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Direct view looking east toward the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount. The spring (= start) of the arch embedded in the supporting wall is visible in the center of the image. For a detail click here. The windows just above the arch open into the "modern" Islamic Museum on the Haram esh-Sherif (= Temple Mount).
The arch and the stones of the wall below it are from the days of Herod the Great (37–4 B.C.). Above the arch stood an opening which led into the temple complex during the New Testament Era. The arch, completely destroyed except for the spring, and the piers below it, supported a platform which was part of the entrance into the Temple Mount.
Prior to Benjamin Mazar's excavations the ground level was just below the arch — it could be easily touched by a person standing just below it. Mazar excavated down to shops and the street level just below the arch.
The faint groove in the wall, running through the lower third of the image, from left to right (north to south) was carved by the Moslem Umayyad Dynasty (A.D. 651–750) and contained a pipe to bring water to their buildings to the south (right) of this area.