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Second Temple

11 August 2015

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/excavations-reveal-… … a drainage tunnel, or ancient sewer, several hundred metres in length runs from near the Siloam Pool in Jerusalem, on the slopes of the ancient city, to Robinson's Arch, a stone staircase in the market area of the Old City (medieval). Archaeologists found a Roman sword there which led to research which came up with a remarkable piece of history as the excavations proceeded over 20 years. The sword was dropped by a Roman soldier when he and his comrades were seeking out Jewish rebels in hiding, after a failed revolt. Subsequently, the Second Temple was destroyed as it had become the focus of resistance – and the manner of this destruction was revealed by the spade. Josephus actually records Romans seeking out people hiding in various tunnels, and soldiers ripping up the ground above them.

The excavations also revealed a network of ritual baths (mikvehs) which proves beyond doubt that the Jewish religion was a fact of life in what is now modern Israel – long before Islam was invented. There was also a bridge that once connected the Upper City with the Temple Mount and foundations dating from the time of the Hasmonians (King Herod). Layers of destruction were found – like pealed paint.

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