(TIMESOFISRAEL) — When Amit Re’em embarked on a 1999 excavation of an abandoned Ottoman prison in the Old City of Jerusalem, he didn’t expect anything revolutionary.
The dig was primarily aimed at inspecting the site before it was transformed into an event space for the nearby Tower of David Museum, and Re’em, then just 28, hoped at most to uncover some remains of a Herodian palace, or maybe part of a wall from the second century.
He did find those things — along with much more.
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In one 49 meters by 9 meters (160 feet by 30 feet) space, Re’em unearthed an archaeological timeline of Jerusalem dating back 2,700 years. Layers from nearly every era of the city’s history lay on top of each other, from the time of the First Temple through the Roman, Crusader and Ottoman periods, and up to Israel’s independence in 1948.