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What is Beneath the Temple Mount?


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Author Topic: What is Beneath the Temple Mount?  (Read 783 times)
Holy War
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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2012, 03:56:40 pm »

Achaemenid Persian, Hasmonean periods, and Herod’s expansion

Much of the Mount's early history is synonymous with events pertaining to the Temple itself. After the destruction of Solomon’s Temple by Nebuchadnezzar II, construction of the Second Temple began under Cyrus in around 538 BCE, and completed in 516 BCE. Evidence of a Hasmonean expansion of the Temple Mount has been recovered by archaeologist Leen Ritmeyer. Around 19 BCE, Herod the Great further expanded the Mount and rebuilt the temple. The ambitious project, which involved the employment of 10,000 workers,[12] more than doubled the size of Temple Mount to approximately 36 acres (150,000 m2). Herod leveled the area by cutting away rock on the northwest side and raising the sloping ground to the south. He achieved this by constructing huge buttress walls and vaults, filling the necessary sections with earth and rubble.[13] A basilica (the Royal Stoa) was constructed on the southern end of the expanded platform, which provided a focus for the city's commercial and legal transactions, and which was provided with separate access to the city below via the Robinson's Arch overpass.[14] In addition to restoration of the Temple, its courtyards, and porticoes, Herod also built Antonia Fortress abutting the northwestern corner of the Temple Mount, and a rainwater reservoir, Birket Israel, in the northeast. As a result of the First Jewish-Roman War, the fortress was destroyed by Roman emperor Vespasian, in 70 CE, under the command of his son and imperial heir, Titus.
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2012, 03:57:10 pm »




A stone (2.43x1 meters) with Hebrew language inscription "To the Trumpeting Place" excavated by B. Mazar at the southern foot of the Temple Mount. It is believed that this was a part of the Second Temple. pic from en.wikipedia: [1]
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2012, 03:57:42 pm »




A model of Herod's Temple adjacent to the Shrine of the Book exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2012, 03:58:29 pm »

Middle Roman period


The city of Aelia Capitolina was built in 130 CE by the Roman emperor Hadrian, and occupied by a Roman colony on the site of Jerusalem, which was still in ruins from the First Jewish Revolt in 70 CE.

Aelia came from Hadrian's nomen gentile, Aelius, while Capitolina meant that the new city was dedicated to Jupiter Capitolinus, to whom a temple was built on the site of the former second Jewish temple, the Temple Mount.[15]

Hadrian had intended the construction of the new city as a gift to the Jews, but since he had constructed a giant statue of himself in front of the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Jupiter had a huge statue of Jupiter inside of it, there were now two enormous graven images on the Temple Mount. It was also the normal practice of the adherents of the Hellenic religion to sacrifice pigs before their deities. In addition to this, Hadrian issued a decree prohibiting the practice of circumcision. These three factors, the graven images, the sacrifice of pigs before the altar, and the prohibition of circumcision, constituted for non-Hellenized radical Zealot Jews a new abomination of desolation, and thus Bar Kochba launched the Third Jewish Revolt. After the Third Jewish Revolt failed, all Jews were forbidden on pain of death from entering the city.

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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2012, 03:59:39 pm »



Excavated stones from the Wall of the 2nd Temple (Jerusalem), knocked onto the street below by Roman battering rams in on the 9th of Av, 70 C.E. This first century street is located at the base of the Temple Mount where the western and southern walls meet. The property may be accessed via the Davidson Archeological Center in Jerusalem.
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2012, 04:00:04 pm »

Late Roman period

About 325 it is believed that Constantine's mother, St. Helena, built a small church on the Mount in the 4th century, calling it the Church of St. Cyrus and St. John, later on enlarged and called the Church of the Holy Wisdom. The church was later destroyed and on its ruins the Dome of the Rock was built.[16] Since it is known that Helena ordered the Temple of Venus to the west of the Temple Mount to be torn down to construct the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, presumably she also ordered the Temple of Jupiter on the Temple Mount to be torn down to construct the Church of St. Cyrus and St. John.

