nehemiah rebuilt, Mazar said. The Book of Nehemiah gives a detailed description of construction of the walls, destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.
«We were amazed,» she said, noting that the discovery was made at a time when many scholars argued that the wall did not exist.
«This was a great surprise. It was something we didn’t plan,» Mazar said.