H. Shanks

The large wall which dominates the picture is part of a palatial Omayyad building (8th century A.D.) built in part from handsome stone ashlars that were originally used by Herod to construct his Temple Mount. The walls of Herod’s Temple Mount were in large part destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. The stones became a convenient quarry for later Omayyad builders. To the left of the Omayyad wall, at a lower excavation level, is a Byzantine building (4th–6th centuries A.D.) whose orientation is close to, but slightly different from, the Omayyad building. The Omayyad building cut into the Byzantine building, but fortunately did not extend further south, thus leaving the Byzantine building intact to the extent we see it here. To the left of the Omayyad wall near the bottom of the picture is—at a still lower excavation level—a Herodian building (37 B.C.–70 A.D.). At the extreme left of the picture is the road outside the Old City’s southern wall. On the other side of this road is the ancient City of David, which will soon be re-excavated.