New Findings Document Authenticity of Ancient Sandstone Tablet that Supports Existence of Jewish Temple on the Mount

Date: February 02, 2009
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Barbara Franklin
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Barbara.franklin@touro.edu

Trial Over Alleged Forgery Proceeds in Jerusalem.

New York, N.Y. - The antiquity of one of the most significant Israeli archeological finds in history has been documented in a recently-published article co-authored by Howard R. Feldman, a biology professor at the Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School at Touro College.

The findings, recently documented in a peer-reviewed academic journal, offer first-time physical evidence supporting the authenticity of an inscription in a sandstone tablet that buttresses the existence of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The inscription, the co-authors contend, dates back to the First Temple Period.

The tablet’s inscription has become embroiled in controversy in an ongoing forgery trial in Jerusalem. The co-authors’ findings supporting its authenticity were recently documented in “Archaeometric analysis of the ‘Jehoash Inscription’ tablet,” published in the Journal of Archaeological Science [35 (2008) 2966-2972].

“Analysis strongly supports the authenticity of the Jehoash tablet and its inscription,” Professor Feldman said. “All evidence indicates that the production of the tablet and the carving of its inscription occurred essentially at the same [ancient] time.”

Jewish and Christian sources, he said, believe that the Temple of Solomon was located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Carved into a rectangular arkosic sandstone tablet measuring about 31 x 25 x 9 centimeters, the tablet contains 16 lines of text in ancient Hebrew, similar to the ancient Phoenician script. The inscription discusses repairs to King Solomon’s Temple as described in II Kings chapter 12.

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