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The Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem
Hasmonean Walls in Wikipedia
With Jewish independence restored in the mid second century
BCE, the Hasmoneans quickly launched an effort to populate
and fortify the Upper City, the western hill abandoned after
the Babylonian sacking of Jerusalem. According to 1
Maccabees 10, 10-11, "Jonathan dwelt in Jerusalem and began
to rebuild and restore the city. He directed those who were
doing the work to build the walls and encircle Mount Zion
with squared stones, for better fortification; and they did
so.", while according to chapter 13, 10, Simon Maccabeus
"assembled all the warriors and hastened to complete the
walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it on every side."
These date the construction of the Hasmonean city wall, also
known as the first wall, between 142 and 134 BCE.
Encompassing the City of David and the western hill, the
walls were not entirely new but also incorporated elements
of the earlier fortifications, such as the Iron Age "Israeli
Tower" unearthed in the Jewish quarter. The wall stretched
from the Tower of Hippicus (near the site of the modern
Tower of David) eastward toward the Temple Mount, and south
to the Southwestern Hill (modern Mount Zion, a
misnomer), then east to the Pool of Siloam, and finally
north, meeting the wall of the Temple Mount.
Remains of the first wall can still be seen in several
In the citadel known as the Tower of David.
In Mamilla, west of the contemporary city walls, where
remains of Hasmonean fortifications were unearthed.
In the Jewish Quarter, in and around the "Israeli Tower" and
the remains of what may have been the "garden gate"
mentioned by Josephus.
At the base of the eastern wall of the Temple Mount.
Once the walls were complete, the Upper City became the
residence of Jerusalem's rich and affluent citizens.
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