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.