JERUSALEM (RNS) — Israeli archaeologists recently discovered 2,600-year-old artifacts they say offer further concrete evidence of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem around 586 B.C.

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery just days before Tisha B’Av, a Jewish fast day commemorating the anniversary of the destruction of both the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70.

The fast begins at sundown on July 31.

The announcement comes at a time of great turmoil in and around the Temple Mount (the Haram al-Sharif in Arabic), the holiest site in Judaism and the third

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