Jerusalem: Layers of History Underground

Jerusalem: Layers of History Underground

It is obvious the future skyline of Jerusalem, Israel, is changing daily, as buildings go up and up.

But centuries of history of Jerusalem are underground going back thousands of years.

Jerusalem Western Wall plaza view

This is the image most think of when mentioning Jerusalem of old.

But under the Jerusalem, Israel streets layers of history are being revealed daily.

View of southern excavations old City Jerusalem

Along the southern side of the Old City Walls, the new excavations can be seen by everyone.

Givati parking lot archaeological site outside walls of Old City Jerusalem

The intricate archaeological work under the Givati Parking lot is another site open to the public.

Givati Parking lot excavation

Across from the Old City Walls, not far from Dung Gate, centuries-old houses are being restored.

Roman remains in Jerusalem archaeological dig

The remains of Roman domination in Jerusalem are on display.

House under excavation in Givati pakring lot in Jerusalem Israel near old City walls.

One new discovery was a two-story house. The destruction by Rome of Jerusalem was so powerful that the upper level of this house fell on top of the lower one and a two-meter high piece of the structure was unearthed.

Givati Parking lot excavation

As in other Ir David finds of the historic time period, blackened remnants from the destructive fires were discovered in this house.

I opted to take photos from above and not enter the bedroom below.

Jerusalem drainage route unearthed and from Givati parking lot to Western Wall

But below we did go. We followed the path of the drainage system of Jerusalem to the Shiloah pool in the Kidron Valley, which was under the Jerusalem streets in the time of the Romans.

Map of old city Jerusalem in Givati Parking lot

This map shows the route of the planned Pilgrims Path which is being excavated and made safe for tourists.

Another layer under the old street has been found, the drainage channel from which the last Jews of Second Temple times tried to hide and escape from the Romans.

picture of Jerusalem in time of Rome

This poster illustrates the street scene in more pleasant ancient times and the drainage channel which ran below it.

However, the last Jews of Jerusalem did not escape to Masada.

They were discovered hiding in the drainage channel by the Romans and all murdered.

The artifacts they left behind are being revealed daily at the Sifting Project in the Zurim Valley.

Drainage path under Jerusalem during Roman times

Today large portions of the drainage channel have been careful revealed by archeologists.

From the Givati Parking lot, we surfaced at the base of the Western Wall.

Jerusalem Israel Western Wall stones of destruction from Rome

Here are stones from the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, tossed away and remaining today.

Stone with ancient markings in Jerusalem Old city

Pieces of stone with Temple carvings are in this area by the Davidson Southern Excavations.

Under your feet, almost anywhere in Jerusalem’s Old City are layers of history.

Jerusalem Israel under ground archaeological discoveries

A new excavation under the Western Wall exposed a very old mikvah, a ritual bath.

Digging under Western Wall

Work in this area leads archeologists to believe the Greeks were building a theater that was never completed.

Stones of Western Wall under ground

More sections of the Western Wall stones have been revealed under the present street level.

Jerusalem Israel Davidson Archaeological Park and view of Har Hazetim

The Davidson Southern Excavation is continuing with new discoveries, with the view of the Mount of Olives in the background and Al-Aqsa Mosque on the left.

Children in Jewish Quarter on trip

Children, tour groups, thousands of all ages filled the Jerusalem Old City streets during the Nine Days leading up to Tisha B’Av.

Sitting on stone in Jerusalem Israel reading Eicha on Tisha b'Av

People sat on the ground, on Jerusalem stones to hear Eicha, the book of Lamentations, at night.

Tens of thousands arrived all night long for Tisha B’Av at the Kotel, the Western Wall.

There was so much more I could share, but I will conclude with two favorites on Tisha B’Av.

Jerusalem Israel Tisha B'Av old man walking

This gentleman with a lovely English accent, born in 1931, took a head start before the group walking around the walls of the Old City. He said that he comes most every year for the last 25-years.  Later during the walk, he refused any help, and his only complaint was timing to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv after Shabbat.

Kessim, Ethiopian religious leaders, have been coming to the Kotel each year before Tisha B’Av to pray.

