BNI/A group of Jews who ascended the Temple Mount were shocked to see that ancient beams of wood from the period of the Holy Temple were being used as firewood by Arab Muslims on the Mount, and off it.
INN (H/T Liz) Archaeologists have dated the wood as far back as the First Temple period, and appear to be among the celebrated ‘Cedars of Lebanon mentioned in the Tanach. The wood, consisting of giant beams, first appeared at the end of the 1930s, when the Al-Aqsa mosque which now occupies the Temple Mount was refurbished. The beams had been used in the roof structure of the mosque, and already at that time they were said to be thousands of years old by archaeologists – preserved because they had been used in the building. Some of the beams were dated to the first Temple period, others to Roman times, and more than one beam was found to have Byzantine-era designs etched on it.
Cedar beams dating to biblical times found at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, moved some time ago out of doors and left in the weather, now have been deposited unceremoniously at a dumping ground for local Arabs to use as firewood
After the beams were removed from the mosque, they were stored in a museum on the Mount. However, in recent years the beams were moved to a corner of the Mount, open to the elements – and archaeologists fear that exposure to winter rain and summer sun will be their undoing. Some of the beams were taken out several years ago, and more have been spotted in recent months. Reports said that the Arab Muslims, who have been trying for years to ger rid of the beams, have begun burning them.
Now, many of the beams have been placed at what appears to be a dumping ground next to the Golden Gate of the Old City, apparently for the use of local Arab Muslims as firewood. Jewish groups that visited the Mount saw the beams being moved, but reported that the Arab Muslims forbade them to take photos of the activity. Officials of the Archaeology Authority, who are responsible for the safety of these ancient beams, are nowhere to be seen.
Workers have unearthed artifacts on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, says an Israeli agency. The artifacts, which date to the First Jewish Temple period – the eighth to sixth centuries B.C. – were found by employees of the Waqf Muslim religious trust doing maintenance work, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported. The artifacts may be the first physical evidence of human activity at the Temple Mount – also known as Solomon’s Temple – in that time.