Sunday, 9 December 2007

New temple wall findings

Archaeologists have uncovered a wall near the Temple Mount.

Wall from above From Arutz Sheva
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Wednesday afternoon the discovery of a large-sized house from the Second Temple Period several dozen meters south of the Temple Mount.
It is a reasonably large structure
The find includes massive foundations, walls whose remains soar five meters high in some places, two-story-tall halls, a basement, ritual baths (mikvaot), remains of colored frescoes, and more.
The reports are speculating whose house they think the wall was part of. Of more interest is the location
The wall was found beneath a parking lot about 300 meters south of the area known as the Temple Mount to Jews and al-Haram al-Sharif to Muslims.
Unfortunately I do not know the layout of the area around the temple mount. I have created an annotated map, I assume the parking lot is between the Temple Mount and the Gihon Spring. Below is the current reconstruction of the old city.

Reconstruction of the Old City However Ernest Martin makes a good case for the temple being 600 metres south of the Temple Mount, near the area of the Gihon Spring. He comes to this conclusion after getting an architect to draw the temple based on the descriptions of Josephus Flavius. The reconstruction based on the eyewitness account put the temple further south with the south-east corner going down into the Kidron Valley. He claims the temple mount is in fact part of Fort Antonia, thus the Wailing Wall is part of the fort and not of the temple.

Reconstruction of Herod's temple and Fort AntoniaIf Martin is correct, finds like this and future finds may challenge the ruling paradigm and the correct location of the temple can be acknowledged. And the Muslim claim to the Temple Mount should not prevent the rebuilding of the temple today. View an animation and commentary of the reconstruction here.

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