Thursday, August 6, 2009

Excavation on Western Wall Plaza

Excavation just to the west of the Western Wall in Jerusalem began in 2007, soon after we left Israel after having taken classes at the Jerusalem University on Mount Zion. Some of the finds include:
  • a portion of the lower aqueduct which brought water from Solomon's Pools to the Temple Mount during the days of Herod.
  • another mikva (ritual bath) from the time of the Second Temple (built by Herod)
  • a colonnaded street which most is most likely the eastern connection to the Cardo, a Byzantine main street
  • a covered stoa
  • a row of shops
In the photos below (found at blog and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs) we can see an ariel view of the Old City of Jerusalem showing the location, a view of the Western Wall Plaza looking east, and some of the details of the excavation.

The above photo is marked by the yellow box in the view in the top photo. I remember arriving in Jerusalem late one night in June of 2007. Toni, Ryan and myself left our things in our rooms and headed out into the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem around 10:30 pm. We walked through the winding stone streets and quickly arrived at the stairway leading down to this Western Wall Plaza. It was a stunning view lit up and still active at 11:00 at night. I remember standing there taking in this amazing view of the ancient Temple Mount's western wall which was surrounded with the sounds and motions of the modern worshipers and pilgrims. Today this view is interrupted by the excavation as seen in the photo above. If we were take this same view today we would be looking over the green walk way across the lower part of the photo and over the excavation to view the Western Wall.

This photo is of the Byzantine Cardo located in the red box above.

The excavations are being conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authorities at the request of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation who are planning on building the Western Wall Heritage Center here once the excavations are completed.

View live cam of the Western Wall Plaza here

Galyn in front of the Herodian blocks of the Western Wall

Galyn Wiemers

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