Jerusalem’s Western Wall to sport two levels

In Arutz Sheva (Israel National News):

Israel is planning a major archaeological dig under the Western Wall plaza… The excavations will create an archaeological park directly underneath the area where worshippers currently stand while praying. The current prayer area will remain open, supported by pillars, while a new area will be added underneath, at the level at which worshippers at the ancient Temple stood in the past.

In other words, archaeologists are going to excavate below the present level of the Western Wall (formerly known as the ‘Wailing’ Wall) to uncover the level from the 1st Century A.D. – Jesus’ time. The area immediately south of the Western Wall was excavated to that level some years ago.


The rubble in the center of the photograph is from the Temple buildings of Jesus' time, and sits on the 1st century ground level. The current ground level of the Western Wall plaza is just below the top left of the photograph. The new excavation will prop up the current plaza level with columns but remove everything below it down to the 1st century level.

The full story includes a link to an artist’s conception of what the plaza should look like with its two levels. I believe this would be fascinating place to visit, but some Muslims will not be happy. We’ll see if this goes off without too much violence.

HT: Jim Davila (PaleoJudaica)

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 with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads popular study tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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