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Archaeology & History

Mysterious hand print found in wall of ancient Jerusalem moat

By T.K. Randall
January 26, 2023 · Comment icon 13 comments

Who left this hand print and why ? Image Credit: Facebook / Israel Antiquities Authority
Archaeologists discovered the enigmatic hand print during excavation work of the city's historic fortifications.
According to a recent press release by the Israel Antiquities Authority, the print was found during a dig along Sultan Suleiman Street between Jerusalem's Damascus Gate and Lions' Gate.

The excavations, which were being carried out prior to infrastructure work, revealed part of an ancient defensive moat believed to date back around 1,000 years.

"The moat, surrounding the entire Old City, dates back about 1,000 years to the 10th century CE or earlier, and its function was to prevent the enemy besieging Jerusalem from approaching the walls and breaking into the city," said excavation director Zubair Adawi.

Exactly why there is a human handprint embedded in the stonework remains unclear - archaeologists do not know whether it was done deliberately and if it was, exactly why it was left there.
"Does it symbolize something ?" the researchers wrote.

"Does it point to a specific nearby element? Or is it just a local prank? Time may tell."

"Many dreamed about and fought for Jerusalem, and the city fortifications are a silent testimony," said Israel Antiquities Authority director Eli Escuzido.

"The archaeological finds enable us to visualize the dramatic events and the upheavals that the city underwent. One can imagine the tumult and almost smell the battle smoke. We are daily unraveling the city's intensive military history, and we will make great efforts to exhibit the findings to the public."

Source: Facebook | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Abramelin 10 months ago
It's probably the "hand of Fatima". Jerusalem was under Muslim control at the time.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 10 months ago
I will take your word for it, because I don't know enough about the subject matter of the old or new testaments. My Bible school training ended 52 years ago when I was 12 years. I do think the hand is rather cool, and it would certainly be interesting if the true purpose of the hand could proven, yet I don't believe it ever will be. But, if I had to speculate I believe that it be a identifying mark that was designed to identify the individual who was responsible for building the fortification.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Abramelin 10 months ago
The 'hand of Fatima' has nothing to do with the Old or New Testament. Its a muslim superstituous thing for protection.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 10 months ago
Cool, thanks for the information you seen to know a great deal about Muslim, did you spend time in the Middle east?
Comment icon #8 Posted by fred_mc 10 months ago
Person #1: Why are you making an imprint of your hand there? Person #2: I just thought it was fun. Person #1: I'm sure that will confuse people 1000 years into the future.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Abramelin 10 months ago
Heh, no. You don't need to go to the Middle East to know about Muslims. There are several hundreds of thousands living here in the Netherlands. But I am also interested in Sufism, and so I read a lot about Islam and related things. Edited to add: I once got a necklace from a Moroccan woman I was in love with. She was married so that was somewhat of a problem, but one time she went to Morocco on a holiday, and bought this 'hand of Fatima' for me.  
Comment icon #10 Posted by DieChecker 10 months ago
Id guess it was some kind of marker. Where if someone was in the moat, and found it, they would know which way to go to find one of the friendly entrances. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Torviking 10 months ago
Looks more like some sort of ape footprint rather than a human hand, mainly due to the lack of a thumb and the elongated “fingers” ?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Torviking 10 months ago
Looks more like some sort of ape footprint rather than a human hand, mainly due to the lack of a thumb and the elongated “fingers” ? The small protuberance where the thumb should be is a little small in my opinion to actually be a thumb..
Comment icon #13 Posted by Ozymandias 10 months ago
What could this represent? Back of the right hand (of the person who impressed it) Palm of the left hand (of the person who impressed it) Halt! Stop! or the Red Hand of Ulster  

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