Recent Finds Involving Israel’s Jerusalem Temple Mount

Many readers have no doubt heard about the recent reports of the discovery of a ritual bath underneath the western wall of the Jerusalem temple mount, along with four First Century AD coins. You can read about the discovery here in the press release from the Jewish Antiquities Authority. The coins were struck by the Roman procurator of Judea, Valerius Gratus sometime between 17-18 AD. According to the press release, “This means that Robinson’s Arch, and possibly a longer part of the Western Wall, were constructed after this year – that is to say: at least twenty years after Herod’s death (which is commonly thought to have occurred in the year 4 BCE).”

Readers may recall that some time ago I blogged about the possibility that the precise location of the Jerusalem temple being incorrect. I referred readers to the work of Ernest Martin, kept alive for consideration by his estate here. I noted that Martin’s work raises some serious questions about the precise temple location that seem to simply get ignored or (in my experience at an academic conference) somewhat ridiculed, as opposed to cogently addressed and refuted. I’m no expert on the Temple Mount, but I am familiar with the issues that need to be addressed and wonder why no systematic refutation has been offered (counter-arguments have been offered, but those arguments were also addressed by Martin in detail — and that is where the subject died, or became something to be dismissed). At any rate, it would be nice to suppose that this new discovery might bring Martin’s work back into the discussion since he proposed that this part of the Temple Mount (in mainstream thinking; in Martin’s view he refers to it as the Haram esh-Sharif) was built well after Herod’s death (which Martin has at 1 BC, contrary to the accepted 4 BC – the issue is of significance due to the precise astronomical dating of Jesus’ birth if one takes Rev 12:1-6 as astronomical signage for the birth).

At any rate, I offer here a recent summary of the new discovery from David Sielaff, trustee of Martin’s work. I hope you will all find it of interest.

Dogon Debunking from an Unlikely Source

I recently blogged about the so-called Dogon “mystery.” Readers will recall that it has nothing to do with alien contact. I utilized several scholarly articles where anthropologists went back to the Dogon people to check the original reports that made the Dogon so popular with ancient astronaut theorists. Turns out it was bogus (insert surprised look here).

I recently came across an older debunking of the Dogon issue from, of all places, the “Above Top Secret” website. It’s well worth the read. If a source like this can think clearly and critically about the sacred Dogon cow, I would hope that others can embrace the effort that went into the piece. It doesn’t seem like a biased source from people corrupted “by all that establishment book learning.”

Islamic Temple Mount Conspiracy?

Read about it here (the details of secret, off-limits digging are real; the motivation or object is the question). My guess is “no.”  It wouldn’t matter with respect to attempts to erase the Jewish altar remnants if Leen Ritmeyer is right (see the link at the bottom of the linked post) — and especially if Ernest Martin was right, that the temple mount isn’t the correct location at all.(See here as well).

Almost no one thinks Martin was right about the alternative location for the temple. I think his view deserves a serious hearing. (James Tabor agrees — hey, we actually do agree on some things!) The traditional, accepted view, really cannot account for two things: Josephus’ record of a long colonnade connecting the Fortress Antonia to the temple site (“he’s just wrong”) and the need for living (i.e., running) water in the temple (see here and here). Leen Ritmeyer has weighed in on Martin’s work — you can read that here (contains rebuttal by Martin).

Mainstream Media Stumbles Across Fact-Based Story About the Incas

In a stunning turn of events for mainstream journalism, factual material about the Incas has surfaced in an internet news article. (Usually it’s claptrap about what some speaker says at a conference dedicated to aliens and “earth mysteries”).

Archaeologists announced today that a 1000 year-old temple presumed to be mythical has been discovered in Peru.  I can hardly wait until some yahoo discovers “space ship glyphs” on it.

Prepping For More Dan Brown Nonsense About Solomon’s Temple

I’m sure we’ve all heard the earth-shattering news by now, that Dan Brown’s sequel to The DaVinci Code (hereafter DVC) is due out on September 15. I’m relieved that he got it to us before 2012.

Brown’s sequel is now entitled, The Lost Symbol.  It was going to be titled The Solomon Key, or so his website told us in the wake of DVC’s success.  His website informed readers that the sequel had something to do with freemasonry in America, but that it was also tied to the material in DVC.

I’m quite certain Brown will say something about how Solomon’s temple was created to somehow transmit some lost Egypto-Gnostic secret knowledge, and about how that knowledge was brought to America via freemasonry.  While Brown made people wait years for the sequel confirmation, PaleoBabble is far more responsive. Let’s get the debunking started right away. If you’re a freemason or a Dan Brown sycophant, you may want to stop reading now.

One of the things I’m sure Brown’s “meticulous research” (his phrase in the DVC, which was subsequently hacked to bits by scholars of all religious persuasions all over the world) will have overlooked (since it doesn’t further the Gnostic idea) is the fact that Solomon’s temple was not modeled after Egyptian temples.  It is distinctly Syro-Palestinian, with a dash of Phoenician elements (the Bible tells us Hiram of Tyre sent Solomon help in the construction). Toward making that point, here’s an article from BAR about a non-biblical temple that is the closest in design to the Bible’s description of Solomon’s temple ever found.