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Akra (Acra)

Bob Cornuke
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Five Location Theories

After decades of digs and dozens of theories, fortress dating back over 2,200 years discovered in Givati  parking lot
Seluecid Akra (acra) found.
The Akra (Acra) was built between the City of David and the Temple.  From the tower of the Akra they were able to view inside the Temple, which means that the Akra had to be very near the south wall of  Solomon's/Zerubbabel's Temple. As you can see with my theory, which allows for the southern half of Solomon's Temple to go beyond the south wall of the Temple Mount, it is much closer to the location of the Akra and with the full height of the towers would have allowed for this to happen.  The other theories would not be able to support this as the true place of the Akra.

In the map below the blue lines represent 
Herod's extended courts on this map.  The green lines represent Solomon's Temple. At the time the Akra existed Zerubbabel's Temple would have been within Solomon's wall area and courts, in green.

Akra Found

Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, Yana Tchekhanovets and Salome Cohen, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority believe they have found the runs of the Akra (Acra). The Akra was a fortified Hellenistic citadel erected in Jerusalem by the Seleucid conquerors, after they first destroyed the city in 168 BC. The compound was torn down by the Maccabee rebels fighting the Greek rulers in the 2nd century BC. They have found “remains of fortifications, weapons, ceramics and coins from the Hellenistic era. The catapults at the site were engraved with a pitchfork, the emblem of King Antiochus IV. They discovered numerous coins ranging in date from the reign of Antiochus IV to that of Antiochus VII and the large number of wine jars that were imported from the Aegean region to Jerusalem, which were discovered at the site.” These items “provide evidence of the citadel’s chronology, as well as the non-Jewish identity of its inhabitants”.They believe “the archaeological finds indicate the establishment of a well-fortified stronghold that was constructed on the high bedrock cliff overlooking the steep slopes of the City of David hill.”

The Akra citadel was peopled by a Seleucid garrison with Hellenized Jews who supported the Seleucid rulers. From there they controlled the approach to the Temple cutting off the Temple from the old City of David.

Josephus writes;

"…and when he had overthrown the city walls, [Epiphanes] built a citadel [Greek: Acra] in the lower part of the city, for the place was high, and overlooked the temple; on which account he fortified it with high walls and towers, and put into it a garrison of Macedonians. However, in that citadel dwelt the impious and wicked part of the multitude, from whom it proved that the citizens suffered many and sore calamities.” -Antiquities of the Jews book 12 chap 5:4

Also see Greek Stronghold Found

"In recent months, excavators believe that they have exposed evidence of the Acra citadel on the City of David hill: a section of a massive wall, a base of a tower of impressive dimensions (width c. 4 m, length c. 20 m) and a glacis. The glacis, which was built next to the wall, is a defensive sloping embankment composed of layers of soil, stone and plaster, designed to keep attackers away from the base of the wall. This embankment extended as far down as the bottom of the Tyropoeon –the valley that bisected the city in antiquity and constituted an additional obstacle in the citadel’s defenses. Lead sling shots, bronze arrowheads and ballistae stones discovered at the site are the silent remains of battles that were waged there at the time of the Hasmoneans, in their attempt to conquer the citadel which was viewed as a ‘thorn in the flesh’ of the city."

Update 2022
The dig continues in the parking lot with many more finds and buildings.

orker of the Israel Antiquities Authority displays ivory plaques unearthed in excavations in the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David National Park near the walls of the old city of Jerusalem on Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)
News item

Locating Solomon's Temple 
by Norma Robertson




Locating Solomon's Temple
Book 1

Book 2