A handout picture released by Israel Antiquities Authority on July 22, 2011 shows the tiny golden bell which was lost in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago during the Second Temple period and has been found among the ruins near the Old City, Israel's Antiquities Authority said. - AFP photo

JERUSALEM: A tiny golden bell which was lost in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago during the Second Temple period has been found among ruins near the Old City, Israel's Antiquities Authority said on Friday.

The bell, which is thought to have been an adornment which was sewn onto the garments of a senior official, was uncovered during excavation work on a drainage channel in the City of David, an area in the Arab neighbourhood of Silwan just south of the Old City walls.

“It seems the bell was sewn on the garment worn by a high official in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period,” an IAA statement said.

The bell was found inside the main drainage channel taking rainwater from different parts of the city to the pool of Siloam, which is mentioned several times in the Bible.

“Apparently, the high official was walking in the Jerusalem street in the vicinity of Robinson's Arch and lost the gold bell that fell from his garment into the drainage channel beneath the road,” it said, noting that Jewish high priests were known to have bells sewn onto their robes.

“It is impossible to know for certain if the bell did indeed belong to one of the high priests; however, the possibility should not be entirely discounted.”

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