Friday, November 5, 2010

Western Hill of Jerusalem

This week I had my second field trip in my archaeology class. We went to the Western Hill specifically in the Jewish Quarter to the museum for the first temple period of Jerusalem. We spent over an hour sitting in front of this model of Jerusalem from the first temple period. While this was very interesting for me I don't think I can transfer the information to this blog post. In this class I've learned that a lot the houses in the old city have archaeological ruins in their basements. The building across from the first temple period museum has the remains of a tower found in the late 60's earlier 70's (I can't quite remember). However no one is allowed inside the basement to see it, I think the professor said something about radiation. But it would not have an effect on your health if you were only in there for five minutes. I find this ironic because the building is a school for elementary age girls. So the girls can go to school there but I can't go see the tower in the basement?

Here we have the broad wall this is the same wall I had in my post detailing my first trip into the Old City. However the earlier picture of this wall I was standing "outside" the city of the 1st temple period in this picture I am "inside" the city. This wall was built by King Hezekiah. This is just the base of the wall it's three meters tall. Hezekiah's wall would have been 7-8 meters thick in contrast the current city walls are only two meters thick.

This is a different angle on Hezekiah's wall. The blue thing in the corner is one of the safety bars. The pictures I take during these tours are always taken very fast so I don't always have time to line the shot up correctly. The professor never stops talking and I have to keep writing everything down. Look near the middle of the picture, Do you see those two squares near the modern day brick wall? Those two squares are the remains of a house that the wall cut through. This is one of the best examples we have of the Biblical text matching what we see in the archaeology. Isaiah 22:10 " You counted the buildings in Jerusalem and tore down houses to strengthen the wall. " Being here in Jerusalem is really making the Bible come alive for me.

Archaeologists wanted to leave some of their finds visible even if they couldn't uncover everything. This is a peep hole in the middle of one of the streets inside the Jewish Quarter. This pit goes down 15 meters at the bottom is remains from the 8th century B.C. The street level where I'm standing is Byzantine (4th century A.D. I think). That's all I have from the tour this week. I've been typing up my notes from this tour and the following class lecture this afternoon. I write so fast in this class that part of the fun is trying to decipher my own handwriting. For example I use short hand so I had a lot of CoD in my notes and I was thinking cash on delivery? Then I remember I used the abbreviation for City of David. I had the same problem with my short hand TM not trademark but Temple Mount.

Now for a little section on Life in Jerusalem. I've mentioned the construction on campus before. Well they are still working on improving the forum. This week they were painting the doors, door frames, and the paneling around the windows. There were no signs, no drop cloths and nothing to block off the area where they were painting. Even when I walked back through the area later in the day there were no signs to warn you of the wet paint. While walking through the Old City during the tour I noticed a man painting some safety railings, and once again no signs.

From the last post:
Uncle Joe- No I haven't visited the spring at Gihon, or Hezekiah's tunnel. It is on my list to visit though. I don't think I would get claustrophobic in the tunnel.