The Jerusalem Archaeological Park, Israel’s most important antiquity site, reaches the Temple Mount on the north, the slope of the Mount of Olives and the Kidron Valley on the east, and the Valley of Hinnom on the west and the south.
This exceptional area which has captivated the world’s imagination throughout history, has been designated as an archaeological park and open museum. Visitors to the Park follow events spanning some 5000 years, beginning with the Canaanite (Bronze) Age and continuing through the days of the Israelite monarchy in the First Temple period. The splendors of the Second Temple and the impressive architecture of King Herod, dating to the second half of the first century BCE are a key element in the park, and the remains and monumental structures dating to the Christian and Muslim periods are clearly visible.
The Davidson Center, in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, is located nearby the Western Wall in the Old City and is one of the Jerusalem’s top tourist attractions due to its historical and archaeological significance. You will find archaeological finds and displays from the First & Second Temple periods: the ancient city wall, the Temple’s staircase, a preserved ancient street, ritual immersion baths, and stores.
Davidson Center is home to some of the most intriguing and important archaeological finds from the Second Temple period. Researchers have discovered a wide and impressive street nearby the Western Wall. Apparently, this street used to be the area’s main street and was visited frequently by pilgrims, tourists, and sages such as Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva. Walk the street’s paving stones and immerse yourself in the story of ancient Jerusalem where thousands of Jews walked 2000 years ago, making their way to Temple Mount. Walking the street, you will also notice huge stones. These stones were knocked from the walls of Temple Mount and have been lying there ever since.
Another impressive discovery is a drainage channel which was found under the street, containing rare finds from the days of the destruction of Jerusalem. This channel used to be the place where ancient warriors escaped to, hoping to find shelter from the Romans. While you’re there, explore the Southern Wall where you’ll find an ancient staircase leading to Temple Mount. This is how the pilgrim entered the Temple.
In addition, the Davidson Center houses a museum with all of the site’s most significant finds that were discovered during excavation work in the area. Some of these exciting discoveries include remains from the Byzantine period, proving the existence of Jews in Jerusalem during a period of time when they were not allowed to live inside the city. Another interesting attraction you will find inside the museum is a 3D model of Jerusalem where you can walk around, visualizing the pilgrims’ experience.