Invading Romans' greatest obstacle uncovered in Jerusalem





An immense bedrock cliff uncovered opposite Jerusalem's Temple Mount may help explain why it took the Romans so long to capture what is now known as the Jewish Quarter almost two millenia ago, an Israeli archeologist said Sunday.

The cliff, uncovered during a year-long excavation at the western edge of the Western Wall Plaza, was one of several important finds that include the remains of a colonnaded street called the Eastern Cardo, dating from the Roman-Byzantine period; a section of the Lower Aqueduct that conveyed water from Solomon's Pools to the Temple Mount; and a damaged rock-hewn and plastered Jewish mikve (ritual bath) that dates back to the Second Temple period, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced at a press conference.

The dig, which was conducted in an area that had not been excavated before due to plans for construction, also served to clarify the height of an immense bedrock cliff that separated the Upper City from the Temple Mount area. It in itself is "the most impressive" find, said Shlomit Wexler-Bedolah, the excavation director.


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