The most famous of these is Asher Kaufman’s. See his article “Where the Ancient Temple of Jerusalem Stood,” BAR 09:02. Kaufman places the Temple over a small monument known as the Dome of the Tablets, northwest of es-Sakhra. Kaufman’s suggestion has tecently been supported by Lawrence D. Sporty (Biblical Archaeologist, March 1991, pp. 28–35). Kaufman’s theoretical location of the Temple over the Dome of the Tablets has several weaknesses: 1. He completely ignores the most important topographical data of the area north of the Muslim Platform—(1) the fosse, or moat, observed by Warren, (2) the Bezetha Valley to the east of this moat and (3) the rock scarp under the northern edge of the Muslim Platform. The northern court of Kaufman’s Temple would fall into the Bezetha valley! Near the eastern wall, this valley is 160 feet lower than the es-Sakhra! 2. The floor under the Dome of the Tablets, where Kaufman located the Temple, is a stone—apparently a large paving slab or other stone in secondary use and not bedrock. Bedrock is at least 8 feet below the floor of this small monument. Thus, this location is by no means the top of the hill, as Josephus described the Temple’s location. 3. Es-Sakhra, by contrast, is about 15 feet higher than Kaufman’s location for the Temple. On this point alone, his theory is untenable. 4. His interpretations of the bedrock formations near the northwest corner of the Muslim Platform are highly dubious. Moreover, he failed to recognize the most important remains in this area: the step/wall, which is crucial in identifying and defining the square Temple Mount.

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