The Babylonian, Persian and early Hellenistic periods are unique in the history of Judah. They represent a kind of "interlude" between two periods of greatness and political independence. This article discusses the archaeological finds from Jerusalem in the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods. It includes an assessment of the scope of the built-up area of the city, and an estimate of the city's population, on the basis of the archaeological data. This article's emphasis on the importance of the Ophel hill as the main built-up area in the Persian and Early Hellenistic period is unique in present archaeological and historical research of ancient Jerusalem.