A new, very long trench to the North and East of the Dome of the Rock plateau

The digging of a new trench, which began only yesterday, has already reached a length of more than 150 meters. The purpose of this trench is to facilitate the installation of new electrical and plumbing infrastructure. The trench is being dug with heavy machinery, and reaches a maximum depth of 1.5 meters

 

The work begins at the Northern edge of the Dome of the Rock plateau, connecting this new trench to a previous trench that was recently dug here. It abuts the North edge of the plateau, turns South, and continues along the plateaus Eastern edge, in an area that is considered by most scholars, to be the location of the Second Temple "Courts of the Women". Back in 1970, in this very same place, a section of an Herodian wall was exposed and completely destroyed by Waqf  workers during a similar dig. Some scholars ascribe that wall to the Second Temple Courts of the Women. 

 

No archeologist, under any circumstances, would have approved the use of a tractor in such a sensitive archaeological location. When brutally unearthed, earth strata and archaeological finds, totally loose their context, and delicate relics are destroyed. It doesn't matter at all if there is or isn't an archaeological supervisor present in such a dig. Under such conditions, there is absolutely no possibility of conducting any sort of professional supervision, which naturally would include: section drawings, registration of loci and finds and sifting samples of the soil.  

 

In certain sections of the trench, some engraved stone fragments were seen in the soil that had been dug up and cast aside.

 

Following is a video that shows the use of a JCB tractor digging the trench.



The route of the trench (marked in red)

 

Sections of the trench north of the plateau

 

 

Sections of the trench east of the plateau

 

Architectural engraved stones that were removed from the trench

 

The Waqf council demanding that we not take any photographs of the work