2017-10-25 / Mideast

Western Wall dig uncovers theater

An ancient Roman theater was uncovered during excavations of the Western Wall tunnels in Jerusalem.

The discovery of the 200-seat theater structure from the Roman period confirms historical writings that describe a theater near the Temple Mount, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

Excavations also uncovered eight stone courses, or layers of cut stone, the antiquities authority said.

The discoveries followed work to remove a 26-foot layer of earth under Wilson’s Arch, the only intact, visible structure remaining from the Temple Mount compound of the Second Temple period. The arch served as a passageway for visitors entering the Temple Mount compound and the Temple. An aqueduct also passed over the arch.

The excavations were undertaken with the intent to date the arch, according to the antiquities authority.

The structures were built following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., when Jerusalem became the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina. (JTA)

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