Israeli archaeologists unveiled an ancient table Monday used to measure wine and olive oil, which they said helps prove a market once stood at the site in occupied east Jerusalem.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said the 2,000-year-old table was unearthed in the City of David National Park, between the Old City and the flashpoint Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan.
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Only the third artifact of its kind to be found so far in Jerusalem, the table could be filled with liquid to give a unified measure, according to the IAA.
“When shopkeepers wanted to make sure they were working with the same standard, they used to see… the manager of the market” who owned the table, archaeologist Ari Levy said.
The find provides evidence of trade in the area, which lies south of Jerusalem’s Old City, the archaeologist told AFP.
The City of David excavations have been criticised by Palestinians, who see them as another attempt by Israel to cement its control over the area.
The archaeological park is run by hardline settler organisation Elad, which seeks to bolster the Jewish presence in mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.