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Excavations of Area G (Shiloh and Kenyon)

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Excavations of Area G (Shiloh and Kenyon)
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Photo Comments

View looking northwest at the area that was excavated by Yigal Shiloh (1978–1985).

In the foreground of this picture are the remains of a house called "The House of Ahiel"—based upon an inscribed potsherd (ostracon) that was found in it.  The stubs of four of the columns that supported the roof, or second story, are visible as are two large carved columns.  The staircase on the left is part of the house and led up to a second story or the roof.  Today the floor of the house is supported by several metal columns brown/orange in color.

In the upper center of the image the curved mantle of the Stepped-Stone Structure is visible.  This structure rises to a height of 80 ft. [25 m.] and probably supported an important building—possibly a palace or fortress.  Some have suggested that the "fortress of Zion" that David captured was here (2 Sam 5:7; 1 Chr 11:5).  The date of the initial construction of this structure is debated, but it seems that it dates to the Early Iron Age (ca. 1200-1000 B.C.).

To the left of the "mantle," where green growth is visible, is one of the areas where Shiloh excavated below the mantel.  The mantel was supported by a series of walls that formed terrace-like compartments that were filled with rubble and stones.  Based upon pottery found in these compartments and in the "mantle" Cahill dates the whole "Stepped-Stone Structure," with its foundations to the Iron I Age (12000–100 BC). 

In the upper right corner of the image, below the overhanging modern platform, the foundations of a Tower that dates to the days of the rebuilding of Jerusalem by Nehemiah (ca. 445 BC) are visible.  This tower is no longer visible because it was excavated away by Eliat Mazar.  This photograph was taken in 2006.


For a very helpful summary article please see Cahill, Jane M. “Jerusalem in David and Solomon's Time.” Biblical Archaeology Review 30 (2004): 20–31, 62–63.