Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. Beneath ground-level are layer upon layer of ancient settlements. Over thousands of years, Jerusalem has seen Canaanites, Israelites, Romans, Byzantine, Mamluks, Crusaders, Ottomans, and even the British come and go. Each has left a wealth of archaeological treasures. Visitors to Jerusalem can visit several archaeological sites as well as museums where archaeological findings are displayed.
On a City of David & Underground Jerusalem Tour, you can explore the excavated first settlement of Jerusalem, built more than 3,000 years ago by King David. At the same site are biblical-era water channels hewn from stone to bring water into the city. Running along the outer edge of the Old City walls is the Ophel Promenade that follows the ancient pilgrim’s route up to the Holy Temple.
Further along the promenade is Robinson’s Arch, a monumental stone arch that supported the 1st-century BC stairs leading up to Temple Mount. At the Davidson Center, located next to the Old City’s Dung Gate, archaeological remains date back 5,000 years and continue through the biblical period. The Davidson Center is included in the Jerusalem Temple Mount & Dome of the Rock Tour.
King Herod the Great, who ruled Judaea from 37BC to 4BC, is known as the Great Builder, because of his impressive construction projects throughout Israel. Take an In the Footsteps of Herod Private Tour to see Herodian structures in Jerusalem, Jericho, Masada, and Wadi Qelt. At the Wohl Museum of Archaeology-Herodian Quarter, a Second Temple period upper-class neighborhood has been excavated.
Visit the Western Wall Tunnels to see a continuation of Temple Mount’s Western Wall beneath ground level. The 500m-long stretch of wall was part of Herod’s renovation of the Second Temple. Jerusalem has several outstanding archaeological museums including the Tower of David Museum, the Israel Museum, the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, and the Terra Sancta Museum.