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Second Temple-era Jewish immersion mikveh discovered under Al-Aqsa mosque

Al-Aqsa mosque was destroyed in an earthquake in 1927 • As it was being rebuilt, the British archaeologist Robert Hamilton documented the excavation of its foundations • He hid away the findings that the waqf found inconvenient • Today, thousands of findings, including a seal with the inscription “From Gibeon to the king” unearthed by Dr. Gabi Barkai and Zachi Dvira, shed light on the Temple Mount’s Jewish period • A peek back into history.


Nadav Shragai

“From Gibeon to the king” engraving on seventh century B.C.E. artifact found at Al-Aqsa mosque excavation.
In 1927, an earthquake struck Jerusalem, killing 130 people, wounding 450 and destroying or heavily damaging about 300 buildings, including Al-Aqsa mosque. The Muslim waqf, led by Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, began restoring the mosque. Robert Hamilton, the director of the antiquities department during the Mandatory period in pre-state Israel, spotted an opportunity in the midst of disaster.



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