Richard Nowitz

Once is not enough. While dismantling the wall of an Islamic-era building near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, excavators discovered 11 stones with oddly shaped channels, carved cornices and niches and Greek inscriptions. A little detective work revealed that the mysterious stones had been used for up to three different purposes.

Three stairways are visible in the background photograph of the theater at Amman, Jordan. Like other theater stairways, they are made of stones that are half the height of the surrounding tiers of theater seats. The authors noticed that the niches in the stones found in the Jerusalem wall were also cut to about half the height of the entire stone, indicating that the niches may have been part of a stairway in a theater in Jerusalem.