From the start, Theo Siebenberg strongly suspected that the site of his house must have been inhabited by Jews in the Second Temple period, given its proximity to the Temple Mount where the Holy Temples once dominated the skyline. He was assured that archeological surveys had not revealed anything of interest.Share
“But he insisted,” Miriam Siebenberg tells ISRAEL21c during a tour of the unusual museum.
Engineers advised the Siebenbergs first to support their newly built house by putting up a multi-section retaining wall with anchors each holding up to 60 tons of pressure. That process alone took eight years.
Half-hour tours of the house museum begin with a slide show depicting the ensuing excavation process.
The earth under the house was packed so densely that it amounted to five times the volume of the dug-out space, Siebenberg explains. Modern machinery couldn’t fit in the narrow alley outside, so all the dirt was lifted out manually in buckets, sifted for artifacts and carried on donkeys’ backs to waiting trucks.
The key ring was discovered first, followed by glass perfume bottles and bracelets; a device for spinning fine cotton thread; an ivory pen and inkwell; 2,600-year-old arrowheads probably made to fight off Babylonian invaders; and a glass drinking cup shaped like a horn of plenty – only seven cups like this have ever been found. (Read more.)