Raphael Magnes

The stepped-stone structure, as excavated in Jerusalem’s City of David by the late Yigal Shiloh. According to Shiloh, it was erected on the rubble of 13th-century B.C. Canaanite buildings. This massive structure, probably dating from the tenth century B.C., rises 50 feet. Both David and Solomon may have used it in their building projects—most likely as a retaining wall for a vast earthen platform to support a royal building. The modest walls at the lower left of the photo belong to typical Israelite houses of the eighth or seventh century B.C.