Monday, October 22, 2007

Quarry Beneath Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a confusing place to try to navigate. The traditional site of Jesus' crucifixion is littered with various branches of the church: Ethiopian, Armenian, Coptic, Latin and probably a couple more I missed. Their architecture is a rambling add-on with mismatched steps and tight little rooms filled to the brim with icons, candles, and relics. I get lost amidst the jumble and forget about Jesus' death and istead try to figure out "what's that?" in each room.
But yesterday our guide took us down, and down, and down beneath the church into the room pictured above; the remnants of a quarry. We have been impressed with the amount of stone used in Jerusalem. All that stone had to be dug and quarried from somewhere. Quarrying is an activity that happens outside a city limits. Quarries are dumping grounds. And Jesus' crucifixion took place amidst the rubble of a quarry. And there we were, in a quarry underneath the church. Our guide sensitively told us that this might not be the actual place of curicifixion, but more and more scholars are believing that this quarry warrants a close look at the traditional site. So it was not the iconography on the surface that caught my heart yesterday, but the stone scars underground.


At 7:12 AM , Anonymous Lyle said...

Hi Donn,
Interesting stuff, but the temple stone must have come from a longer way away since there was no noise of quarrying at the building site.

Do you have any shots of people acting like corks in the Dead Sea?



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