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.

 

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, What Next?

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, What Next?

Yom Yerushalayim. Jerusalem Day.

Another fabulous day of celebrations has passed, celebrating 52 years of reunification in Jerusalem, Israel.

Remembering the divided city and nineteen years under Jordanian occupation is more important than ever as anti-Israel groups spread their narratives.

Yom Yerushalayim posters Jerusalem Day

Celebrating Jerusalem 52 signs lined Jerusalem streets.

On Yom Yerushalayim a large morning prayer service was held at the Kotel, Western Wall, and another with music on the Tayelet Promenade, with the Temple Mount in view.

The official memorial ceremony for Ethiopian Jews who perished on their way to Israel is held in the morning at Har Herzl Military Cemetery.

Israeli Ethiopian memorial in cemetery on Mount Herzl

A government minister and a representative of the bereaved families spoke at the event along with President Rivlin near the memorial for those who died during the treacherous journey from Ethiopia to the promised land.

Then there was another Har Herzl official memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Six-Day War and the War of Attrition.

The list of municipality events is too long to mention, and it was certainly impossible to attend them all. There were free tours, including the reopening of the sifting project, plus musical events and parades.

King George Street Yom Yerushalayim

The long-established parade dancing with flags went through the Old City. While a family-friendly parade begun four years ago was held elsewhere.

Roads were closed. Cyclists rode in from Gush Etzion.

To end the day, there was an official ceremony marking the 52nd anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, with the President, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion in attendance, at Ammunition Hill.   At the Kotel, the singing and dancing went on until well after dark.

Flags along Jaffa Road for Yom Yerushalayim

Flags lined major routes, such as Jaffa Road along the light rail line. The trains did not run Yom Yerushalayim in the afternoon as thousands walked this way to Jaffa Gate and the Kotel. 

Jerusalem street repair on Yoel Salomon Street

Construction somewhere in Jerusalem is a given, as here on Yoel Salomon Street.

Repairs and painting were slower as this has been the month of Ramadan.

Muslims fast by day and break their fast at sunset meal called Iftar.

President Rivlin hosted iftar meal at Beit Hanasi

President Rivlin hosted an annual Iftar meal in the gardens of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence, for 200 guests, including the Ambassadors of Egypt and Jordan and Muslim leaders.

Ben Yehuda Street Muslim women shopping during Ramadan

There is less shopping in Jerusalem by Muslim women during the heat of the day on Ramadan. However, these women were out on Ben Yehudah Street.

Jews were allowed on Temple Mount in the early morning Yom Yerushalayim. Police had to control the Arabs who rioted, screaming and throwing chairs.

Sheikh Jabari and Avi Zimmerman pose after press conference at Media Central

However, this past week Sheikh Ashraf Al Jabari from Hebron joined Avi Zimmerman from Ariel at Media Central for a press conference to discuss the Judea-Shomron Chamber of Commerce, economic cooperation and plans to go to Bahrain.

US Rep Eliot Engel in Jerusalem Israel with IDI and Brookings Institute

Also this week, US Rep Eliot Engel was at the Israel Democracy Institute to discuss his views on US and Israeli relations.

Signs for Israel Festival on Jerusalem Theater

While across the street, the Jerusalem Theater was being readied for the two-week Israel Festival opening night musical event.

Jerusalem Theater stage on Sherover Plaza for Israel Festival

A huge stage was erected in the plaza for bands to play at night.

Jerkily exhibit at Islamic Museum

The Islamic Museum has a new exhibit on jewelry, where old pieces are given a new look by new artisans.

Street sign for Bear Sound

Not just art and design, but the music of Beat/Second filled the Jerusalem streets.

If that is not cultural enough, opera is coming back to Jerusalem.

Opera in Jerusalem Israel in Sultan's Pool

Nabucco, “the beloved opera with the Hebrew slaves choir” is to be performed in the Sultan’s Pool, on June 20.

President Rivlin opened his Yom Yerushalayim evening remarks:

“My brothers and sisters, lovers of Jerusalem, 52 years ago this city was liberated, 52 years since the hearts of millions of Jews, Israel and the world heard the ‘Temple Mount in our hands’…52 years since we stood on the summit of Mount Scopus, touching a dream, a united Jerusalem.”

After dark,  Yom Yerushalayim did not ebb away quietly. Near the Kotel, music, and dancing continued. as tens of thousands of people filled the plaza.

Jerusalem Old City Walls for Yom Yerushalayim

On the walls of the Old City, Facebook comments were projected.

White night for Jerusalem Day

White Night in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, with live loud music continued all night long.  People as far away as Baka and Arnona said they were kept awake by the music.

But not to worry, no downtime in Jerusalem!

Design Week and Shavuot Hebrew signs in Jerusalem Israel

Another Jerusalem Design Week is coming.

But first, the holiday of Shavuot begins as soon as Shabbat is over.

Again people plan to stay up all night, this time learning Torah.

 

 

Shabbat Shalom – Jerusalem Day

Shabbat Shalom – Jerusalem Day

In Jerusalem, Israel the temperature is rising.

The sun is blazing down as we turn the calendar from May to June.

Approaching Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, which this year begins after Shabbat.

Blue and white flags for Shabbat shalom

Blue and white flags are flying over Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Old City Walls

Remember from 1948 to 1967, Jews could only see the Old City from afar.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

Shabbat Shalom.

Chag Sameach.  Happy Holiday.

It’s time to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem.