In 2000, Yasser Arafat announced that the Jewish Temple was not in Jerusalem. A ludicrous claim it was that any sane person would dismiss. It’s a shame Arafat did not live long enough to read Leen Ritmeyer’s new and exhaustive study of the Temple Mount.
Ritmeyer, a Dutchman who now teaches in Australia, is an archaeological architect. He has participated in excavations in Jerusalem for the past 30 years or more. He was chief architect of the Temple Mount excavations directed by the late Professor Benjamin Mazar, and he later participated in Professor Nahman Avigad’s excavations in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
Ritmeyer’s life’s work has focused on the Temple Mount and the area around it. This volume would seem to be the culmination of that life’s work. It may well be the most extensive architectural study of the Temple Mount ever published.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that the Biblical Archaeology Society and Hershel Shanks (editor of BAR) are thanked prominently and profusely in the preface. However, that does not affect the present review.