Sunday, July 27, 2008


Photos: New Kotel Excavations

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

I was fortunate to, with my son, slip in briefly to the new Kotel excavations on the far side of the Western Wall Plaza. These have been going on for about 3 years or so.

The current area of the Western Wall plaza used to be a valley. As those who have taken the Kotel Tunnel Tours have learned or one can see by looking to the right - towards the southeast corner, the Western Wall itself stands over twice as high as the current visible portion.

As they have dug down on the far side of the plaza, what they have found appears to be a full market area...

Kotel Excavations

Building entrances, floor stones, street flagstones, and pillars are in abundance...

Kotel Excavations

Was this a marketplace for the 2nd Beis HaMikdash, the 2nd Holy Jewish Temple of G-d in Jerusalem? Was this where one could come to buy supplies for offerings in the Temple across the valley?

Kotel Excavations

In other areas, if you zoom in the picture (click them to go to larger sizes at Flickr), you'll see steps and street drainage. But this picture bears remarkable resemblance to the water flow arrangement at my local mikvah. Are we looking at the water collection on the left, and the mikvah on the right? If this was a preparation area for the Beis HaMikdash, a ritual bath for visitors (and being there were many visitors, many such mikvah's) would be expected...

Kotel Excavations

Not only are stone structures being revealed, a large quantity of pottery shards are as well. Relatively large sizes, appropriate for storage of wine, oil, and flour that were part of Temple service, are being found...

Kotel Excavations

I'm no archeology expert, but this is an amazing site. Hopefully, it will be opened to the public soon, along with some expert interpretation...

Kotel Excavations

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josh said...

I hope it is a market because you can't purchase anything to eat or drink in the immediate vicinity of the kotel except from Arab stores to the north or the Arab 'guzlanim' at the dung gate.

Anonymous said...

great stuff!!! thanks

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