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Archaeology in Israel: Lost Jewish Town

(October 2017)

A lost Jewish town dating back to the First Temple period was discovered by archaeologists working with the IDF's Civil Administration in September 2017.  The archaeologists made the discovery while digging underneath an abandoned IDF training base near the West Bank town of Beit El.  Evidence suggests that the town changed hands many times, and was inhabited when the Persians took over Judea in 539 B.C.E.  The town was controlled by Jews during the Hasmonean dynasty, and then was in Roman hands.  After being abandoned for many years, the town was inhabited by a Christian population who built monasteries there during the Byzantine period.  

Various artifacts were found at the excavation site, including keys for doors, tools, and official seals.  The town was most likely destroyed and abandoned during a significant earthquake towards the end of the 8th century A.D., according to Civil Administration archaeologists.  

Source: Aristos Georgiou.  Lost Jewish city discovered underneath Israeli army base, International Business Times, (September 28, 2017).