BAR 15:03, May/Jun 1989
Royal Gateway to Ancient Jerusalem Uncovered
Dedicated to the memory of Professor Yigal Shiloh. The love and devotion he brought to the discovery of ancient Jerusalem will continue to inspire us for many years to come.
For ten yearsfrom 1968 to 1977the area adjacent to the southern wall of Jerusalems Temple Mount was intensively excavated.1 Astounding discoveries were made, but hardly a trace of anything from the First Temple period was uncovered.
The excavators were doubly disappointed because this was ancient Jerusalems Ophel (OH-fell), the location of the royal quarter, an important administrative center in First Temple times. They could console themselves in the knowledge that if they were empty-handedof First Temple findsit wasnt for lack of trying. The excavation was massive. Led by Hebrew Universitys Benjamin Mazar (my grandfather), a team of experts, aided by hundreds of volunteers from Israel and abroad, labored indefatigably year-round, not just, as is customary, in the summer months.