About

Things are developing so rapidly in the world of Biblical Archaeology that I have decided to keep this blog. Here I will comment especially on issues related to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, as that is my field of expertise. I have researched the problems of the Temple Mount for more than 30 years and feel passionately that the public needs to be informed on what has been called the tinderbox of the Middle East. In order to this, I hope to present a balanced view on issues that arise and welcome your comments.

leen-ritmeyer.jpg

Leen Ritmeyer, originally from Holland, is an archaeological architect who has been involved in all of Jerusalem’s major excavations. He was chief architect of the Temple Mount Excavations directed by the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar and of the Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem directed by the late Prof. Nahman Avigad, both of the Hebrew University.
He directed prestigious restoration and reconstruction projects such as the Byzantine Cardo and the Herodian Villas in Jerusalem. He has also participated in numerous excavations all over Israel, producing site plans and reconstruction drawings.
His work has been published in many journals, magazines and books about Biblical Archaeology and has been shown in eminent museums, including the Israel Museum. Together with his wife Kathleen, who he met on the Temple Mount Excavations, he runs a firm called Ritmeyer Archaeological Design, which produces teaching and learning tools used throughout the world and offers consultancy on archaeological background and illustration.
He has lectured widely in Israel, Britain, Ireland, Germany, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand and featured as expert on Jerusalem and the Temple Mount on many T.V. and radio broadcasts. He taught Biblical Archaeology at the Universities of Leeds and Cardiff in the U.K. and is Associate Professor at the College of Archaeology & Biblical History, TSW University in Albuquerque NM, USA.
In 2006, his major work, The Quest, Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, was published after thirty years of intensive research.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • M.A. in Conservation Studies. Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, University of York, England, the subject of his thesis being: “The Didactic Approach in Archaeological Restoration”, 1990.
  • Ph.D. Faculty of Arts, University of Manchester, England, the subject of his thesis being:”The Architectural development of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem”, 1992.

POSITIONS HELD

  • 1973-’78 Surveyor and Field-architect of the archaeological expedition at the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, headed by the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar.
  • 1978-’83 Field-architect of the archaeological expedition in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, headed by the late Prof. Nahman Avigad.
  • 1983-’85 Chief Conservation assistant of the conservation and restoration of the Byzantine Cardo in the Jewish Quarter, on behalf of the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • 1985-’87 Manager of the conservation and restoration of Herodian (Roman) villas in the Jewish Quarter, on behalf of the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem..
  • 1987-’88 Director of the conservation and restoration of Roman and Byzantine farm houses at Ramat Hanadiv on Mount Carmel in Israel, on behalf of Yad Hanadiv, the Rothschild Foundation in Israel.
  • 1987-’89 Director of the conservation of Khan el-Ahmar, a Byzantine Monastery in the Judeaen Desert, on behalf of the Regional Council of Maaleh Adummim in Israel.
  • 1996-2001 Archaeological Architect of Kh. Al-Makater (Bethel-Ai project) of the Associates for Biblical Research.
  • 1997- Adjunct Professor of Biblical Archaeology at TSW University, Albuquerque NM, USA.
  • 2001 Computer Graphic Consultant for the BBC1 series ‘The Son of God’.
  • 1996-2002 Lecturer in Biblical Archaeology at the University of Leeds, U.K., teaching courses on the Archaeology of Jerusalem and the New Testament.
  • 2002-’07 Teacher of Hebrew, History and Bible at Heritage College, Adelaide, South Australia.
  • 2008- Lecturer in Biblical Archaeology, Cardiff University, U.K., teaching courses on the Archaeology of Jerusalem, New Testament Archaeology and the Archaeology of Ancient Israel.
  • 2007-’08 Archaeological and Architectural Reconstruction Editor for the ESV Study Bible and ESV Bible Atlas, Crossway, USA. Responsible for the design of new reconstruction drawings of the Ziggurat of Ur, the Tabernacle, its furniture and its court, Solomon’s Temple and Palace Complex, the Second Temple built by Zerubbabel, Herod’s Temple, Jerusalem in the time of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Nehemiah and Christ and many city plans.
  • 2008-’10 Consultant on History, Bible and Archaeology for GLO Digital Bible Project, Orlando FL, USA:
    • Timeline events sequence review
    • Captions content review
    • Map overlay creation
    • Dating range for locations in the atlas
    • Empires mapping (in progress)
    • Reviewed and validated authenticity of the 1st Century illustrations for the Church of Holy Sepulcher, Banias, Capernaum, Jerusalem and Palatial Mansion.
  • 2009- Archaeological Architect of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project, Jordan, a joint scientific project between TSW University’s College of Archaeology & Biblical History (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA) and the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
  • 2011-’12 Designer of new art work for Tyndale House Publishers’ Chronological Life Application Study Bible. Newly commissioned reconstruction drawings of the Tabernacle, Jerusalem in the Time of David, Solomon’s Temple, Jerusalem from Solomon to Hezekiah, Jerusalem in the First Century A.D. and the Tomb of Jesus.
  • 2012-13 Designer of illustrations and consultation on the reconstruction of Jerusalem and its famous landmarks throughout the ages for the Jerusalem filmed in iMax-3D project.
  • 2012- Archaeological Architect of Kh. Al-Makater (Bethel-Ai project) of the Associates for Biblical Research.

