After five years of excavations in the vicinity of Ein Ḥanyah—one of the largest springs in the Judean hills—the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has announced some of the findings, which range from the first millennium BCE to the Byzantine period. Michael Bachner describes some of them:
The main find . . . was a fragment of a proto-Ionic column capital, an artistic element typical of structures and estates of the kings of the First Temple period. . . . Similar capitals have been found in the City of David in Jerusalem and at Ramat Raḥel, where one of the palaces of the kings of Judah was uncovered, . . . as well as in Samaria, Megiddo, and Ḥatsor, which were major cities in the ancient kingdom of Israel.
Archaeologists [conjectured] that the site at Ein Ḥanyah may have been a royal estate during the First Temple period. . . .
[A]nother significant find from that period was a rare silver coin, described as one of the most ancient discovered so far in the Jerusalem area. It is an ancient Greek drachma, [which experts say was] “minted in Ashdod by Greek rulers between 420 and 390 BCE.”
The site also has significance for the history of Christianity:
“We believe that some early Christian commentators identified Ein Ḥanyah as the site where the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized, as described in Acts 8:26-40,” said the IAA’s Jerusalem-district archaeologist, Yuval Baruch.
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