A significant administrative storage center from the days of Jewish Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh has recently been uncovered during an archaeological excavations in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Wednesday.
The unusually large 2,700-year-old structure was built of concentric walls of finely cut stones, and contained no less than 120 handles of large storage jars bearing seal impressions and containing ancient Hebrew script.
Many of the storage handles have been stamped with the name of the ancient city, and the inscription “LMLK” - an ancient Hebrew seal meaning "belonging to the king", first issued during the reign of King Hezekiah.
Other handles found at the site were inscribed with the names of senior officials or wealthy individuals from the First Temple Period - more specifically, around the 8th century to the middle of the 7th century BCE.
According to Neria Sapir and Nathan Ben-Ari, directors of the excavations on behalf of the IAA, this latest archaeological finding is “one of the most significant discoveries from the period of the Kings in Jerusalem made in recent years."
They added: “Evidence shows that at this site, taxes were collected in an orderly manner for agricultural products such as wine and olive oil."
A certain mystery at the site remains, however, as researchers found the large structure was covered over with a massive pile of flint stones forming an artificial hill measuring 65 feet high and extending over 1.7 acres.
“The reason for the huge effort made in stacking them over many acres remains an unresolved archaeological mystery,” the researchers stipulated.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS