Second Temple courtyard in Jerusalem restored by Archaeologists
A series of magnificently decorated floor tiles adorning the porticos on the Temple Mount have been successfully restored by Archaeologists. These floor tiles most likely were prominent features in the Second Temple courtyards during the time of King Herod. The Archaeologists are confident that these were a very unique element in Second Temple architecture.
Dr Gabriel Barkay, co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting project stated that this restoration gives us an idea of the incredible grandeur of the Temple. The general public were able to view the tiles from the 8th of September at the 17th Annual City of David Archaeological Conference.
As a response to the illegal removal of tons of earth, rich in antiquities, from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf in 1999, the Temple Mount Sifting Project was established, supported by the City of David Foundation and the Israel Archaeology Foundation and is located in the Tzurim Valley National Park.
The same style of flooring has been found in Herod’s palaces at Masada, Herodian and Jericho amongst others and also in ancient villas and palaces in Italy attributed to the time of Herod.
With the discovery and restoration of these unique floor tiles, we are now able, through this distinctive characteristic, to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Second Temple in all its glory.
Since the commencement of the Temple Mount Sifting Project in 2004, more than 200,000 volunteers from around the world have taken part in the sifting, this participation in the project represents an unparalleled phenomenon in the domain of archaeological research.
Photos courtesy of the Temple Mount Sifting Project