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News – Nehemiah’s wall

February 2008

Nehemiah’s wall

A biblical wall that has eluded archaeologists for years has finally been found, according to an Israeli scholar. A team of archaeologists in Jerusalem has uncovered what they believe to be part of a wall mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Nehemiah, reports Associated Press.

The discovery, made in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David, came as a result of a rescue attempt on a tower in danger of collapse, said Eilat Mazar, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Centre – a Jerusalem-based research and educational institute – and leader of the dig.

According to Mazar, artefacts including pottery shards and arrowheads found under the tower suggest that both the tower and nearby wall are from the fifth century BC, the time of Nehemiah, and that the wall was part of that rebuilt by Nehemiah. Scholars previously thought the wall dated to the Hasmonean period (142-37 BC).

The Book of Nehemiah (chapters 3-6) gives a detailed description of construction of the walls, destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.