GRANTS

  • Researcher into the problem of the exact location of the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Grant awarded by the Biblical Archaeology Society through the generosity of Joseph Hurley, Esq. and Ms. Davia Solomon, of North Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
  • Post-doctoral researcher into the relationship between the Sakhra and the Holy of Holies of the Temple of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem.
    Grant awarded by the Rothschild Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Recipient of grant from the Lamb Foundation (located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, NM, USA) to publish a book on The Archaeology of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

PUBLICATIONS

  • K.& L. Ritmeyer, Reconstructing Herod’s Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Washington 1990.
  • K.& L. Ritmeyer, “Reconstructing the Triple Gate”, in Biblical Archaeology Review 15,6, Washington, 1989.
  • L. Ritmeyer,”Quarrying and Transporting Stones for Herod’s Temple Mount”, in Biblical Archaeology Review 15,6, Washington, 1989.
  • L. Ritmeyer, The Didactic Approach in Archaeological Restoration, thesis submitted for the degree M.A. (Conservation Studies), University of York, 1990.
  • L. Ritmeyer, “Locating the Original Temple Mount”, in Biblical Archaeology Review 18, 2, Washington, 1992.
  • L. Ritmeyer, The Architectural Development of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Manchester, UK, 1992.
  • L. Ritmeyer, “The Ark of the Covenant, where it stood in Solomon’s Temple”, Biblical Archaeology Review Jan./Feb. ’96.
  • L. Ritmeyer, The Temple and the Rock, Harrogate, 1996.
  • L. & K. Ritmeyer, Secrets of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Washington DC, 1998.
  • L. & K. Ritmeyer, From Sinai to Jerusalem, the wanderings of the Holy Ark, Jerusalem, 2000.
  • L. Ritmeyer, ‘Ritmeyer responds to Jacobson’, in: ‘Where was the Temple?’, Biblical Archaeology Review 26.2, pp. 52-59, 2000.
  • L. & K. Ritmeyer, The Ritual of the Temple in the time of Christ, Jerusalem, 2002.
  • L. & K. Ritmeyer, Jerusalem in the year 30AD, Jerusalem, 2004.
  • L. & K. Ritmeyer, Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah, Jerusalem, 2005.
  • L. Ritmeyer, The Quest – revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 2006.
  • L. & K. Ritmeyer, Secrets of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Updated & Enlarged Edition, Washington DC, 2006.
  • L. Ritmeyer, “Envisioning the Sanctuaries of Israel – The Academic and Creative Process of Archaeological Model Making”, in: The Temple of Jerusalem: From Moses to the Messiah: Studies in Honor of Professor Louis H. Feldman, Brill, Leiden (2011).
  • L. Ritmeyer, “The Restoration of the Byzantine Cardo in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem”, in: Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem,   Vol. 5, Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem (2012).
  • L. Ritmeyer, “Relating the Temple Scroll from Qumran to the Architecture of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem”, Hekhal Conference Proceedings 2012, Dublin, forthcoming.
  • L. Ritmeyer, “Beneath the Wailing Wall”, Book review of: “The Jerusalem Western Wall Tunnel” by Dan Bahat, Biblical Archaeology Review 40.6 Nov./Dec. 2014.
  • L. & K. Ritmeyer, Jerusalem – The Temple Mount, A Carta Guide, Carta, Jerusalem, 2014.

