July 7, 2009, Updated September 24, 2012

A large stone quarry from the end of the Second Temple period (2,030 years ago) was exposed in Jerusalem during excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority prior to the construction of residential buildings. Discovered on the capital’s Shmuel Hanavi Street, the quarry covers a quarter of an acre (1,000 square meters).

Excavation director Ofer Sion believes: “The stones that were quarried here were used by Herod to build the walls of the Temple. The immense size of the stones… indicates it was highly likely that the large stones that were quarried at the site were destined for use in the construction of Herod’s magnificent projects in Jerusalem, including the Temple walls.”

During this period the world of high-tech focused on quarrying, removing and transporting stones. Historical sources record that Herod trained more than 10,000 people to be involved in this work: they prepared suitable transportation routes and then moved the huge stones in a variety of ways – on rolling wooden fixtures that were drawn by camels, in pieces on carriages, etc.

“Today, with the exposure of this quarry, the intensity of the building projects as described in the historical sources can be proven,” says Sion.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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