Sunday, May 26, 2013

Temple Mount as a Cover Story

The cover:

The story:

As a result of earthquakes, Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount had to be dismantled and reconstructed in the 1930s and 1940s. Massive Cedar of Lebanon and cypress beams were reused, and others were simply removed. Some of these beams are significantly older than the mosque itself. Peretz Reuven asks in Wooden Beams from Herod’s Temple Mount: Do They Still Exist?: Were these timbers from Al-Aqsa once part of Herod’s Temple Mount architecture?
A bit more detailed:

The Al-Aqsa Mosque has sustained serious earthquake damage over the years due to its construction on dirt-fill from Herod’s first century C.E . Temple Mount expansion. As a result, the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been rebuilt and renovated several times since its original Umayyad construction. During the 1930s and 1940s, large-scale restoration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque involved the removal of dozens of beams from the mosque’s ceiling, arcades and dome. The great beams, some of which are more than 42 feet long, were covered by modern boards for centuries. The wood inside the beams has a longer story to tell.

High-quality Cedar of Lebanon and cypress beams from Herod’s Temple Mount would have been used and reused in a phenomenon known to archaeologists as “secondary use.” R.W. Hamilton’s 1949 publication on the dismantling of the Al-Aqsa Mosque already noted that many beams showed signs of secondary use. These signs include functional depressions or protrusions intended from their original use as well as decorative woodcarving styles from earlier periods.

Recent carbon-14 tests on the beams confirm their antiquity. Some
predate Herod’s Temple Mount: One beam dates to the ninth century B.C.E.—the First Temple period! The exact history of the beams is hard to pin down. They were likely used in two or more different constructions, and poor storage has led to the ever-quickening degradation of the beams.

Despite conservation issues, Peretz Reuven was able to make detailed analyses of the beams. For example, indentations on the underside of a beam with Herodian/Roman-period decorations suggest that it rested on column capitals in an earlier structure. The indentations are spaced at a similar interval to columns at Herod’s Royal Stoa.
That was the Jewish Temple, not a Muslim Mosque, on the Temple Mount.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

heartbreaking stuff. the picture we get is of a usurping of the position of one group of people - imposing one image on top of the original truth. which ofcourse we see in so many contexts.

ishmael is still envious and frenetically fights to claim the birthright.

only mashiach will resolve and fully expose all of this.