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Jerusalem - Archaeologists Speculate That Mysterious Temple Era Stepped-Structure Unearthed At Dig Could Be "Stone Of Claims"

Published on: August 31, 2015 11:37 AM
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 Dr. Joe Uziel, codirector of the excavation from the Israel Antiquities Authority, sitting atop the stepped structure from the Second Temple period. Photo: Shai Halevy; courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Dr. Joe Uziel, codirector of the excavation from the Israel Antiquities Authority, sitting atop the stepped structure from the Second Temple period. Photo: Shai Halevy; courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Jerusalem - Archaeologists who recently unearthed a pyramid-shaped staircase abutting the 2,000 year-old Second Temple stepped street in the City of David are speculating that the structure might be the “Stone of Claims,” a podium used to address pedestrian traffic oft mentioned in the Mishnah and Talmud.

The structure was revealed as part of an archaeological dig in the Jerusalem Walls National Park along with dozens of pieces of pottery and stone vessels which date back to somewhere around the 4th decade of the first century CE, the Second Temple era.

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Archaeologists Nahshon Szanton and Dr. Joe Uziel, who are heading up the dig on behalf of the Israel Antiques Authority called the structure “unique” and an “enigma” in that it abuts the street and would have been “clearly visible from afar by passers-by making their way to the Temple.”

In a statement, Szanton and Dr. Uziel cited ancient text references that a “Stone of Claims” existed in Jerusalem, saying, “‘Our Rabbis taught: There was a Stone of Claims in Jerusalem: whoever lost an article repaired thither, and whoever found an article did likewise. The latter stood and proclaimed, and the former submitted his identification marks and received it back. And in reference to this we learnt: Go forth and see whether the Stone of Claims is covered’ (Bava Metzia 28:B).”

A mural showing the ancient Shiloah pool is seen wher  a 2,000 year-old podium has been found in the City of David at the Shiloah pool at the Old city of Jerusalem, Israel, 31 August 2015. Researchers of the Israel Antiquities Authority estimated that the unique stepped structure situated alongside the 2,000 year old Second Temple stepped street, which carried pilgrims on their way from the Shiloah pool to the Temple Mount was used as a podium for speakers.  EPA/ABIR SULTANA mural showing the ancient Shiloah pool is seen wher a 2,000 year-old podium has been found in the City of David at the Shiloah pool at the Old city of Jerusalem, Israel, 31 August 2015. Researchers of the Israel Antiquities Authority estimated that the unique stepped structure situated alongside the 2,000 year old Second Temple stepped street, which carried pilgrims on their way from the Shiloah pool to the Temple Mount was used as a podium for speakers.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN

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Read Comments (3)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 31, 2015 at 11:54 AM ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

Men wearing robes and white turbans? What yeshivah would accept their children???!??

2

 Aug 31, 2015 at 01:38 PM Anonymous Says:

These archeological finds provide support for the accuracy and truthfulness of much of what we read and learn in Tanach.

3

 Aug 31, 2015 at 02:23 PM StevenWright Says:

Looks like someone announced that the stone was missing. And -- it was found!!

4

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