The Israel Museum’s Archaeology Wing is closed

The Israel Museum’s Archaeology Wing is currently closed for comprehensive renewal and will reopen to the public in 2009-2010. This is done with the support of the Bronfman family, after whom the wing is named.

Their website gives an overview of some of the most important finds that were exhibited in the Archaeology Wing. One of the finds shown here is the partially broken “Trumpeting Stone” which was found near the southwest corner of the Temple Mount during the 1968-78 excavations, led by the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar. Here is a reconstruction drawing of the “Trumpeting Stone”, which was placed at the top of this corner of the Temple Mount.


The Hebrew inscription, which was found on the stone, reads “l’bet hatqia l’hakh…” The most likely translation of this incomplete inscription is “to the place of trumpeting to announce”. This stone was originally located some 42m or 138 feet above street level and from that elevated position a trumpet call could be heard all over the city.
I have reason to believe that the stone was broken, not by the Romans in 70AD, but some 140 years ago. If you want to know ‘whodunit’, read my book The Quest, pp. 57-60.