Thursday, January 17, 2013

Roman Ruins on the Temple Mount

When Sebag was researching his Jerusalem: The Biography
I sent him this image (and a PhD in Hebrew to go with it).

The photo was taken earlier in the 20th century, but we were not sure what it showed other than a mosaic on the Temple Mount.

I wondered if it was linked to the temple Hadrian built there, or to Julian the Apostate's briefly started Third Temple.

In October Israel Daily Photo produced a bit of a shocker when they published photos from the 1920s and 30s which were titled along the lines of "Ancient entrance to Temple beneath el-Aksa."

These photos - look at the others they posted too - show the Roman staircase with Corinthian columns leading up to the Temple Mount. It was almost certainly built when Hadrian erected a temple on the site - that it turn was destroyed under Constantine, and its parts used to built the mosque above.

Until now Israel Daily Photo have been posting Library of Congress photos of the tunnels beneath the Temple Mount - but the great news is that the IAA just released hundreds more:

Eureka! Pictures Beneath the Temple Mount Now Online

I urge you to take the time to click through to their post, as they have a fabulous selection of photos taken after the 1927 earthquake hit Jerusalem, and before all the major reconstruction of the mosque took place. 

They have cisterns cut into the Rock (left), they have trenches, they have ... oh pretty much the most fabulous collection of images of the archaeology of the Temple Mount I have ever seen.

This post is also worth reading for modern photos, plans, etc. 

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