Temple Mount Time Bomb

About a year ago, I published a post in which I warned that “Cement Creates Temple Mount Time Bomb”, which was published in Biblical Archaeology Review.

In that article I observed that:

“ordinary cement was used in the repairs of walls and pavements. Large areas of new pavement have been laid in the southern part of the Temple Mount, again with ordinary cement in between the joints. This causes a greater flow toward the outer walls, which simply cannot absorb so much water.”

In a previous post, I warned of the structural problems created by wrong repairs to the Temple Mount walls:

One of the first lessons I was taught during the MA course in the Conservation of Ancient Buildings at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies of the University of York, UK, was that one NEVER uses ordinary Portland cement in the repair of ancient buildings. It prevents ancient walls from “breathing” and eventually causes the collapse of these walls. The Waqf’s continued use of modern building materials in the repair of these bulges and other walls is the equivalent of putting a time-bomb in the walls of the Temple Mount.

Alexander Schick sent me some photographs which shows that my prediction was true:

Here we see the Southern Wall, just east of the Triple Gate, showing that the rain water has damaged the joints in between the stones. Photo © Alexander Schick
Here we see the damage caused to the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount. As predicted, the cement-repaired section could not absorb the water, hence the dirty streaks left by water that cascaded down the wall above the repaired section. Photo © Alexander Schick
Here we see the damage caused by water just above the Double Gate in the Southern Wall. Photo © Alexander Schick

It is clear that the time bomb is ticking louder. It is only a matter of time when large sections of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount will collapse. When that happens, the Muslims will predictably incriminate the Israelis, when, in fact, they only have themselves to blame.

7 thoughts on “Temple Mount Time Bomb”

  1. Another one, and another, and another… Will we have to lament (yet more) substantial destruction at the Temple Mount just because those who should be caring for it do not? Time, maybe, for the Mount to be taken over by people who protect it while respecting – and allowing – all kinds of worship on it?

  2. Wow! And just how will anyone take over the temple mount?! That would cause WWIII. If it collapses then the black domed mosque would also likely cave in and that might be a good thing. Israelis could then get access because David’s City would be compromised and they would have a legitmate reason to take over. What has been reconstructed before can be reconstructed again.

  3. Looks to me like the use of cement is a smaller part of the problem. Even more importantly, you should never tilt the pavement in a way that rainwater flows towards the walls! A friend of mine had very clostly and time consuming repairs at his house, when it was belatedly found that the steps of an outside staircase to the basement led water to the wall, which had become soaking wet over the years. Gladly, he noticed it before the wall came down, but even after correcting the staircase and sealing the outer wall, it took months of constantly heating the cellar room to get the moisture out of the bricks and mortar.

    The builder of that screwed uop staircase had been the former owner, a DIY fan with more ambition and energy than craftsmanship. Are the waqf workers of the same kind, not knowing the basics of their profession, especially not what a level is good for? The temple mount authority really should know better than to employ people who so obviously don’t know what they’re doing. Because if there is any major damage at the temple mount, the risk is very high that the Israeli government will take responsibility for constructions at the site into its own hands, without regard for former agreements and the threat of another intifada.

    Netanyahu’s new government will be full of right wing hardliners who only wait for any excuse to further delay any peace negotiations, in order to increase the “facts on the ground” in the Westbank and especially East Jerusalem. It’s should be in the waqf’s own best interest to not provide them with any reasons to intervene. Any arrogance and provocation is totally counterproductive. The carelessness showing in the “Salomon’s stable” construction is unacceptable and will only fall back on themselves.

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