Archaeologists have discovered a 2,750-year-old temple along with a cache of sacred artifacts, providing rare insight into religious practices at the time, the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The temple was uncovered west of Jerusalem, at the Tel Motza archaeological site, in preparation for work on Highway 1. Among the finds are pottery figurines, fragments of chalices and decorated pedestals, which indicate the site was the stomping ground of a ritual cult.

“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple,” said excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz in a statement.

“The uniqueness of the structure is even more remarkable because of the vicinity of the site’s proximity to the capital city of Jerusalem, which acted as the Kingdom’s main sacred center at the time.”

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