Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

1400-1401 Gabriel Barkay – Ancient Jerusalem’s Streets and Sewers

Gabriel Barkay

Gabriel Barkay

Gabi Barkay was one of our first guests on The Book & The Spade three decades ago, and has returned to the show about a half dozen times. On this latest program we got his report on some of the latest excavations in Jerusalem, such as the 2,000-year old streets that led from the Pool of Siloam up to the Temple Mount. Two parallel streets have been excavated in the last few years and visitors to the City of David area have been able to walk through the sewers under the streets.

These are the same sewers that were used as hiding places by first century Jews as the Romans besieged and then conquered the city. The ancient historian Josephus describes how the soldiers went after their hidden enemies. And Barkay noted that some of the paving stones show the evidence of being broken apart by the sledge hammers of the Roman soldiers.

We also discussed, in the second program, some of the results of the wet sifting process that Barkay developed for sifting debris removed from the Temple Mount in 1999. Other archaeologists are now starting to use the process and have discovered some exciting artifacts that might have otherwise been overlooked. In addition we discussed some of the archaeology taking place in the western wall plaza area.

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