Men on the Street: Movement toward the Temple in Early Roman Jerusalem

Archaeological work that took place in recent decades in the Old City of Jerusalem has transformed the way we envision and understand Jerusalem in the early Roman period, during the one hundred years from Herod's reign to the city's destruction by the Roman soldiers in the year 70 CE. Most profoundly, these excavations have stressed the long duration of the massive construction works that were connected with the expansion of the Temple Mount compound and the laying of the new urban grid in the eastern part of the city. These construction projects commenced under King Herod, but were completed many years after his death, showing that Jerusalem clearly enjoyed days of prosperity and development during the first century CE, under direct Roman rule. The new urban grid very clearly sets the Temple as the hub of the city. The characteristics of the main street and the installations along its route fulfill the needs of pilgrims to the Temple and at the same time shape their experience of the religious voyage.