Queen's Digs Found in Holy Land

Queen lived among the poor of ancient Jerusalem
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 7:05 AM CST
A photo provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority, of the 2.000-year-old remains of a building, just outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007. Israeli archaeologists digging...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Queen Helene of Adiabene, ruler of parts of Iraq, apparently had a pied-a-terre in the seedy part of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, according to an archaeological team that has unearthed the mansion. Now it’s prime real estate in the Arab quarter, forming the foundation of a parking lot until recently.

The mansion is the only major ancient structure in what was otherwise an exclusively poor neighborhood, reports AP. Historical records show the philanthropic queen gave both to the neighborhood poor and to the Second Temple before it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. The luxury digs are located in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which was occupied by Palestinians until the 1967 war.