JERUSALEM, Israel -- Archaeologists in Jerusalem uncovered a rare gold bell believed to be part of a priestly garment from the time of Jesus.
"It's not one bell that was on the coat. It was more than 70 bell[s] that [were] on the coat. The man was walking with that bell on his coat," Israel Antiquities Authority head archaeologist Eli Shukronof told CBN News.
"Everyone heard [him] when he was coming. [The bells] make a small noise, you know, it's not a big noise, just to give some respect to the man," he said.
Archaeologists uncovered the bell while excavating an ancient drainage channel. It begins at the pool of Siloam and continues underground to an area near the Western Wall called Robinson's Arch. That's where Jewish worshippers would have entered the Temple Mount in the time of Jesus.
"And this bell we found under the main street of Jerusalem from the Second Temple period 2,000 years ago," Shukron said.
The bell has a tiny loop at the top. It would have been attached to the garment of a wealthy person.
Exodus 28:33 describes the robe of Aaron, the high priest.
"Upon its hem, you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem; and bells of gold between them all around."
Shukron said there is no way to know for sure if the bell came from a priestly garment.
"It could be [from] anyone, but I think [someone] with a high position in Jerusalem from the Second Temple period," he said.
Shukron believes the bell fell off the man's garment and into the drainage channel.
"After 2,000 years, we are working very hard in the tunnels of Jerusalem," he said. "And after 2,000 years we found that…bell in the tunnel."
IAA archaeologists hope to open the channel tunnel to the public later this summer.
Shukron said the discoveries like the little golden bell shed light on the nature of Jerusalem in Second Temple times.