15 October 2021 The Future is the Product of the Past

An opulent 2,000-year-old ‘city hall’ has been discovered near the Western Wall in Israel

An important 2,000-year-old public building has been unearthed near the wailing wall in Israel.

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered what seems to be a 2,000-year-old city hall structure — just a few hundred meters from its modern equivalent — during ongoing excavations beneath Jerusalem’s Old City.

The magnificent building is a new addition to the Western Wall Tunnels Tour, which allows visitors to see the millennia-old metropolis that lives in a time warp under today’s bustling capital.

According to the IAA, the Roman-era edifice stood off a prominent road leading to the Temple Mount and was used as a triclinium, or eating room, for significant members of society on their way to worship.

The massive structure will soon be open to the public as part of the Western Wall Tunnels Tour, which has been redesigned to create new paths and experiences based on several new routes that cut through thousands of years of history, as well as today’s modern use of parts of the tunnels as prayer and event halls.

Remains of the magnificent 2000-year-old building recently excavated and due to be opened to the public as part of the Western Wall Tunnels Tour in Jerusalem's Old City. (Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)
Stepped pool installed in one of the chambers of the magnificent 2,000-year-old building in Jerusalem’s Old City in the late Second Temple period that served as a ritual bath.(Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

“This is, without doubt, one of the most magnificent public buildings from the Second Temple period that has ever been uncovered outside the Temple Mount walls in Jerusalem,” said excavation director Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolach in an IAA press release on Thursday.

The stunning building, which was originally built with an elaborate water fountain and beautiful Corinthian capitals, experienced a series of structural alterations throughout its 50 years of usage prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Weksler-Bdolach told The Times of Israel.

Remains of the magnificent 2000-year-old building recently excavated and due to be opened to the public as part of the Western Wall Tunnels Tour in Jerusalem's Old City. (Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)
Remains of the magnificent 2000-year-old building recently excavated and due to be opened to the public as part of the Western Wall Tunnels Tour in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

According to Weksler-Bdolach, originally archaeologists had thought the “city hall” was constructed during the earlier Hasmonean period.

However, after taking some ancient floors and carbon-14 dating of the organic materials at the bottom of the building, as well as the discovery of coins and pottery fragments, archaeologists determined the time frame of this gorgeous building to be no earlier than 20 AD. She pointed out that because the site was only partially excavated to protect other important underground structures from other eras, it is more challenging to accurately date and research it. “Every building is important; we cannot take all the buildings apart,” she said.

Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolach, excavation director in the Western Wall Tunnels on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. (Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)
Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolach, excavation director in the Western Wall Tunnels on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. (Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

What archaeologists know is that during its 50-year occupation, Weksler-Bdolach said that this large public building was divided into three different spaces, the fountain was decommissioned, and what appeared to be a ritual bath or mikveh was added. Just before the destruction of Jerusalem.

Despite the obvious Roman influence on the structure’s architecture, Jerusalem was still a culturally Jewish city at the time, according to Weksler-Bdolach. The embellishments found in the areas — a carved cornice with pilasters (flat supporting pillars) — did not feature graven images, which are forbidden by the Torah.

She said the hall was likely used by city, versus Temple, officials who wanted to impress their guests.

“Visitors to the site can now envisage the opulence of the place: the two side chambers served as ornate reception rooms and between them was a magnificent fountain with water gushing out from lead pipes incorporated in the midst of the Corinthian capitals protruding from the wall,” said Weksler-Bdolach in the press release.

Banner
Related Post

In Jerusalem, a 2700-year-old private toilet from the First Temple era was unearthed

5 October 2021

5 October 2021

The Israel Antiquities Authority discovered a private toilet from the First Temple Period on the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem,...

Two mysterious stone balls were found buried in a tomb dating to 3500 BC in Orkney

2 September 2021

2 September 2021

In Orkney, archaeologists discovered two carved stone balls in a tomb dating from 3500 BC. Archaeologists are on-site at Tresness,...

A rare treasure with ornaments nearly a thousand years old was discovered in Staraya Ryazan, Russia

18 August 2021

18 August 2021

During expeditions of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a rare treasure with ornaments of about...

Little Known Powerful Kingdom of History’s “Mitanni Kingdom”

3 February 2021

3 February 2021

Hurrians; They became a state organization with a warrior and ruling class of Indo-Aryan origin who came from North-West Mesopotamia...

New Research Shows Angkor Wat’s Incredible Population Density

11 May 2021

11 May 2021

Angkor Wat was the grand capital of ancient Cambodia. The population of Angkor Wat, one of the most magnificent cities...

Egypt’s Tanis bronze figurines shed light on ancient commerce

19 July 2021

19 July 2021

A research team told that the newly discovered 3,000-year-old bronze figurines recently unearthed in Tanis, Egypt, can answer questions about...

Excavation of the Temple of Athena Began in the Ancient City of Aigai

15 October 2021

15 October 2021

The foundations of the Temple of Athena were unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Aigai, located...

Roman Bath Complex Found under Spain’s Caños de Meca beach

22 May 2021

22 May 2021

A well-preserved ancient Roman bath complex emerged from the sand of a beach in the Andalusian region of southwestern Spain....

5,700-Year-old Ancient “Chewing Gum” Gives Information About People and Bacteria of the Past

4 April 2021

4 April 2021

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have successfully extracted the complete human genome from “chewing gum” thousands of years ago....

Nearly intact 1,800-year-old bouquets of flowers found in Teotihuacan

14 August 2021

14 August 2021

In the ruined city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, at a depth of 18 meters, inside the tunnel under the pyramid of...

In western Turkey, inscriptions and 2,500-year-old sculptures were found

11 July 2021

11 July 2021

Two 2,500-year-old marble statues and an inscription have been found during excavations at the ancient city of Euromos, in Turkey’s...

Two Archaic Sculptures was Unearthed in Milas Euromos 2021 Excavations

2 July 2021

2 July 2021

Milas Euromos 2021 archaeological excavations continue. During the excavations of Milas Euromos 2021, archaeologists unearthed two archaic period statues (kuros)...

Viking Family identified using New DNA Technology

9 June 2021

9 June 2021

Researchers were able to confirm the connection between two Viking remains discovered in Denmark and England thanks to new DNA...

Ushabti figurines on display at Izmir Archeology Museum

18 September 2021

18 September 2021

The 2,700-year-old “Ushabti” statuettes, discovered in archaeological digs in western Turkey and used in Egyptian burial ceremonies, are being shown...

The Historical Building Next To The Million Stone Will Sell

6 February 2021

6 February 2021

Everyone has heard of the Million Stone, which was built during the Byzantine Empire and accepted as the zero points...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *