2,100 year old engraved stone bowl discovered in Jerusalem
Who was "Hyrcanus" whose name is engraved in Hebrew on a stone bowl from Jerusalem 2,100 years ago? In 2015 a fragment of a bowl fashioned from chalk (a type of limestone) was unearthed in the Israel Antiquities Authority archaeological excavation in the Givati parking lot at the City of David, in the Jerusalem Walls National Park. The vessel was published today and immediately aroused the curiosity of researchers.
|'Hyrcanus' was a common name at that time, as well as the name of two of the leaders of the Hasmonean dynasty |
[Credit: Clara Amit, IAA]
The bowl was discovered during an archaeological excavation beneath the foundations of a miqwe dating to the Hasmonean period, which was part of a complex of water installations that were used for ritual bathing. The Givati parking site in the City of David is among the largest excavation areas opened so far in Jerusalem. The excavations at the site, sponsored by the 'Ir David Foundation, have so far uncovered a wealth of artifacts from different periods. Of these, those that arouse special interest are the objects with traces of writing on them, especially when they can be deciphered and read.
|The piece was discovered under the site of an ancient mikve ritual bath in the City of David’s Givati site |
About a year ago remains of the Greek (Seleucid) Akra were exposed in the Givati parking lot at the City of David. This was the famous fortress built by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in order to control the city and monitor the activity in the Temple, which was eventually conquered by the Hasmoneans. Interestingly, the bowl was found a short distance from where the remains of the Akra were revealed.
Source: Israel Antiquities Authority [December 23, 2016]