In 363, Emperor Julian, on his way to engage Persia, stopped at the ruins of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Julian granted the Jews permission to begin rebuilding the Temple.[17] To Christians, the destroyed Temple was a symbol of Christianity's triumph over Judaism, and Julian, was an opponent of Christianity.[17] Rebuilding work began, but was ended by the Galilee earthquake of 363.[17][18]

There are records of Jews continuing to offer sacrifices on the Foundation Stone after the destruction of the Temple and into the Byzantine period.[17]
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« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2012, 04:00:15 pm »

Byzantine period

Archaeological evidence in the form of an elaborate mosaic floor similar to the one in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and multiple fragments of an elaborate marble Templon (chancel screen) prove that an elaborate Byzantine church or monastery or other public building stood on the Temple Mount in Byzantine times, presumably the aforementioned Holy Wisdom Church.[19]
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« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2012, 04:00:39 pm »

Sassanid vassal state period

See Jewish revolt against Heraclius
See also Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602-628
In 610, the Sassanid Empire drove the Byzantine Empire out of the Middle East, giving the Jews control of Jerusalem for the first time in centuries. The Jews in Palestine were allowed to set up a vassal state under the Sassanid Empire called the Sassanid Jewish Commonewealth which lasted for five years. Jewish rabbis ordered the restart of animal sacrifice for the first time since the time of Second Temple and started to reconstruct the Jewish Temple. Shortly before the Byzantines took the area back five years later in 615, the Persians gave control to the Christian population, who tore down the partially built Jewish Temple edifice and turned it into a garbage dump,[20] which is what it was when the Caliph Omar took the city in the 630s.
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« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2012, 04:01:09 pm »

Arabic period

Upon the capture of Jerusalem by the victorious Caliph Omar, Omar immediately headed to the Temple Mount with his advisor, Ka'ab al-Ahbar, a formerly Jewish rabbi who had converted to Islam, in order to find the holy site of the "Furthest Mosque" or Al Masjid al Aqsa which was mentioned in the Quran and specified in the Hadiths of being in Jerusalem.Ka'ab al-Ahbar suggested to Caliph Omar to build the Dome of the Rock monument on the site that Ka'ab believed to be the Biblical Holy of the Holies, arguing that this site is where Mohammad ascended to heaven during the Isra and Mi'raj miracle. The actual construction of the Muslim monuments at the southeast corner, facing Mecca, near which the al-Aqsa Mosque were built 78 years later. The original building is now known to have been wooden and to have been constructed on the site of a Byzantine public building with an elaborate mosaic floor. (The Persian conquest that immediately preceded the Arab conquest makes it uncertain who destroyed the building.)[19]

In 691 an octagonal Islamic building topped by a dome was built by the Caliph Abd al-Malik around the rock, for a myriad of political, dynastic and religious reasons, built on local and Koranic traditions articulating the site's holiness, a process in which textual and architectural narratives reinforced one another.[21] The shrine became known as the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhra قبة الصخرة). The dome itself was covered in gold in 1920. In 715 the Umayyads led by the Caliph al-Walid I, rebuilt the Temple's nearby Chanuyot into a mosque (see illustrations and detailed drawing) which they named al-Masjid al-Aqsa المسجد الأقصى, the al-Aqsa Mosque or in translation "the furthest mosque", corresponding to the Islamic belief of Muhammad's miraculous nocturnal journey as recounted in the Qur'an and hadith. The term al-Haram al-Sharif الحرم الشريف (the Noble Sanctuary) refers to the whole area that surrounds that Rock as was called later by the Mamluks and Ottomans.[22]

For Muslims, the importance of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque makes Jerusalem the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. The mosque and shrine are currently administered by a Waqf (an Islamic trust). The various inscriptions on the Dome walls and the artistic decorations imply on symbolic eschatological significance of the structure.

