Enigmatic carvings found in Jerusalem’s most ancient area have archaeologists asking questions.
The carvings were found in an excavation site known as The City of David as a part of the Elad project, an organization funded by the Israeli government. The mysterious carvings lay underneath the Palestinian-dominated neighborhood of Silwan, near Jerusalem’s most archaic area, the Old City.
As critics contend, investigation of the carvings could prove difficult as they were found by an Israeli-funded operation, yet rest beneath a Palestinian neighborhood. The project has been under scrutiny, with critics arguing it neglects Palestinian influence, focusing too much on Jewish culture.
The carvings were found while archaeologists knocked down rooms as a part of research concerning ancient Jerusalem’s only natural water source, the Gihon Spring.
The three images were reportedly carved into the limestone bedrock over 2,800 years ago. The V-shaped carvings are about two inches deep and 50 centimeters long, according to The Associated Press.
Archaeologists are baffled by the find, unable to offer reporters with any concrete facts regarding the carvings.
“The markings are very strange, and very intriguing. I've never seen anything like them,” head archaeologist Eli Shukron told The Associated Press.
Although they offer a series of suggestions, archaeologists are truly miffed regarding these carvings. The “City of David” Facebook page even requests viewers to “help solve a 3,000 year old mystery,” seeking the public’s perspective regarding the carvings.
A large amount of the comments suggest the indents were used as a support system, arguing that the large V shape is often used in relief systems.
“Perhaps cut-outs to hold important objects in a time of enemy attacks,” suggested Patrick McCormack.
“These markings could have been made for extra support to hold a basin of water on a small slope. The small indentions: upright poles next to the basin,” commented Jennifer Guetta Peersmann.
Another user posted diagrams depicting the V shapes as being individual pieces composing an entire puzzle of the human body, complete with male genital organs.
The carvings consist as one of many archaeological-rich finds at the City of David site, along with an artifact most likely relating to ancient death rituals.
The potential significance of the markings is limitless. As the variety of Facebook opinions indicate, they could serve as important insight into ancient pagan death ritual, or they could prove as meaningless as holders for water basins.