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Armstrong Digs

Excavating Jerusalem’s Royal Quarter

Herbert W. Armstrong and Ambassador College sent hundreds of students to assist Benjamin Mazar in the excavations of the Temple Mount during the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the foundation has revived this humanitarian effort by sending student volunteers from Herbert W. Armstrong College to assist Benjamin Mazar’s granddaughter, Dr. Eilat Mazar, in excavating Jerusalem’s royal quarter. Excavation sites include the biblical King David’s ancient palace in the City of David and King Solomon’s royal structures on the Ophel at the foot of the Temple Mount.

Spectacular discoveries have emerged from the dust of history, the latest of which is the bulla of King Hezekiah of Judah—a clay seal stamped with Hezekiah’s name, found in the royal quarter of the Ophel. At a press conference in Jerusalem on Dec. 2, 2015, Dr. Mazar provided the English translation of the bulla’s Hebrew inscription: “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah.” She called it the most important individual discovery of her career—a career that includes discovering King David’s palace, Nehemiah’s wall, bullae belonging to princes who persecuted the prophet Jeremiah, a Davidic-era secret tunnel, a Solomonic-era wall, and a spectacular golden medallion featuring a menorah from the sixth century B.C.

Herbert W. Armstrong College student volunteers currently are processing, cataloging and publishing the dig’s most recent phase, and they look forward to uncovering even more of the site. With their help, Dr. Mazar published volume 1 of her final report on the Ophel excavations in December 2015.

Liberty Bell Park

Herbert W. Armstrong worked with Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, to create Liberty Bell Park in celebration of the United States’ bicentennial anniversary. The park, dedicated on July 4, 1978, features a replica of Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, and the foundation contributes to the park’s preservation and maintenance as part of its efforts to revive Armstrong’s humanitarian legacy.

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Top photo: Foundation volunteers remove thousands of years of dust and debris from a dig site at the City of David in Jerusalem.