17 August 2022 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

Oil drilling uncovers a 2,000-year-old cemetery with giant Urn-like tombs in Southwest Iran

16 July 2022

16 July 2022

An ancient cemetery with urn-like tombs was discovered in Ahvaz, the capital city of Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran. The...

800-year-old Jin dynasty palace complex found in Beijing Olympic Village

9 February 2022

9 February 2022

While building the athletes’ Olympic Village for this year’s Winter Games in Beijing, China found the remains of an ancient...

Archaeologists Find Ornate Roman Domūs in Nimes

25 February 2021

25 February 2021

Archaeologists conducting archaeological excavations in the French city of Nimes have discovered the remains of two high-status Roman domus (houses)....

Neo-Assyrian underground complex discovered under a house in southeastern Turkey

11 May 2022

11 May 2022

An underground Iron Age complex has been found in Turkey that may have been used by a fertility cult during...

Roman camp of 10,000 people discovered in northern Portugal

2 July 2021

2 July 2021

A camp used by 10,000 Roman soldiers sent to conquer northwestern Iberia has been discovered in the Portuguese city of...

Egyptian mission discovered five ancient water wells in North Sinai

1 March 2022

1 March 2022

A team of Egyptian archeologists working in the Tell El Kedwa discovered five ancient wells which are believed to be...

1,500-year-old baptistery found in Kadı Castle-Anaia Mound in western Turkey

3 December 2021

3 December 2021

A baptistery, estimated to have been built in the 5th century AD, was unearthed in the Kadı Castle-Anaia Mound in...

Africa May not be Where the First Pre-Human First Appeared

22 March 2021

22 March 2021

According to one opinion: About 2 million years ago, our first ancestors moved north from their hometown and left Africa....

In Turkey’s western Uşak province, 2,000-year-old statues have been unearthed

19 December 2021

19 December 2021

During the excavations in the ancient city of Blaundos in the Ulubey district of Uşak, two statues of 2000 years...

6,000-year-old Finds in Dorset Downs

11 June 2021

11 June 2021

In the Dorset Downs, a significant landscaping project has revealed a plethora of intriguing findings on a grand scale. Excavations...

Falaj al Misfah: Working for a thousand years

26 September 2021

26 September 2021

The village of Al Misfah Abriyeen is known for its lush oasis, magnificent orchards, and year-round water source, the ‘aflaj.’...

A rare Pictish stone was found near the potential site of the famous Scottish battle that led to the creation of Scotland

7 March 2022

7 March 2022

A team of archaeologists has discovered a Pictish symbol stone close to the site of what is thought to have...

Unusual construction material may be linked to the Tower of Babel

5 November 2021

5 November 2021

Archaeologists have recently discovered bitumen and mortar plastered onto a brick dating back to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II. This...

Scientists Use Artificial İntelligence to Study Ancient Australian Rock Art

1 April 2021

1 April 2021

Rock art is the oldest surviving human art form. Throughout Australia, petroglyphs are part of the life and customs of...

4,400 Years Old Shaman Snake Staff Found in Finland

29 June 2021

29 June 2021

A very well-preserved 4,400-year-old Shaman Snake Staff made of wood has been found in Finland. The “Snake Staff” found is...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.