Friday, November 25, 2011

Dating the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Dating the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
http://www.ritmeyer.com/2011/11/23/dating-the-western-wall-of-the-temple-mount-in-jerusalem/

Dating the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Posted on November 23, 2011 by Leen Ritmeyer The announcement of the new theory on when the Western Wall was built (see  here and  here) was not as dramatic as expected. The discovery of coins, the latest of which were struck by the Roman procurator Valeruis Gratus in 17-18 AD, in a mikveh that went out of use when the Western Wall was built over it, suggests that the building of the Temple Mount walls took decades. This is the full report released by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

A picture of the two coins that were found in the mikveh. The coins date from the time of the Roman procurator Valeruis Gratus (17-18 AD). Photo: Vladimir Neichin/IAA

This late date is not surprising, as at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, usually dated to 30 AD, it was said that this Temple complex had been in building already for 46 years (John 2.20).

At the northern end of the Western Wall is a piece of bedrock that wasn’t even removed before the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

A huge block of bedrock that was never quarried is visible at the end of the Western Tunnel. The Western wall is visible on the right and on the left is the street that was paved around the protruding piece of rock. Photo: © Leen Ritmeyer This doesn’t mean to say that the Western wall is not Herodian. The whole building concept was designed by Herod the Great and completed after his death.

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