In recent years, even conservative Jewish archeologists have admitted that there is no archeological evidence for most of the Old Testament stories in the Bible. But now some has been found: scientists says a 2,800-year-old stone tablet that describes repair plans for the Jewish Temple of King Solomon is genuine. It's the first piece of physical evidence that backs up the Bible.
It could also heat up the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Muslim clerics deny any Jewish historical connection with the Temple Mount, which is also the site of the Dome of the Rock mosque. The blackened stone was unearthed during renovations of the Mosque by Muslim authorities.
The incomplete sandstone tablet contains an inscription in ancient Phoenician in which a king tells priests to take "holy money... to buy quarry stones and timber and copper and labor to carry out the duty with the faith." If the work is completed well, "the Lord will protect his people with blessing." These words refer to King Joash and closely resemble descriptions in the Second Book of Kings.
"Our findings show that it is authentic," says Shimon Ilani of Israel?s Geological Institute. Carbon dating shows the tablet was inscribed around the 9th Century BC. It also contains microscopic gold flecks, which means it may have been part of the temple itself. The first Temple was Judaism's holiest shrine and was built by King Solomon. It stood for 400 years before it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
There are archeological discoveries from Egypt that have never been revealed to the world, because they affect the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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