Jerusalem Dig Bares Site of 'Miracle' Quarry

By Haaretz

Published May 10, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

In “The Buildings of Justinian,” the Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea wrote at length about the churches the emperor built in the 6th century. He related a miracle that occurred during the construction of the Nea Church, in what is now the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City:

“God revealed a natural supply of stone perfectly suited to this purpose in the nearby hills, one which had either lain there in concealment previously, or was created at that moment,” he wrote, adding, “So the church is supported on all sides by a number of huge columns from that place, which in color resemble flames of fire … exceptionally large and probably second to no columns in the whole world.”

Procopius was recently cited by Prof. Yoram Tzafrir in an article about the Nea church, one of the most important built in Jerusalem, because one of the quarries for these miraculous columns has now been unearthed.

Work on a new building on Abarbanel Street, in the Rehavia neighborhood, has revealed what may have been a source of the monolithic columns. A large, carved stone column was discovered beneath the foundation of an old building that was demolished to make way for the new one.

The Israel Antiquities Authority halted construction and began studying the column, which is 6 meters high and 80 centimeters in diameter. These proportions correspond to building practices of the period.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.