One month after offering up archaeological evidence to back up a contested claim about the First Crusade, researchers say they’ve found traces of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in a deeper layer of their excavation on Mount Zion.
The newly reported find demonstrates how the site, just outside the walls of the Old City’s Tower of David citadel, serves as a “time machine” documenting the twists and turns of Jerusalem’s history.
The Babylonian conquest, which dates to the year 587 or 586 BCE, is one of the major moments of Jewish history. As detailed in the biblical Book of Kings, the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem for months, eventually broke through the walls and burned “all the houses of Jerusalem,” including Solomon’s Temple.
After the fall of Jerusalem, the Jewish people were sent into exile – an event that Jews commemorate with mourning and fasting every year on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. This year’s Tisha B’Av observance began at sundown tonight.