27 Apr 2016 267 views
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photoblog image A hill with a dodgy history
A hill with a dodgy history|

A hill with a dodgy history


Here we are, after walking down the Mount of Olives, across the Josaphat Valley and up onto Mount Zion where the City of David is being uncovered by archaelogical diggings. I am standing among the archaelogical findings in the City of David. The valley is the Kidron Valley, a much deeper extension to the south, of the Josaphat Valley. The hill to the left, on the other side of the Kidron is the Mount of Corruption. with the current suburb of Silwan built on whatever was there.


What was out there? The Mount of Corruption is mentioned in 2 Kings 23: 13, when King Josias was cleaning up the heathenous stuff built ever since King Solomon tried to keep his women (wives and concubines) happy, by building temples, altars and the works for all their different deities. Some kings between Solomon and Josias, did even more to displease the God of Israel. One of the things that Josias did, was to exhume the bones of the close followers that was buried near the effigies of their deities, and burned it with everything combustible in a huge bon-fire, down there in the valley.


During the Jewish second temple period (about 580 BC to 70 AD), the richer people started digging family tombs all over the side of the Mount of Corruption, in the limestone rock sides. This was still outside the city walls of Jerusalem, including outside of the City of David. Some tombs were built on the surface. In due time, a necropolis came into existence - the Silwan Necropolis.


After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD the city started to be rebuilt by Arabs, Byzantenes and then Muslim Arabs - as history goes. Building slowly started and continued on top of the necropolis. Stonework used for the tombs, came in handy as building material. A surface tomb would be agreat start for a new house. Tomb caves were ideal for getting rid of rubbish and so on. Those houses were torn down and new houses built on top of them, until you have a rather modern looking suburb as you see it in the picture. Some of the cave tombs and a few monoliths (or parts of them) can still be seen. None visible in this picture.


Silwan is currently a Palestinian neighbourhood.


More about the City of David at a later stage.



comments (15)

  • Ray
  • Possibly Greenland
  • 27 Apr 2016, 03:47
Makes for a fabulous image, though, Louis.
Louis: The history apart - the place abounds with photo opportunities.
A breathtaking image Louis!
Louis: Thank you Richard
  • Martine
  • France
  • 27 Apr 2016, 06:17
Joli point de vue.
Louis: Merci, Martine
  • Chris
  • England
  • 27 Apr 2016, 06:29
The Mount of Corruption, imagine living in a place called that!
Louis: That and then on top of graves ...
I'll stay on this side of the valley, Louis, and help out with the archaeological digs. WOW.
Louis: A good choice, Ginnie.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 27 Apr 2016, 07:04
What a history and what a place to visit... I do wonder though if they still find things in the ground that are as old as the time you described.
Fabulous shot, I keep looking a the houses and I feel the claustrophobia (for me)
Louis: They do, Astrid. Recent findings include what the archaeologists believe to be David's palace. Funny thing is that a flat building is not really modern. In ancient times a wall around a city was very important and you can't move it all the time. So a lot of building resulted in stacked housing, as the population increased.
The mount of destruction sounds a terrible place Louis. I have to say that this series is outstanding as well as educational.
Louis: Thank you gutteridge. I find it a bit dodgy, too.
There has been so much in this series I knew nothing about Louis.
Louis: Same here, Bill
The best shot of the series so far.
Louis: Thank you Mary. The setting helps a lot.
Think I'll join Ginnie on the dig this side. The other side really does look so crowded and unattractive, think of all that history that has been destroyed over the centuries.
Louis: Thank you Brian, you will find me in the diggings as well. Archaeology, history and related stuff interest me to no end. Because historians in general, investigate from a point of view and reflect that in their findings, I try to sift the opinion from the fact. An example is that Emperor Constantine told his mother Helena, to build churches on all religious significant sites. She had a lot of places identified and had the churches built. Now to get that done in part of a lifetime, without modern amenities, meant that some guesswork went into the chosen sites. The interesting part is that successive custodians took the decision literally and will attest to the guesswork as the truth - I mean, they are making a living out of it. But one can always cross-check facts and sometimes the faulty reasoning is glaring.
Dodgy batteries--Murphy's Law in action...
Louis: Mr Murphy has a lot to explain ...
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 27 Apr 2016, 18:16
Not a lot of space left for building here, Louis
Louis: What about the hills, yonder? smile Yes, they are properly stacked, Lisl.
There's obviouslhy a lot of history under that lot!
Louis: Quite so, thanks Tom
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 Apr 2016, 18:16
The Mount of Corruption - not ideal foundations for any house I would fancy living in! Fantastic tale to match the photo.
Louis: Not ideal - my sentiments, exactly.
what a history lesson Louis... that is an amazing site to photograph... but i would hate to have to climb up to my house from the road...
the archaeological diggings of the City of David are just as interesting to me....petersmile
Louis: Thank you peter. There is a lot to keep the interest going in this city.

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