A Hebrew University archeologist has discovered artifacts from a 3,000 year old community that have created a new understanding of how Solomon’s Temple was built, the university announced on Monday. Professor Yosef Garfinkel, the Yigal Yadin Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, revealed models of items excavated in Khirbet Qeiyafa, a fortified city in the Valley of Elah, about 30 km southwest of Jerusalem.
The religious community, which Garfinkel believes was Jewish based on the lack of pig bones and graven images, kept small shrines in rooms of three buildings. The small ritual objects are box-like in shape and made from basalt stone or clay. The shrines predate King Solomon’s Temple by at least 30 years, but utilize important architectural designs written in the Torah that describe how the Temple should be constructed.