Herodian Shops

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The Herodian Shops were a cluster of cells built along the Western wall on the southwest corner. The cluster of shops included some 3 or 4 shops along the western wall and 5 or 6 shops on the opposite side of the street. Along with the "Royal Stoa", which was constructed along the southern edge of the Temple Mount, this street provided a focus for the city's commercial and legal transactions.


Evidence of the commerce that once took place here is provided by the many stone weights of different sizes which were found in this area.

In the first century CE, when pilgrims arrived in Jerusalem, they frequently encountered money changers and merchants around the Jerusalem temple. Merchants sold animals—doves or cattle—for temple sacrifices; it was easier for travelers to buy an animal near the temple than to bring one along.


circa 10 CE

Aerial View of the Herodian Street (identify), where most of the the shops were located at the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount). Money changers and animal merchants were ubiquitous around the temple, even in the outer Court of the Gentiles. The money changers and sellers of livestock were forced to operate outside of the temple. Indeed, archaeological excavations along the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem revealed this street and a row of small shops that likely housed money changers, sellers of small animals, and souvenir merchants.


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