The Ophel Excavations, 1986/Photo: Eilat Mazar

Gigantic storage jars called pithoi from Building D. When uncovered, the shattered jars—eventually 11 more were found—lay embedded, where they had stood, in vast amounts of earth containing carbonized material. The blackened earth, evidence of a great conflagration, may date to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Some of the carbon, seen as black lumps in the photo, has been identified as the remains of wooden beams made from cedars of Lebanon, a popular construction material in ancient Jerusalem from King David’s time (2 Samuel 5:11). See photograph of restored pithoi.