Today I visited the excavations at the Church of the Redeemer that is inside the Old City of Jerusalem. This exhibit has been open since December and the entrance fee is 15 NIS. The price includes a visit to the excavations, the “museum,” and the bell tower (178 steps to the top).
The excavated area is well laid out and the major architectural finds are highlighted. There is a digitally produced audio-visual display (on a 10 x 8 inch screen) that is available in German and English. It lasts about 5 minutes and is very well produced—highlighting the quarry from the Old Testament period, the garden from Second Temple times above the quarry, the forum of Hadrian, and the forum after the Constantinian building program (it would be great to be able to purchase a DVD of this!). The excavations confirmed that the area of the Church of the Redeemer and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were both outside of the city wall—up until the time that the third wall was built. By pushing the buttons the various architectural finds are displayed.
FWIW – I used my “cyclops headlamp” when I visited the site, and it was very useful. The “museum” is beautifully laid out and the descriptions of photos and diagrams are very thorough—to read and absorb them all would take a good hour or more.
I see that Tom Powers has recently reported on this site and has additional details.