From Monday's shot, we cross over the ridge, roughly to the western side of it. Here you can see archaelogical diggings, opening what must have been David's palace, built after David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites, around 1,000 BC. The excavations are not open to the public. To get this picture, I had to worm the lens of my camera through a hole in the fence, resulting in some drops of water, that is now visible in this picture. What you see at the sides of the site, are pillars propping up the earth, very much like pillars in horizontal mine shafts.
Trying to relate all the findings, will take a lot of writing. Seals with the names of Yehucal (Jucal) son of Shelemiah and Gedaliah son of Pashhur, two officials mentioned in Jer 38:1 have been found. A hoard of 264 gold coins from 7 AD was found. In 2010, a fragment of a clay tablet dating from the 14th century BC was uncovered, making it the oldest written document yet uncovered in Jerusalem. These are a few of the many interesting findings, that were made.
About the rest of the picture. All around the excavations are residential areas, like the area by the conifer, on the other side of the excavation. The right to control both the archaeological and the residential aspects of the City of David is hotly contested by Israelis and Palestinians. A proposal was made to turn most of the area into an archaeological park, and to restore a part of the Kidron Valley currently inhabited by Palestinians as a park to be called the Garden of the King. This area was also under Jordanian rule (Palestinian friendly) until the 6-day war in 1967.
One can clearly see it is uphill from where I took the shot. The area is generally known as Mount Zion. To the right is the southern wall of the Old City. The City of David is outside the Old City wall. The Temple Mount is behind the nearest part of the wall. The buildings, rising hotel-like behind the wall, is the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. A previous posting gave an idea what it looks like inside the Jewish Quarter.
The two engineers who planned the restoration of the Old City walls in 1538 mistakenly left Mt. Zion and King David’s tomb outside the walls, as you can see. The Turkish sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, was a bit miffed and he had the two put to death.