Archaeologists Uncover Massive Quarry That Might Have Been Used To Build Second Temple On Temple Mount

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered this massive 2,000-year-old quarry that they say was in use at the time the Second Temple was built in Jerusalem.

The Second Temple was a Jewish temple built on Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BC and 70 AD that replaced Solomon’s Temple, also known as the First Temple. It was destroyed by the Romans as punishment for Jewish revolts.

The Israel Antiquities Authority made the announcement yesterday (Sunday), after finding the quarry beneath the high-tech industrial park of Har Hotzvim, which literally means “Quarrymen’s Hill”, which is located in north-west Jerusalem.

It is home to cutting edge corporations such as Intel, Cisco, Teva, Mobileye and Johnson and Johnson.

Credit: Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash
A 2,000-year-old stone quarry was discovered in the neighborhood of Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem.

The head of the dig, Moran Hagbi, is quoted in Israeli newspaper The Times of Israel as saying: “The large-scale building projects in ancient Jerusalem, such as the Temple Mount, required a vast amount of building materials and the ability to organize and coordinate the quarrying and transportation of thousands of building blocks to the ancient city.”

The quarry has only been partially excavated and currently measures 600 square metres (6,000 square feet) but the archaeologists believe that it could be two or three times bigger.

The massive stones dug out of the quarry 2,000 years ago measured approximately 1.5 by 2 metres (4.9 by 6.56 feet), with Hagbi saying that they find represented a “golden opportunity” because finding the stones means that they might be able to replicate the ancient processes that were used to extract them.

The archaeologists are reportedly planning to attempt to remove some stone blocks to see if extraction methods described in biblical sources are truly effective.

This did was a salvage operation and new buildings have been planned for the neighbourhood in the coming years.

Israel Antiquities Authority’s general director Eli Escosido said: “In a symbolic way, Jerusalem’s current development boom presents us with an opportunity to excavate and research the great building projects in Jerusalem in antiquity.”

He added: “Before any development project begins in Jerusalem, our archaeologists are called upon to excavate and examine any ancient finds, for the sake of future generations.”

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Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorJames King, Agency: Newsflash

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