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The Couple That Found 2,000-Year-Old Archaeological Treasures Under Their House

When Miriam and Theo Siebenberg purchased a plot of land for their new home in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City that Israel had just a few years before captured from Jordan, they had no idea of the antiquity treasures dating back from Jesus’ time and before that lay underneath.

Before the Siebenbergs built their house in a neighborhood where archaeological finds were regularly cropping up, Israeli Department of Antiquities inspectors examined the site, but found nothing of historical significance that would have stopped construction.

The Couple That Found 2,000 Year Old Archaeological Treasures under Their House

Descending into history at the Siebenberg House (Photos Credit: Tzuriel Cohen-Arazi/Tazpit News Agency)

In 1970, they moved into the new home and were soon to discover how wrong the inspectors had been.

At the time, archaeologists from the Hebrew University were excavating all around the Jewish Quarter.

“I went over one day and asked the archaeologists if they had checked the area where my house was,” Theo Siebenberg told the New York Times in 1985. “They said they had and that they were sure nothing was there.”

But to Siebenberg, that answer didn’t seem right.

“I would stand here and picture myself in the Second Temple Period. The temple was just over there,” he told the Times, pointing to the nearby Western Wall, the most holy site in Judaism. “Why wouldn’t Jews have built here then? Every inch of land near the Temple must have been very valuable.”

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