In Jerusalem, a peal from the past

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A small Second Temple-era bell, possibly like those worn on the clothes of the high priests, was unearthed in Jerusalem.

Archaeologists discovered the golden artifact during excavations in a drainage channel that begins in the Shiloah Pool and runs through the City of David toward the Western Wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Sunday.

The dig leaders, Eli Shukron and Ronny Reich of Haifa University, said the bell, which has a small loop at its tip, was probably sewn on to the garment of a senior Jerusalem official in the first century, and may have fallen off into the drainage ditch.

“It is impossible to know for certain if the bell did indeed belong to one of the high priests; however, the possibility should not be entirely discounted,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

It quoted a description, in Exodus, of the robe worn by Aaron the priest: “All of blue … it shall have a binding of woven work  … And upon the skirts of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the skirts thereof; and bells of gold between them round about.”

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