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King Herod may not have built Jerusalem's holy city

London , Thu, 24 Nov 2011 ANI

London, November 24 (ANI): Jerusalem's Western Wall, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews, may not have been built by King Herod after all, new discoveries have suggested.


Coins recently found underneath Jerusalem's Western Wall could change the accepted belief about the construction of one of the world's most sacred sites two millennia ago, Israeli archaeologists said.


Archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority say diggers have found coins under the foundation stones of the compound's Western Wall that were stamped by a Roman proconsul 20 years after King Herod's death.his indicates that Herod did not build the wall - part of which is venerated as Judaism's holiest prayer site - and that construction was not close to being complete when he died.


'The find changes the way we see the construction, and shows it lasted for longer than we originally thought,' the Daily Mail quoted the dig's co-director, Eli Shukron as saying.


The coins were found inside a ritual bath that predated construction of the renovated Temple Mount complex and which was filled in to support the new walls.


They show that construction of the Western Wall had not even begun at the time of Herod's death, which was likely completed only generations later by one of his descendants.


The compound, controlled since 1967 by Israel, now houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the golden-capped Muslim shrine known as the Dome of the Rock.


The fact that the compound is holy both to Jews and Muslims makes it one of the world's most sensitive religious sites. (ANI)


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