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Sacred Vessels Found at Temple Site in Israel's Tel Motza

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

JERUSALEM—A cache of 2,750-year-old pottery vessels and figurines depicting men and horses has been found near a temple structure at Tel Motza, located to the west of Jerusalem. It had been thought that the main structure at the site was used as a place to store grain, but recent excavations have revealed that its massive walls, east-facing entrance, and a square structure that may have served as an altar are consistent with temple floor plans. “The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple. The uniqueness of the structure is even more remarkable because of the vicinity of the site’s proximity to the capital city of Jerusalem, which acted as the Kingdom’s main sacred center at the time,” said Anna Eirikh, Hamoudi Khalaily, and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority.