February 1, 2013 Leave a comment
November 6, 2012 1 Comment
Arutz Sheva reports:
A group of Jews that ascended the Temple Mount Sunday were shocked to see that ancient beams of wood that had apparently been used during the period of the Holy Temple were being used as firewood by Arabs on the Mount, and off it. Archaeologists have dated the wood as far back as the First Temple period, and appear to be among the celebrated “Cedars of Lebanon” mentioned in the Tanach.
The wood, consisting of giant beams, first appeared at the end of the 1930s, when the Al-Aqsa mosque which currently occupies the Temple Mount was refurbished. The beams had been used in the roof structure of the mosque, and already at that time they were said to be thousands of years old by archaeologists – preserved only because they had been used in the building. Some of the beams were dated to the first Temple period, others to Roman times, and at least one beam was found to have Byzantine-era designs etched on it…
Now, many of the beams have been placed at what appears to be a dumping ground next to the Golden Gate of the Old City, apparently for the use of local Arabs as firewood. Jewish groups that visited the Mount saw the beams being moved, but reported that the Arabs forbade them to take photos of the activity. Officials of the Archaeology Authority, who are responsible for the safety of these ancient beams, are nowhere to be seen…
July 3, 2012 Leave a comment
In that article I observed that:
“ordinary cement was used in the repairs of walls and pavements. Large areas of new pavement have been laid in the southern part of the Temple Mount, again with ordinary cement in between the joints. This causes a greater flow toward the outer walls, which simply cannot absorb so much water.”
In a previous post, I warned of the structural problems created by wrong repairs to the Temple Mount walls:
One of the first lessons I was taught during the MA course in the Conservation of Ancient Buildings at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies of the University of York, UK, was that one NEVER uses ordinary Portland cement in the repair of ancient buildings. It prevents ancient walls from “breathing” and eventually causes the collapse of these walls. The Waqf’s continued use of modern building materials in the repair of these bulges and other walls is the equivalent of putting a time-bomb in the walls of the Temple Mount.
Alexander Schick sent me some photographs which shows that my prediction was true:
Here we see the Southern Wall, just east of the Triple Gate, showing that the rain water has damaged the joints in between the stones. Photo © Alexander Schick
Here we see the damage caused to the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount. As predicted, the cement-repaired section could not absorb the water, hence the dirty streaks left by water that cascaded down the wall above the repaired section. Photo © Alexander Schick
Here we see the damage caused by water just above the Double Gate in the Southern Wall. Photo © Alexander Schick
It is clear that the time bomb is ticking louder. It is only a matter of time when large sections of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount will collapse. When that happens, the Muslims will predictably incriminate the Israelis, when, in fact, they only have themselves to blame.
February 26, 2012 Leave a comment
Why is Israeli government covering up Muslim effort to erase any trace of Jewish history on Temple Mount? Archeology expert: Excavations barbaric, a crime
Ira Pasternack couldn’t believe his eyes. The tractor’s huge blade was lifted high up and then brought down with great force, shattering the ancient floors on Temple Mount. The large clods of earth exposed by the work were cast aside by the mustachioed driver. Yet even an amateur archeologist could spot the priceless remnants of Jewish, Christian and Muslim history being cast away.
A few hours earlier, on a steaming July day in 2007, Pasternack was sent to Temple Mount in his role as an Israel Antiquities Authority inspector, in order to supervise excavation works at the holy site, which in the past boasted two Jewish Temples. This marked the first such project at the site since the 1967 Six-Day War, as the area’s sensitivity could prompt a political and diplomatic flare-up, thereby discouraging any such work.
According to specific Antiquities Authority instructions, any digging at the site was not allowed to exceed 60 centimeters (roughly two feet) and was not to be undertaken using mechanical equipment. However, reports drafted by Pasternnack and other sources, exposed for the first time by Yedioth Ahronoth Friday, indicate that workers largely ignored the instructions.
Much of the work was done using a tractor, continued during the night with the help of a flashlight, reached deeper than the permit allowed for. Moreover, the clods of earth removed from the site, which apparently comprised valuable remnants from the two Jewish Temples, were thrown away to an improvised garbage dump by members of the Waqf (the administrative Muslim body in charge of Temple Mount.)
Archeology expert Dr. Gabai Barkai, a world-renowned expert on Temple era excavations, was shocked by the reported work: “How could one dig up such sensitive area at night? How could one dig using mechanical equipment? Every such move is a crime. This is first-rate barbarity.”
Why is report secret?
An investigative report by Yedioth Ahronoth revealed the ongoing failure of various Israeli authorities in safeguarding the rare archeological treasures found on Temple Mount. Information elicited by the newspaper showed that the Waqf is consistently erasing any trace of Jewish history at the site.
Mideastern affairs expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar says these acts are undertaken in the framework of an Arab practice known as “erasing the signs,” aimed at eliminating the remnants of any civilization that preceded Islam.
Members of the State Comptroller’s Office launched an investigation into the affair four years ago and drafted a report about it. However, the Knesset’s State Control Committee decided to impose a gag order on the report for “security reasons.”
However, Israeli intelligence officials told Yedioth Ahronoth there is no reason to prevent the report’s publication. A senior Shin Bet Security Service official said following the Committee’s session on the matter: “I’m ashamed. This is akin to cheapening national security to the lowest point possible.”
Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan has also questioned the gag order. “There is no connection whatsoever between the failure to publish the report and national security. As far as I know, both Mossad and Shin Bet said there is no reason not to publish the report…apparently there are other considerations here, pertaining to political motives.”
Conversations and interviews held with dozens of officials involved in drafting the State Comptroller’s secret report indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among the senior officials interested in shelving the document. Attorney Yisrael Caspi, who represents a group fighting the destruction on Temple Mount, says the PM is unequivocally responsible for the ongoing failure.
“One cannot underestimate the prime minister’s responsibility for the state of affairs on Temple Mount; one can only refer to it as absolute responsibility,” he said. “We know with certainty that nothing happens on Temple Mount without the advance knowledge and permission of the Prime Minister’s Office and its head. All the criticism, all the negligence, all the failures, the entire cover-up and the helplessness in dealing with the matter – and therefore all the historical responsibility – are his.”
Caspi says Netanyahu does not want to be reminded of the “historical scandal” of handing over the holy site known in Judaism as Solomon’s Stables to the Waqf during the PM’s first term in office, in the 1990s. “This turned Solomon’s Stables, an amazing archeological site…into a place that Jews are not allowed to enter and into the largest mosque in the State of Israel,” he says.
“These days too, three tractors are being used on Temple Mount,” Caspi says. “Construction materials are also continuing to be brought into Temple Mount in violation of police pledges…Temple Mount looks today like a construction materials’ warehouse…materials being brought in today will be used for illegal works tomorrow.”
In another disturbing case, a ministerial committee approved the use of two giant generators on Temple Mount. “At times you’re just stunned by the lack of wisdom in our conduct on Temple Mount,” Attorney Caspi says. “You can’t believe these things are happening. We are playing into our enemies’ hands and shooting ourselves in the foot, because these generators can provide enough electricity for half the city. Why are they needed?”
“Now, there is a regular supply of electricity to Temple Mount. The State of Israel has no interest whatsoever in allowing the Muslims the possibility to riot and barricade themselves there.”
Waqf denies ‘false charges’
After the opening of the Western Wall Tunnels in 1996 and the subsequent riots at the site, then-PM Netanyahu agreed to unilateral Waqf steps in the area. The Waqf almost immediately embarked on excavation work, and two months after the tunnels were opened the Islamic body inaugurated the largest mosque in Israel at the large space associated with Solomon’s stables, thereby banning Jews from entering the site.
Two years later, the Waqf inaugurated another mosque, this time below the al-Aqsa Mosque nearby. As part of the work, the Waqf cleared great amounts of soil from the area, built a new floor and installed new pipes, while drilling into ancient stones. Moreover, Waqf members painted over rare Jewish works at the site. All this work was undertaken without Israeli supervision, and one can only imagine the kinds of cultural, historical and religious treasures lost in the process.
In 1999, the Waqf went a step further and dug a hole in the Temple Mount plaza, arguing that it needed to build an emergency exit for the mosque. The work was done by tractors, with some 250 trucks removing about 12,000 tons of soil replete with archeological findings from the site. The soil was dumped at a city garbage dump and also near the Kidron River.
Archeologists Gabi Barkai and Zachi Zweig are now sifting through the latter pile as part of a special project, and have already discovered priceless findings attesting to the administrative work undertaken in the first Temple. The archeologists also found decorated utensils from the King Solomon era, as well as coins and clay dating back to the second Temple. Hundreds of artifacts have already been put on show for the benefit of the general public.
Dr. Ayelet Mazar, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center’s Jewish archeology Institute, witnessed the digging at the Temple Mount plaza in 1999. “For me as an archeologist it was a shock; it was like performing heart surgery with a hoe. The Waqf’s objective is to not only turn Temple Mount into a holy compound, but to turn it into a ‘built up Aqsa’ for Muslims only,” she says. “One need not be an archeologist to understand there’s destruction here.”
The Prime Minister’s Office issued the following response to the story: “As opposed to the claims, the body that imposed a gag order on the (State Comptroller’s) report was not the government, but rather, the sub-committee of the Knesset’s Defense and Foreign Affair’s Committee…any argument alleging that the report is not being published as result of irrelevant reasons is baseless and disconnected from reality.”
The Waqf issued the following response: “The Waqf’s management was sorry to hear the claims made in the story pertaining to the Waqf’s policy on Temple Mount. In the Waqf management’s view, all these claims are baseless and constitute false charges. Our official policy is to preserve and respect any human heritage. You are invited to visit the mosque and see for yourself well preserved Roman, Byzantine and Crusader artifacts, among other items.”
HT: Joseph I. Lauer
February 25, 2012 Leave a comment
Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar warns: The Waqf is planning to unite all the mosques on the Temple Mount into one.
Arutz Sheva has the report:
Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar warned on Thursday about the plans of the Muslim religious authority, the Waqf, for the Temple Mount.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Mazar said that for the past 12 years, the Waqf has constantly built on the Temple Mount in an attempt to implement its final plan: the establishment of a huge mosque on the Mount.
“There is no order there and no one to uphold the law,” she said. “No one can enforce the law there. Not the Israel Antiquities Authority, not the Nature and Parks Authority and not the city of Jerusalem. The police are there but they are precluded from enforcing.”
The Temple Mount was left in the hands of the Waqf following Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, a decision of then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. The Waqf has taken advantage of this and removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the most Jewish holy site. At the entrance, a Waqf sign says, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property”.
Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, discriminate against Jews. They limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
Mazar, a member of a group of Israelis who work to prevent the destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount, said that the State Comptroller wrote a report which exposed serious findings about Israeli authorities’ inability to enforce the law on the Temple Mount, but noted that the report has remained confidential to this day.
“The Comptroller produced a thorough report and questioned all the right people. He came to important conclusions which so far have not been published. Our group has demanded and continues to demand that the contents of the report be published.”
She warned that the excavations of antiquities being performed on the Temple Mount by the Waqf may lead to disaster.
“It has been going on for 12 years. They’re digging there as if it’s a construction site. There is a danger that the ground will collapse under thousands of Muslims. It endangers the safety of the people. There must be engineering control over this huge monument. Every stone on the Temple Mount may contain some of the most important antiquities in the world.”
Mazar added, “I do not accept the argument that this could lead to a world war. The Temple Mount is at the center of Jerusalem. We’re not harming the Muslim rituals. We only want to enforce the law and order so that a disaster can be prevented. The Waqf cannot be trusted. If something collapses there the Western Wall may also be damaged, because the Temple Mount is on a round hill and its edges will be in danger.”
Mazar said the Waqf’s final plan is to unite all the mosques on the Temple Mount and create one big mosque. She added that it has been working for years to put the plan into practice and warned that if this happens, Jews will not be able to go to the Temple Mount.
“We know that the Waqf’s goal is to unite all one the mosques, and unfortunately today it is far from being just an illusion,” she said. “We will definitely weep over this plan in the future.”
Yes, the Waqf goal is to removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence on the Temple Mount and make sure that no proper archaeology work is ever done. This means the utter destruction any and all archaeological evidence.
December 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Two years ago we reported here about our random discovery of the First and Second Temple period city dumps at the Eastern slopes of the Temple Mount. Tomorrow we are going to publish a preliminary report about our finds from these dumps at the annual conference of New Studies on Jerusalem at the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Here are the English briefs for 2 of our articles.
