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Two Discoveries; Two Temples

First Temple Remains

During a recent archaeological inspection on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority over maintenance works of the Waqf, a sealed archaeological level probably dated to the First Temple Period was exposed in the area close the southeastern corner of the raised platform surrounding the Dome of the Rock.

The finds include fragments of bowls, including rims, bases and body sherds; the base of a juglet used for the ladling of oil; the handle of a small juglet and the rim of a storage jar. The bowl sherds were decorated with wheel burnishing lines characteristic of the First Temple Period.

Read more at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The layer is a closed, sealed archeological layer that has been untouched since as early as the eighth century BCE,” said Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem District archeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Continue reading the Jerusalem Post article.

The place where it was found, near the south-east corner of the raised platform, is also highly significant. Archaeologists, such as Yuval Baruch, Sy Gittin and Ronnie Reich said that these finds may aid scholars in reconstructing the dimensions and boundaries of the Temple Mount during the First Temple Period.

Leen Ritmeyer illustrates his point with a diagram of the Temple Mount.

Second Temple Quarry

An ancient quarry where King Herod’s workers chiseled huge high-quality limestones for the construction of the Second Temple, including the Western Wall, has been uncovered in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced

Archeologists had previously assumed that the quarry which was used to construct the Temple Mount was located within the Old City itself, but the enormous size of the stones found at the site – up to 8 meters long – as well as coins and fragments of pottery vessels dating back to the first century CE indicated that this was the site used 2,000 years ago in the construction of the walls of the Temple Mount, including the Western Wall.

The entire Jerusalem Post article is here.

The area of the quarry [is] about 2 miles (3 km) north of the Old City… Note the highway to the east of the quarry is similar to the ancient route (known sometimes as the Central Ridge Route or the Road of the Patriarchs).

Bible Places provides a map.

Stephen Pfann, president of the University of The Holy Land and an expert in the Second Temple period, said the discovery was encouraging.

“It would be very difficult to find any other buildings in any other period that would warrant stones of that size,” said Pfann, who was not involved in the dig. He said further testing of the rock is necessary to confirm the findings.

CBS News

HT: Todd Bolen

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