V's in Silwan 311.
(photo credit: Vladimir Neyhin/City of David Foundation)
When archeologists are baffled by discoveries, they’re expected to debate
complicated theories among other argyle-vest-wearing experts at stuffy
conferences held high in ivory towers.
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But when recent carvings at a
Jerusalem site puzzled experts, the archeologists at the City of David site near
the Old City took a new approach: Post a mysterious stone carving on Facebook,
and ask the world what it thought.
Since local and international media
coverage of the strange markings went viral, more than 20,000 people across the
globe have weighed in on the mysterious “V” carvings found in a room that was
last used around 800 BCE.
Last week, Ir David Foundation head
archeologist Eli Shukron told reporters he was so puzzled by the shapes – three
V’s about 50 cm. long and 5 cm. deep – that he couldn’t begin to guess their
function. The figures were found in a room near a spring, an important ritual
area for the ancient city.
But Shukron’s bewilderment hasn’t stopped
people around the world from offering their conjectures. Among the most
interesting ideas: a torture device, drainage for ancient urinals, the original
McDonald’s sign, an abbreviation for “veni vidi vici” (Latin for “I came, I saw,
I conquered”), a footprint from King Solomon’s pet dinosaur, molds for smelting
iron to make tools, the Trinity, a representation of mountains or the symbol for
water, signs to the exit, an alien cryptogram, or support for a wooden
Or perhaps, as one reader commented, “3,000 years ago, a
worker said to his buddy, ‘I know how to drive archeologists crazy...’” “People
have been calling me all day,” Udi Ragones, the Ir David Foundation spokesman,
told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. “Someone just called from Thailand and said
that they represented the sign the kohanim make with their hands during the
priestly blessing, so it was a meditation room for kohanim.”
the site, which showcases the remains of what archeologists believe could have
been a town ruled by King David 3,000 years ago, were shocked by the
enthusiastic response from readers around the world.
“People love solving
mysteries, especially from 3,000 years ago, and they love thinking about this,”
Thousands have reposted the articles on social networking
The organization is already starting to think of ways to upload
the other archeological mysteries that have baffled experts in the
“This is cooperation throughout the world; it’s like Wikipedia,”
the foundation spokesman said. “Once, only archeologists could study these
things. Now everyone can join in.”
If you know the answer to the riddle,
you can post it at http://www.cityofdavid.co.il/ ArticleDetails_eng.asp?id=32 7