Lithostrotos (Hadrian's Plaza)

The Lithostrotos (Roman Paving) under the Convent is considered to be where Jesus suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers, and where the trial by Pontius Pilate took place. But it is more likely that Pilate judged Jesus at Herod the Great‘s palace, on the site of the modern Citadel inside the Jaffa Gate. The Lithostrotos has the Church of Ecce Home above it and the Struthion Pool underneath it.

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circa 130 CE

Panoramic view of the service chapel in the Roman pavement area, now covered with an arched roof. A painting by James Tissot, circa 1890 CE, depicts an artistic impression of the biblical description of the site. The plaza is made of large flagstones that were specially etched to prevent horses from slipping.

circa 130 CE

Panoramic view of the Roman plaza beneath the Ecce Homo Church, from the south. The lit square frame close to the pillar in the middle, is the King's Game.

circa 130 CE

At the start of the 20th century, the French religious-archaeologist Father Louis-Hugues Vincent discovered a large expanse of ancient pavement immediately beneath the Convent of the Sisters of Zion. He declared that it was the “lithostrotos” of John’s gospel (the location of Pontius Pilate’s judgment of Jesus). Archaeology has proven conclusively that the pavement was associated with the arch and was part of the Hadrianic forum.

circa 130 CE

circa 130 CE

circa 130 CE

Kings' Game was played with sheep’s knuckles as dice and they would roll those dice on a playing board. The soldiers would pick one of their own and make him the “king”, give him robe, crown etc. During the course of the day the soldiers would gamble for all of his possessions – clothes, wife, home back in Rome, etc, culminating in gambling for who got to kill him. The game was outlawed, probably during the reformations made by Caesar Augustus.

circa 130 CE

The entrance to the underground Roman era plaza that was most likely a marketplace. Also referred to as Gabbatha in the Gospel of John (19:13), in Aramaic, "brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha."

circa 130 CE

The remains of the Hadrian's Arch (northern smaller arch), now known as the Ecce Homo Arch, inside the Ecce Homo Basilica. This arch was built over the large plaza built by Hadrian circa 130 CE, as an entrance to the eastern Forum of Aelia Capitolina; the site of the forum was previously a large open-air pool of water (the Strouthion Pool).

circa 130 CE

This site of the Hadrianic forum had previously been a large open-air pool of water called the Struthion Pool (sparrow pool). It was built in 1st century BCE next to the Antonia Fortress, a military barracks built around BCE 19 by Herod the Great. The Herodian pool was laying in the path of the northern decumanus, so Hadrian added arch vaulting to enable the pavement to be placed over it. The pool is located at the northwestern corner of Jerusalem's Temple Mount. It is a two chambered pool, the second chamber leads in to the western wall tunnel.

circa 130 CE

Entrance to the Church of Ecce Home is to the left under the Arch of Ecce Homo (Hadrian's Arch), the portal after the two barred windows. The entrance to the Roman era pavement is to the right (the small gate). The Lithostrotos exhibition includes, visual and auditory information units, Struthion Pool, museum, northern gallery, lithostrotos, eastern gallery, and prayer chapel.

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