PRODUCED RECONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS FOR THE FOLLOWING EXCAVATIONS
The Temple Mount, Jewish Quarter, City of David, Citadel, Damascus Gate, Ketef Hinnom, all in Jerusalem.
Bashan, Tel Qasileh, Kanaf, En Nashut, Tel Dor, Judean Desert Monasteries, Tel Batash, Bet Shean, Tel Acco, Shiloh, Mt. Ebal, Chorazin, Kh. Minya, Qalat Nimrod, Hyrcania, Monastery of Martyrius , Tel Arad, Tel Beersheva, Meroth, Tel Dan, Gezer, Aroer, Ruheibe, Qumran, Masada, Tel Asdod, Hamat Gader, Ramat Hanadiv, Banias, (Caesarea Phillipi), Mt. Gerizim, Shechem (Nablus), Hebron, Alonei Mamre, Givat Olga (Tel Afar), Sussita, Emek Refaim, Tel Teo, Kypros, Nessana, Kh. el Maqatir, amongst others.

CONTRIBUTED TO THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTARIES

  • The Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed – Logos
  • The Son of God – BBC1
  • Secrets of Jerusalem – Atlantic
  • Jews, Romans and a Man Named Jesus – Chimera Productions
  • Footsteps of Jesus – MPH Entertainment
  • Pathways through Jerusalem – Superstudio, Jerusalem
  • The Trial of Jesus – Providence Pictures
  • Modern Marvels, Bible Tech – Actuality Productions

DESIGN OF ARCHITECTURAL MODELS OF ANCIENT SITES

  • Bronze Age gate at Tel Dan (Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem)
  • Iron Age gate at Gezer (Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem)
  • Palatial Mansion in Jerusalem (Herodian Quarter, Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem)
  • Herod’s Temple Mount in Jerusalem (private client in Washington DC)
  • Herod’s Temple (private client in Washington DC)
  • Herod’s Temple Mount in miniature (Ritmeyer Archaeological Design)
  • Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem (private client in Washington DC)
  • The Tabernacle and its court (private client in Washington DC)
  • The Tabernacle (private client in Washington DC)

LECTURED AT THE FOLLOWING INSTITUTIONS

U.K.

  • University of Manchester
  • University of London
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of York
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Hull
  • University of Cardiff

U.S.A.

  • School of Architecture, University of Maryland MD
  • Baltimore Hebrew University
  • Jewish Community Centre of Greater Washington
  • Wheaton College, Wheaton IL
  • Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
  • Milwaukee Wisconsin Archaeology Society
  • Madison Wisconsin Archaeology Society
  • Near East Archaeology Society
  • TSW University, Albuquerque NM (yearly seminars at International Symposium for Biblical Archaeology)
  • University of Cincinnatti OH
  • University of Judaism, Los Angeles, CA
  • Penn State University, PA
  • Near Eastern Archaeology Society
  • Associates for Biblical Archaeology, Washington DC
  • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans LA
  • Biblical Archaeology Society, Washington DC

20 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: ESV Study Bible Blog » Blog Archive » What Did Solomon’s Temple Look Like?

  2. nathan barr says:

    I live and run an architectural in Cambridge UK .I grew up near Cesarea and lived in Isreal in my youth part of my research work at present involves the Defensive architecture in Israel .I am search of Scaleed plans and Sections of historical architectural drawings of sites in Israel .the temple mount and its sourrounding,Hebron,Nablus and any interesting drawings i can refer to prior to the
    establishment of the State of Israel.Any help to find drawings.Thank you .

  3. There are many architectural drawings in our Image Library

  4. Barbara Bergin says:

    I have just completed a Masters on the “The Political Importance of the Architecture of Herod the Great”. Your drawings on the Temple Mount are spectactular. I intend to purchase some soon and hope to visit it Holy Land this year.

  5. Barbara,
    Congratulations! We have many images in our Image Library: http://store.ritmeyer.com/
    Not only of the Temple Mount, but also of other architectural masterpieces of Herod.

  6. Bram van den Berg says:

    As a Dutch retire4d volonteer I am member of Wycliffe Bible Translators; I am working for SIL in Cameroon in the litarcy department. There they knew about this phenomenal and very interesting drawings.
    One of my collega’s is wondering of it is possible tu use some pictures for free as illustrations in their editions. She told me about “Gospel coalitiopn christian interview with Leen Ritmeyer: Where was Calvary? as an exzemple that it is perhaps possible.

    I saw your organization is a non profit one just like ours And we have common our love for Israel and the Bible.

    I hope we can find find a way that we as SIL Cameroon can use Leen Ritmeyer’s splendid and clear drawings in SIL editions. Of course their shoud be clear appointments and policies, but we hope we can agree. It is to serve the Lord, to make clear and more understanding His Word and in this way to swerve the Cameroonian peoples.

    Greetings from Bram van den Berg.

  7. Bram,

    Hartelijk bedankt voor de aanvraag, maar wij kunnen het ons niet veroorloven om onze illustraties vrij weg te geven, want dat is hoe wij onze familie onderhouden. Wij kunnen U wel een reductie van 50% voor publikatie geven, dat is $75.00 in plaats van $150.00.

