Levant - Jerusalem

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Bet SheanBinyanei City of DavidOld City Jewish Quarter Old City Jewish Quarter - Burnt Church Old City Jewish Quarter - Cardo and Nea Church Temple Mount (Early Roman)Temple Mount (Late Roman)Zion


Binyanei (Haim Goldfus and Benny Y. Arubas, 2002)

Publication of the Excavations at Binyanei Ha'uma

The importance of the site lies in the discovery, in the last excavation, of a large ceramic production and industrial area belonging to the Tenth Roman legion Fretensis. It comprises a clay-preparation area; a potter' workshop (with one potter's wheel still in situ); a drying area; and a row of massively built kilns where many types of earthenware products were made. The finds also included hundreds of bricks and roof tiles, many stamped with legionary designs and inscriptions, and two exceptionally rare examples of stamps made of clay for implementing pottery; one of them bears the letters LXF. So far as we are aware, such kilnworks, belonging to the Roman army, have not previously been excavated in the eastern Roman empire, and even in the west it is rare.

City of David (Garth H. Gilmour, 2004)

1923-25 Palestine Exploration Fund Excavations at the City of David, Jerusalem, Israel

The project will present for the first time all the information from the P.E.F. excavation of this critical area of Jerusalem. The resulting publication will make a significant contribution to the debate about Jerusalem's size and chronology in the biblical period, with particular relevance to the current controversy between the biblical minimalists and low chronologists on the one hand, and those supporting the traditional dating on the other. It will also serve as a necessary complement to publications of subsequent excavations in the same area by K. Kenyon and Y. Shiloh. The City of David, the site of ancient Jerusalem, lies to the south of the present Old City on a narrow spur of land extending from the south wall of the Temple Mount in the north to the Siloam Pool in the south. The area excavated by the P.E.F. is toward the north end of the east slope, in and around the location now commonly referred to as `Area G'. Finds dating from the Chalcolithic to the Hellenistic periods, including a stepped stone structure, several towers, a possible Middle Bronze Age city gate and an early Iron Age fortress, as well as a large number of artifacts, were uncovered in the excavation.

Jewish Quarter (Hillel Geva, 1998)

Publication of the Archaeological Excavations Directed by the Late Professor Nahman Avigad in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Jerusalem

Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City, Jerusalem, Volume III: Area E and Other Studies

The importance of the results of Avigad's excavations in the Jewish Quarter may only be measured after becoming acquainted with the great variety of finds uncovered throughout ancient Jerusalem in excavations conducted over the course of the previous 100 or more years. Our excavations in the Jewish Quarter and their results are a direct continuation of and compliment to a lengthy list of excavations and studies of the city's antiquities. The excavations in the Jewish Quarter are a part of the general archaeological research effort carried out in Jerusalem since 1967. The results of excavations conducted during the past 30 years now make it possible to more accurately reconstruct, on the basis of archaeological data, the topography of ancient Jerusalem through the ages. The results of the excavations in the Jewish Quarter are of particular importance in understanding the settlement history of the Southwestern Hill of Jerusalem, as represented by its fortifications and the buildings and other remains and finds of each of its occupational strata. Scientific archaeological activity in Jerusalem has always been linked to the deep feelings evoked by the traditions sanctifying the city, and its historical importance to the three monotheistic faiths which determined the course of its past history.

Burnt Church (Hillel Geva, 2007)

Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem, Vol IV

The site of the Burnt House (Area B) is located at the eastern edge of the Jewish Quarter, in a spot overlooking the Temple Mount. These are the remains of a private house from the Herodian period (1st century CE) that stood in the Upper City neighborhood of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple period. The house, which extends over a 200-sq.m.-area, includes several rooms, a kitchen and two miqwa'ot. The building was destroyed by intense fire. Its walls and wood-beamed ceilings collapsed in a conflagration, sealing an abundance of diverse objects in its rooms. Of great value in identifying the owner of the house is a stone weight inscribed "belonging to the son of Kathros". This was a well known Jewish family of high priests (BT, Pesahim 57, 1) that served in the Jerusalem Temple during the Second Temple period. The finds provide vivid evidence of the total destruction of Jerusalem, including the Upper City, by the Roman legions in 70 CE, as described in detail by Flavius Josephus (Wars VI, 8–10).

Jerusalem (Oren Gutfeld, 2002)

Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City Jerusalem Volume V: The Cardo (Area X) and the Nea Church (Areas D and T)

The Archaeological excavations at the Cardo and the Nea Church in the Jewish Quarter were conducted and directed by the late Professor Nahman Avigad on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Exploration Society. Our knowledge of the archaeology and topography of the western part of Jerusalem were very incomplete prior to Avigad's excavations. After the reunification of the city in 1967 and with the start of intensive redevelopment of the Jewish Quarter, it was possible for the first time to uncover the past of this part of the city. During the excavations, a Byzantine street and two stone-paved colonnades with a total width of 22.5 m and shops on each side were uncovered. The southern part of the street was laid directly upon bedrock, while its northern portion was laid over fills that sealed earlier remains. South of the street were uncovered remains of a large Byzantine church identified as the Nea Church. The excavations provided physical proof of what was known from contemporary written sources (Cyril Scyth., Vita Sabae 72-73 and Procopius, De Aedificiis V, 6-9) and from the Madaba Map, which depicts the street (Cardo Maximus) with the Nea Church. Publication of the remains of the Cardo and the Nea Church will, for the first time, present the stratigraphy, architecture and small finds. In addition to the importance of publishing the finds, the results of the work on these areas will allow us to explore questions related to urban planning in Jerusalem during the Roman-Byzantine period.

Temple Mount (Early Roman ) (Eilat Mazar, 2002)

The Early Roman Period/Second Temple Mount Period (1st century BCE - 1st century CE) in the Temple Mount Excavations

The finds of this period, also known as the Herodian period, are particularly rich, allowing us to reconstruct the vicinity of the Temple Mount, the life of the people, the worship activities in the Temple itself, all in light of the great historical events that were occurring at the time. The final report will also include a number of appendices by specialists. The main part of the volume will include a detailed description of the many finds and a stratigraphic analysis of the various structural remains, as well as the preparation of the graphic material (plans, sections, photographs). The structures will be compared to similar buildings in other Second Temple Period sites, and other sites in the Roman Empire.

Temple Mount (Late Roman) (Eilat Mazar, 2000)

The Late Roman Period in the Temple Mount Excavations

The Temple Mount excavation will make a critical contribution to the study of this period, little known in Jerusalem until now. We do not have a Josephus or any other similar source to enlighten us about this period. Except for a few fragmentary literary references, we are almost entirely reliant on archaeological finds. The Temple Mount excavation is perhaps the major source of information about this period, until now largely untapped. Prof Mazar recovered two well-preserved public buildings from this period, one a bakery and the other a bathhouse, both west of the Temple Mount. A third fragmentary building from this period was found southeast of the other two.

Zion (Shimon Gibson, 2004)

The Mount Zion Expedition, Israel

Mount Zion comprises the south-western hill of Jerusalem, i.e. the general area of the present-day Armenian Quarter in the Old City and the area of the traditional Tomb of David which is located outside the walls to the south. n the Iron Age (eighth to sixth centuries BC) the hill was first incorporated into the city and a new fortification wall was erected along its edges; prior to this time the settled area was situated exclusively in the area of the "City of David". During the present excavations on Mount Zion the following Iron Age remains were discovered: dwellings with pottery assemblages, segments of possible fortifications, an industrial building (perhaps a tannery), stone quarries and tombs. The numerous finds include incised potsherds, human and animal figurines and "lmlk" stamped handles and an array of pottery. In the Late Hellenistic period (late second century BC), Mount Zion was incorporated into the Hasmonean city by the construction of the "First Wall". This area, which is referred to by the first-century historian Josephus Flavius as the "Upper City", was substantially rebuilt at the time of Herod the Great. The finds from the Early Roman period from the Mount Zion excavations include: dwellings with well preserved w all paintings of a quality similar to those known from Pompeii, the foundations of the palace of Herod the Great (later the Praetorium used by the Roman governors), and a 200-metre stretch of the fortification wall known as the "First Wall" with curtain walls, four towers and a gateway with a stepped approach. Important finds were also made concerning the Byzantine, Early Islamic, Crusader, Ayyubid and Ottoman periods, with the discovery of a stretch of a paved street which is the same as the one depicted parallel to the Cardo on'the Madaba mosaic map of Jerusalem (mid-sixth century), dwellings from the Abbasid period, and an Ayyubid gateway with a 2.75 metre-long monumental inscription from the early thirteenth century. An enormous quantity of pottery, small finds, and coins were uncovered during these excavations, including a number of rare and important artifacts, such as a sword still in its scabbard from the destruction level of AD 70 and a reliquary cross with artistic representations of saints from the ninth century.