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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tiny First Temple Stone Weight Unearthed in Jerusalem

During the sifting of archaeological soil in the Emek Tzurim National Park, under the auspices of the City of David Foundation, a tiny stone weight engraved with ancient Hebrew letters spelling the word Beka was unearthed.

The weight, which dates back to the First Temple period, was found in archaeological soil originating from the foot of Robinson’s Arch at the Western Wall, just north of the City of David. The soil was transferred from the excavation area to the sifting site in the Emek Tzurim National Park for careful sorting, during which the weight was uncovered.

The Beka weight was used to evaluate the half-shekel donation brought by the Jewish people for both the maintenance of the Temple and as a census, as described in the book of Exodus 38:26: “One Beka per head; [that is,] half a shekel, according to the holy shekel, for each one who goes through the counting, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand, five hundred and fifty [people].”

The artifact will be on display to the general public during Hanukkah in Emek Tzurim National Park.

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