Finding Valuable History under Jerusalem Streets

Finding Valuable History under Jerusalem Streets

I’ve repeated countless times that you never know what you will find on the Jerusalem streets,

The saying that you never know what you will find under the Jerusalem streets takes upon itself new meaning daily.

An archaeological dig at the prophet Samuel’s Tomb was halted recently when workers exposed a World War I artillery shell.

Emek Tzurim National Park is in the upper reaches of the Kidron Valley.

View of Jerusalem from Sifting project

The park provides this impressive view of Jerusalem and it is the location of the Sifting Project.

Sifting project finds in new center at Zurim Valley

The Sifting Project, in the Zurim Valley, has a display of finds from the Second Temple period salvaged from the earth that was dumped by the Waqf.

In November 1999, Waqf carted away nine thousand tons of earth filled with centuries of history buried in it, to make an entrance to a new underground mosque for 10,000 Muslim worshipers.

I wrote about Dr. Gabi Barkai and this story four years ago.

Siting Project doing Givati parking lot earth

The revised Sifting Project is open to the public and ready for new amateur archaeologists.

Sifting project finds

The soil being checked currently is from the Pilgrims Road and Drainage Channel digs near the Jerusalem Old City Walls.

Looking for any bones or stones or coins sifting project

Each portion of the earth is carefully washed and searched.

Pottery from ancient times found in Jerusalem at sifting project

No gold bell or ancient coins, but we did find this piece of pottery in our bucket of dirt and rocks.

Our guide gave a demonstration. The staff is around to assist and supervise.

Stones found in the sifting project in Zurim Valley in Jerusalem

In this display case were colorful pieces from ancient wall mosaics.

Jerusalem Israel Sifting Project find of child ring in drainage ditch of Old City

This child’s ring may have fallen in the street and ended up in the drainage channel 2000 years ago. It was found recently.

Journalists crowd around to take a photo of ancient ring found

The tiny ring was a popular item to photograph.

Roman metal arrow head found in sifting project under road in Jerusalem

Also in the soil from outside the walls of Jerusalem was a metal tip from a Roman arrow.

Did you know the Romans had dice similar to those we use today?

Ancient coin found in Sifting Project

One of the valuable coins from the Roman period, proclaiming the independence of Jerusalem.

Sifting project in Jerusalem Israeli

After searching and sorting out valuables, the dirt is dumped and carted away.

Sifting project at Zurim Valley in Jerusalem Israel.

As we were leaving families arrived at the Sifting Project. All seemed engaged and eager to see what valuables they could find in their pail of earth.

Jerusalem Israel Sifting project view to Mt Scopus

Emek Tzurim National Park is located on the lower western slope of the Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus.

a- Tur street near sifting project

It is situated next to the neighborhoods of Wadi al-Joz, A-Tur, and Beit Orot,

View of Zurim Valley Jerusalem Israel

as well as the campus of Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center.

The Sifting Project parking lot is the cleared spot on the left of this image.

View of Jerusalem from Sifting Project

With Jerusalem’s Old City insight, the remains of generations are being revealed.

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 One Week in July – 9 Events and Fireworks

Jerusalem One Week in July – 9 Events and Fireworks

Once again it was a busy week in Jerusalem, Israel,

a week filled with events I am compelled to share with you.

Let’s see how many of these you heard about.

  1. Last night was another ‘pitch night’ for Jerusalem Biotech startups.

Jerusalem Deputy mayor at JlmBiomed meeting at Azerili college

There are so many innovative new biomedical and tech companies it is hard to keep up. Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum is a regular speaker at Azrieli College for Engineering for JLM-BIOCITY pitch nights.  However, last night twenty Chinese visitors attended this meetup on their last night in Israel before returning home to cities throughout China.

Did they understand all the English?

No, but they took plenty of photos on their phones.

Israeli President Volunteer Awards at Beit Hanasi 2019

2. President Rivlin hosted an awards ceremony to honor twelve volunteers, individuals, and organizations.

singers at Israeli President Volunteer Awards at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem Israel

While most of the Israeli media was out looking for riots, these young people were singing in the gardens for the Israeli President and invited guests.