Before Tisha B'Av Kez, Ethiopian religious leaders visit Jerusalem to pray

Near the Kotel, under this old archway, three of the men, from the larger group of Kessin all dressed in white who were on a tour, stopped to talk.

Think about it–their traditions went back to the times of the First Temple.

They arrived in Jerusalem to find Zion, Jerusalem, the First Temple had been destroyed.

Another ancient war, another layer of history yet to be revealed.

On and below the Jerusalem streets, old and new, constantly evolving.

Though  15 Real Photos of Arab Girls was the most popular RJS post.

I hope you enjoyed these bits of archeological finds, there are more to share next time.

 

Jerusalem Streets, Below and from Above

Jerusalem Streets, Below and from Above

It has been a hot and tense week

in Jerusalem, Israel.

On my visit to the Old City

Jerusalem Israel metal detectors

I had to go through metal detectors.

Jerusalem Israel Old City metal detectors

 They are at every entrance to the Western Wall Plaza.

These metal detectors have been in place for years

and they have not been removed.

Millions have passed through metal detectors,

often after waiting for long periods of time in line,

with no riots that I know of.

Last week during a heat wave,

while Muslims were protesting and rioting,

Group of tourists from Africa on Western Wall Plaza

a group of African tourists came to the Kotel,

the Western Wall, as on any other regular day.

Over Jerusalem’s 3,000 year history,

it has been built and destroyed and rebuilt,

which is evident in the multiple layers found underground.

Notice the white fence in background of above photo?

Archaeological excavations behind Western Wall Plaza

Behind it archaeologists have carried out this excavation.

Dig down. You will find more history revealed.

Security in Jerusalem, Israel Old City Western Wall Plaza

While on the streets security was tense,

Model of Building Temple in Jerusalem

below in the Western Wall Tunnels

we saw a model of how the Second Temple

was constructed on a flat base over the foundation stone.

Western Wall tunnels under Jerusalem streets

Thousands of people have come to see the tunnels.

Western Wall tunnel excavations

Constant discoveries are being revealed,

Water of mikvah in Western Wall tunnel excavation

such as a mikvah, ritual bath,

from the time of King Herod.

Jerusalem, Israel Western Wall tunnel large room for public viewing

One large room shows multiple layers of stones

from various conquerors of Jerusalem over the centuries.

Jerusalem has so much history hidden under your feet.

Under what was once a parking lot near the Old City Walls

houses uncovered in excavation by Ir David

is today an excavation revealing what lay beneath the pavement.

Ir David, the City of David,

poster for night show in City of David

has posters for a new night-time show,

Developed City of David in Jerusalem Israel

to be held in its new seating area.

The City of David is located just outside the walls of Old City.

Excavation in City of David

This layer of blackened, destroyed homes

has been carbon dated to the time of the fall of the First Temple.

My friend got down to get a close up,

Idol found in ruins of house collapsed by destruction of Jerusalem

but I was more fascinated by this idol,

perhaps left over from the escape from Egypt,

which was found in the ruins.

So many coins and treasures, and history,

Arab woman walking in Silwan near Ir David

are hidden under these streets.

Excavation of new entrance to Western Wall Plaza

One day this street will be a major attraction.

Important Pilgrim path from Shiloah Pond to Har Habayit and Temple Mount

The “stepped street” has not been open to the public.

It is the route of the ancient pilgrims bringing offerings

to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem,

and one day is to be

Entrance of Old City from Ir David to Temple Mount

the new entrance to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

From the top of the Aish HaTorah building

we see above the Western Wall Plaza.

View of Temple Mount and Western Wall from Aish Hatorah

On the right is the Mughrabi Bridge,

the only entrance for non-Muslims to the Temple Mount,

Jerusalem Israel view of Muraghbi bridge

where you will note,

security cameras are still very much in place.

View of AlAqsa Mosque from roof of Aish Hatorah

Al-Aqsa Mosque was quiet that day,

though the calls to Muslim prayers filled the air.

Jerusalem Israel Old City model to Second Temple on roof of Aish Hatorah overlooking Dome of Rock

Past a model of the Second Temple,

one can see the gold paint of the Dome of the Rock.

You may see photos of rioting on the streets,

but under the streets history is also unfolding.

Sometimes what you can not see is more encouraging

that what is happening above.