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Direct view looking east toward the southwestern corner (just right of center) of the supporting wall of the Temple Mount. In the center left is a portion of Robinson's Arch. The windows just above the arch open into the "modern" Islamic Museum on the Haram esh-Sherif (= Temple Mount). Note the minaret above them.
Some have suggested that this is the area of the pinnacle of the temple mentioned in one of the temptations of Jesus (Matthew 4:5; Luke 4:9).
In New Testament times, the outer portion of the Temple Mount, above Robinson's Arch, was probably composed of a series of attached pilasters, like those found on the Herodian Enclosure of the tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
In the lower third of the image is the supporting pier of Robinson's Arch where an important north south street ran.
For a view of the lower portion of this southwestern corner click here. This is where an important Hebrew inscription was found.
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 grooves in the wall, running through the lower half of the image, from left to right (north to south) were carved by the Moslem Umayyad Dynasty (A.D. 651–750) and contained pipes to bring water to their buildings to the south (right) of this area.
Just north of this area is the Western Wall prayer area.