Pieces of the Second Temple’s Floors Found in Jerusalem

Sept. 8 2016

Archaeologists recently announced the discovery of hundreds of fragments of tile they believe once covered the floors of the Second Temple, most likely installed during the reign of King Herod in the 1st century BCE. Ilan Ben Zion writes:

The bits and pieces of 2,000-year-old marble flooring were found in fill removed from the contested holy site in the late 1990s when the Islamic Waqf, the institution overseeing the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount, carried out excavations as part of the construction of a subterranean mosque in an area known as Solomon’s Stables.

Since operations began in 2004 to recover artifacts from the tens of thousands of tons of dirt dumped outside the Old City, the Temple Mount Sifting Project has found some 600 colored-stone floor-tile fragments that the organization’s director contends came from [renovations made by] King Herod. . . .

“This type of flooring, called opus sectile, Latin for ‘cut work,’ was very expensive and considered to be far more prestigious than mosaic tiled floors,” said Frankie Snyder, an expert on ancient Herodian-style flooring who works with the Temple Mount Sifting Project. She noted that opus sectile floors only appeared in Israel during Herod’s reign.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Archaeology, Herod, History & Ideas, Second Temple, Temple Mount


Understanding the Background of the White House Ruling on Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act

Dec. 13 2019

On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order allowing federal officials to extend the protections of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to Jews. (The order, promptly condemned for classifying Jews as a separate nationality, did nothing of the sort.) In 2010, Kenneth Marcus called for precisely such a ruling in the pages of Commentary, citing in particular the Department of Education’s lax response to a series of incidents at the University of California at Irvine, where, among much elase, Jewish property was vandalized and Jewish students were pelted with rocks, called “dirty Jew” and other epithets, and were told, “Jewish students are the plague of mankind.”

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, U.S. Politics