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What Were Temple Steps On The Temple Mount

By
Robert Kerson

4/10/2016

In 1884 a map by Wilson and Warren showed the remains of steps on the Temple Mount.
Shimon Gibson’s and David Jacobson’s book Below The Temple Mount In Jerusalem discusses
these steps as well. This paper will explore the areas of the temple mount which the placement
of these steps would have been a part of.
First I state categorically that these steps were not a part of a temple’s cripodoma which was
the base of a temple. If any Roman temple was built on the site of the Jewish temple and the
site of the Jewish temple was on the current site of the Dome of the Rock, these steps would
be too far away. Instead I am exploring the areas were these steps are the remnants of a
longer line of steps making a transition to a higher area of level ground.
(See Fig. 1. for the following.) The first most important observation is that these steps (shown
circled in red in all figures) were parallel to the Herodian outer southern wall and at a right
angle to the Herodian outer western wall. I draw another right angle line from the western wall
passing through the northeastern corner of the temple mount platform. Reading my paper on
the temple mount (add ref.) discusses the importance of this location, and my belief that this
corner was a temple feature which fosters my belief that some, but not all of these red lines in
this and in the other figures might have been in existence in the Jewish temple and might not
be Roman features at all. All the entrances onto the platform have similar measurements as
most of the red lines are of equal length. Since these entrances are Muslim creations, it seems
reasonable to assign a Muslim date to these red lines. But red lines which are not associated
with entrances onto the platform may be of an earlier date.

Figure 1.

(see Fig. 2. For the following.)
Again we see the same steps circled in red but the area is conceived differently. I draw a right
angled square whose western side is on the western wall, and the northeast corner is on the
same northeast corner of the platform as in the previous figure.
The center of this large rectangle, the intersection of the diagonal red dashed lines, is on the
Dome of the Rock building to the west of the center of the building as shown. A small right
angled square occupies the south western corner of the large rectangle. The center of this small
square is on a point of the western edge of the platform.
The length of the southern Herodian outer wall (shown as a dashed red line at the bottom of
the figure ) is exactly the length of the red dashed lines of the large rectangle. Half (1/2) the
length of this southern wall, is exactly the diagonal of the small square (drawn as red dots).

What is truly amazing is that the size of the large rectangle matches exactly the length of this
one wall which I believe was not coincidental.
Figure 2.

( See Fig. 3 for the following.) Here is the same southern wall and the same squares as in Fig. 2
but with additional lines centered on the small Dome of the Chain, to the east of the Dome of
the Rock. These are Muslim structures, but on sites that were premuslim. Thus these lines could
actually be of an earlier date. (The Dome of the Chain sits on where I place the slaughtering
place, posts and tables on the northern side of the great altar. See my paper on the Jerusalem

temple. The Dome of the Chain currently marks the center of the Herodian temple area. In
Herod’s time, the center would have been the slaughtering area within the Court of the
Priests.) A number of significant red triangles can be seen.
1. An isoceles triangle (57 57 65) with two legs centered at the Dome of the Chain, and the
third leg on the southern wall (red dots and dashes). The length of the legs of this isoceles
triangle are the same length as the southern wall.
2. A 30 60 90 triangle.
3. Another 30 60 90 triangle.
The longest legs of the the two 30 60 90 triangles were of the same distance as from the
Southeast corner of the temple mount to the Double Gate. These measures might date these
lines dating from Herod’s temple.

Figure 3.

(See Figure 4 of the following.) This figure has the same lines as the previous figures, with the
addition of a black line having hash marks parallel running from the Double Gate along the
eastern side of the small square to the eastern end of the Antonia Fortress, and a moat
constructed on this side of the fortress (circled in red). A small building built over an outcroping
of bedrock which may have been a landmark, was also on this line (also circled in red. ) This
black line was parallel to the western outer wall.

A non- isoceles triangle (red dots and dashes, black dots and dashes, solid black) can be
drawn as shown. The length of this (red dots and dashes) line was exactly the length of the
southern outer wall.
The 500 Royal Cubit Ritmeyer Square is drawn in black. One corner of this triangle was on
the southeastern corner of this square, with another corner of this triangle on the
southwestern corner of the red rectangle as seen in Fig. 2. The third corner of the triangle was
on northeastern corner of the platform which I believe was a temple feature. This entire
triangle may be dated from the time of the Jewish temples since the black square is most
definately a temple feature.
Figure 4.