President Rivlin and winners of volunteer awards at ceremony in garden of Beit Hanasi

The years of volunteerism and the diversity of projects of this honored group filled a souvenir book.

Photo for Jerusalem Unity Prize 2019 at Israel President's Residence

3. Again yesterday at Beit Hanasi, but inside this time, the Jerusalem Unity Prize was given to four groups. Three Israeli projects that promote unity and Moishe House for the diaspora. The award was started 5 years ago by then-Mayor Nir Barkat and the Fraenkel, Shaer, and Ifrach families in memory of their 3 murdered teens to promote the unity the families felt in their time of stress and mourning.

But there were more awards.

Diaspora journalism award in Jerusalem to Antonia Yamin

4. For journalism, one to Antonia Yamin for reporting for KAN broadcast media from Europe.

Zivla Klein award ceremony in Jerusalem Israel for journalism diaspora reporting

For print media, Tvika Klein won for his work with Diaspora reporting.

Dr Deborah Lipstadt speaking in Jerusalem Israel on antisemitism for Bnai Brith

The keynote speaker was Dr. Deborah Lipstadt who spoke on antisemitism.

Family of Deborah Lipstadt pose after her lecture on antisemitism in Jerusalem

She had support in the audience from family members. However, it was a shame many people were afraid to come because of the traffic delays the previous day. Seats were empty in what would have been a standing room only event.

Road construction can cause traffic to stop, but on that night there were no riots or serious delays.

US Embassy Jerusalem and IDI talk on religious freedom with Islamic sheikh speaking

5. The Israel Democracy Institute discussed the US Freedom of Religion report.

Who knew the US State Department has been issuing this report since 1998?

Jerusalem street signs for summer of 2019

Summer on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel and there are new signs.

6. The “Windows” exhibit in Gan Hasoos, Horse Park is causing buzz way before the Mekudeshet Festival begins in September.

Jerusalem Israel Hansen House entrance from outside gate

7. Hansen House hosts part of the Outline Festival events.

View of gallery at Hansen House for illustration festival

On July 4th which was advertised as opening day; this was the entrance to an exhibit.

view of one exhibit at Hansen House in Jerusalem Israel

Outline, illustration and poetry, and this was a speaker set up inside an audio offering.

Man looking at exhibit in Hansen House for an illustration festival called Outline

By night, this room was set up, during the day I was not allowed in.

Outline 2019 festival opening at Hansen House in Jerusalem

The courtyard was filled with music and people at night for the festival opening events.

During the day the guard did not know what I was looking for.

Jerusalem summer activities for children Hebrew street sign

Keeping children out of school safe and busy was high on families’ lists.

Jerusalem Israel First Station Hangar IDF exhibit

8. The IDF exhibit at First Station is an option. It is not busy in the morning, and you can get a security bracelet to enter on-site, not just online. However, I was not going to stand and wait for ten minutes in the midday sun to go inside when a guard at the door told me I was not allowed to take photos.

Jerusalem Israel Bell Park in summer

9. July 4th was a good time to go to Liberty Bell Park.

Jerusalem Israel Liberty Bell Park

The park was dedicated 43 years ago on the 200th-anniversary celebration of the United States Independence Day.

Liberty Bell in Jerusalem Park Gan Paamon

An exact replica of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is in the center of this Jerusalem park. Yes, with the crack.

This blog is getting too long to share more photos of the Terry Fox and Billy Graham memorial gardens and the many other sections of the Liberty Bell Park.

But in Israel on July 4th, one remembers that forty-three years ago was also Operation Jonathan at Entebbe.

Memorial in Jerusalem Israel Liberty Bell Park for Jonathan Netanayhu Yoni Park

The Yonatan Netanyahu Garden was quiet this year, while a bar mitzvah celebration was held nearby. For the 40th anniversary, there was a major event at the Jerusalem Theater.

What a week it was in Jerusalem, Israel.

Now for the fireworks which you have been waiting for.

For a first, the US Embassy Jerusalem had 4th of July fireworks at its celebration (on July 2nd).

My video on Facebook has had 45 shares and over 8,000 views.

The event was at the International Conference Center, the fireworks could be seen over the Knesset with the Israeli flag in view.

So much happened this week on and over the Jerusalem, Israel streets.