JERUSALEM (ISRAEL) – Israeli archaeologists and masons have recreated the sacred flooring of the ancient Jewish temple in Jerusalem on which Jesus might have walked. The hewn-stone, earth-tone tiles that were geometric in design were recreated and arranged by experts based on relics and historical texts.
“We even made the scratches and all kind of marks that created the same appearance as it used to look like at the time,” said archaeologist Assaf Avraham near the one- metre square, ankle-high replica on the Mount of Olives, which overlooks Jerusalem’s Old City and holy sites.
As per the account of the New Testament, Jesus went to the temple as a boy for pilgrimage and study and, as an older preacher, and he chased out money-lenders in anger. In the Gospel of John, He “walks in the temple in the portico of Solomon”.
The Jewish temple was designed by King Herod in the Judea of the Roman-era. Surviving tiles from those ruins revealed the materials used such as hand-chiselled limestone and Dead Sea stone, as well as imported marble and they were laid in the “Opus Sectile” style.
Jewish historian of that era Josephus Flavius wrote that temple courts were “laid with stones of all sorts”, which is yet another hint that the tiles comprised various colours and textures.
Manager of the team of artists Avi Tavisal said the floor was “very tough work” that took seven months.
“But it was very interesting, and we made it with all our hearts,” he said. “We hope that this will be something that the people can come and see and feel and touch and feel the feeling how it was 2,000 years before.”