Jerusalem: Archaeologists call 1,700-year-old ancient Roman structure ‘sensation’

During archaeological digs in the Western Wall tunnels, researchers almost by chance discovered an ancient Roman theater that had been buried underneath eight meters of debris. “This is a research sensation. The discovery was a real surprise,” said the archaeologists who discovered the historical structure.
The historical structure that was discovered Photo Credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced this morning (Monday) that during archaeological digs being conducted in Jerusalem, an ancient Roman theater structure more than 1,700-years-old was discovered. The theater contained about 200 seats, but archaeologists believe that it was never in use, most likely due to a significant historical event such as the Bar Kochba revolt, upon which the construction would have ended.

The historical unearthing was discovered after eight courses of the Western Wall were uncovered, which had been buried underneath no less than eight meters of debris. The stone courses were completely preserved and after removing the debris, the archaeologists surprisingly discovered the theater, reinforcing the historical writings in which there are descriptions of a theater located behind the Temple Mount area.

The ancient theater Photo Credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority

The Western Wall courses, much like the Roman theater remains, were revealed during a press conference held underneath the Western Wall tunnel’s Wilson Arch, which is the only whole remaining structure visible from the Temple Mount compound of the Second Temple period.

 “This is a research sensation,” stated the archaeological dig directors, Dr. Joe Uziel, Tehila Lieberman and Dr. Avi Solomon. “The discovery was a real surprise. When we approached the excavation in order to date Wilson’s Arch, we didn’t imagine that it would open a glimpse into the mystery of Jerusalem’s lost theater.”



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