Photo by Shlomi Ammami and Avraham Hai/Courtesy the Staff Officer of Archaeology

A CAPITAL IDEA. These two proto-Aeolic capitals (and the remnants of a third) likely came from the Samaritan temple of the Persian period. This style of capital was common, however, in temples and royal architecture of the First Temple period in the Near East, as known from a number of examples. But, as the Gerizim exemplars suggest, their use apparently continued into the Persian period. This, in turn, suggests that the contemporaneous Second Temple in Jerusalem, built by the Israelites who returned from the Babylonian exile, may also have had this kind of column capitals. This is one of the very few indications of what the post-Exilic Temple in Jerusalem actually looked like.