The Recovery of Jerusalem, Warren and Wilson

Wilson’s Arch in an 1870 illustration from The Recovery of Jerusalem by Captain Charles Warren and his associate, Captain Charles Wilson. The book describes in detail the excavations accomplished by the two Englishmen in Jerusalem. Warren, an engineer, left England for the Holy Land in 1867 hoping to find in Jerusalem the location and material remains of Solomon’s Temple as described in 1 Kings 7. During his three-year investigation around the Temple Mount, Warren had to avoid disturbing existing structures while reaching the antiquities beneath them. Consequently, he sunk vertical shafts and dug horizontal galleries connecting the shafts to each other, thereby creating an intricate series of tunnels and a way to explore hidden areas on the perimeter of the Temple Mount. One of Warren’s shafts, seen on the left of the lithograph, was found intact during the 1968 clearing of Wilson’s Arch. The shaft reveals the depth of the Tyropoeon Valley before it was filled with debris, and dramatically demonstrates how much higher the western wall stood before the Tyropoeon Valley was filled.