“The finds on the mountain reflect 3,000 years of Jewish activity, and every pit dug on the site can shed light on thousands of years of Jewish history.”
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
A new pit was uncovered Sunday on the Temple Mount under a large tile that fell into it, sparking excitement over the prospects of its historic significance.
The large hole is located on the southern side of the Temple Mount, close to the southern wall.
The Israel Police updated the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) on the unusual finding so that it can investigate the finds inside the pit and the reason for its opening.
Assaf Fried, spokesperson for Matte Irguni Hamikdash, an umbrella organization uniting several activist groups calling for Jewish rights to the Temple Mount, called on the Israeli authorities to prevent the Muslim Waqf from sealing the new opening by “pouring vulgar and destructive concrete,” as it has done in similar cases in the past.
The IAA “must conduct an orderly rescue excavation at the site, excavate the find, and disclose its contents to the general public,” the organization, which advocates Jewish presence at the holy site, demanded.
“The Temple Mount is the microcosm of the world of antiquities. Every meter on the Temple Mount has first-class national importance,” Fried stated.
“The finds on the mountain reflect 3,000 years of Jewish activity in the place, and every pit dug in the place can shed light on thousands of years of Jewish history. Whether it is a cistern from the days of Herod, or an opening of a cave from the days of King Solomon, escape caves he built at the bottom of the mountain, among other things to hide the Ark of the Covenant during a hostile onslaught,” he explained.
The Muslim Waqf has been conducting extensive renovations at the site, possibly causing the exposure of the hole.
Salvation work at the site by Israeli archeologists and volunteers had led to the exposure of half a million artifacts from periods ranging over thousands of years of Jewish history.