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One of the most important findings of the Southern wall excavations is the monumental flight of steps leading up to the second temple mount, through the Hulda gates. The staircase consists of 15 pairs of alternating broad and narrow steps. Although most of the steps were reconstructed, this is one of the remains of the southern entrance. Archaeologists believe there was a large plaza at the foot of the staircase to handle traffic of literally millions of pilgrims during the major festivals. One can imagine people, including families with children, joyfully climbing the stairs to the Gentile Court above and then to the Temple itself.
First Temple period
This area, on the eastern foothills of the City of David, was a residential quarter of the royal officials serving in the first temple administration. On the bottom of the wall is a first temple dwelling, built in the common style of that period, known as the Israelite "four-room" house.
The more modern mosaics above the altar illustrate the crucifixion, the holy women at the foot of the cross, and the sacrifice of Isaac.