Question ... (Peter) Jerusalem topography

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Tue Dec 5 03:29:51 EST 2000

>>PK: My tentative hypothesis is that there was a significant city and
>>fortifications on the site of the temple mount in the 10th century, but
>>that no evidence remains, or is accessible, because it was all destroyed
>>buried 900 years later, in Herod's time. I know I can't prove it, but you
>>can't disprove it, and so you can't prove your claim that Jerusalem was
>>insignificant at this time.

>This is a hypothesis of convenience: as there is nowhere else for the city
>that you assume must have been to have been it must have been by default
>there. The problem is and I think I've explained it before. You take no
>notice of the form of the terrain. Much of the temple mount at the southern
>end has been built up to have the large platform we have today. Before then
>it was relatively steep and not particularly conducive to town planning.
>PK: Don't forget that even on your dating the books of Kings were written
>before Herod's remodelling work on Jerusalem, and suggest that Solomon's
>temple and palace were built on this northern hill.

I never mentioned a "Solomon's temple". Was there one?

>They would hardly have
>suggested a site which was impossible to build on, more likely they would
>have described one already occupied by buildings or ruins. And the records
>suggest that there was at least a temple there before Herod's time. So this
>area cannot have been all that impossible to build on. Also, steep hills
>by no means always rejected as sites for cities; fortified ones were often
>deliberately built on steep crags. Basically we don't know what the
>topography was before Herod's time, except that it was not perfectly flat,
>so we certainly cannot rule out a city having been built here.

You know the height of the exposed rock on the platform. You know its
extend. You know the topography on each side. The terrain under the temple
mount has been understood for a lo-ong time. You end up with an area under
the current platform of less than 500m x 300m including the inclines -- an
area obviously wider than the old city, but also shorter.


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