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A Thousand Years of History in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, Nitza Rosovsky, Biblical Archaeology Review (18-3), May/Jun 1992.

Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter

Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter

A walking tour reveals Jerusalem flourishing, destroyed and splendidly rebuilt.

War—or rather two wars—made possible the current golden age of discovery in Jerusalem, at the City of David, at the Temple Mount and in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter. In 1948, during Israel’s War of Independence, the occupants of the Jewish Quarter surrendered to the Arab Legion following a long siege. Some houses had been damaged in battle, but most of the destruction occurred when the Arabs dynamited the Quarter’s institutions—synagogues, yeshivas (religious schools) and hospitals—after the surrender. For 19 years the Quarter stood empty and silent.

Then, in June 1967, the Six-Day War brought the whole of Jerusalem under Jewish control once again—for the first time since 70 C.E.,(a) when the Romans had conquered and burned the city. This opened up undreamt of opportunities to explore Jerusalem.(1) The government took title to all the land and buildings in the Jewish Quarter, with the exception of Muslim holy places, and formed the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter. The Old City was declared a protected antiquities zone where no new construction could take place until archaeologists had examined the proposed building sites.(b) Since 1967 the Jewish Quarter has been rebuilt and repaired, but only after archaeological approval.

Read the rest of A Thousand Years of History in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.

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