Lost Relic Revealed: The Remarkable Uncovering of a Stone Tablet from the Time of Jesus in Jerusalem

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3 min readMay 20, 2023

In the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem, archaeologists have found an ancient document dating back 2,000 years. It contains financial information of a merchant.

Daryag, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The City of David is the oldest part of Jerusalem. Today it is home to an archaeological site where countless excavations have been going on since the 19th century. Discoveries at the site have shed light on the history of the city, as well as the daily life of its inhabitants. They have also helped verify ancient writings, chronicles and even biblical texts that describe the history of the people of Israel.

The ancient account dated back to the Second Temple period

During recent excavations in Israel’s capital, archaeologists found a small stone tablet. The Israel Antiquities Authority reported that financial records were written on it, and the artifact dates back some 2,000 years. Israel’s historiography says this is the so-called Second Temple Period.

It refers to the most important Israelite temple, which was built on the Temple Mount between 537 and 516 B.C., and was demolished in 70 A.D. during the siege of Jerusalem. This was one of the most important clashes in the first Jewish uprising against the Roman Empire. The holy building of the Jews was burned down at the time, and with it a large part of the inner city burned down.

The City of David was once the heart of Jerusalem

“This is a remarkable discovery that reveals another aspect of Jewish life 2000 years ago. These unique excavations confirm that the City of David was once the heart of Jerusalem and one of the most important parts of the city,” says Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu, Israel’s Minister of National Heritage. The finding of the document was reported in the peer-reviewed archaeological journal Atiqot.

Scientists conducted a thorough analysis of the stone tablet. It turned out that the ancient document was a kind of confirmation or receipt of payment. The bill was probably issued by a merchant or other person who engaged in trade in Israel’s capital. The authors of the discovery admit that the artifact…