My apologies for the tardy response.
My thanks to Messrs. Hall, Kolinski and Edgecomb for their responses. I
appreciated the reference to the Matson Photo Archive!
The Ezekiel Tomb is, or was, extant as recently as a year ago, according
to my web search. Looks like a wall and what appears to be a gate house
has been taken down since the late 19th century, but the main structure
seems relatively unchanged. I gather that nothing is known for certain
about what was there during the time of the Judahite exile.
The curse of sloppy scholarship, or in my case the lack thereof, is that
references go missing: I cannot find the reference to a cuneiform
tablet that recorded the yearly food(?) allotment to the Judahites after
the death of Nebuchadrezzer II. It was reading through the translation
of that which put me in mind of a bill of lading. There is mention of
the allotment in Septuagint texts, but one gathers therefrom that the
Judahite elite dined at the court.
I wondered if the yearly list might not indicate that the allotment was
shipped somewhere; otherwise, why record what could just as well have
been part of the court food consumption? Hence the interest in
determining what evidence there was/is for some external site.
I had tentatively concluded that such a site would be located near the
Euphrates, and would not be north of Babylon; apparently the Persians
did not encounter it after the battle at Opis and they would not have
been north of the line of defense that is said to have passed from the
Euphrates to the Tigris at Opis.
So a site south of Babylon seems reasonable, at least in this tyro's
Lemaire's suggestion that such a site existed and was known as New
Jerusalem seemed worth pursuing, but the image in the BAR NovDec 2005
looked far too fresh and undamaged, and the "provenance" I knew to be a
matter of controversy.
In any case, thanks again to all.
William D. Tallman
343 Fleming Drive
Sequim, WA 98382