Hershel Shanks

PROTECTING KING SOLOMON’S JERUSALEM. In the foreground is an 8-foot-wide wall that extends northeast toward the southeast corner of the Temple Mount, seen at the very top of the photograph. This wall is part of the fortified gate complex that archaeologist Eilat Mazar contends protected the city in Solomon’s time. The two edges of the wall are clearly visible in the photograph as it proceeds northeast, although the wall is obscured somewhat by later construction, destruction and debris.

Adjacent to this wall is Square SII, initially excavated by British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon. Based on pottery she found, she dated the complex to the eighth century B.C.E. Eilat Mazar now says she has new evidence that the complex was constructed earlier—in King Solomon’s time.

On the upper right edge of the photograph are the tops of two buses on a modern road south of the excavations. Under this road lie the remains of two towers observed in 1867 by British engineer and explorer Charles Warren. He called them the Great Tower and the Corner Turret. A portion of the wall of the Corner Turret was uncovered in Eilat Mazar’s excavation.