The Ophel Excavations, Courtesy Eilat Mazar

In 1986, when Eilat Mazar had just begun reexcavating some of the same areas of the Ophel where her grandfather Benjamin Mazar had dug, she discovered this small black juglet (above) dated to the tenth century B.C.E. immediately below the foundations of the monumental gate complex. At the time, the juglet was one of the few pieces of evidence that could date the complex to the reign of King Solomon. As she has continued to dig below the complex’s foundations, Mazar has identified more tenth-century B.C.E. pottery, confirming that these impressive fortifications were indeed built by Solomon, as suggested in the Bible (1 Kings 9:15).