When diggers unearthed a series of rooms in Jerusalem they were interested to note one of the features in the ancient rooms – a series of symbols of unknown origin that didn’t correspond to any known language. But as they searched more closely, they discovered that similar symbols had been seen elsewhere before – and the mystery only deepened. What are these mysterious symbols etched in stone of this ancient site and why are there no corresponding symbols anywhere in writing?
The bizarre symbols appear to be three V’s with strange markings in the corners of the lower right one and another what appears to be a dash to the upper left. The symbols seem significant as they measure several feet in length and were carved into hard granite. Unlike any known script, the symbols don’t seem to correspond to Hebrew, but look almost like cuneiform, although even cuneiform doesn’t quite fit as an explanation due to the location and estimated date of the symbols being engraved (approximately 800 BC). So if they aren’t symbols we can translate then what could they be?
It should be noted that the symbols, which were carefully etched into the floor quite laboriously, are placed in the center of a carefully constructed room, which suggests they were not placed there as an afterthought, but rather were purposefully placed there. Additionally, it should be noted that the symbols were large enough to be able to accommodate other objects, which could have been placed in them. The square hold at the end of one of the symbols, particularly looks as though it could have served as the support structure for another object which could have been placed in it. The sloping edge of the symbol’s other corner seems to suggest something may have been poured into it. Meanwhile, the box section has what appears to be a steep drop-off where it connects with the V. Is it that something was poured into this symbol? Or was it actually nothing more than a representation of an idea?
As archaeologists attempt to round up answers, the dig is still one of the most politically contentious in a region where already there is a great deal of political tension. And though the discovery of the symbols will not likely add to the controversy, it has raised interest in the area in the public’s eye. Mysteries are – and likely always will be – far more interesting when there is an element such as this that is moved from the area of experts and archaeologists into the realm of absolute mystery where anyone can have a chance to unearth the secrets within.
So what are these symbols? And will those digging encounter any more evidence suggesting what may lie in their true nature? Perhaps with time we will be able to know. In the mean time, we can only look at the strange shapes in wonder.