(JNS.org) For the first time, 2,000-year-old flooring from King Herod’s Second Temple courtyard in Jerusalem has been restored by archaeologists.
Elaborately decorated floor tiles were discovered by the Temple Mount Sifting Project team while combing through tons of earth illegally removed in 1999 from the Temple Mount by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which manages Muslim buildings on the site.
The Temple Mount, site of the two former ancient Jewish temples, has long played a key role in Jewish affairs and worship.
"It enables us to get an idea of the Temple's incredible splendor," said Dr. Gabriel Barkay, co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, in a prepared statement.
The tile patterns were restored by Frankie Snyder, a member of the Temple Mount Sifting Project by using mathematical skills in geometry and finding similarities in tile design used by King Herod.
So far, seven different tile designs of the flooring have been successfully restored.
"Though we have not merited seeing the Temple in its glory, with the discovery and restoration of these unique floor tiles, we are now able to have a deeper understanding and
appreciation for the Second Temple, even through this one distinctive characteristic," Barkay said.