I. Harari

Fortress of Zion. These stone compartments were part of a substructure supporting the famous Fortress of Zion (2 Samuel 5:7; 1 Chronicles 11:5), the Jebusite citadel captured by David in about 1000 B.C. These compartments are now seen at the base of the stepped stone structure pictured in the sidebar “Taking the Stepped Stone Structure Apart (And Putting It Together Again).”

In order to build on the City of David’s steep slope and to enlarge the available building area on its summit, the Jebusites erected stone terraces. Made up of boxes, or compartments, oriented north-south along the slope and filled with stone, these terraces formed a massive substructure 2,150 feet square, on which the Jebusites built the Fortress of Zion.

The woman in the yellow shirt stands in a compartment between two supporting walls. Stone fill mounts to the top of the compartment wall behind her. Between this stone-filled compartment and the stepped stone structure, far right, is a narrow excavation trench.