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Rare artifacts reveal what life was like in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago

Excavators found grape seeds, charred wood, fish bones and some pretty amazing sculptures in their latest dig.


July 28, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
The structures dating to more than 2,600 years ago have been unearthed after having been covered over by collapsed layers of stone revealing many findings such as charred wood, grape seeds, pottery, fish scales and bones, and unique, rare artifacts.The structures dating to more than 2,600 years ago have been unearthed after having been covered over by collapsed layers of stone revealing many findings such as charred wood, grape seeds, pottery, fish scales and bones, and unique, rare artifacts.Photo: GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images
July 28, 2017 | Latest Photo

Grape seeds, pottery, fish bones, sculptures carved with painstaking precision ... it appears the 7th century BCE was a busy time for folks in Israel.

Recent excavations in Jerusalem by archaeologists revealed the dining and storage habits and artistic prowess of ancient Israelis from about 2,500 years ago.

Among the findings were dozens of jars that once stored grain and liquids and had stamped handles.

This appears to be a handle from an ancient storage jar, stamped with a characteristic seal.This appears to be a handle from an ancient storage jar, stamped with a characteristic seal. (Photo: GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

The structures were unearthed as part of a large-scale dig at the City of David archaeological park in Israel. Before the dig, they had been covered by collapsed layers of stone.

Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority unearthed several artifacts at the site in the City of David, an archaeological park in Jerusalem, on July 26, 2017. Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority explains the artifacts found at the site in the City of David, an archaeological park in Jerusalem, on July 26, 2017. (Photo: GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

What stood out to the excavators, they said, was the level of detail and artistic skill in the stone carvings. The different images on the seals, for instance, were used to classify objects stored inside the jars and allocate them for specific purposes like marketing and managing.

The quality and detail of the carvings attest to the ingenuity and skill of the artists during this era. The quality and detail of the carvings attest to the ingenuity and skill of the artists during this era. (Photo: GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the most noteworthy findings in the dig was a small ivory statue of a woman with an Egyptian-style haircut or wig. The quality of its carving is high, and it attests to the skill level of the artists, the archaeologists said.

Evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians has recently been unearthed in the City of David in excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the Jerusalem Walls National Park.This small ivory statue of a woman highlights the high caliber of artistry in the region during the 7th century. (Photo: GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Related Topics: Archaeology