Rafi Magnes

The mysterious monumental stepped-structure, taller than a five-story building, stands as it was at the end of the 1980 excavation season in the City of David. The remains of Israelite residences destroyed in the Babylonian destruction of 586 B.C. can be identified by two pillars in the center of the picture, to the right and slightly above the person’s head. The stepped-structure continues for 22 feet beneath the Israelite houses; its base rests on a layer containing 13th century B.C. Canaanite remains. At the base of the structure, still unexplored, are three small postern-like doorways. Shiloh dates the stepped-structure to the 10th century B.C. At that time the huge construction would have been well within the city wall which Kathleen Kenyon found lower down the slope. If the stepped structure was not part of the defensive city wall, what was it? Further excavation this summer may reveal parts of the answer.