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The precise location of the crucifixion remains a matter of conjecture, but the biblical accounts indicate that it was outside the city walls, accessible to passers-by and observable from some distance away. Eusebius identified its location only as being north of Mount Zion, which is consistent with the two most popularly suggested sites of modern times. Calvary as an English name for the place is derived from the Latin word for skull (calvaria), which is used in the Vulgate translation of "place of a skull", the explanation given in all four Gospels of the Aramaic word Gulgalta which was the name of the place where Jesus was crucified. The text does not indicate why it was so designated, but several theories have been put forward. One is that as a place of public execution, Calvary may have been strewn with the skulls of abandoned victims (which would be contrary to Jewish burial traditions, but not Roman). Another is that Calvary is named after a nearby cemetery (which is consistent with both of the proposed modern sites). A third is that the name was derived from the physical contour, which would be more consistent with the singular use of the word, i.e., the place of "a skull". While often referred to as "Mount Calvary", it was more likely a small hill or rocky knoll. The traditional site, inside what is now occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, has been attested since the 4th century. A second site (commonly referred to as Gordon's Calvary), located further north of the Old City near a place popularly called the Garden Tomb, has been promoted since the 19th century, mostly by Protestants.
Golgotha was most likely located near the souther summit of the Mount of Olives. "Golgotha" can also be translated as "the place of the poll", or the place of where a census was taken. All Jewish males twenty or older had to pay the annual temple tax. The Jews would also conduct census's and "count heads" in a census of Jewish adult males. This was done at the remote temple installation of Bethpage located on the Mount of Olives. This was considered outside the boundaries of the city and thus enabled ceremonially unclean Jewish males to be counted without entering the city. There was an alter at Bethpage that was correspondingly called "The numbering alter". Also very early Christians revered a small cave on the Mount of Olives. Finally, a crucifixion near the southern summit of the Mount of Olives would have enabled those at the execution a view down into the Temple precincts. Christ died about three PM. This is the same time the High Priest would have sacrificed the lamb of the people at the temple and announced "it is done". Christ likely observed the high priest and then issued the same sentence "it is done" before dying. The presiding centurion would also have been able to directly observe the tearing of the Temple veil and earthquake (one non-canonical source says, for example, that the multi-ton lintel stone above the doors of the Temple came down). There is confusion on the tearing of the veil. There were two veils. The great veil just inside the doors to the holy place. The other veil was that separating the Holy from the most Holy Place. The great veil was the one torn (three stories in height and as thick as a man's fist). Finally, a crucifixion on the Mount of Olives has great symbolism. The Jews would tear their clothing when confronted with great sorrow, tragedy, or blasphemy. The Jews also believed that God resided in the Temple. And the Temple faced the mount of Olives to the East. When Christ died on the mount of Olives, the tearing of the great veil of the Temple was symbolic of the God tearing his clothing when confronted with the tragic necessity of His Son's death near the place of the poll/numbering alter.
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