ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Arcehological evidences regarding the Dome of the Rock

Updated on October 11, 2012
Source

An archeologist has come up with a scientific response to an old political question: who has sovereignty to Jerusalem's Holy Mount?

Prof Kaufman, believes that the ancient Jewish temple was not, as is commonly believed, located on the site presently occupied by an Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock. Kaufman bases his conclusions, which have been published in scientific journals, on archaeological remains and on old air photos of the Mount. These include German reconnaisance photos from the first world war that show features on the artificial esplanade which have since been covered over. Prof Kaufman also relies heavily on detailed descriptions of the Temple in the Talmud.

For years he has visited the Mount regularly to examine ancient remains uncovered by the Moslem authorities during the course of laying water pipes and making other improvements.

Kaufman has concluded that both the First Temple, built by Solomon in the 10th century BC and the Second Temple, rebuilt by Herod nine centuries later, were located about 100 meters north of the Dome of the Rock. This, he says would make it possible for Jewish and Moslem holy spaces to co-exist on the Mount, a notion hitherto regarded as absurd on the grounds of clashing sanctities.

The Dome of the Rock, the oldest Islamic building extant, was built by the Arabs in the 7th century AD on what was presumed to be the site of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans six centuries earlier. That presumption, says Kaufman, was erroneous.

Herod had doubled the size of the Temple Mount esplanade built under Solomon to its present length of almost 500 meters. Only half this space constituted the sanctified Temple area. Even within the sanctified area, moreover, non-Jews were permitted to enter an outer courtyard - known as the Court of the Gentiles - as far as a barrier where notices in Greek forbade them further passage. The Dome of the Rock, says Kaufman, lies in the court which gentiles were permitted to enter, a finding which offers a key to his compromise solution.

'It is proposed,' says Kaufman, 'to divide the Temple area into two religious sections, one Jewish and the other Moslem.' The Jewish section would embrace the site of the Temple and the Court of the Gentiles, as Kaufman reconstructs them. The Moslem section would include the remainder of the Temple Mount, including al-Aksa Mosque, the principal Moslem site for prayers in Jerusalem. The two areas, notes Kaufman, are roughly equal in size.

Although the Dome of the Rock would fall within the Jewish section, it would be as accessible to Moslems as at present, says Kaufman, since it lies within the courtyard area which gentiles could freely enter in Temple times.

For the Moslems, says Kaufman, the arrangement would offer an opportunity to restore their half of the Mount to the status of a sacred area barred to non-Moslems as is the case in Mecca and Medina. This was also the case on the Temple Mount for much of its history under the Moslems, a status that began to be eroded after the Crimean War in 1856. Today, he notes, the Mount esplanade is not only open to non-Moslems but is often used by Moslems themselves for picnicking and even ball playing.

Before he can even attempt to persuade religious and political leaders, Kaufman will have to convince the archaeglogical community. 'No reputable scholar accepts his theory,' says Dr Dan Bahat, former Jerusalem District archaeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority. 'He's done some good readings of the written sources but the theory is just impossible on the basis of the archaeological findings.' Archaeologist Zeev Yeivin, on the other hand, believes that Kaufman's theory cannot be dismissed out of hand. 'I think he's given us reason to re-examine this question,' says Yeivin, who has examined ancient remains on the Mount on behalf of the Antiquities Authority.

The archaeological aspect can easily be resolved, Kaufman says, if the Moslem authorities, who have retained de facto control of the Mount under Israeli rule, permit small digs.

These, he says, would swiftly verify or disprove his theory. Even if his theory is proven correct, however, it is difficult to imagine compromise at the political and religious levels for a site that represents the holy of hollies to so many Jews and Moslems.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nick Burchett profile image

      Nick Burchett 

      6 years ago from IL, MO & KS

      Enjoyed the hub. Seems like it presents the possibility of Scripture being fulfilled with the rebuilding of the Temple.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)