Locating Solomon's Temple
THE SOUTHWEST CORNER
The “Place of the Trumpeting” and the place above the Xystus reveal the real location of the Temple.
It seems that the location of the Temple has always been hidden in plain sight in the works of Josephus. Amazing!
We learn of the Place of the Trumpeting through Josephus as he describes the towers built by the Jewish Rebels who had taken over the city prior to its destruction. The rebels split into two groups and began warring against each other. One faction held the Temple and they built towers on the corners of the Temple compound to get a higher advantage for their arrows. One of those towers was built above the Xystus. So first we need to find out where that was.
"Now that wall began on the north, at the tower called "Hippicus," and extended as far as the "Xistus," a place so called, and then, joining to the council-house, ended at the west cloister of the temple."
The Xystus was a plaza used for assembly, to hear public speeches made from the west wall of the Temple Mount.
The ruins of the Council House were discovered by Charles Warren in the 1860′s. It is located near the Western Wall and the bridge over Wilson’s Arch.
The Place of the Trumpeting was located at what is now thought to be the southwest corner of the Temple Mount.
At the base of the southwest corner the remains of “The Place of the Trumpeting” stone was found. It lay where it had landed after the destruction of the Temple.
Josephus tells the location of the towers that the rebels built.
It is most important to remember that the towers were built on corners of the Temple. This means that the tower built above the Xystus was built at a corner. As we can see there is no longer a corner in that place. But if there were it would be built at what used to be the northwest corner of Herod’s 600 x 600 foot Temple.
That gives us the southwest corner of Herod’s Temple. Then measure 600 feet towards the east and that gives us the southeast corner. Then measure north to find the northeast corner of Herod’s Temple where Josephus wrote that the first tower was built.
This graphic shows my Temple diagram laid over the map with the towers.
In this theory there are extra corners in the Temple. The lower Herodian extended court, which was the last court to be built, had a stepped walkway leading up to where a gate would have been. This gate would have entered into the lower Herodian court and Herod’s Royal Stoa. The red arrow shows another wall built along side the South wall of the Mount in the above photo.
Josephus wrote in war of the Jews 5; 5.2 that the bedrock was at it's
lowest at this point at the southwest corner. From bedrock to the top of
the wall was 300 cubits (437 feet). and then it was filled in to make it level
with the streets of the city. Is the southwest corner of the
Temple Mount 437 feet from the top of what would have been a gate at Robinson's
arch down to where they found the Jewish mikveh under the wall? I believe
it is around 125 feet from bedrock up to where the top of the gate would
The southwest corner would have been further down Ophel hill where
the depth was greater. Not only would the wall appearing above
the street have to reach the level of the rest of the temple, much taller than
any other wall of the temple...but the buried part of the wall below the
street would also have to go down much deeper in order to reach the
bedrock in the Tyropoeon valley at the place I propose for the southwest
corner. The only way this is possible is if the northwest corner of the Temple
were at the place above the xystus pre destruction and of course pre Hadrian's
reshaping of the temple mount area. This Temple theory is the only one which can account for
all 4 towers in their proper places.
South of this second wall, the western half of the Ophel mound, excavations revealed important data on the history of early Islamic Jerusalem. Four edifices, about 90 x 90 meters each, were unearthed and data to the Umayyad period (7th-8th centuries CE). These buildings are probably part of an official facility erected by the Caliph Al-Walid, and shedding new light on the status of Jerusalem during the Islamic period.
This stopped the western half of the Ophel from being excavated down to the level of that on the eastern side.
This whole area is now called the Ophel Archaeological Garden.
This is a photo of the Western section of the Ophel as it looks today. All work has stopped and any ruins from an earlier time will remain hidden.
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