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Canaanite Burial Ground Found in Jerusalem

8th November 2006

Israel’s Antiquities Authority announced yesterday the discovery in Jerusalem of an ancient Canaanite burial ground dating back more than 4000 years.

Here is the report from Arutz Sheva:

Archaeologists working at the site of the Holyland Park building project in Jerusalem have discovered a graveyard that is over 4,000 years old.

The graveyard formerly had a model of the Second Holy Temple on top of it. The model was recently relocated to the Israel Museum.

The graveyard, the archaeologists estimate, was used during the Bronze Age, from 2200 BCE until 1600 BCE. It is filled with amulets, weapons and work tools from that period, as well as complete pottery vessels of a high quality.

The AFP story had a bit more information in their article:

The site, uncovered at a construction site, covers more than 20 hectares (49 acres) and contains human and animal remains, as well as metal and ceramic artifacts and weapons, dating back to between 2,200 and 1,600 BC.

The dig’s director, Yanir Milevsky, said that this was not the first such site found in the Jerusalem area but that “the quantity of items and their particularly good state of conservation will allow us to enlarge our knowledge of farming villages … during the Canaanite era.”

The ancient land of Canaan covered present-day Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip, as well as adjoining coastal lands and parts of Lebanon and Syria. The Hebrew people, following their liberation from exile in Egypt recounted in the Bible, moved into the area around 1,200 BC and began to conquer it.

This looks like a pretty significant archaeological find.

UPDATE: Todd Bolen over at the Bible Places Blog posted on this discovery back in September. He has some great pictures as well: click here.


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