Section B Topography

Chapter 10 - Central Valley (Tyropoeon Valley i.e., “Valley of the Cheesemakers”)

The Central Valley was a rugged ravine, like the Kidron and Hinnom, that separated Mount Moriah (Eastern Hill) from Mount Zion (Western Hill). Bridges were even built to span the distance between the two hills. The Central Valley began to be leveled off intentionally in the days of Hezekiah, and over the centuries, debris from the destruction and rebuilding of Jerusalem have, for all practical purposes, completely filled in the Central Valley leaving it level with the incline that rises to become the Western Hill. There may be as much as 70 feet of debris in the Central Valley.

The Central Valley ran along the western wall of the Temple Mount just like the Kidron Valley runs along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. The paved Herodian street seen today along the western wall under Robinson’s Arch follows its old course. Presently, the Central Valley runs under the Damascus Gate south, then southeast through the middle of the Old City, to the Pool of Siloam and meets the Hinnom and Kidron valleys south of the City of David.

On only one occasion Josephus refers to the Central Valley as the Tyropoeon Valley which means “Valley of the Cheesemakers.”