From the Arabic Conquest to the Crusades there seems to have been good relations between the Arab rulers and the Jewish minority. A Jewish synagogue was built on the Temple Mount. Its location has not been established, but it was destroyed by the Crusaders when they took the city and massacred the Jews and Muslims in 1099.
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« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2012, 04:02:35 pm »

Ottoman period

Following the Ottoman conquest of Palestine in 1516, the Ottoman authorities continued the policy of prohibiting non-Muslims from setting foot on the Temple Mount until the early 19th-century, when non-Muslims were again permitted to visit the site.[17]

In 1867, a team from the Royal Engineers, led by Lieutenant Charles Warren and financed by the Palestine Exploration Fund (P.E.F.), discovered a series of underground tunnels near the Temple Mount. Warren secretly excavated some tunnels near the Temple Mount walls and was the first one to document their lower courses. Warren also conducted some small scale excavations inside the Temple Mount, by removing rubble that blocked passages leading from the Double Gate chamber.
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« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2012, 04:03:02 pm »

British Mandate period

Between 1922 and 1924, the Dome of the Rock was restored by the Islamic Higher Council.[23]
Jordanian period

Jordan undertook two renovations of the Dome of the Rock, replacing the leaking, wooden dome with an aluminum dome in 1952, and, when the new dome leaked, carrying out a second restoration between 1959 and 1964.[23]

Neither Israeli Arabs nor Israeli Jews could visit their holy places in the Jordanian territories during this period.[24][25]
Israeli period

During the 1967 Six-Day War Israel captured the Temple Mount together with all of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, who had controlled it since 1948. The Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces, Shlomo Goren, led the soldiers in religious celebrations on the Temple Mount and at the Western Wall. The Israeli Chief Rabbinate also declared a religious holiday on the anniversary, called "Yom Yerushalayim" (Jerusalem Day), which also became a national holiday that commemorates the reunification of the city. Many Jews saw the capture of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as a miraculous liberation of biblical-messianic proportion.[citation needed]

A few days after the war was over 200,000 Jews flocked to the Western Wall in the first mass Jewish pilgrimage near the mount since the destruction of Temple in 69 CE. However, the Israeli government subsequently left the Islamic waqf in control of the site. The site has become a flash-point between Israel and the Muslim world.

On October 8, 1990, Israeli forces patrolling the site blocked worshipers from accessing it. A tear gas canister was detonated among the female worshipers, which caused events to escalate.[26] Rocks were eventually thrown, while security forces fired rounds that ended up killing 20 people and injured around 140 more. An Israeli enquiry found Israeli forces at fault, but it also concluded that charges could not be brought against any particular individuals.[27]

Between 1992 and 1994, the Jordanian government undertook the unprecedented step of gilding the dome of the Dome of the Rock, covering it with 5000 gold plates, and restoring and reinforcing the structure. The Salah Eddin minbar was also restored. The project was paid for by King Hussein personally, at a cost of $8 million.[23]

The Second Palestinian Intifada is often cited as being sparked by a visit made to the Temple Mount by Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon. He toured the site, together with a Likud party delegation and a large number of Israeli riot police, on September 28, 2000. The visit was seen as a provocative gesture by many Palestinians, who gathered around the site. Demonstrations soon turned violent, with both rubber bullets and tear gas being used. This event is often cited as one of the catalysts of the Second Intifada.[28]
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« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2012, 04:03:42 pm »



: South-west qanatir, Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel.
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« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2012, 04:04:15 pm »



The Haram-es-Sharif at Jerusalem in 1879. The model is made by Conrad Schick for a World Exhibition in Austria. Schick was the city architect in Jerusalem during the ruling of the Turkish governor. The model can be seen at the Biblical Museum in Amsterdam
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2012, 04:04:50 pm »

Management and access

An Islamic Waqf has managed the Temple Mount continuously since the Muslim reconquest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187. On June 7, 1967, soon after Israel had taken control of the area during the Six-Day War, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol assured that "no harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions". Together with the extension of Israeli jurisdiction and administration over east Jerusalem, the Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law,[29] ensuring protection of the Holy Places against desecration, as well as freedom of access thereto.[30] Israel agreed to leave administration of the site in the hands of the Waqf.

Although freedom of access was enshrined in the law, as a security measure, the Israeli government currently enforces a ban on non-Muslim prayer on the site. Non-Muslims who are observed praying on the site are subject to expulsion by the police.[31] At various times, when there is fear of Arab rioting upon the mount resulting in throwing stones from above towards the Western Wall Plaza, Israel has prevented Muslim men under 45 from praying in the compound, citing these concerns.[32] Sometimes such restrictions have coincided with Friday prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.[33]
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2012, 04:07:07 pm »



Sign near entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem warning Jews & non-Jews alike against entering.
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