Nahman Avigad

An act of God, in the form of heavy snow accumulation, was a homeowner’s disaster but a godsend to Avigad and his team. During one particularly severe winter, snow collapsed the roof of a house just north of the Broad Wall, allowing archaeologists to excavate the area. Their findings are shown here: a 30-foot-square defensive tower, with walls about 10 feet thick, built of second-century B.C.E.; Hasmonean ashlars with roughly raised bosses and smooth margins (in foreground in the photo); and an even earlier tower, called the Israelite tower (the taller and better preserved tower behind the Hasmonean tower), preserved to a height of 27 feet above ground, consisting of the same hard, unhewn stones as found in the Broad Wall.