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The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

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A resource was needed to bring together all that is now known about the development of the manmade plateau that is the focus of the world’s interest—the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Ritmeyer’s experience as architect of the Temple Mount Excavations, coupled with his exploration of parts of the Mount and his doctoral research make him singularly qualified for the task.

Comprehensive in scope, the book begins with the Temple Mount at its zenith, under King Herod the Great. Weaving together archaeological data with historical sources Ritmeyer produces an authoritative and exhaustive reconstruction in word and picture. With the features of the Herodian Temple Mount clearly understood, the reader is led to the quest for the earlier, square Temple Mount, described by Josephus and the Mishnah. Theories are fairly examined and evaluated as the search progresses. Clues discovered by the author provide compelling evidence that all previous proposals be reexamined. This rich accumulation of archaeological and literary evidence suggests a solution for Jerusalem’s enduring enigma—i.e., the actual location of the Temple from the time of Solomon onward. One amazing discovery was the original emplacement of the Ark of the Covenant on the rocky floor of what can be identified as the Holy of Holies. This work distills three millennia of history and thirty years of intensive research into the definitive book on the Temple Mount.

Resource Experts
  • Provides a vivid view of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem through the ages
  • Includes maps, plans, drawings and photographs
  • Contains superb reconstructions of Temple Mount architecture
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • The Herodian Temple Mount Walls
  • The Pre-Herodian Square Temple Mount
  • The Hasmonean Temple Mount
  • The Underground Cisterns of the Temple Mount
  • Understanding Herod’s Extension of the Temple Mount
  • The Location of the Temple
  • Reconstructing the First Temple
  • Reconstructing the Second Temple
  • Reconstructing the Herodian Temple Mount
  • Reconstructing Herod’s Temple

Top Highlights

“Apparently the old court which Solomon had built had become too small to accommodate the many pilgrims coming to Jerusalem and Jehoshaphat may have added this new court to the existing Temple complex. This would be in harmony with the observation made by Josephus, when he wrote in War 5, ‘In course of ages, however, through the constant additions of the people to the embankment, the hill-top by this process of levelling up was widened.’ The size and location of this additional court is not clear from the text.” (Page 297)

“Thus, from the point of view of architectural planning, the description in Middot seems to refer to entry to the Temple court by the Double Gate only.” (Page 86)

“Contrary to tradition, the Western Wall is not a remnant of the Solomonic Temple, but rather a section of the massive retaining walls that Herod built almost a thousand years later in order to support the enormous substructure needed to extend the Temple platform.” (Page 20)

“are usually based on the artist’s personal interpretation of the biblical text. Some designs are more fanciful” (Page 279)

“King Herod the Great followed a similar procedure when he built the Second Temple many centuries later.” (Page 286)

  • Title: The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
  • Author: Leen Ritmeyer
  • Publishers: Carta Jerusalem, The Lamb Foundation
  • Print Publication Date: 2015
  • Logos Release Date: 2020
  • Pages: 440
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Temple of Jerusalem (Jerusalem); Temple Mount (Jerusalem); Jerusalem › Antiquities
  • ISBNs: 9789652206282, 9652206288
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T19:17:14Z

Leen Ritmeyer, originally from Holland, is an archaeological architect, lecturer and teacher. He has been involved in all of Jerusalem’s major excavations, producing site plans and reconstruction drawings for all of them. In Jerusalem, he directed prestigious restoration projects such as the Byzantine Cardo and the Herodian Villas and taught Biblical Archaeology at the Universities of Leeds and Cardiff in the U.K. In 2006, his major work, The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, was published after thirty years of intensive research.


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