Yif Tah Shalev

POTTERY APLENTY. Once the Northern Tower had been dismantled for restoration, Mazar and her team were able to excavate beneath it. There they found strata rich with pottery and two dog burials—a practice that dates to the Persian period in Israel (538–332 B.C.E.). They did not find any jar handles stamped with the Persian provincial name “Yehud,” however, which became common in the second half of the fifth century. Based on the styles of the pottery assemblage, the dog burials and the lack of “Yehud” stamps, Mazar dates the construction of the tower to the mid-fifth century B.C.E.—right around the time the Bible says that Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, in 445 B.C.E.