Temple Mount Antiquities Destroyed In ‘Cultural Intifadah’
There is not a great deal that is new in the piece, but this comment by the
director of the project, archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, is worth noting:
Barkay said it was a tragedy that the Western world was not more concerned about
the destruction of the antiquities on the Temple Mount.
The world community was outraged when the Taliban blew up two 165-foot nearly
2,000-year-old statues of Buddha in Afghanistan in 2001. But the destruction of
“the heartland of [Jewish and Christian] faith did not create an effect as it
should have done,” said Barkay.
“Very clearly parallel to the armed [Palestinian] intifadah is also the cultural
intifadah, more serious than the armed intifadah, Palestinians claiming Jews
never had a right to this country, Jews were never here,” Barkay added.
I wouldn’t say “more serious than,” but it’s very serious nonetheless.
There’s a nice summary of the finds to date:
By the door stands that largest piece — a three-foot-high section of a marble
pillar with purple veins running through it. The marble would have been imported
from Asia Minor, Barkay said. They know it came from the Temple Mount because
there are others like it there, Barkay said.
They have found pottery shards – 15 percent of which date back to the First
Jewish Temple period – the days of Biblical King Solomon. But workers will never
be able to put together a complete vessel because of the way things were mixed
up, he said.
There are pieces of early Christian oil lamps, figurines, pottery fragments with
Hebrew inscriptions. Hundreds of coins have been discovered dating from the
Second Jewish Temple period all the way up to the time of Napoleon.
They found a silver charm of St. Christopher, which would have been used by
Europeans during the 16th and 17th centuries to ward off evil.
Arrowheads of various shapes attest to the battles fought by generations of
conquerors over the Mount.
There are beads from an Islamic era, jewelry, ivory objects — including a
fine-toothed comb — which Barkay said he is sure will prove to contain lice
eggs when it is thoroughly examined.
And there’s one quite important bit of new information tucked quietly into the
end of the article:
Barkay said the workers won’t be able to finish sifting all of the material they
have but will get a good sampling. The project, which is funded by private
donors, is scheduled to continue until summer, he said. All of the artifacts as
well as the remaining material from the Temple Mount belong to the Antiquities
Authority by law.
The last information we had, from the middle of April, indicated that the
project was about to stop for lack of funding. It appears that an angel has come
through and funded it until the summer. Let’s hope someone continues to provide
the money to see the entire project through.
While we’re on this subject, BiblePlaces.com has new (?) heavily illustrated
articles posted on the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as noted yesterday by
Bible and Interpretation News.