Roman walls, Nehemiah's walls, abscence of evidence
- I have not read of evidence for Roman walls around the lower city of Jerusalem, except in Josephus, and the NT. There was evidence found by Kenyon in the 1960's for extensive Roman quarrying on the SE ridge (City of David), probably from after 70 A.D. or after Bar Kochba. What happened to the Tower of Siloam? Stones were reused elsewhere in later building projects or reduced to lime for plaster. Only small parts of the original Roman walls remain around the upper city, however the Crusaders and Turks may have reused Herod's stones. Herodian stones remain at the "Tower of David" (Jaffa Gate), in the "Western Wall," and were reported at the SE corner of the modern Old City walls. If Nehemiah's wall existed, the stones may have been reused in later building projects.
If archaeologists could not find the Roman walls around the lower city, is it any wonder they found a few remains from an early Iron Age city there? The strongest spring in the region exists at Gihon. The hills are yet populated with olive, fig, and date trees. The elevation and rainfall provided much better pasture than areas to the east of Jerusalem.
After reading Israel archaeological surveys of the hill country north of Jerusalem it seems a site with a strong spring was likely to be occupied through more time periods than a site more than four miles from a year round water source.
David Q. Hall