Monday, September 24, 2007

Quarry for the Temple Mount's Giant Stones Discovered


Speaking of the Temple (see the previous post), the Israeli Antiquities Authority today announced the discovery of the quarry site for the giant stones that formed the retaining walls for the Temple Mount. Those stones can be seen to this day in what is known as the Western Wall (photo left). As reported here by Israel National News, the quarry is located in what is now one of Jerusalem's newest neighborhoods, Ramat Shlomo (also known as Reches Shuafat), between Ramot and French Hill. The quarry was found in the course of an archaeological rescue dig prior to the construction of a neighborhood school. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky has ordered a halt to the school-building plans, budgeting 350,000 shekels ($86,500) for the archaeological work.

This is in marked contrast to the behavior of the Muslim Waqf on the top of the Temple Mount, where the digging of a five-foot deep, lengthy trench for electrical cables appears to have encountered the remnants of an ancient wall, possibly a wall of the Temple itself. Nonetheless, the excavation, using heavy equipment, is proceeding ahead in total disregard of the destruction of an important archaelogical find, and in blatant violation of Israeli law. The Muslim Waqf refuses to halt the destructuion, because it denies that the Jewish Temple ever existed on the Temple Mount. The Israeli government refuses to intervene, for fear of Muslim reaction, and the world is silent. [See "Druse Policeman Assaulted Trying to Stop Illegal Excavations on the Temple Mount," The Hedgehog Blog, August 29, 2007.]

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