Secondary Refuse Aggregates from the First and Second Temple Periods on the Eastern Slope of the Temple Mount
Zachi Dvira (Zweig), Gal Zigdon and Lara Shilov
The lowest area of the slope on the eastern side of the Temple Mount towards the Kidron Valley has never been systematically excavated since it is considered to be out of the boundaries of the ancient city of Jerusalem. In the months of March and April 2009, on the eastern slopes of the Temple Mount, in a compound owned by the Franciscan Fathers, rehabilitation work was carried out as part of preparations for a Pontifical Mass that took place in this area during Pope Benedict’s visit to Jerusalem in May 2009. These works required some digging into the terraces at the site. The work was supervised by an Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) inspector in order to ensure that no archaeological remains would be damaged. At several locations antiquities were encountered, and the digging was stopped. In one area at the bottom of the slope, the contractor dug deep into the terrace and revealed a large section of the slope in which various layers could be seen. Among the layers was a deposit of refuse aggregates dated to the late Second Temple Period, and were part of a large city dump of that period. A similar section of this dump was revealed about 420 m. south of this location by Ronnie Reich and Eli Shukrun and was identified by them as the Jerusalem City Dump during the late Second Temple Period. At the same location, the remains of a human burial were also spotted penetrating the Second Temple Period aggregates. This burial site should be dated probably to the Byzantine Period.
In order to return the debris from the burial to its original location and fix the terrace wall, the contractor dug a deep foundation trench for a retaining wall. Upon examining the section of the trench and the material removed from it, it appeared that the trench penetrated a refuse pit from the First Temple Period at its northern half, and a deposit of the refuse aggregates from the late Second Temple Period at its southern half.
The section of the trench and material that was excavated from it revealed a large quantity of pottery shards and bones that seemed to originate from a refuse pit from the First Temple Period. Near the pit remains of some large building stones upon bedrock were also revealed. It was not clear whether these stones were in situ or part of a collapsed wall.
The soil from this trench was transferred to the Temple Mount Sifting Project at the Tzurim Valley National Park for further examination. The sifting of the material from both the northern section of the trench (P56-N) and the southern section (P56-S) yielded remains of rich pottery assemblages, bones, fragments of ovens, fragments of glass, flint implements and flakes, etc. Quantitative analysis of the amount and density of these remains showed abnormal proportions relative to other archaeological contexts, which indicates that the sifted debris originates from refuse aggregates.
Quantitative analysis of the distribution and classification of the finds also yielded valuable information when compared to other sites in Jerusalem and outside it. The First Temple Period refuse pit had a very large amount of serving and drinking wares, while jugs and storage jars had a very low percentage. In addition, there were many sawn bones, relative to other sites.
The late Second Temple Period refuse aggregates displayed a very large quantity of cooking vessels, oven fragments and glass fragments while the lamps and jugs appeared to have a very low percentage. Imported ware was hardly represented and only a few shards were found relative to other sites in Jerusalem in which they appear at 1%-2%. This low quantity fits well with other refuse deposit studies which conclude that valuable items appear less frequently in secondary refuse aggregates than in primary deposits.
The Second Temple Period refuse aggregate was similar to the section studied by Reich and Shukrun on 2003 but also differed in a few details. The Temple Mount dump had a high percentage of glass shards and juglets and a low percentage of oil lamps relative to the southern section of the dump.
The pottery from the First Temple Period was dated to the Iron Age IIA (10th – 9th century BCE) – Iron Age IIB (8th century), while the Second Temple Period pottery was dated to the Second Century BCE – First Century CE. The appearance of pottery from the early phases of the Iron Age II was surprising due to the scarcity of such remains in Jerusalem, especially outside the City of David. The reason for such scarcity is that the vast majority of the archaeological finds usually come from destruction layers which mark the end of a period. For this reason finding pottery from all periods of the Iron Age II strengthens the assumption that we are dealing with a refuse aggregates and not regular occupation deposits that usually represent the termination of occupation, whereas refuse pits may show a continuity of occupation during a long period.
In addition to the pottery there were many other special finds:
- Six clay bullae/sealings and one bone seal. Some were in Egyptian style and seemed to date to the 9th-8th centuries BCE. One bulla included the inscription “[גֺ]בעןֺ/לֺמלך” (“Gibeon for the king”) and could be dated to the 8th or early 7th century BCE. The bulla is from a unique group called “fiscal bullae” which sealed tax commodities sent to the King of Judah. The bulla is discussed in depth in Gabriel Barkay’s article in this volume.
- Fragments of jar handles with potter’s marks
- Dozens of clay figurine fragments
- A bone figurine fragment which represent a very high level carving of a man’s face.
- A terracotta figurine fragment of an arm and a palm with a club. We presume this was probably a figurine of Hercules holding a club.
These finds raise a few questions: What were the unique patterns of refuse treatment during the First Temple Period and the Late Second Temple Period? Did the refuse aggregates originate from the Temple Mount? What can we deduce about the population who created this refuse?
These questions are emphasized especially when considering a few biblical references that imply the existence of a garbage dump at Kidron valley near the Temple Mount (see 1 Kings 15:11-14; 2 Kings 23:4-12; 2 Chronicles 29:15; 2 Chronicles 30:14; Jeremiah 31:40). These accounts and the existence of such a refuse pit near the stream of the Kidron Valley at its western bank and its special finds may indicate that the refuse in the pit we have recovered originates from the Temple Mount.
We sincerely believe that further excavations at the site and its vicinity will shed much light on the activity that took place on the Temple Mount and about the refuse patterns of the First and Second Temple Periods.
A Fiscal Bulla from the Slopes of the Temple Mount – Evidence for the Taxation System of the Judean Kingdom
A small fragment of a clay bulla was discovered in the wet sifting carried out at Tzurim Valley National Park, the site of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. The bulla carries an Ancient Hebrew inscription: “[g]b’n/lmlk“, i.e. “Gibeon, for the King”. The bulla originates from the eastern slope of the Temple Mount, descending into the Kidron Valley. The bulla belongs to a group of bullae which were called by N. Avigad “Fiscal Bullae”. Presently we know more than 50 bullae of this type. They comprise two groups, one with names of cities in the kingdom of Judah, and the other with names of royal officials. All the fiscal bullae known until now come from the antiquities market, and our bulla is the first one to come from a controlled archaeological project. This bulla enables us to fully illuminate and discuss the entire phenomenon of the fiscal bullae. The article includes a full list of the previously published fiscal bullae, with a thorough discussion and correction of some of the initial readings. The bullae include names of 19 different cities of Judah, and dates of the reign of one of the Judean kings, usually in hieratic numerals, as well as the particle “lmlk“, “for the king”. The components of the inscriptions are discussed, as well as the geographical history of the bullae, and its comparison to the list of Judean cities in Joshua 15: 20-63. The fiscal bullae represent a taxation system from the different Judean cities, based on yearly taxes, which probably replaced the previous one, reflected in the royal Judean jars and their seal impressions, from the time of King Hezekiah. The discussion includes the characteristic details of the taxation systems of the Samaria Ostraca and the “lmlk” jars, in comparison to the fiscal bullae. A detailed discussion of 13 different arguments is brought to suggest the dating of the fiscal bullae to the time of King Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son (698-642 BCE). The mentioning of Lachish in some of the bullae is directly connected to the question of the date of the reconstruction of that city’s level II. The city is mentioned to pay its taxes in the 19th and 21st regnal years, which could not be in the reign of Hezekiah as the city was destroyed by Sennacherib in 701 BCE, which was Hezekiah’s 14th regnal year. According to our suggestion, Lachish was restored after being in ruins for about 16 years, by King Manasseh, rather than Josiah, as previously suggested.
The discovery of the fiscal bulla with the name of Gibeon from the slope of the Temple Mount, authenticates all the other fiscal bullae, and enables us to study a variety of subjects connected to the history of Judah in the 7th century BCE.
HT: PaleoJudaica where Dr Jim Davila notes:
… It is worth emphasizing that these latest artifacts come from a scientific excavation, not from the informal ravages of the Waqf on the Temple Mount.
November 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Jerusalem Muslims continue to conduct illegal burials along the walls of the Temple Mount, group reveals.
Despite calls to protect the holy site, Jerusalem Muslims continue to bury their dead along the walls of the Temple Mount, according to a report in Maariv. The most recent funerals were revealed by the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities.
The burials took place despite a government promise, made in response to a Supreme Court appeal, to prevent a takeover of the important area.
The land in question part of a national park area in which burial is prohibited. The burials are not only illegal, but prevent archaeologists from accessing places with tremendous historic value, experts say.
Representatives from the Committee to Prevent Destruction slammed Jerusalem police for allowing funerals to continue. “The police continue their policy of buying quiet at any price, of avoiding fulfilling their duty,” a spokesman said.
Police “are ready to sacrifice our archaeological property, as long as they won’t be forced to do their mission,” he added.
A total of several dozen people have been buried along the Temple Mount walls in recent years. In addition, local Arabs have created fake graves in the area in order to establish a Muslim presence.
May 27, 2011 Leave a comment
Several worked stones discovered during ongoing maintenance archaeology excavations around the Dome of the Rock may be part of a wall that once surrounded an outer courtyard of the Temple, some archaeologists conjecture.
The archaeology excavations are being carried out by the Waqf, the Muslim trust that is custodian of the Temple Mount, and the Public Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount called a press conference yesterday to warn that the excavation is endangering these and other rare artifacts.
There have been verbal confrontations in recent days between Waqf officials and police and Israel Antiquities Authority representatives over the Waqf’s violation of the terms of the permit it received to conduct work at the site. In one incident, a police officer tried to prevent Waqf workers from operating a bulldozer, ultimately resorting to blocking the vehicle with his body. Tempers later calmed, after senior officials intervened.
Waqf officials told the Associated Press that the 1.5-meter-deep trench in question is being dug in order to replace 40-year-old electric cables. They termed the claims by the Israeli archaeologists “sheer propaganda.”
Dr. Gabi Barkai, one of Israel’s most prominent archaeologists and a member of the committee, said that the Waqf’s current excavation, along with a previous one of over 400 meters in the direction of the Dome of the Rock, is an archaeological crime unacceptable in any cultured country.
Another archaeologist and committee member, Dr. Eilat Mazar, said it is unfathomable that the police, and perhaps also the IAA, allowed a bulldozer to damage layers of ground beneath the extensive flooring now uncovered.
“It is an unbelievable spectacle,” Mazar said. “Israeli police officers and an official from the Antiquities Authority observing as a tractor digs the trench. This is irreparable destruction. After all, nobody is examining the dirt and materials coming out of that trench, which is located in an incredibly unique area, of historic, cultural and religious importance for every human being, and particularly for the Jewish people.”
The committee issued a statement demanding that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Rafi Eitan and the IAA stop the Waqf’s work immediately, and prevent any further work on the Mount without proper archaeological supervision.
The archaeologists announced that they would file a police complaint and are contemplating a petition to the High Court of Justice against the excavation work…
In a related development yesterday, new artifacts discovered in sifting through earth removed from the Temple Mount were presented at the eighth annual City of David archaeological conference.
The project, now in its third year, entails scrutinizing truckloads of earth removed by the Waqf in 1999.
Among the ancient finds were numerous stone tiles intended for flooring, some of which have been identified as designed for use in the Roman-era mosaic work known as opus sectile, in which colorful tiles were cut into shapes and fitted into geometric patterns.
“The discovery of stone tiles used in opus sectile flooring in [earth from] the Temple Mount is one of the most important discoveries of the dirt-sifting work,” Barkai said, “and it might aid in reconstructing the appearance and character of the Temple’s outer courtyard.” …
There is more here.
Criminal is what it is. And in my opinion, the Waqf is simply petrified that (any) evidence of the Temple will be uncovered, and that golden monstrosity now preventing any archaeological work, be undone.
I’ve mentioned this unacceptable state of affairs before, here.
April 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Your help is needed:
As part of our research in preparing to publish the finds of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, one of our great challenges is identifying and dating special artifacts since they have been found out-of-context. With our acquaintance with the material culture of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel throughout its generations, we manage to identify and date most of the finds, but many others are only partially identified or remain a total enigma. Since our current research is dealing with archaeological finds from the Temple Mount – these finds being the only material from the Temple Mount that is accessible for archaeological study – we concluded that, in order to increase our ability to identify them, we should enlist the help of the world wide community of scholars via the internet. Therefore, we have established a website in which we will upload from time to time images of artifacts about which we need more information.
On this website visitors are able to view photos of various artifacts found at the Sifting Project and comment on those about which they are familiar…
We have uploaded a preliminary collection of photos, and we will continue to upload from time to time more items from various types of finds. We would appreciate it very much if you would browse through the photo gallery and add your comments…
To do so, click here.
Looks like this could be fun…
HT: Bible Places
March 10, 2011 Leave a comment
The Jerusalem Post reports:
The 35-acre compound Muslims know as Haram Al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, is the third holiest site in Islam. Jews refer to the site as the Temple Mount.
Built on the spot where the ancient Jewish Temples once stood, the golden-roofed Dome of the Rock has been a fixture in the city since they were erected 13 centuries ago. Renovators working with the Jordanian-supported Waqf, or Supreme Muslim Council, have erected pipe scaffolding inside the seventh century shrine in order to restore the mosaics on the inside of the dome.
Others carefully vacuum away crumbling walls and work to restore the lintels around the many windows in the edifice. Built in 692 C.E. (A.D.), it is one of the oldest extant Islamic structures standing today. Muslims believe that the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from the Foundation Stone inside the magnificent building, which is decorated with blue tiles imported from Turkey.With thousands of worshipers and visitors passing through this site every day it has suffered wear and tear, not only from time but also from earthquakes and material fatigue. Renovators are in a constant battle to maintain the magnificent structure…