added by archaeologs
Situated in the ancient Judaean region of ISRAEL, Jerusalem dates back to the Early Bronze Age (c.3000 BC), when it was probably founded by an AMORITE tribe, the Jebusites, who called it the ‘Foundation of Salem’ (Salem being an Amorite deity). It was captured by the ISRAELITES under David in c.1000 BC, and the ‘City of David’ became the capital of the Israelite kingdom, and subsequently the capital of the Kingdom of Judah. In AD 70 the city was destroyed by the Roman emperor Titus as a result of a Jewish revolt, but a new city (Aelia Capitolina) was founded by Hadrian in 135. In 638 an Arab army led by Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab conquered the city, but it was captured by Crusaders in 1099, eventually falling to Saladin in 1187 and becoming part of the Ottoman empire in 1516.
The site of the ancient city was first excavated by Lieutenant Charles Warren in the late 1860s, although his work was dogged by political and logistical problems. Warren’s unorthodox methods involved the digging of deep shafts with long passages leading away from the foot of each, but he nevertheless produced a fairly comprehensive overview of the site. Since then, it has been excavated by a steady stream of different excavators, including Frederick Bliss and Kathleen Kenyon. The principal surviving features are a rock-cut water tunnel dating to the 8th century BC, remains of the Herodian palace and temple (c.AD 40–44), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (built by Constantine in AD 335), the Mamluk–Ottoman city-walls and the late 7th-century Dome of the Rock (built over the site of King Solomon’s temple).
M. Avi-Yonah et al.: Jerusalem (Jerusalem, 1973); K.M. Kenyon: Digging up Jerusalem (London, 1974); J. Perrot, ed.: ‘Jerusalem: 5000 years of history’, DA (special issue, March 1992); G.J. Wightman: The walls of Jerusalem from the Canaanites to the Mamluks (Sydney, 1993).
added by archaeologs City sited on the Judaean hills, occupied for more than 4000 years and now the capital of Israel. Many excavations have taken place since the 1860s, but because of the long history of destruction and rebuilding on the site, it has been difficult to reconstruct the development of the city. Sporadic traces of 4th- and 3rd-millennium bc occupation occur, but the first substantial settlement with a town wall belongs to the 2nd millennium bc. The town of this period was on the spur of Ophel, in the southeastern part of the city, and when David captured Jerusalem clOOO BC he retained the existing defences. Solomon built his temple and palace on the higher ridge to the north. In the 8th-7th centuries part of the western ridge was also incorporated in the town walls, though the southeast part of this ridge was not included until the time of Herod Agrippa (ad 40-44), in a second phase of growth after the destruction by the Babylonians in 587 bc and later resettlement. Few early buildings survive; one exception is the rock-cut water tunnel constructed by Hezekiah in the late 8th century bc. Some remains of the Herodian and Roman period also survive. Jerusalem is venerated not only by Jews and Christians, but also by Muslims, who believe it to be the place where Muhammad began his night journey to heaven. The precise spot is said to be an outcrop of rock in the Haram ash-Sharif, the platform of the Jewish Temple. Between c685 and 691-2, the caliph Abd al-Malik enclosed the outcrop in a shrine, the Dome of the Rock. This is the earliest Islamic building to survive intact and consists of a domed circular chamber, 20.5 metres across, surrounded by an octagonal ambulatory. It is richly decorated with marble, mosaics and beaten metal, which encases the wooden beams. At one comer of the platform stands the Aqsa Mosque which, despite rebuilding in the Crusader and Mameluk periods, contains extensive remains of the mosque of az-Zahir, the Fatimid caliph, who reconstructed it after an earthquake in 1035. The Old City of Jerusalem contains an extraordinarily large number of Mameluk buildings: houses, hospitals, bazaars etc. jet. A hard, black, dense form of coal, which may be cut, polished and used in decorative work. A well-known British source of jet is at Whitby in Yorkshire.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983