A couple of weeks ago, we spent some time in Israel with our family, visiting places which are dear to us. Following up on a lead, I used some of that time to investigate a particular section in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. In the picture below, you can see me photographing two massive stones, which are located 77m (253 feet) north of the south east corner. These stones are similar in size and shape to the ones that can be seen on either side of the Golden Gate. I have dated this masonry to the time of King Hezekiah’s expansion of the Temple Mount in about 700 B.C. (See The Quest, p. 174-178; 191-193). King Hezekiah had built massive retaining walls round the courtyards of King Solomon’s Temple to create a square platform of 500 cubits.
We were being watched from above by a policeman, who was not too happy as he thought that we might be desecrating some tombs.
On the first stone, in the picture below left, you can clearly see the margin and the rough bulging boss which is typical of Iron Age Temple Mount masonry. The two stones are resting on other similar stones, as far as one can see. The stones are located 4 m (13 feet) north of the so-called Mohammed’s Pillar, where I had placed the south east corner of King Hezekiah’s square Temple platform (see picture below right). It is exciting to be so close to the original south east corner and yet so far away. If one only could excavate a few meters down at that point, I’m sure that the south east corner of the square Temple Mount will be found!
The diagram below shows all the accumulated archaeological evidence for the outer walls of the 500 cubit square Temple Mount:
The discovery of this new section of ancient stones in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount confirms the location of the pre-Herodian Temple Mount and is an exciting addition to the many new discoveries being made these days to show that the Temple Mount, as we know it today, is indeed the place where the Temples of Solomon, Hezekiah, Zerubbabel and Herod once stood.