The Jerusalem Post
Sep 3, 2008
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
The remains of the southern wall of Jerusalem that was built by the Hasmonean kings during the time of the Second Temple have been uncovered on Mount Zion, the Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.
The 2,100-year-old wall, which was destroyed during the Great Revolt against the Romans that began in 66 CE, is located just outside the present-day walls of the Old City and abuts the Catholic cemetery built in the last century where Righteous Gentile Oskar Schindler is buried.
The sturdy wall, which is believed to have run 6 km. around Jerusalem, was previously exposed by an American archeologist at the end of the 19th century, the state run archeological body said.
The Israeli archeologist who started the ongoing excavation a year-and-a-half ago also uncovered the remains of a city wall from the Byzantine Period (324-640 CE) that was built on top of the Second Temple wall at a time when ancient Jerusalem reached its largest size after its southward expansion.
"In the Second Temple period the city, with the Temple at its center, was a focal point for Jewish pilgrimage from all over the ancient world, and in the Byzantine period it attracted Christian pilgrims who came in the footsteps of the story of the life and death of their messiah," said Yehiel Zelinger, the excavation's director.
He said the builders of the Byzantine wall were unaware of the existence of the earlier structure, yet they placed their wall precisely along the same route due to its advantageous location for the defense of the city.
Full story at link...