Jerusalem is one of the cities in the world on which most intensive archaeological research has been conducted. Nevertheless, the architectural history of the city resembles a puzzle of which only few pieces are known, which, moreover, belong to different historical levels.
Since 1838, numerous archaeological investigations have taken place. The most important discoveries were made in the course of excavations conducted by Kathleen Kenyon, Benjamin Mazar, Nahman Avigad and Yigal Shiloh. Although all four have only published preliminary, roughly sketched initial reports, on the basis of their results an overall picture of the pre-Hellenistic history of the city was developed in the 1970s and 1980s, possessing an almost canonical status for a long time.
The last excavation reports have only been published in recent years – still incomplete – and show findings which do not fit into the established picture. Moreover, there have been new excavations which are likely to call the current picture into question even further.
Therefore, not only archaeological investigations into the settlement history of the western Jordanian hillcountry and the re-adjustment of pottery chronology, but also and especially these new findings in Jerusalem itself require a revision of the conventional overall picture.
This Brief History of Jerusalem, with a critical discussion of current attempts, creates a synthesis of the findings in order to present a new paradigm for discussion.