New Exhibition Hall and Education Centre in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park (Temple Mount Excavations)

The Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority announced that

the William Davidson Foundation recently approved a very generous grant for the establishment of the East Hall Exhibition and Education Gallery in the Ethan and Marla Davidson Center for Exhibitions and Virtual Reconstruction in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.  The Davidson Center, which was made possible by the generosity of William (Bill) Davidson and opened to the public in 2001, became an overnight success, and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people annually.

The new East Hall of the Davidson Center will be established in a ca. 4,000 sq. ft. room dating to the Umayyad period (7th Century CE), that served as a storage room in an Umayyad palace, and is similar to the rooms in which the Davidson Center is now located.  It is a square room measuring 62 x 62 ft, surrounded by 7 foot wide walls, and is adjacent to the Davidson Center.

The transformation from what the area originally looked like during the Temple Mount Excavations is amazing:

Underground halls of Umayyad Building II, discovered in the Temple Mount Excavations led by the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar.

In the Umayyad period (c. 661-750), large palaces and administrative buildings were constructed to the west and south of the Temple Mount:

A reconstruction drawing of the Temple Mount and adjacent Umayyad buildings. © Leen Ritmeyer

You can see several interesting archaeological videos on the website of The Friends of the IAA. By clicking on the picture below, you can see a virtual reconstruction of these Umayyad buildings around the Temple Mount:

The new exhibition will be housed in the underground halls of the building in the foreground

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