Thursday, September 04, 2008

Second Temple-Era Wall Uncovered In Jerusalem

Israeli archeologists have announced that the southern wall of Jerusalem that was built by the Hasmonean kings during the time of the Second Temple have been uncovered on Mount Zion. They are the remains of a 6km wall that surrounded the old city prior to the Roman occupation. According to the article in the Jerusalem Post, the Second Temple Period wall, which was built without mortar, and remains "amazingly" well-preserved today. It was uncovered beneath the remains of a Byzantine Period (324-640 AD) city wall that was built on top of the Second Temple wall, when ancient Jerusalem grew to its largest size.

According to the story,

"In the Second Temple period the city, with the Temple at its center, was a focal point for Jewish pilgrimage from all over the ancient world, and in the Byzantine period it attracted Christian pilgrims who came in the footsteps of the story of the life and death of their messiah," said Yehiel Zelinger, the excavation's director. . .

The ancient walls were found by cross-referencing the detailed plans and maps of an excavation carried out in the 1890s by the Palestine Exploration Fund under the direction of [American] archeologist Frederick Jones Bliss and his assistant Archibald Dickie with updated maps of the area.


Archeology on and around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is challenging to say the least. No public screams of denial have been heard yet from the Waqf, the Islamic authority that is king of the hill, which claims there have never been any Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount.

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