Archeologists in Israel have shocked religious officials with a new finding that the revered Western Wall in Jerusalem is not what people have long believed: a wall built by the Jewish ruler Herod. Newly discovered coins underneath wall strongly indicate that it was built long after Herod’s death.
The wall has long been described as part of Herod’s compound built to replace the older Jewish temple. The area is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The coins found under the wall however are stamped by a Roman proconsul 20 years after Herod’s death.
The four bronze coins were stamped around 17 A.D. by the Roman official Valerius Gratus the predecessor to Pontius Pilate.
They would suggest that the wall was built generations after Herod. It further confirms the one contemporary account by Jewish general Josephus Flavius, who wrote that the compound was completed by King Agrippa II, Herod’s great-grandson.