Palestine Exploration Fund

Sergeant Henry Birtles, Warren’s assistant, a solitary candle illuminating his way, climbs a rope ladder amid huge fallen blocks below and behind Robinson’s Arch, actually the beginning of an arch that springs from the western wall of the Temple Mount near the southwest corner. The “arch” was long thought to have originally supported a bridge connecting the Temple Mount and the upper city across the valley to the west. More recently—based on excavations directed by Benjamin Mazar since 1967—it has been identified by architect Brian Lalor as the support for a wide staircase leading down into the valley. This drawing, from 1870–1871, is by William “Crimea” Simpson, dispatched by the Illustrated London News to record Warren’s exploits.