Don’t leave home without this issue of BAR if you plan to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In “Reconstructing Herod’s Temple Mount in Jerusalem,” a dazzling display of drawings by architectural artist Leen Ritmeyer brings the excavated remains of this holy site to life. Leen and co-author Kathleen Ritmeyer (his wife) take you on a unique tour of the perimeter of the Temple Mount.
Along the way, the Ritmeyers reveal archaeological evidence—some quite familiar, other elements hardly noticed before—discovered during the excavations directed by Professor Benjamin Mazar. This evidence is our clue to the appearance of the original Temple Mount structures. Previously unnoticed pieces of evidence appear on the southern wall. Faint imprints on the wall’s limestone blocks of a long series of small arches present stark reminders that rooms—probably shops—once nestled against the southern exterior wall of the Temple Mount platform. In the conflagration, ignited by the Romans, that destroyed the Temple and most of the other structures on the platform in 70 A.D., the shops burned at temperatures so high that their charred arches left ghostly marks on the undestroyed walls.