The New Kidron Dumps


In recent months, the Works Department of the Municipality of Jerusalem has been carrying out excavations for a large drainage sewer in the Kidron Creek area. This excavation passes by the foot of the slope of rubble dumped by the Moslem Waqf (religious administrative authority) about eight months ago. Masonry stone blocks from various structures demolished by the Muslim Waqf in the course of the Waqf's excavations on the Temple Mount lay at the foot of the Kidron dumps. Due to irresponsibility on the part of the Municipality of Jerusalem, the earth from these Municipal sewage works was dumped over the lower part of the slopes of rubble from the Temple Mount dumped by the Waqf. Consequently, archaeologically significant masonry from the Temple Mount located in the Waqf's dumps are today covered with additional (Municipal) dumped material.


In the last few weeks, the Muslim Waqf has been clearing away and dumping additional rubble from the Temple Mount. Unlike the earlier dumps, this rubble does not include many masonry stones, a fact that might indicate that this excavation did not reach to a great depth and that, therefore, there is no archaeological damage. However, even a shallow excavation can reveal remnants (of ancient structures) close to the surface. Examining the new dumps again, one can see a cluster of massive masonry stones that were, apparently, uncovered during the excavations and demolished. It appears that the new dumps came from the western section of the pit that was converted into a grandiose entrance stairway (down) to the Stables of Solomon. New terraces are located in this section and the excavation did not reach to a great depth.

The new sewer can be seen in this photograph. The earth dug from the sewer covers the rubble dumped from the Temple Mount.

The new dump is in the foreground of the photograph and the earlier dump is in the background. One can see the striking difference in the texture of the earth.

Cluster of large masonry stones from the new dump.

Another architectural stone in the new dump.