Wall from 2nd Temple Period discovered in Jerusalem


Archaeologists have uncovered a well-preserved city wall in Jerusalem from the 2nd Temple period. It is located on the slope of the western hill, named “Mount Zion” by the Crusaders.  The wall was built in the first half of the 2nd century B.C. and continued in use until the Roman destruction of the city in A.D. 70.  Christians will appreciate that it was a part of Jerusalem’s defensive network during the time of Jesus and the apostles.

The wall is constructed without mortar, which was also true for later Herodian construction in the city.  The newly discovered wall is preserved to a height of around 10 feet.

The excavators also found a wall from the Byzantine period (A.D. 4th – 7th centuries) running a parallel course.  Yehiel Zelinger, director of the excavation, hopes that further digging will uncover the wall from the 1st Temple period.

Here is a satellite view of Jerusalem. The excavation is marked with a yellow rectangle.  You obviously can’t see much from this view, but it shows where the wall is in relation to ancient city.  The Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock is in the upper right quadrant. The City of David is directly below it in the lower right quadrant.  You can see the yellow rectangle marking the location of the excavation on the southern end of the western hill.  Interestingly, the cemetery with Oskar Schindler’s grave abuts the dig site.

Jerusalem with the Temple Mount (upper right) and the excavation site (bottom)

Jerusalem with the Temple Mount (upper right) and the excavation site (bottom)

The Israeli Antiquities Authority has posted 5 good photos for free download.  You can read more about this discovery here, here and here.


About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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