Front Row Seats


January/February 2018

Trenches Israel Roman Theater


Excavations at the Western Wall in Jerusalem led by Joe Uziel and Avi Solomon of the Israel Antiquities Authority have uncovered a Roman-era building that may have been used to host performances or political assemblies. The building may date to the mid-second century A.D. when the emperor Hadrian was having the city rebuilt after the Roman army destroyed it and the Second Temple in A.D. 70. The newly discovered building probably seated about 200 people and was located under what is now called Wilson’s Arch, after the nineteenth-century explorer who identified it. The arch was part of a causeway that led into the temple and may have had acoustic properties that made it an attractive location for public speaking or singing.