|Binyamin Tropper examines the proto-aeolic capital in a photo published in the Israeli paper Makor Rishon. Photo: Makor Rishon, Yossi Aloni|
The site was identified by Binyamin Tropper, of the Kfar Etzion Field School, as he descended into a cave in the area of southern Jerusalem. The capital "apparently indicates that an entire temple or castle is buried beneath it," the newspaper added. Mysteriously, when Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rosental contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority to inform them of the find, the person he spoke to reportedly simply said – "Yaron, good for you. You found it, but we already are aware of it. Now forget about the whole thing and keep your mouth shut." Rosental said that he later found out that the IAA had known about the sitefor 18 months.
According to Rosental, excavation of the site has potential for uncovering a complete castle and possibly an entire neighborhood from the Judean kings' period, for the first time ever. "We appear to have a complete castle here," he said. "Those who lived here after it did not know of its existence and thus, instead of using its stones to build a new building as was the usual practice, left it intact." The details found inside could be "amazing."