INTRODUCTION: For the first Easter in centuries the tens of thousands of pilgrims visiting the Old City of Jerusalem could be treading the same paving stones as Christ did on route to his crucifixion.
GV Old City of Jerusalem
GV Reconstruction work on recently discovered Roman gate in the old city
SV Men working on reconstruction
GV People walking towards Damascus Gate
CU Sign "Via Dolorosa"
GV PAN FROM Building TO site of newly placed stones
SV Yaacov Ya'acobi, head of East Jerusalem Development Co. speaking to reporter Andrea Binder (2 shots)
GV People walking on the Via Dolorosa
SCU Sign of Holy Sepulchre, and courtyard
SV Pilgrims praying near one of Stations of the Cross
CU PULL BACK TO GV Carving of Jesus on Fourth Station of the Cross
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT):
YA'ACOBI: "From 12 or 14 feet (3.7-4-3 metres) deep, under the level of the present street, we discovered a Herodian street. The street existed here at the time of Jesus. We lifted the stones, incorporated them in the new paving. And now the pilgrims are walking on them. And this is significant that the pilgrims may be walking on the same stones that Jesus was walking during the Crucifixion."
BINDER: "Has this been confirmed by all archaeologists or is there a dispute about it?"
YA'ACOBI: "About the Via Dolorosa, I'm not sure. About the discovery I'm sure, because we dug down 21 feet (6.4 metres) under the stones and we found nothing but pre-Herodian, which proves that the stones are Herodian, which is in the neighbourhood of 50 (years) before or 50 after Christ."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: For the first Easter in centuries the tens of thousands of pilgrims visiting the Old City of Jerusalem could be treading the same paving stones as Christ did on route to his crucifixion. A freak archaeological find made during restoration of the path linking the first eight Stations of the Cross, revealed a number of giant paving stones dating to the Herodian period. The stones -- some weighing up to three tons -- have been reinstalled to cover a distance of about nine metres (30 feet) between the Third and Fourth Stations.
SYNOPSIS: Reconstruction projects begun by the Israelis after taking control of the Old City in 1967, included restoration of the route believed to have been taken by Christ on his way to Calvary. Work on the Via Dolorosa, was almost complete when the sewer system began to disintegrate. Mr. Yaacov Ya'acobi, Director of the East Jerusalem Development Company told Andrea Binder about the discovery of the stones:
Over the years the tracing of the Via Dolorosa has been fiercely debated by Biblical scholars. The scheme to transform the route from a mudpath littered with potholes has cost over two million dollars. It includes semi-circular areas paved round the Stations of the Cross outside the Holy Sepulchre compound.
The restored section covers the route from Pilate's Judgement Hall to where Jesus consoled the women who wept for him. The old stones were found where Jesus first fell under the weight of the cross. They now lie between there and where he met his mother.