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The Third Wall

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Finally Revealed - The Third Wall of Jerusalem

Location – Jerusalem

Map Coordinates - 31.785445, 35.228237


There are a few large dressed limestone blocks embedded in the pavement in front of a gas station in Jerusalem, north of the Old City. While they don’t seem like much, these are the remains of the northern wall that once surrounded Jerusalem, built by Herod the Great’s grandson, Agrippa I, starting in around the year 40 AD.

The wall was once 30 feet high, and 15 feet thick. Some of the stones were 30 feet long, with huge intermittent guard towers.

At the beginning of the great Jewish revolt of 67 CE, this wall helped the Jewish rebels repel the forces of the Roman army, which was led by general Titus. However, the wall proved to be no match for Titus’ forces, and in the summer of the year 70 CE, the third wall fell to the Romans. At the end of the siege the whole city and the Temple itself lay in ruins.

The wall lay buried and forgotten until its remains were discovered in the 1930s by archaeologists.

This third wall is important for another reason. It was built about ten years after Jesus died, being so large that its circumference engulfed the site of Golgotha. In 1882 AD the British general Charles Gordon, who popularize the site of the Garden Tomb, did not know anything about this third wall, and mistakenly assumed that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher had always been inside the walls of the city of Jerusalem. In his mind, this negated the possibility that Jesus could have been buried at that location, since, according to Jewish culture, tombs were not permitted in urban areas. This historical error is the main reason why the notion of an alternative site for the death and burial of Jesus gained traction in the late 19th century.

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