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.

 

19 Photos of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av

19 Photos of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av

The Nine Days leading up to Tisha B’Av

are always hot, unless you live in Southern Hemisphere.

This year was no exception,

unless you count hotter than usual temperatures.

Jerusalem, Israel, is known for its cooler evenings,

but the night of Tisha B’Av stayed warm and humid.

People at Gan Haatzmaut reading Eicha

In spite of the uncomfortable weather, thousands ventured out

to sit on the stones and streets to hear a reading of

Eichah, the Book of Lamentations.

At Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park,

Eicha at Gan Haatzmaut

this woman sat on a bollard to listen,

Police man sitting next to motorcycle during Eiacha

while this policeman sat on the ground.

I have joined the Walk around the Walls since 2011,

 security threats seem to be an annual feature of this event.

Walking from Damascus Gate to Lion's Gate

With the recent murders and riots on Temple Mount,

the walk only got permission to proceed at the last minute.

It was hard to get the long line of participants into one photo.

Muslim women working as journalists reporting on Walk around walls

As we approached the Damascus Gate,

the location of many recent troubles,

the Arab media was waiting to record the marchers.

Policemen on horses for security

Police on horses were ready

Walk around Walls of Old City Jerusalem

as the crowd proceed along with Israeli flags.

walking walls Jerusalem

A few stopped to rest near Damascus Gate,

Two men walking on step of Damascus Gate

just before the steps came into view.

Shar Shehem on Tisha B'Av

This year Tisha B’Av fell after Ramadan

and the Damascus Gate was quiet.

Walking around walls of Jerusalem Israel

This is the only time all year

that I walk by this gate

Jerusalem views at night

and around it to capture the dramatic night views on this side of wall,

Gate of Jerusalem Old City

on the way to the Lion’s Gate.

This was the scene of Muslims worshipers

filling the streets and rioting and being controlled by the police.

However, hundreds of Jews filled the same streets

and sat late into the night on the stones peacefully listening

to the Women in Green’s list of speakers.

Continuing around the walls and entering through Dung Gate,

Western Wall has large stones from destruction at base of wall

one sees the huge stones that have remained over the centuries

at the base of the wall,

reminders of the ancient destruction of Jerusalem.

On to the Kotel, the Western Wall,

Tisha BAv Kotel at night

where thousands gathered, to sit, to mourn,

Men's section Kotel for Tisha B'Av

even to spend the night on the ground.

street on Tisha B'Av night

People were arriving throughout the night.

Western Wall Plaza view at night

The gilded of Dome of the Rock,

built over the foundation stone, glimmered above the Kotel lights.

Jerusalem, city of peace, has seen many rulers

and thousands of years of conflict.

This year passed quietly,

the only words one heard on the walk around the walls were

“תודה – Thank you!” over and over,

to the police and security personnel guarding along the route.

Old City Jerusalem Menorah for Temple lit for Tisha B'Av

The lights on the Old City streets were dimmed

for Tisha B’av night,

but the large Temple Menorah glowed brightly.

Tisha B’Av Around Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel, is unique.

On the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av,

for centuries, Jews around the world

people sitting on stones for Tisha B'Av

 sat on the ground as a sign of mourning for Jerusalem,

and read Eicha, the Book of Lamentations.

 I went to ‘Walk Around the Walls’ again after Shabbat.

Last year Tisha B’Av coincided with Ramadan

and even at midnight there was a huge crowd

at Sha’ar Shechem, Damascus Gate.

Damascus Gate at night

   This year all was quiet,

women in Green walk around walls

as the Israeli-flag waving crowd walked by,

street in East Jerusalem

with only a few Arabs in sight near police barriers.

Tisha B'Av Women in Green

Going past Herod’s Gate,

night in Jerusalem, Israel

the atmosphere was very different

from Tisha B’Av of last year.

Although it was a few days ago,

I still want to share that night,

Jerusalem Israel at night

and the beautiful sites around the Old City Walls.

As Lion’s Gate and midnight approached

Jerusalem Israel walking at night

   we passed this man walking with two young boys.

Jerusalem Israel at night

Spectacular views were of Har Hazetim, Mount of Olives,

Jerusalem Israel at night Old City Walls

across from the Old City Walls,

Jerusalem Israel Old City excavations.

and the impressive major excavations.

But most impressive,

Wailing Wall at night

was the huge crowd at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

where tens of thousands came,

Tisha b'Av in Jerusalem, Israel

some to sit and sing sad songs,

Tisha b'av Jerusalem,Israel

others to pray, or to spend the night.

Jerusalem,Israel at night

People were coming and going all night long

to the Old City of Jerusalem.

But nearby at Sha’ar Yaffo, Jaffa Gate,

Jerusalem,Israel Mamilla Mall at night

 Mamilla Mall was closed and quiet,

as were all entertainment and most food places.

Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem, Israel,

is not like anywhere else in the world.

More photos of Walk on Facebook, HERE.

But,

after the mourning of Tisha B’Av comes

Tu B’Av,

and party time celebrations grow every year,

Tu b'Av

this one is to take place in the Jerusalem Forest.