February 4, 2023

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Archaeologists have discovered a mysterious hand carved in stone in Jerusalem and are investigating its meaning

A January 25, 2023, photo provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority shows a handprint carved into a 1,000-year-old dry moat surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City during the excavation of the defensive fortifications. (Photo Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)

Israeli archaeologists on Wednesday explored the meaning of a A hand carved into the wall An old moat, nearby Old city From Jerusalem.

Size, this It was not dismissed as a “joke”.The discovery was made in a 1,000-year-old ditch during construction work to widen a road near Herod’s Gate in East Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

Image provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority on January 25, 2023 shows a man placing his hand in a palm print.  (Photo Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)
Image provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority on January 25, 2023 shows a man placing his hand in a palm print. (Photo Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)

in the middle The Times of Israel The archaeological work was carried out as part of an infrastructure project on Sultan Suleiman Street, which runs alongside the city walls, and revealed a deep rock-cut trench dating from the 10th century or earlier. said.

The moat, at least 10 meters wide (about 33 feet) and two to seven meters deep (6-23 feet), surrounded all of Jerusalem at the time, explained Zubair Atawi, director of excavations at the Jerusalem Antiquities Authority. Israel.

A January 25, 2023 image provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority shows a handprint (bottom left) carved from a 1,000-year-old dry moat.  (Photo Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)
A January 25, 2023 image provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority shows a handprint (bottom left) carved from a 1,000-year-old dry moat. (Photo Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)

According to the Archaeological Survey, It took the Crusaders five weeks to cross the moat and breach the Holy City’s defenses.

“People don’t know that this busy street is built directly over a huge moat, a huge channel cut into the rock,” he said. “His function was to prevent the enemies besieging Jerusalem from approaching the walls and entering the city.”

The stone walls of the old city that can be seen today were built in the 16th century by the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Suleiman I the Magnificent.  (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)
The stone walls of the old city that can be seen today were built in the 16th century by the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Suleiman I the Magnificent. (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)

Although the use of the moat is obvious, The meaning of the hand is completely ignored.

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“It’s a mystery and we’ve tried to solve it,” Adavi said in a statement. Archaeologists wonder who carved the hand into the rock and what it means.

Although the use of moat is obvious, the meaning of hand is completely ignored.  (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)
Although the use of moat is obvious, the meaning of hand is completely ignored. (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)

The outlet explained that the stone walls of the old city that can be seen today Built in the 16th century by the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Suleiman I the Magnificent.

“During the era of knightly battles, swords, arrows and cavalry charges, Jerusalem’s fortifications were formidable and complex, consisting of walls and elements to hold back large armies attacking the city,” he said. Amit Reem IAA, Regional Director for Jerusalem. “Armies trying to capture the city in the Middle Ages had to cross a deep moat and two extra-thick fortification walls behind it, while the city’s defenders poured fire and brimstone over the walls.”

Got a picture of the carved hand.  (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)
Got a picture of the carved hand. (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority / AFP)

The moat also contained secret tunnels that allowed the defenders to attack the approaching army before they could slip behind the fortifications. Such tunnels have been found in previous excavations, he said. The Times of Israel.

“The archaeological finds allow us to visualize the dramatic events and upheavals the city experienced,” said IAA Director Eli Escusido.

(With information from AFP)

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