    Beste groeten

  8. Neil Turner says:

    Hi Leen

    I am a 51 year old Management Trainer who works in the Defence business in the UK.

    I’m a Christian and I love Israel, and am trying to better my knowledge on the Temple. I plan to write a book about the end-times with particular reference to Israel. This is a long-term project.

    I noticed that you ran a series of talks at Cardiff In January. Due to the nature of my job, I’m on the road a lot and would struggle to attend such a course, but would have given my right arm to attend !

    I would appreciate your advice on how best to educate myself. I intend to purchase your book the Quest for my birthday, and visit Jerusalem in the not too distant future.

    Do you have any options for distance learning, Open University style or similar ? I’m not looking for academic qualification, more a good solid archaeological base. I do have around 5 years practical experience at the Whitehall Farm Villa project in Weedon, Northants.

    Your advice would be gratefully accepted

    best regards

    Neil Turner
    Watford Gap
    Northants

  9. Hello Neil,

    I hope to do another course at Cardiff University starting January 2012 on the Archaeology of Ancient Israel, see: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/choices/courses/humanities/

    Unfortunately I don’t know how to do online courses. I should look into it some time. We do sell several CDs which have interesting information about the archaeology of Jerusalem in particular, see: http://www.ritmeyer.com/online-store/cds/

    Best regards

    Leen

  10. Leen says:

    Dear Leen,
    Can you answer some questions:
    1. How reliable is Joachim Jeremias’ Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus?
    2. What do you think was the population of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period?
    3. How many Jews travelled to Jerusalem during a pilgrim festival?
    Many thanks and great drawings!
    Regards,
    Adam

  11. Adam,
    1. We found Jeremias’ jerusalem an excellent source of information which we consult on a regular basis.
    2. A general estimation is about 30,000.
    3. Josephus records numbers of 250,000 sacrifices being offered, so that gives an indication of how many pilgrims came to Jerusalem during the high holidays.

    Regards

    Leen

  12. Joe Mitchell says:

    Hi Leen, First of all, I am a retired pastor and would like to use pic’s of some of your
    Temple mt. drawings/pic’s on power point with sermons. Things like Alec Garrards model in your wife’s article in BAR 1992/1993. How/where do I get permission to do
    this and when a church I speak at, posts the sermon on the web for a few months how do I control your pic’s? Is referencing you and your articles enough? I just contacted BAR and they gave me your sight so I have not explored it all yet. Thank you for all your work for many years on this fascinating journey and subject. May God Bless You!
    Joe Mitchell, Pueblo West, Colo.

  13. Hello Joe,
    You can find many illustrations in our Image Library which you can use for free in presentations (copyright fees only kick in when you publish them).
    Here is the link: http://store.ritmeyer.com

  14. David Cloud says:

    I ordered some photos and drawings from you on March 14 by Paypal
    Transaction ID: 29346552DS051254H
    But I never received acknowledgement by e-mail or post and I never received the products.
    I look forward to your help with this.
    Thank you.
    David Cloud

  15. David,
    Sorry about that. It happens occasionally with older computers. The images have been sent to you manually.
    Thanks for your custom

  16. Andy Cook says:

    Leen, Thanks for your incredible work. We are developing presentation tools for pastors, small-group leaders, and home-school teachers. I have purchased many of your illustrations for my own use as a pastor. Do I need further permission to use your drawings (that I’ve purchased) in a product we would sell?

    Thanks again!

  17. Russell Martin says:

    What is the relation of the “Wailing Wall” that Jews frequent today relate to the Temple Mount? Was it a retaining wall for the Temple complex?

  18. The “Wailing Wall” is usually referred as the Western Wall. The almost 60m long wall is part of the 485m long western retaining wall, built by Herod the Great.

  19. Kacang says:

    Hi Leen, I am still a bit confused with the existence of a remaining wailing wall (made of a nice array of large stones) of the temple but The Lord Jesus clearly mentioned that not single stone will be left behind for the temple. How do we reconcile that, please. Thanks for enlightening me. Greetings from Singapore!

  20. Kacang,
    In order to understand what Jesus was talking about, one needs to read the Bible carefully. The disciples pointed out to him “the buildings of the Temple” (Matthew 24.1). They were not pointing to the massive retaining walls, but to the buildings (plural) that stood on this artificial platform. As indeed not one stone is left of these buildings, the prophecy was fulfilled completely. But Jesus was NOT talking of the retaining walls that survived the Roman destruction.

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