Temple columns in Beit Shean (illustration image).
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90
The Jewish Press,
By Yori Yanover
The initial discovery was made by Benjamin Troper, the training
coordinator of the Kfar Etzion field school, who suddenly, while aiding a
troubled tourist down a deep cave south of Jerusalem, turned to look at
the nearby wall and saw an ancient stone column.
“I had gone down that hole dozens of times,” Tropper told Makor
Rishon, “but this was the first time, because I was helping the tourist,
that I came down looking in that direction.”
What he saw was a bona fide ancient column with a capital, which he
recognized from his years as tour guide and from the time he spent
working in excavating ancient Jerusalem.
That’s the story of a remarkably rare archeological discovery, which
no one has heard about. For some reason, possibly political, the Israeli
authorities have been trying to silence this discovery which could
usher in a breakthrough in our understanding of the periods of King
David and his son, King Solomon.
The column capital Tropper ran, or rather climbed down into, is very
likely part of a complete temple or palace buried underground.
Tropper, who expected nothing short of a medal for his fortunate
discovery, called over the field school’s director, Yaron Rosenthal, who
in turn alerted a senior employee of Israel’s Antiquities Authority.
But no medals were to come any time soon.
The find is really big, according to Rosenthal. It may also be a
singular opportunity to unearth a whole structure that hadn’t undergone
“secondary use,” meaning that it hasn’t been altered by later dwellers
of the area. Often, later period folks utilize the components of older
structures as building blocks for their own structures. More>>>>>>>