From quarry to garden


Calvary, as confirmed by the Gospel writers, was located outside the city in an area that was used as a burial ground. 

And what did the area look like at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? 

Archaeological excavations in the second half of the 20th century showed that beyond the city walls there was a vast quarry, in operation from the eighth to the first centuries BC, for extracting meleke limestone for use in constructing buildings within the city.

After the quarry was abandoned the area was used for small vegetable gardens, and in the carved rocky walls of the quarry, along the hillside, a number of family tombs were hewn.


Golgotha itself, the “mount” on which the crosses were raised, would have had the appearance of a rocky knoll above and separated from the hill, hence an appropriate place for carrying out exemplary capital punishments.


When in 41-42 AD Herod Agrippa enlarged the Jerusalem city walls towards the northwest, Golgotha became part of the city, and over time the isolated area came to be an integral part of the urban center.

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