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The Battle for Jerusalem—2,000 Years Ago

July 4, 2017

by: Edgar Asher

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(Photo by IAA)

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), in collaboration with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA), continues to unveil evidence of Jerusalem’s unique history, further reinforcing the indelible connection of the Jewish people to the city. Current excavations in the City of David are revealing evidence from the battle of Jerusalem two thousand years ago—a battle between Roman forces and Jewish rebels.

(Photo by Ashernet/Shai Halevi/IAA)

According to historian Josephus Flavius, who documented the Roman siege of Jerusalem, “On the following day the Romans, having routed the brigands from the town, set the whole on fire as far as Siloam.”

Nahshon Szanton and Moran Hagbi, the directors of the excavation explained, “Josephus’ descriptions of the battle in the lower city come face-to-face for the first time with evidence revealed in the field in a clear and chilling manner. Stone ballista balls fired by catapults used to bombard Jerusalem during the Roman siege of the city were discovered in the excavations. Arrowheads, used by the Jewish rebels in the hard-fought battles against the Roman legionnaires were found exactly as described by Josephus.”

To date, a section of road, 100 meters long (328 ft.) and 7.5 meters wide (25 ft.), has been exposed. Archaeological investigation has shown that the road was built after the reign of Herod and may coincide with the administration of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.

The present excavations are expected to take about five years to complete, when the whole length and width of the street will be revealed. Visitors will then be able to walk along one of the main streets of ancient Jerusalem, to see how it looked at the height of its splendor and from the moments of its destruction.

Source: Excerpt from article by Ashernet and IAA

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