Radiocarbon dating and microarchaeology untangle the history of Jerusalem's Temple Mount: A view from Wilson's Arch

Johanna Regev, Joe Uziel, Tehillah Lieberman, Avi Solomon, Yuval Gadot, Doron Ben-Ami, Lior Regev, Elisabetta Boaretto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Radiocarbon dating is rarely applied in Classical and Post-Classical periods in the Eastern Mediterranean, as it is not considered precise enough to solve specific chronological questions, often causing the attribution of historic monuments to be based on circumstantial evidence. This research, applied in Jerusalem, presents a novel approach to solve this problem. Integrating fieldwork, stratigraphy, and microarchaeology analyses with intense radiocarbon dating of charred remains in building materials beneath Wilson's Arch, we absolutely dated monumental structures to very narrow windows of time-even to specific rulers. Wilson's Arch was initiated by Herod the Great and enlarged during the Roman Procurators, such as Pontius Pilatus, in a range of 70 years, rather than 700 years, as previously discussed by scholars. The theater-like structure is dated to the days of Emperor Hadrian and left unfinished before 132-136 AD. Through this approach, it is possible to solve archaeological riddles in intensely urban environments in the historical periods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0233307
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Regev et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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