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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ancient Jewish village uncovered at northern edge of Jerusalem

The remains of a heretofore-unknown ancient Jewish village dating back nearly two thousand years has been uncovered on the northern rim of Jerusalem, the Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The first century Jewish community was stumbled upon in late May near the entrance to the present day Shuafat refugee camp, in the wake of infrastructure work which the city was carrying out at the site for the Jerusalem's light rail-system, which is still under construction.

The archaeologist estimates that the entire well-planned village was built around 60-70 CE (the second temple period) and abandoned about seventy years later in 130-135 CE, ostensibly due to the Bar Kochba Jewish revolt against the Romans. A three-month long archaeological excavation at the site uncovered the remains of homes made of ashlar stone, courtyards and three bathhouses. Some of the walls of the well-constructed homes were found intact a meter and a half high.

Fragments of a red, green and black fresco which were used to decorate the houses were also found at the site.
I can hear it now, an ancient Palestinian flag . . .