Jewish Quarter Excavations

Plans to reconstruct an important synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem have given archaeologists the opportunity to excavate. The Hurvah synagogue was the largest and most beautiful in the city before its destruction in the 1948 War of Independence. Following the restoration of the Jewish Quarter since 1967, the location of the synagogue has been marked by a single arch.

Hurvah Synagogue arch before removal

Haaretz reports on some of the discoveries made by archaeologists Hillel Geva and Oren Gutfeld. 

The most significant find is an intact Byzantine arch which apparently served as a gate for a street leading from the Cardo. They have also found buildings from earlier periods.

Hurvah synagogue during renovation

The excavations, which began in 2003, also unearthed structures and pottery from the First Temple period, remnants of rooms from the Herodian period (Second Temple), burnt wooden logs (evidence of fire that took place after the destruction of the Second Temple), and three plastered ritual baths carved in rock from the Second Temple period.

Old City from west; location of synagogue is circled in red

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