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The remains of a large, fortified township ruled by the Judaea Kings, has been unearthed on the southern slopes of Mt. Hebron by a team of Tel Aviv University archaeologists headed by Prof. Moshe Kochavi. The town, at a site known as Tel Ira, dates from about the time of the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem. Jews who returned from the Babylonian exile resettled the town but abandoned it in the 7th Century, a century after the Arab conquest of Judaea.

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