How the excavation under the Church of the Redeemer came about
A sensational discovery was made during excavations for the new church in 1893. The builders came across a wall that was interpreted as the city wall from the time of Jesus by contemporary scholars, and which had been mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. The so-called "Second North Wall" of Jerusalem was found.
The soundings and subsequent discoveries under the church
On a glorious October day in 1898 a tense silence lay over Jerusalem. Like so often before, the city was to witness history being written.
The sounding under the Church of the Redeemer goes down to a former quarry that was in use until the 1st century BC.
The structure mistakenly called the "Second Wall" proved in its lowest layers (fieldstones) to be part of Hadrian’s structure to the south of the sanctuary built in 135 AD.
The paved path with a water drain that runs over the east-west retaining wall was built in the 4th century AD or later.
The mosaic located 2.10 m below the present church floor belonged to the Church of St. Maria Latina from the 12th century AD.
In 1893 the German Kaiser Wilhelm II had laid the foundations of the new church symbolically on the supposed "Second Wall".
Pictures of the excavation
Copyright © FH Potsdam, 2012