Archaeologists have found a wall in Jerusalem that dates back to the time of King Solomon and matches those described in the Bible in that era, the director of the dig said Monday.
The ancient wall was uncovered outside of Jerusalem's Old City and dates back to some 3,000 years, said archeologist Dr. Eliat Mazar, who spoke to reporters at the site. The wall would indicate that Jerusalem had a strong central government because it required organization, resources and workers to build the massive structure.
"A comparison of this latest finding with city walls and gates from the period of the First Temple, as well as pottery found at the site, enable us to postulate, with a great degree of assurance, that the wall that has been revealed is that which was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem in the latter part of the tenth century BCE," Mazar said, according to The Jerusalem Post.
She added, "This is the first time that a structure from that time has been found that may correlate with written descriptions of Solomon's building in Jerusalem."
The Old Testament passage of I Kings 3:1, the archeologist pointed out, says that King Solomon built the temple and his new palace, and surrounded them with a city that is most likely connected to the ancient wall of the City of David.
The section of the wall uncovered is nearly 230 feet long and 20 feet high. It is located in the area known as the Ophel, between the City of David and the south wall that surrounds the Temple Mount. Excavators have uncovered a nearly 20-feet-high gatehouse that is part of the city wall. There is also a large watchtower that has yet to be fully excavated.
Remnants of pottery found on the floor of the royal building near the gatehouse date back to the 10th century B.C., supporting the archaeologists' claim about the age of the wall. And on jar handles are the words "to the king," indicating its use by the monarchy.
The dig is a joint project of Hebrew University, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.