BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Missing Wall of Biblical Jerusalem Discovered

The missing Jerusalem wall proves Iron Age Jerusalem was a well-fortified city

Missing Wall of Biblical Jerusalem

Excavation directors: Dr. Joe Uziel, Ortal Kalaf, and Dr. Filip Vukosavovic, standing by the exposed section of the wall. Photo: Koby Harati, City of David

In July 2021, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the groundbreaking discovery of the eastern section of Jerusalem’s Iron Age wall. The previously missing Jerusalem wall, stretching along the eastern slope of the Kidron Valley, was uncovered in the City of David Archaeological Park, a short distance from the Temple Mount. Stamps seals and other objects found along the wall allowed the excavators to date the wall to the Iron Age, indicating that it was likely part of the fortifications built by King Hezekiah (Isaiah 22:9), as he prepared for the Assyrian invasion (c. 701 B.C.E.). This also would have been the very same wall that was ultimately destroyed during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem about a century later (2 Kings 25:10).

Although two other sections of the wall were discovered in the 1960s and 70s, the two sections were separated by a large gap, which led some archaeologists to suggest that they were not actually part of biblical Jerusalem’s Iron Age fortifications. Rather, it was thought that the identified walls were pieces of larger buildings. This recent discovery, however, finally connects the two sections, proving conclusively that Jerusalem was heavily fortified during the Iron Age. Reconstructions suggest the wall reached a height of nearly 10 feet and was more than 15 feet thick. What is more, the wall sat atop the slopes of the steep-sided Kidron Valley, making for an imposing barrier along Jerusalem’s eastern defenses.

Other Jerusalem excavations have also revealed remains of the city’s Iron Age fortifications, thought to have been constructed under King Hezekiah in the late eighth century B.C.E. One of these is the Broad Wall, which runs under the modern Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Unlike the missing Jerusalem wall around the City of David, the Broad Wall was built along relatively flat ground, and as a result, was constructed as a massive fortification. The wall is an incredible 23 feet wide (hence the name) and scholars think it may have stood more than 25 feet tall.


All-Access Members: Read more in the BAS Library:

Not a BAS Library or All-Access Member yet? Join today.

 

Jerusalem Down Under: Tunneling Along Herod’s Temple Mount Wall

Joshua’s Altar—An Iron Age I Watchtower

Estimating the Population of Ancient Jerusalem


Get more biblical Archaeology: Become a Member

The world of the Bible is knowable. We can learn about the society where the ancient Israelites, and later Jesus and the Apostles, lived through the modern discoveries that provide us clues.

Biblical Archaeology Review is the guide on that fascinating journey. Here is your ticket to join us as we discover more and more about the biblical world and its people.

Each issue of Biblical Archaeology Review features lavishly illustrated and easy-to-understand articles such as:

• Fascinating finds from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament periods

• The latest scholarship by the world's greatest archaeologists and distinguished scholars

• Stunning color photographs, informative maps, and diagrams

• BAR's unique departments

• Reviews of the latest books on biblical archaeology

The BAS Digital Library includes:

• 45+ years of Biblical Archaeology Review

• 20+ years of Bible Review online, providing critical interpretations of biblical texts

• 8 years of Archaeology Odyssey online, exploring the ancient roots of the Western world in a scholarly and entertaining way,

• The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land

• Video lectures from world-renowned experts.

• Access to 50+ curated Special Collections,

• Four highly acclaimed books, published in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution: Aspects of Monotheism, Feminist Approaches to the Bible, The Rise of Ancient Israel and The Search for Jesus.

The All-Access membership pass is the way to get to know the Bible through biblical archaeology.


A version of this post was originally published in BHD on Jul 29, 2021

Related Posts

The Copper Scroll. Found in a cave near the Dead Sea, the Copper Scroll describes a vast treasure—hidden in locations throughout the Judean wilderness. Photo: Courtesy École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem
Apr 16
Dating the Copper Scroll

By: Megan Sauter

creation-of-eve
Apr 16
The Adam and Eve Story: Eve Came From Where?

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

Section of Bodmer Papyrus 66. Public domain.
Apr 15
What Is Biblical Greek?

By: John Drummond

Seth in the Bible
Apr 14
Seth in the Bible

By: Elie Wiesel


1 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    The very stones themselves are crying out.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


1 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    The very stones themselves are crying out.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Send this to a friend