Friday, May 10, 2013

Second Temple Door Key from Jerusalem

The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced the discovery of a quarry dating from the Second Temple period. Among the artifacts discovered is a door key (see picture to left). Here is what the report has to say.
An Enormous Quarry Dating to the Second Temple Period was Exposed in the Ramat Shlomo Quarter of Jerusalem.
Tools used by the quarrymen and a 2,000 year old key were also uncovered at the site. The huge stones that were quarried there were presumably used in the construction of the city’s magnificent public buildings.
An enormous quarry from the time of the Second Temple (first century CE) was exposed in recent weeks in excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out prior to the paving of Highway 21 by the Moriah Company. A 2,000 year old key, pick axes, severance wedges etc are also among the artifacts uncovered during the course of the excavation. 
According to Irina Zilberbod, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The quarrying phenomenon created a spectacular sight of bedrock columns and steps and craters of sorts that were the result of the rock-cuttings. What remained are rock masses in various stages of quarrying, and there were those that were found in a preliminary stage of rock-cutting prior to detachment. Some of the stones that were quarried are more than 2 meters long. The giant stones were probably hewn for the sake of the construction of the city’s magnificent public buildings”. 
Zilberbod explains, “The pick axes were used to cut the severance channels around the stone block in the bedrock surface and the arrowhead-shaped detachment wedge, which is solid iron, was designed to detach the base of the stone from the bedrock by means of striking it with a hammer. The key that was found, and which was probably used to open a door some 2,000 years ago, is curved and has teeth. What was it doing there? We can only surmise that it might have fallen from the pocket of one of the quarrymen”. 

When looking at the size of the key one can't wonder about the size of the pocket that it must have fallen from.

Read the full story here.

No comments:

Post a Comment