One of the primary features of the First Temple Period pottery is lustrous burnishing lines adorning the surface of most tableware vessels. This practice first began in the early part of the period known as the Iron IIA (10th -9th centuries BCE), when the burnishing was applied by hand, either in horizontal lines or in a more haphazard crisscross-like pattern known as “irregular” or “wild” burnishing. Gradually, as time progressed, the burnishing was typically achieved by placing the vessel on a fast wheel thus creating the symmetrical burnishing lines that characterize the Iron IIB-C Periods (8th -early 6th centuries BCE). About 5%-10% of the Iron Age II pottery dates to the first phase of this period, the Iron Age IIA.
The historical credibility of the Biblical text regarding Jerusalem during the 10th century BCE has been hotly debated by archaeologists since the 1990’s. Minimalist theories, based on the absence of significant finds from Jerusalem dating to this period, claimed that the expansion of the city towards the Temple Mount and the construction of the Temple occurred only centuries later. Yet recent finds from other excavations, including the Ophel (south of the Temple Mount,) the City of David, as well as those from the Temple Mount Sifting Project, weaken the minimalists’ theories and indicate that the descriptions found within the Biblical text relating to expansion of Jerusalem may, in fact, be authentic.