Crucifixion of Jesus
"And when they came to a place called The Skull (Golgotha) there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left." (Luke 23:33) Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea, traveled from Caesarea on the sea coast up to Jerusalem to oversee the Passover Festivities. As the highest Roman representative, he stayed in Herod's palace that was at the highest point of Jerusalem located inside the gate called Gennath on the right side of the painting. There he passed the death sentence on Jesus and he ordered his execution. It was Roman procedure to put on public display the victim of a crucifixion.
According to Heb. 13:12 Jesus's crucifixion took place outside the city walls. Golgotha was located at the intersection of two main roads entering Jerusalem. The north-south road running outside the 1st century AD city walls of Jerusalem terminated at a city gate near Herod's palace. The east-west road terminated at the Temple Mount. That north-south road today is the Arab market street of the Suq a-Zeit in the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem. The east-west road is now David Street you can enter from Jaffa Gate. The city walls moved during the centuries but the streets remained. Outside the city gate, at the junction of the two highways, there was a market place through which Jesus carried his cross on his way to Golgotha. Following the second failed Jewish revolt against Roman domination in 135 AD a temple of Aphrodite was built on Golgotha which was all but leveled for the purpose.
Tradition preserved the location of the crucifixion, however and 200 years later, in the year 320, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great embraced Christianity and gave orders to replace the temple of Aphrodite with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher within whose walls both the site of the crucifixion and Jesus' tomb are enclosed. The market place was incorporated into the new basilica which became a commercial hub.