Biblical Archaeology Review 22:1, January/February 1996

The Ark of the Covenant: Where It Stood in Solomon’s Temple

By Leen Ritmeyer

Four years ago, I wrote an article for BAR in which I identified the original 500-cubit-square Temple Mount.1 By now, this location is well established in the archaeological world, having been adopted, for example, in the latest edition of the archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land published by the Israel Exploration Society.2

My goal was always more than this, however. I was convinced that it was possible, on the basis of these findings, to locate the site of the Temple itself. The method of working from the outside in, in relation to the Temple Mount, had been sanctioned by the success of this discovery. Having narrowed down the search to this square, it would be logical to trace the location of the actual Temple from the archaeological remains found in this reduced area. Close familiarity with the Biblical and extra-Biblical sources on the Temple, gained from years of prior research into the Temple Mount, would ensure that the emerging picture could be tested against the reality of history.

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