A rare goldbell with a small loop at its end was discovered during an archaeologicalexcavation in the drainage channel that begins in the Shiloah Pool and continuesfrom the City ofDavidto theJerusalemArchaeologicalGarden, near the Western Wall.
According to the excavation directors, archaeologists Eli Shukron andProfessor Ronny Reich ofHaifaUniversity, “It seems the bell was sewn on thegarment worn by a high official inJerusalemat the end of theSecondTempleperiod (first century CE). The bellwas exposed insideJerusalem’s main drainage channel at thattime, among the layers of earth that had accumulated along the bottom of it. This drainage channel was built and hewn the length of the Western Wall of theTempleMount, on the bottom of the slopedescending to theTyropoeonValley. This drainage channel conveyedrainwater from different parts of the city, by way of the City ofDavidand the Shiloah Pool, to NahalKidron”.
The main streetof theJerusalemis in the region of the excavation, above the drainage channel. This road ascended from the Shiloah Pool in the CityofDavidand an interchange, known today as ‘Robinson’s Arch’, was built in it, by way of which people entered theTempleMount. Apparently, the high official waswalking in theJerusalemstreet in the vicinityof Robinson’s Arch and lost the gold bell that fell from his garment into thedrainage channel beneath the road.
We know fromsources that the high priests, who served in theTemple, used to hang a gold bell from thefringes of their robe. Thus, for example, in the ‘Tetzaveh’ Torah portion, inthe Book of Exodus, there is a description of the high priest Aaron’s robe: “Allof blue…it shall have a binding of woven work …And upon the skirts of it thoushalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about theskirts thereof; and bells of gold between them round about”. It is impossible toknow for certain if the bell did indeed belong to one of the high priests; however, the possibility should not be entirely discounted.
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