Israel Discovers Second Temple Quarry

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Archaelogists in Israel have found an ancient quarry which they believe was mined by King Herod 2,000 years ago to obtain stones for the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of the 100 square-yard quarry on Monday, part of a larger network of quarries used in construction of the Temple. 

The stones from the quarry are large enough that they could have been used in the building of the Western Wall (Kotel), the most revered site in Judaism.

Click the player for John Waage's report on the quarry in the heart of an ultra-orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood.

"The immense size of the stones indicates it was highly likely that the large stones that were quarried at the site were destined for use in the construction of [legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem King] Herod's magnificent projects in Jerusalem, including the Temple Walls," said Dr. Ofer Sion, co-director of the dig.

Sion explained that the quarry's discovery verifies accounts of expansive building projects launched by Herod in the writings 2000 years ago of the historian Flavius Josephus.

The discovery took place on Jerusalem's Shmuel Hanavi Street, during excavations for new apartment construction.

Source:  AP, The Jerusalem Post

*Originally aired July 20, 2009.

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