A mysterious handprint was found during archaeological research in the walled Old City of Jerusalem.
Archaeologists have unearthed a ditch dug against the Crusades between the 11th and 13th centuries in the Old City, which also includes the Masjid al-Aqsa.
The ditch was at least 10 meters wide and 2 to 7 meters deep, the Israeli Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement.
The research team thinks the handprint was also carved into the drywall about 1,000 years ago. The question of why people carved a hand-shaped recess in the wall at that time remains a mystery.
“Does this mark symbolize something? Does it point to a specific item nearby? Or is it just a joke? It can be understood over time,” the ministry said in a statement.
Zubair Adavi, the ministry’s director of excavations, stated that this huge ditch surrounded all of Jerusalem at that time.
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“Its function was to prevent the enemy, who besieged Jerusalem, from approaching the walls and entering the city,” said Adavi, and continued his words as follows:
“We often find ditches filled with water in fortifications in Europe. But this trench was dry. Its width and depth slowed the attacking army.”
The ministry’s regional director for Jerusalem, Dr. Amit Re’em stated that the Crusaders finally managed to cross this huge ditch.
Re’em said, “Exhausted by the journey, they stood in front of the huge ditch. But five weeks later, despite heavy fire from the Muslim and Jewish guards, they managed to cross the ditch, but spilled a lot of blood.”
According to historians, during the expedition that took place between June 7 and July 15, 1099 and called the Siege of Jerusalem, the region was the territory of the Fatimid State.
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was established here after the war in the region captured by the Crusaders under the leadership of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, Count of Toulouse.