Where the Romans breached Jerusalem wall

There is abundant evidence of the presence of the Romans in Jerusalem and the land they would later call Palestine. Now comes specific evidence of the place where Titus’ army breached the Third Wall of the city.

The excavation site in the Russian Compound. One can see the sling stones on the floor, which are tangible evidence of the battle that was waged here 2,000 years ago. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The excavation site in the Russian Compound. One can see the wall and sling stones on the floor, which are tangible evidence of the battle that was waged here 2,000 years ago. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The Israel Antiquities Authority released this information earlier today.

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Impressive and fascinating evidence of the battlefield and the breaching of the Third Wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period was uncovered last winter in the Russian Compound in the city center. The finds were discovered in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted in the location where the new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is slated to be constructed.  During the course of the excavation archaeologists discovered the remains of a tower jutting from the city wall. Opposite the tower’s western facade were scores of ballista and sling stones that the Romans had fired from catapults towards the Jewish guards defending the wall, who were stationed at the top of the tower.

Kfir Arbib, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, cleans one of the sling stones. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Kfir Arbib, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, cleans one of the sling stones. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to Dr. Rina Avner and Kfir Arbib, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple. The bombardment was intended to attack the sentries guarding the wall and provide cover for the Roman forces so they could approach the wall with battering rams and thereby breach the city’s defenses”. The historian Josephus, an eye witness to the war, provided many details about this wall. According to him, the wall was designed to protect the new quarter of the city that had developed outside its boundaries, north of the two existing city walls. This quarter was named Beit Zeita. The building of the Third Wall was begun by Agrippa I; however, he suspended its construction so as not to incur the wrath of Emperor Claudius and to dispel any doubts regarding his loyalty. The construction of the Third Wall was resumed some two decades later by the defenders of Jerusalem, as part of fortifying the city and the Jewish rebels’ preparations for the Great Revolt against Rome.

. Dr. Rina Avner, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

. Dr. Rina Avner, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Josephus described in detail the route of the wall that began at Hippicus Tower, which is now identified with David’s Citadel. From there the wall continued north to the enormous Psephinus Tower, which defended the northwestern corner of the city wall. At that point the wall turned east and descended toward the Tomb of Queen Helena, which is identified with the place known as the Tombs of the Kings. [Jewish Wars 5:147]

The excavation site in the Russian Compound. One can see the sling stones on the floor, which are tangible evidence of the battle that was waged here 2,000 years ago. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

One of the sling stones on the floor, tangible evidence of the battle that was waged here 2,000 years ago. Photographic credit: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the IAA.

An unresolved debate among researchers has been going from the early twentieth century up until the current excavation as to the identity of the Third Wall and the question concerning Jerusalem’s boundaries on the eve of the Roman onslaught led by Titus. It seems that the new discovery in the Russian Compound is proof of the wall’s existence in this area.

. A spearhead from the battle against Titus’ army. Photographic credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

. A spearhead from the battle against Titus’ army. Photographic credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

— ” —

Christians see the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.” (Luke 21:20 ESV; see also Matthew 24 and Mark 13)

Some of the photos can be enlarged by clicking on the image.

HT: Joseph Lauer, several Israeli newspapers.

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11 responses to “Where the Romans breached Jerusalem wall

  1. thank you for posting

  2. Pingback: Where the Romans breached Jerusalem wall — Ferrell’s Travel Blog – Unisis

  3. No- it cannot be truth!
    UNESCO just declared that Jerusalem was never holy to Israelis!
    ————-
    UNESCO history guidelines:
    Lying is the truth
    Fake is reality
    (Extension to 1984 George Orwell)
    _———-
    United Nation Education Science Cultural Organization=UNESCO!
    The resolution has ramifications to the entire human being history.
    Many important chapter in history and monotheism religions are fakes

    1: Roman history is a SCIENTIFIC fake!
    The Titus ark the triumph in Rome, dating 2000 years ago, with sculptures describing the Roman victory over the Jews in Jerusalem and looting of the Jewish temple is a fake.
    It was build 600 years before Islam was invented, but UNESCO has discovered a new SCIENTIFIC method to count the human CULTURE.

    2: If Jerusalem is not holly to the Jews- than Christianity holly places and Jesus are fakes.
    The story of Jesus – a Jew rabbi-preaching in Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa and all the Christian holly places in Jerusalem are all fakes

    3: If Jews have no connection to Jerusalem and Christianity is a fake that Islam which is based on Judaism and Christianity (they consider Moses and Jesus being Muslims prophets’ before Muhamad) is a fake as well.
    Well- UNESCO is the world champion medalist of hypocritical stupidity!
    Funded by mainly by countries with Christian majority
    (One additional paradox)
    ****
    Note: Many Arabs are named: Dawood-
    It is the Arab pronunciation of David- the Israeli king that established in Jerusalem the capital of the first Israelis independent state.
    One additional paradox UNESCO has to redefine

  4. Fascinating! Thank you.

  5. Pingback: Where the Romans breached Jerusalem wall — Ferrell’s Travel Blog – beliefspeak2

  6. Are there photos of the site from above or from a distance or from outside the tent?

  7. All of the photos released by the IAA are under the tent.In Google Earth (or Pro) you could search for Russian Compound, Jerusalem, Israel, but I don’t know if this would satisfy your need.

  8. For the location, check Google Maps, find the NW corner of the Old City walls. Then follow the line of the northern segment of the western (city) wall northward about 400 meters/1400 feet and you’ll be close. The archaeologist in the IAA video states that it’s between the Underground Prisoners Museum and the Russian Holy Trinity Cathedral (both shown on Google Maps/Earth).

    What the sources are not stating is that the present discovery fits very nicely with what one would expect based on finds from the 1920s (Sukenik and Mayer) and 1950s/60s (Kenyon), further to the east– some of which are still visible if one knows where to look. For archival photos of these earlier discoveries, see: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Agrippa%27s%20wall&co=matpc&op=PHRASE

    Also, it’s interesting to wonder whether the nearby Russian Cathedral (built in the 1860s), which occupies the summit of the ridge, might actually be constructed atop the ruins of the Psephinus Tower, the one named by Josephus as anchoring the northwest angle of Agrippa’s Wall.

    TOM POWERS / Waynesville, NC USA
    https://israelpalestineguide.wordpress.com/

  9. Tom Powers, thanks for sharing your expertise and insight into this matter. Always good to hear from you.

  10. Ignorant diatribes against UNESCO like the one above have been popping up all over the internet and deserve a response. It claims that the recent UNESCO resolution denies any historical Jewish presence in or attachments to the city of Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount/Haram es-Sharif. In reality, it does no such thing. Rather, it highlights a number of very real, ongoing infractions and excesses by Israel in violation of international humanitarian law and longstanding status quo arrangements. Yes, the resolution dares to call the State of Israel an occupying power with regard to East Jerusalem (including the Old City)– which it certainly is under international law (just put a gun to the head of any major-power diplomat and they will admit this truth)!

    You can read the resolution for yourself, here: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002462/246215e.pdf

    TOM POWERS / Waynesville, NC USA

  11. Pingback: Index of articles – the Romans and the ministry of Jesus | Ferrell's Travel Blog

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