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Mideast in Pictures: 2,700-year-old decorated ivory plaques discovered at Jerusalem site

Worker of the Israel Antiquities Authority displays ivory plaques unearthed in excavations in the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David National Park near the walls of the old city of Jerusalem on Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

JERUSALEM, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists have discovered a rare and prestigious collection of decorated ivory plaques of about 2,700 years old, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said Monday.

The ancient ivories, made of elephant tusks, were unearthed among the ruins of a palatial building by the IAA and Tel Aviv University in the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem.

It is worth noting that the ivory was considered one of the most expensive raw materials in the ancient world, even more than gold.

During the excavation, the team found 1,500 ivory fragments, which were the remnants of at least 12 small square plaques, 5 cm long and 5 mm thick.

General view of an excavation in the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David National Park near the walls of the old city of Jerusalem on Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

Workers of the Israel Antiquities Authority work at the excavation site in the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David National Park near the walls of the old city of Jerusalem on Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

The picture shows ivory plaques unearthed in excavations in the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David National Park near the walls of the old city of Jerusalem on Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)