Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Monday, July 9, 2012

Herodian Jerusalem field trip

Walking with the students to the Old City Monday morning
This field trip is officially called "The Jewish Quarter Field Trip," and I have referred to it before as "New Testament Jerusalem."  But I think that the most descriptive name is "Herodian Jerusalem," because the main thrust of the field trip is to show the students what Jerusalem was like in the time of Jesus and the apostles.  Admittedly the first two sites mostly show what the city was like for the elites living in the Upper City, but the most exciting part, exploring the archaeological remains around the bast of the Temple Mount, reveals what the city would have been like for all who came to admire this most wonderful of ancient temples.

In-depth descriptions of the sites and a maps of the Jewish Quarter appear in both the Fall and the Winter blog entries, so take a look at them before scrolling through these pictures of Rachel and my summer students at these same sites.

Museums in the Jewish Quarter

Students watching the cheesy movie in the Burnt House museum
When the Arab Legion took the Old City in 1948, Jews were expelled from the Old Quarter.  During the ensuing Jordanian occupation, the Jewish Quarter was destroyed and left largely in ruins.  When the Israeli's took the Old City in 1957, they were intent to rebuilt the Jewish Quarter.  But first they let archaeologists systematically work through most of it.  Then, when the new Jewish Quarter was built, much of it was built above the archaeological excavations.

Although artifacts from almost every period of Jerusalem's history have been found here, the most impressive remains come from the Herodian Period, when the Upper City (today's Jewish Quarter, Armenian Quarter, and Mount Zion) constituted the wealthy part of the city.

What the excavations of looked like before the Wohl Museum was built

My class in some Crusader remains as we came out of the Jewish Quarter

Davidson Archaeological Gardens

A Bar Mitzvah procession approaching the Western Wall
A stretch of the western wall just north of the southwest corner of the Temple Mount stretching to the Western Wall Plaza just to its north and all of the land beneath the mount to the south are part of an extensive archaeological dig called the Davidson Archaeological Park.  Here we could walk on a street from the Second Temple period and see the remains of huge stones that were pushed off the mount when the Romans destroyed the temple complex in A.D. 70.  Then sitting on the steps to the south of the so-called Huldah Gates leading into and out of the temple complex, we were able to talk about temples and have a stirring devotional.

Mark 13:2, "There shall not be left one stone on top of another that shall not be thrown down."

The Western Wall Plaza lies on top the retaining wall in the back of this photo, showing how far below the current ground level the Herodian street lies
Peek-a-boo in Herodian shops
Singing "I Love to See the Temple"

Some of the remaining first century steps that pilgrims, like Jesus and his disciples, would have walked on as they went in and out of the Temple
Rachel on one of the first century steps
Compare to Photo 10 in the LDS edition of the Bible
Looking at the Triple Gate from the street
Class pic!

With my girl . . . so glad Rachel is having this experience
The big stones are original

1 comment:

  1. Exploring Jerusalem is definitely a remarkable trip! The feeling of standing in those ancient buildings of Temple Mount and walking through the old pavements of Jerusalem is just so incredible and magical! I’m sure you’ve learned a lot from your trip to the holy city. =)

    Constance Todd