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Archaeologists from Bar-Ilan University excavating at Tel 'Eton in the Hebron hills noticed that piles of dirt left by burrowing mole rats contained pottery sherds, indicating the area had once been inhabited. This led to the discovery of an ancient city at the site, including a monumental structure, which the researchers say is evidence of a United Monarchy during the time of King David and Solomon. The "governor's residency," as they have dubbed it, contains abundant evidence of destruction by the Assyrians around 701 BC, including arrowheads in the courtyard, obvious signs of conflagration, and 200 intact, abandoned pottery vessels. The structure itself was built using ashlar stones and deep foundations with quality building materials, which archaeologists suggest are evidence of a complex society and strong political administration during the construction phase. In addition, the excavators discovered a foundation deposit. Radiocarbon samples from this deposit, as well as from olive pits and coal found on the floor, indicate that the Tel 'Eton residence was first built in the late 11th or 10th century BC. This is the second such monumental structure dating to the Davidic and Solomonic eras discovered in the region (with Khirbet Qeiyafa being the first).

Off-site Links:

- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-molerat-archaeology-supports-united-monarchy-theory-says-new-study-1.6007916
- https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/radiocarbon/article/governors-residency-at-tel-eton-the-united-monarchy-and-the-impact-of-the-oldhouse-effect-on-largescale-archaeological-reconstructions/5CE54AE6CEE838CC0D076186A2FBACE5

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019