It’s one of those amazing stories of magic hiding in plain sight. Under a tarp, in a corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, padlocked in a building in the settlement of Ofra, and locked in a room in Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Museum, there are three piles of ancient wooden beams, some of them with rusted nails sticking out of them. They come from the Temple Mount. Over the centuries, these beams have been used and re-used. Some of them are thousands of years old! Incredibly, some of them date to the Second Temple period i.e., the 1st century CE. But some of them may date even earlier i.e., to the First Temple period, almost 1,000 years BCE.
Though Jerusalem was destroyed, conquered and reconquered, it seems that some of the original wooden beams survived. A cypress beam now lying in one of the piles has been carbon-dated and found to be 2,600 years old – the First Temple Period! It may have supported the ceiling above the Ark of the Covenant and the Ten Commandments in it.
Beams From the First and Second Temple!
November 19, 2013
For more on the beams see: