- The IAA has officially announced that archaeologists (Eli Shukron w/ Ronny Reich) have found evidence of a ritual immersion bath and the coin of Valerius Gratus, procurator of Judea from 15-26 CE, under the southern end of the Western Wall (near Robinson’s Arch) which indicate that Herod’s expansions of the Temple Mount were not completed until long after his death—something that ancient sources had previously attested and scholars had known.
- Building the Western Wall: Herod Began it but Didn’t Finish it
- Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority: A ritual bath exposed beneath the Western Wall of the Temple Mount shows that the construction of that wall was not completed during King Herod’s lifetimeWho built the Temple Mount walls? Every tour guide and every student grounded in the history of Jerusalem will immediately reply that it was Herod. However, in the archaeological excavations alongside the ancient drainage channel of Jerusalem a very old ritual bath (miqwe) was recently discovered that challenges the conventional archaeological perception which regards Herod as being solely responsible for its construction.Recently, reinforcement and maintenance measures were implemented in the pavement of Jerusalem’s main street from 2,000 years ago, used by pilgrims when they went up to the Temple Mount. This was done as part of the project to re-expose the drainage channel that passes beneath the street, running from the Siloam Pool in the City of David to the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden near the Western Wall. The excavations at the site are being conducted on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with Nature and Parks Authority and the East Jerusalem Development Corporation, and are underwritten by the Ir David foundation. The excavations are directed by archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority, with assistance from Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa.In an excavation beneath the paved street near Robinson’s Arch, sections of the Western Wall’s foundation were revealed that is set on the bedrock – which is also the western foundation of Robinson’s Arch – an enormous arch that bore a staircase that led from Jerusalem’s main street to the entrance of the Temple Mount compound. [See rest of announcement: English/Hebrew]
HT: J. Lauer.