This illustration shows the interior of the Holy of Holies. It was quite empty, as the Ark of the Covenant had been lost or hidden. In the record in Yoma 5. 2, we read that: “After the Ark was taken away a stone remained there from the time of the early Prophets, and it was called “Shetiyah” (Foundation Stone). This “foundation stone” has been identified by Leen Ritmeyer on the rocky summit of Mount Moriah, which is visible inside the Dome of the Rock.
Here, the High Priest on the Day of Atonement is shown placing his incense censer or fire-pan in the rectangular depression that marked the original emplacement of the Ark of the Covenant. The wall decoration shown in the model consisted of gold sheets with engravings of palmettes.