A large underground section of the Western Wall was uncovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Monday. The section had been hidden for almost two thousand years. Additionally, they discovered a Roman-era surprise.
Excavation began excavating under the Western Wall section known as “Wilson’s Arch” two years ago, hoping to determine its age. This section leads to the indoor men’s prayer section.
According to IAA archaeologist, Tehillah Lieberman, they drilled down to the beams to support the floor as the goal was not the interrupt the prayer activity.
Wilson’s Arch is the only intact, visible structure that remains from the Temple Mount compound of the Second Temple period. It served as the last arch in the series that comprised the giant bridge leading to the Temple Mount from the west. It served as a passage for people to enter the Temple Mount and aqueduct.
Archaeologists unearthed eight new courses/rows of massive stones of the Western Wall that had previously been covered underneath the Western Wall for 1,700 years.
“This is the Western Wall. This is the exact same thing that you see upstairs and outside. The preservation here is a lot better because it’s been covered—no rain, no sun. The preservation here of the stones is probably the best of the stones in the Western Wall that we know of today,” Lieberman said in an interview with CBN.
Additionally, archaeologists discovered a semi-circular building, or theatre-like building under the street level. Dr. Avi Salamon commented that it was the first time in 50 years that archaeologists have found a public Roman building such as this one in Jerusalem.
It also confirmed the historical writing which stated there was a theatre near the Temple Mount. Archaeologists, however, believe the theatre was unused, but still showed the differences in character of the city. Underneath where the floor was, archaeologists discovered a drainage channel built out of stone. It runs parallel to the Western Wall, it’s parallel to the arches pier, and slopes southward.
Another drainage channel connects Robinson’s arch to the south to the City of David.
The site is anticipated to be open to tourist within the next two years.