The Southern Wall of the Temple Mount (Davidson Center)

After three years in which it was closed for work and renovations, the Davidson Center in the Archaeological Garden in Jerusalem's Old City at the foot of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount is opening its doors to visitors again; revealing for the first time ancient archaeological findings alongside innovative technology and various additional measures.

"Among the exhibits there, one can get an impression of a rare and unique coin that will be revealed to the public for the first time, minted by the last Hasmonean king, Matthias Antigonus II, and on which is a depiction of the temple lamp," says Dr. Yuval Baruch, head of the archeology department at the Antiquities Authority, from the site's excavations and the center's curator. "This is, in fact, the earliest artistic depiction of the Menorah, and it predates the destruction of the Second Temple by 107 years."

In addition, visitors will be shown another archaeological find that is on display for the first time since it was excavated in the 1950s. This is a section of plaster from a burial cave from the Second Temple period, "known as 'Jason's Tomb,' on which there are five engravings of Menorah’s," according to Baruch.

The Davidson Center will present ancient archaeological findings from the days of the First Temple, among them ancient inscriptions bearing the name of the ancient city 'Jerusalem' in Hebrew. Visitors will enjoy an entire gallery dedicated to the story of the lamp's birth.

The Southern Wall of the Temple Mount, at the foot of which lies the Archaeological Garden and the Davidson Center, is also at the center of the display. In the days when the Temple was in operation, this wall was the central one among the other walls of the Temple Mount compound, and through its gates, known as the rat gates, pilgrims entered the holy compound to fulfill the mitzvah of bringing offerings on holidays and other times.

Darin McKeever, President and CEO of the William Davidson Foundation: "We are excited to announce the reopening of the Davidson Center, which offers a unique and fascinating experience to the rich and diverse history of Jerusalem through its archaeological treasures. We believe that the museum will be an important cultural destination for tourists and locals alike, and we look forward to sharing with the visiting audience the stories and discoveries about Jerusalem's past.”

Herzl Ben-Ari, CEO of the Society for the Development of the Jewish Quarter also said: "After many years of hard work, we are proud to reopen the Davidson Center in the Archaeological Garden. Thanks to all the partners, it presents the exciting story of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and the memory of the Temple in a professional and innovative way and is a living testimony to Mr. Davidson's vision."

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