Ancient Babylonian arson in Jerusalem revealed by chemical clues

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Aerial view of the excavation site in Jerusalem, at the foot of the Temple Mount

Yair Izbotski/City of David

Archaeologists have reconstructed how Babylonian invaders burned down a building in Jerusalem more than 2500 years ago, using chemical clues in the debris.

The building was destroyed as part of the Babylonian conquest of the Kingdom of Judah, which is presented as a turning point in the story of Judaism in the Hebrew Bible.

Beginning in 601 BC, Judean kings launched a series of unsuccessful rebellions against the Babylonians, who had taken control of the region …

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