The Times of Israel reports: Israeli archaeologists on Thursday presented new details of what they said were the first tiny artifacts, unearthed in situ on the Temple Mount, ever conclusively dated to the time of the First Temple over 2,600 years ago.
The discoveries were made during limited scientific excavations carried out atop the flashpoint Temple Mount in the past decade, the first of their kind since the British Mandate.
The highly sensitive Israeli excavations were conducted with minimum publicity in cooperation with the Islamic Waqf which manages the incendiary holy site. The artifacts excavated from the mount, detailed in a paper and presentations at a conference at Hebrew University, are said to include olive pits, animal bones and pottery fragments dating to the time of the First Temple, between the 8th and 6th Centuries BCE.
Archaeologists have previously found a limited number of artifacts from First-Temple-period Jerusalem, but none of those finds were uncovered atop the mount itself.
Rather, they were recovered from the Ophel excavations to the south of the Mount, and from the Temple Mount Sifting Project, which examines rubble credibly believed to have been removed from the holy site and dumped in the nearby Kidron Valley.
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