The archaeologists were doing a rescue dig in preparation for constructing the new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design at the location when they discovered the remains of a tower which jutted from a city wall. It was surrounded by scores of ballista and sling stones which could only have been Roman forces firing from catapults towards the Jewish guards defending the wall.
“This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city,” said Dr. Rina Avner and Kfir Arbib, excavation directors.
The historian Josephus provided many details about the Third Wall, noting that it was designed to protect a neighborhood called Beit Zeita which was outside the city’s boundaries. Agrippa I, King of Judea, began its construction and it was finished two decades later by the defenders of Jerusalem as part of the preparations for the Great Revolt against Rome.
The revolt failed and in 70 CE, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple for which we are mourning until today.