Archaeology Odyssey 3:5, September/October 2000

The Holiest Ground in the World

How the crusaders transformed Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

By Warren T. Woodfin

After defeating the army of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Horns of Hattin, west of the sea of Galilee, in 1187, the Egyptian sultan Saladin marched unopposed into Jerusalem. European Crusaders, mostly from the region of present-day France, had occupied the ancient city for almost a century, following 450 years of Arab rule. Saladin’s reclamation of one of Islam’s holiest sites, the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, spurred the Arab historian Imad ad-Din to impressive heights of rhetoric:

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