Archeologists confirm evidence found of “Third Wall” from Second Temple era in Jerusalem

Israel Antiquities Authority confirm findings from excavation from 2015; Findings correlate to historian Josephus’ account of the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans

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Photo: IAA Yoli Schwartz

Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) confirmed they have found the site in which the Romans breached the Second Temple in Jerusalem. They also announced they have found significant evidence proving the existence of the protective “Third Wall” of the Second Temple.

The Authority announced on Thursday that the site, which was a battleground of the Roman assault on Jerusalem led by Titus, was found in the Russian Compound area of Jerusalem during an excavation in winter of 2015. Archeologists have been studying their findings since then and now can confirm the historical discovery. Their findings prove there was a third wall that was built to protect the Second Temple.

The findings also correlate with the account of historian and eyewitness to the battle, Josephus. Josephus, a Roman-Jewish historian, wrote at length of the “Third Wall”, describing in his work “The Jewish War” of the construction of the wall by Agrippa I and then fortification of the wall ahead of the Great Revolt. He also described the wall in his account of the battle as beginning “at the tower Hippicus, whence it reached as far as the north quarter of the city, and the tower Psephinus”, the description correlating with the findings and evidence of the wall from the excavation.

Archeologists from the excavation, Dr. Rina Avner and Kfir Arbib, released the following statement on the findings “This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple. The bombardment was intended to attack the sentries guarding the wall and provide cover for the Roman forces so they could approach the wall with battering rams and thereby breach the city’s defenses… It seems that the new discovery in the Russian Compound is proof of the wall’s existence in this area.”

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