Israel Museum PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephen Langfur
Article Index
Israel Museum
Shrine of the Book
Model: Jerusalem, 66 AD
Herod the Great: A special exhibit
Logistics for Herodium

Model: Jerusalem, 66 AD

This outdoor model offers a hypothesis as to how Jerusalem may have looked just before the first revolt against Rome. The scale is 1:50. Architect Hava Avi-Yonah and her archaeologist husband Michael completed it between 1961 and 1967, before the intensive period of archaeology in Jerusalem. Much, therefore, is based on texts alone (especially Josephus and the Mishnah). A great deal is sheer speculation. Yet the overall effect is dramatic, jumpstarting the imagination and providing a basis for discussion.

As preparation for the revolt, the Jews completed a third city wall to the north of the present Damascus Gate. Its course is unknown. By including a third wall, the Avi-Yonahs have represented a city much larger than the one Jesus knew. For example, an outcropping of rock on the west side (north of the three Herodian towers) represents the rock of Golgotha, where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher stands today. It is inside the third wall, which is west of it. When Jesus was crucified, the city wall was the one we see to its east.