Over The Crossroads of Time: Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Monumental Staircases
Two thousand years ago, King Herod constructed a tremendous compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in which he built the Temple and the Royal Stoa—marvels of classical architecture for their size, might, and beauty. The Temple and the Royal Stoa were diametrical opposites. The realm of the sacred was the very essence of the Temple, while the Royal Stoa represented the secular. Accordingly, separate access routes were built to these mutually exclusive spheres, while raising the construction techniques of his time to new and unparalleled levels of sophistication. The archaeological excavations that Professor Benjamin Mazar conducted at the foot of the Temple Mount walls during the entire decade between 1968 and 1978 uncovered the immense crossroads built by Herod that had been used by the thousands of pilgrims and visitors to the Temple Mount without fear of mingling the consecrated with the commonplace. The archaeologist Eilat Mazar (Benjamin’s granddaughter) has written the detailed story of those excavations and the surprising conclusions to be drawn from them. Over the Crossroads of Time: Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Monumental Staircases tells that story—based on the groundbreaking excavations conducted by Benjamin Mazar and the rich data they produced, along with explanations based on rigorous scientific research, accompanied by hundreds of photographs and illustrations, as well as 3D reconstructions. Dr. Eilat Mazar has been conducting excavations in the Ophel and the City of David areas of Jerusalem for four decades, to uncover the city’s ancient past. She has written numerous books about ancient Jerusalem, including The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations and the monumental work The Walls of the Temple Mount.