The remains of the 2,700-year-old Judah Kingdom have been unearthed near the United States embassy in Jerusalem. Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Neri Sapir who co-directed the excavation project revealed that these Iron Age structures are exceptional in terms of both size and architectural style.
Administrative Centre of Judah Kingdom
Experts who conducted an initial investigation on this unearthed site revealed that this area might have served as an administrative center during the reigns of Judean kings Hezekiah and Menashe, from the 8th century to the middle of the 7th century BC.
During the excavation, experts unearthed 2,700 jars from the site. All these 2,700 jars were imprinted with Hebrew scripts, and it indicates the location's use as an administrative center. The inscriptions in these jars are 'LMLK' which means 'Belonging to the King'. Experts believe that the discovery of these jars could help to understand more about the administrative and tax collection systems that were prevalent during the Judah Kingdom.
"This is one of the most significant discoveries from the period of the Kings in Jerusalem made in recent years. At the site we excavated, there are signs that governmental activity managed and distributed food supplies not only for a shortage but administered agricultural surplus amassing commodities and wealth," said Israel Antiquities Authority in a recent statement.
Apart from jars, researchers also unearthed several clay models from the site, some of them shaped in the form of horses, women and other animals. The discovery of clay models clearly indicates that idol worship was prevalent among people who lived under the Judah Kingdom.
Administration Outside City of David
As details of this new discovery in Arnona surfaced, experts believe that most of the Judah Kingdom's administrative activities might have been carried out outside the City of David.
Dr. Yuval Baruch, IAA's Jerusalem District Archaeologist revealed that authorities are planning to protect these sites, as an area of local heritage, as it sheds light on the final days of the Judah Kingdom.