This newest addition to the Carta Guide Book series meets a dire need for the serious visitor to Jerusalem’s “Noble Sanctuary” (called in Arabic al-Haram al-Sharif), location of the ancient temples of Solomon andHerod. The Ritmeyers are eminently qualified to address the subject, having participated over the past 40 years in numerous excavations in the vicinity of the Temple Mount.
The guide consists of three chapters with appendices and a glossary of archaeological and architectural terms. Chapter 1 presents a history of the Temple Mount. Beginning with the basic topography of the hill and the nearby city, the authors trace the settlement of Jerusalem from the Chalcolithic period (4000 B.C.E.) to the present. The writers’ strength is on display in their understanding of the physical setting of the Temple Mount. On the other hand, if there is a weakness in the work, it is their casual treatment of the historical sources—both Biblical and extra-Biblical.