Discovering Jerusalem of the time of Jesus
Yesterday we reported on an article about “Roman Jerusalem”. In today’s Jerusalem Post, there is a similar article, this time about Jerusalem of the time of Jesus.
This well illustrated article describes the remains of several Herodian villas which were excavated by the late Prof. Nahman Avigad and subsequently restored and opened to the public. It has been suggested that the largest villa, called the Palatial Mansion, may have been the residence of the High Priest at that time.
This is a perspective reconstruction drawing of the 6,500 sq. feet (600m2) residence dating from the Second Temple period found in the Jewish Quarter excavations in Jerusalem. Known as the Palatial Mansion because of its unusually large size, it is now part of the restored Herodian Quarter. Its overall plan, centred round a paved courtyard, makes it clear that it was one living unit and not divided into smaller residences. The fact that this major structure, which from the sumptuousness of its fittings makes it worthy of the term "palace", contains four ritual baths, one evidently built to serve a number of people with one door for entry and one for exit, is notable. This, coupled with the traces of a great conflagration found in the Palatial Mansion, point to a possible identification of this residence with the palace of Annas, the High Priest. In War 2.426, Josephus records Annas’ Palace as having been burnt in 70 A.D. © Leen Ritmeyer
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