Second Temple-period 'Hall of Eras' unearthed in Western Wall tunnels

Hall of Eras uncovered

western wall hall of eras 248 88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
western wall hall of eras 248 88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
As police forces guarded the closed-off Temple Mount on Monday, a group of visitors accompanied by a Jewish-Ukrainian philanthropist toured the Western Wall tunnels. The affluent Ukrainian's donation to the archeological project made possible the rehabilitation of a Second Temple-era hall that was recently unearthed in the bowels of the Old City. Although the new hall was originally discovered decades ago, it lay untouched for years due to fears that the ancient stones were not stable enough for excavation. A new technique was found to support the walls and keep them from crumbling, enabling workers to remove the rubble. A concrete roof was erected in the site, which is not yet open to the public, as was an iron support structure. After digging six meters deep, workers on the site discovered artifacts from the First and Second Temple eras. The large room was aptly named the "Hall of Eras." One man who took part in the excavation project told Channel 2 that those visiting the room would set foot on ground deep inside the tunnels and "suddenly comprehend the dimensions of Second Temple-era Jerusalem." Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz stressed that the new hall was not located underneath the Temple Mount and that no excavations were under way in that location, in accordance with Jewish law. Work at the site is nearing completion, and the Hall of Eras will be opened to the public within a few months.