A team of archaeologists in Jerusalem claims to have discovered part of a wall described in the book of Nehemiah.
The discovery in Jerusalem's ancient City of David resulted from a rescue to save a tower in danger of collapsing.
The leader of the dig was Eilat Mazar, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research and educational institute. According to Mazar, artifacts including pottery shards and arrowheads found under the tower suggested the tower and the nearby wall were from the 5th century, B.C., the time of Nehemiah.
Scholars previously dated the wall to the 2nd century B.C.
"We were amazed," Mazar said. "This was a great surprise. It was something we didn't plan."
Some scholars doubt the dating of the find.
Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, called the discovery "an interesting find." However, he said that the artifacts do not confirm the wall's construction in the time of Nehemiah because they were not connected to the structural parts of the wall. This means the wall could have been built later.
"The wall could have been built, theoretically, in the Ottoman period," he said. "It's not later than the pottery - that's all we know," Finkelstein said.