Dr. Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University, one of the most prominent Israeli archaeologists, believes that remains from the First and Second Jewish Temple periods are currently below the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Mazar believes that the remains do include the Second Temple itself, in fact, and that with the technology available today, archaeologists can, at minimum, ensure that artifacts are not disturbed until a future excavation can be safely conducted.
"I am absolutely sure,” said Mazar in an interview with “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s ABC Radio, “in light of my very rich experience excavating Jerusalem for 30 years now, all these remains are waiting to be revealed. And if it can't be done nowadays because of all kinds of sensitivities, at least we should take care that it won't be ruined for future excavations when time comes."
Currently, Mazar is leading the excavation department at the City of David—an archaeological village at the base of the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount was originally the site of the holiest place in Judaism, the Temple of Jerusalem; Muslims view it as the location of Muhammad’s journey to heaven, as depicted in the Quran; and Christians believe that the site is important as a location chosen by God; often visited by Jesus; and a site that will play a key role in the last days.
The First Temple was chosen by God as the site to house the Ark of the Covenant, a project undertaken by the son of David, King Solomon, and completed in 957 BC; it was destroyed in 587-86 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. The Second Temple was built in 538 BC, when the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem by King Cyrus II of Persia.
Mazar has accused the Wafq—Islamic custodians of the Temple Mount—of destroying artifacts, as well as conducting construction, in an attempt to turn the Temple Mount into a “giant mosque,” World Net Daily reported. She indicated that the supervision on the Wafq has been severely lacking, especially by four Israeli state agencies: police, the Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem municipality and the Justice Ministry.
Although Mazar seems positive about her suspicions regarding the remains of the First and Second Temples, her belief seems to be based on nothing more than deductive reasoning, due to the fact that the site has never been properly excavated: "I think we will find all the remains starting from the First Temple period and remains of the Temple itself," she said in the radio interview. “I mean, no one took it out, it's there."
Image: Wikimedia Commons