“Two major monuments lie south of the Temple Mount in the City of David: the Large Stone Structure and Stepped Stone Structure. Building on previous suggestions, Nadav Na’aman uses textual and archaeological evidence to identify these monuments as, respectively, the remains of King David’s palace and the Millo (Bible Archaeology Society). Solomon built the rampart called Millo, which was a fortification that apparently existed when Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites. 2 Chronicles 32:4-5 says “And he strengthened himself, built up all the wall that was broken, raised it up to the towers, and built another wall outside; also he repaired the Millo in the City of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance.” (The Land of Jerusalem – Bible History) The Millo already existed when David conquered Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:9) He extended it to the right and left, thus completing the defense of the city. It was rebuilt by Solomon (1 Kings 99:15, 24; 11:27) and repaired by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:5) (Ngo, 2014)
Approximate Year of Completion
900 B.C. (Gross, 2005)
Duration of construction
Millo was first built by the Canaanites, and added onto by David, Solomon, and Hezekiah. (Paton, 1907)
“Probably it was a wall of earth faced with stones, such as the excavations have disclosed in the city of Gezer of the same period. Such a rampart, constructed by filling in earth between two walls of stone, could be appropriately described as a Millo, or “filling.” It could also easily be enlarged by later monarchs. The wall at Gezer has been strengthened by having a new face built and a new filling inserted between it and the old wall. In some such way David, Solomon, and Hezekiah may have built out the old Millo of the Canaanites.” (Paton, 1907)
Fig. 1: Galyn Wiemers stands in front of a view looking at the sloped wall built by the Jebusites and reinforced by David, which served as a protective wall (glacis) but also as a terraced support system called the Millo in scripture. The straight wall with the right-angled corner in the background is from the days of Nehemiah. The remains between the Jebusite wall and Nehemiah’s wall are the ruins of the ribs of retaining walls from the 1200s BC designed to hold fill. Just in front of them is the beginning of rooms dating from 700-586 BC.(Wimers, Galyn)
“After David conquered the Jebusite “stronghold of Zion,” he is said to have renamed the area the City of David and fortified it “from the Millo inward” (2 Samuel 5:7-9) The etymology of the Hebrew word “millo” may be derived from the verb ml’, to “fill up.” Nadav Na’aman suggests that the stepped stone structure, which extends down the slope from the Large Stone Structure and is built of a fill of stones and earth, may be the Millo referenced in the book of Samuel.” (Bible Archaeology Society).
Other significant comments
“The only weak point in the fortification of the southeast hill is the narrow neck which connects it with the Temple hill on the north” (Paton, 1907)
Sources and references
Ngo, R. (Jan. 17, 2014). "King David's Palace and the Millo." Feb. 28, 2014.
Paton, L. B. (1907). "Jerusalem in Bible Times: VI. Jerusalem in the Earliest Times." The Biblical World, 19.