IN PHOTOS: Excavating the Great Temple at Motza Near Jerusalem

Ruth Schuster
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Dawn strikes the ancient temple under the highway bridge at Motza
Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster

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In the shadow of the Route 1 bridge
The altar in the Motza temple
The altar at the Motza temple, from the early 9th century B.C.E.
The altar at the Motza temple, from the early 9th century B.C.E. Credit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
Horse figurine discovered this summer
Weathered but unmistakable
Horse
Credit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
Through the gap between the lanes
Dawn light shines on the temple at Motza
Dawn strikes the ancient temple under the highway bridge at Motza
Dawn strikes the ancient temple under the highway bridge at MotzaCredit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
The site features dozens of silos
The silos at Motza weren't huge in diameter
Silo
Credit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
Food storage goes back over 7000 years
A concentration of silos at Motza
Silos
Credit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
A highway bridge was built smack on top of the temple
But on the bright side -
Temple under the bridge
Credit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
Stone arrowhead found at Motza
Very finely manufactured, of flint
Arrowhead
Credit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
First all dug-up dirt is closely examined
And once the dirt is deemed barren - it gets tossed
Discarding sieved dirt
Credit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
A first at Motza:
The site was evidently settled during the Persian period
The first Yehud stamp impression found at Moẓa. This impression and additional vessels found in the collapse of a structure south of the temple courtyard prove that Moẓa was still settled during the Persians Period.
The first Yehud stamp impression found at Moẓa. This impression and vessels found in a collapsed structure south of the temple courtyard prove that Motẓa was still settled during the Persian periodCredit: David Raphael Moulis (Charles University, Prague)
Prof. Martin Prudky of Charles University, Prague
A fragment of a large bowl from the Iron Age
Prof. Martin Prudky with a bowl fragment
Prof. Martin Prudky with a bowl fragmentCredit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
Lots of pottery was found at the site
Including some large fragments -
Bowl fragment, Motza
Bowl fragment, MotzaCredit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
Rim of a storage jar
Some of these were huge
Base fragment
Bowl fragmentCredit: DAVID RAFAEL MOULIS
Team directors see results
Fragments that tell stories
Shua Kisilevitz  (left), Oded Lipschits (middle right) studying fragments found at the site
Shua Kisilevitz (left), Oded Lipschits (middle right) studying fragments found at the siteCredit: David Raphael Moulis (Charles University, Prague)
Happiness is -
Finding the base of a juglet in an Iron Age II town near Jerusalem.
Linda Buhmann of Osnabruck University in Germany showing off the base of a juglet from the late phase of the temple courtyard.
Linda Buhmann of Osnabruck University in Germany showing off the base of a juglet from the late phase of the temple courtyard.Credit: David Raphael Moulis (Charles University, Prague)

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