Sunday, September 5, 2010

Western Wall Tunnel in Jerusalem

This summer Toni and I walked through the tunneled portions of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. We could see 20 feet below the tunnels along the courses of Herodian ashlar stones to the pavement of the first century street. Details of these perfectly preserved ashlars can be seen with their 2 inch cut margins that create a 1/2 inch raised, smooth boss. Each course of ashlars is inset 1/2 of an inch to provide stabilization of this wall of stacked stones that was built without cement. Also, the Master Course Stone, which is 41 feet long and weighs 500 metric tons, could still be seen stabilizing the wall. The Romans of 70 AD could not move this stone so they chipped away at it, but eventually gave up and let the rest of the wall stand. The chipped corner of this huge stone can be seen.

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