Temple Mount Rubble from 70 CE Roman Destruction

This page attemts to list the remains of the destroyed elements resulting from 70 CE Roman Destruction still present on Temple Mount, museums and exhibits around the world. The historian Josephus gives us our most detailed description of the Herodian Temple Mount prior to its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE.

Overview

Study of these archaeological remains along with Josephus’ descriptions, our knowledge of othe architecture of the time period, and the tantalizing clues provided by modern finds, the structures that remain lead to a fuller understanding of Herod’s Temple.

List of the Notable Architectural Elements

circa

Colmuns and Capitals
The remains of the column drums and capitals found in the destruction debris had a diameter of about 3 feet. Given that Corinthian columns of that width, in the Hellenistic architecture of the first century, would customarily be 26-33 feet high, Josephus’ description of the Herodian construction as having 27 foot tall columns was probably accurate. To date, more than 500 architectural decoration fragments dated to the Herodian period have been unearthed.

circa

Pile of Ashlars in the Herodian Era Street
The iconic and the only remaining pile of large ashlar stones, in the Herodian Street, which had been knocked down from the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount in 70 CE, destroying the shops and damaging the pavement. The architectural fragments were found here make it possible to [reconstruct] the staircase and the upper part of the retaining wall.

circa

Inscriptions
This incised stone, known as the Trumpting place inscription, block is one of the most fascinating remains of Herod's Temple. It apparently fell from the southwest corner of the Temple Mount to the street below, where it was discovered by excavators. The formal inscription "to the place of trumpeting..." and the shape of the stone suggest that it was once part of a parapet that ran along the wall of the Temple complex. According to Josephus, this was the location of "the roof of the priests' chambers, where one of the priests invariably stood to proclaim by trumpet blast, in the late afternoon the approach of every seventh day, and on the next evening its close..." Presumably, the trumpet blasts could be heard throughout Jerusalem - in the City of David to the south and in the Upper City to the west.

circa 1000 BCE

Ostraca
The Ophel Inscription, is one of the several pottery shards found during the excavations at the Temple Mount and the surroung archaeological areas. It is a 3,000-year-old text found in Jerusalem, may be dated to the 10th century BCE. The fragment comes from a pithos, a large neckless ceramic jar discovered in a ceramic assemblage together with 6 other large storage jars that together comprised a fill that was employed to reinforce the earth under the second floor of a building, which the archaeologists excavating the site identified as contemporary with the biblical period of David and Solomon, and dated to the 10th century BCE.

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