Israeli researchers have discovered rare ruins in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City, dating back 2,800 years. The find has been made 100 metres west of the Western Wall, the holiest site for Jews, and the religious compound known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, where the Al-Aqsa mosque is located.Israel said that the dig is aimed at salvaging artefactsbefore a planned construction of a walkway leading up to the Muslim complex.
The importance of the structures and items found are the unique location and their rarity."This is the first time in the history of the archaeology of Jerusalem, that we unearth remains of houses, of structures, of buildings, from this period western of the Temple Mount, in a close distance from the Temple Mount," said Shlomit Wexler-Bdoulah, one of the archaeologists who manage the excavation. Researchers know little about the ancient city in the First Jewish Temple period (8th-6th centuries BCE), mainly due to centuries ofconstruction and human activity that has erased most remains from that era. The archaeologists are yet to determine if the structure was a private residence or some sort of government office, but the building style and some items found in the rooms may indicate that it was used by high status individuals. After finishing the excavation of the site, the team hopes the unique findings will be preserved under the planned building, and that it will be open to the public.