Tag Archives: Eilat Mazar

Bulla of King Hezekiah Found in Jerusalem

Today it was announced that a bulla was discovered in Dr. Eilat Mazar’s excavation on the Ophel that mentions Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah!

Seal impression of King Hezekiah unearthed in the Ophel excavations

Seal impression of King Hezekiah unearthed in the Ophel excavations. Photo: © Eilat Mazar, with Ouria Tadmor

Yes, the same Hezekiah as mentioned in the Bible.  The announcement can be found here and I will not repeat all that you can read in the press but I would like to alert you to two items:

The First is a 10 minute video describing King Hezekiah, the discovery, and a great explanation of the bulla.

At 5 minutes into the video there is a great graphic sequence explaining what is on this precious object—please don’t miss this part.

Second, if you are interested in images of the area where this bulla was found, please see my previous post that I have appended below.

Because of the extensive archaeological excavations in Jerusalem over the last one hundred and fifty years most tour groups to Israel will be introduced to, and ooh and ahh at, archaeological remains from the Second Temple Period—particularly from from the time of Herod the Great (37–4BC).

Some, but not all groups, will visit remains from the First Temple Period at the City of David’s Visitor center—including the water system from that and earlier periods.

Remains of a large “Royal Structure” with Storage Jars that was located right next to the Judean Gate.

However, this past year a new area has been opened up that also displays remains from the First Temple Period (ca. 1000 to 586 B.C.)—including the remains of a Judean Gate, a “Royal Structure,” and reproductions of the large storage jars that were found there.

Royal Structure Plus Artifacts

Royal Structure plus Judean Gate

Royal Structure plus Judean Gate

This area was well excavated by, most recently, Eilat Mazar and its reconstruction and signage are outstanding—including a helpful drawing by Balage Balogh.

The Judean Gate Complex
Click Here to view a larger version of the drawing without my markings.

The excavation is located in the southeastern corner of Jerusalem Archaeological Park that is south of the Temple Mount.  The path to it is now open.

#1 Marks the Location of the Remains of the Gate and Royal Structure

The excavation is also visible from the sidewalk along the road.  The remains are clearly visible from that vantage point and photographs from there are good.  But due to the traffic and limited space it is difficult to discuss the significance of the area with a large group.

For more images of this area Click Here.

Two New(ish) Archaeological Videos from Eilat Mazar

Two (relatively) recent 4 minute videos on Pottery Restoration and Exposing the First Temple Period featuring the work of Eilat Mazar on the “Ophel” have been posted on “The Key to David’s City” blog.

In the First Temple video she says something along the lines of ‘I think this is the richest assemblage of 10th century pottery that we have ever had  from Jerusalem’ (begin 1:50 minute).

These videos might be of special use to teachers of archaeology.  You may want to skip the 90 second introduction to each video.


Ritual Baths South of the Temple Mount

Eilat Mazar and her crew have excavated new, and cleaning previously discovered, ritual baths just south of the Temple Mount.

A five-minute video presentation of newly discovered ritual baths and explanation of the large one previously discovered by Benjamin Mazar

Click Here to view the video of the new discoveries and Eilat Mazar’s explanation of the large mikvah.

The very large Ritual Bath discovered by Benjamin Mazar south of the Temple Mount
Click on image to enlarge — and download if you wish

This ritual bath (miqveh) is located in Benjamin Mazar’s excavations south of the Triple Gate of the Temple Mount(Haram esh-Sharif) area.

Its design is very unique. Some have suggested that due to its unique design and large size that the priests may have used it.

For a view of a more typical ritual bath Click Here.

To view over 20 Ritual Baths discovered in the Land of Israel Click Here.

Architectural Fragment from Second Temple

In a video posted in Popular Archaeology, Eilat Mazar presents an architectural fragment that may be from the Second Temple (Herod’s Temple) in Jerusalem.

The video is entitled “The Byzantine tower Architectural Fragment” and Mazar’s presentation begins about 4:00 minutes into the video.

Detail of Fragment from the Second Temple Period