Friday, May 10, 2013

Recent Excavations Near the Temple Mount

It’s difficult to tell what, if anything, is new in this article about excavations near the Temple Mount, but if you need a refresher on the goings-on there for the past several years, you may find this helpful. From the Algemeiner:

Old City expert Rabbi Barnea Selevan, a veteran licensed tour guide and co-director of Foundation Stone, is excited about a series of archeological digs taking place in the vicinity of the Western Wall. For the past several years, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has sponsored excavations at the back of the plaza, and workers have uncovered part of a Roman colonnaded street dating back to the 2nd century C.E.

But what was ignored until recently, according to Selevan, are several small stone buildings, overgrown and blocked by material from the dig.

“When I look down from the street in front of the Chabad building several levels above the site, those old walls are the most exciting thing I see,” Selevan tells JNS.org. “There’s no question they’re from First Temple times.” Seals from the Temple were found nearby. The walls, according to some archeologists, are from homes that were abandoned but not destroyed by the Roman onslaught on Jerusalem in 70 C.E.

Selevan notes that the streets exposed at the back of the plaza lead to the Temple Mount in the Robinson’s Arch area and provide evidence that the Romans stayed in Jerusalem and used the Temple Mount during the early Roman period.

The article continues to describe excavations at the Givati Parking Lot as well as conservation work on the walls of the Old City.

Valley Cardo excavations near Western Wall, tb010312457

Excavations of the Byzantine Cardo near the Western Wall.
Photo from the Jerusalem volume.

HT: Joseph Lauer

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