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The quarry quandryby harry • May 20 2008
Archaeology, City planning
The coolest basement ever?
Due to the historical nature of every single grain of dirt in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority pre-excavates all planned construction sites in the city. Lest someone build upon an ancient cistern or olive oil press. It is not uncommon for construction projects to be abandoned or roads rerouted in light of such discoveries.
Recently, during a routine excavation of land in the neighborhood of Sanhedria before the construction of a private house, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) uncovered a Second Temple-era quarry believed to have possibly been used for the construction of the Western Wall. Dr. Gerald Finkelstein, head of the excavation on behalf of the IAA, explains, "Most of the stones that were found, are similar in size to the smallest stones that you can see in the Western Wall today or to those in Jerusalem's 'third wall' (remains of which can be seen to the north of the old city walls and passes by Route 1). We therefore assume that these quarry stones were used to build these structures."
Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
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