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Eastern Central Ambulatory

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Eastern Central Ambulatory
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Photo Comments

View looking north at the eastern, main, ambulatory.  There are three concentric circular "rows" of columns that encircle the Foundation Stone.  This is the main ambulatory that runs without obstruction around the whole of the octagonal-shaped building.  The inner ambulatory (not visible) is left of the left columns between the rock and those columns, and the outer, to the right of the columns on the right.  Since there are only women in the photo, is this a place where they typically gather for study—see the group on the left?

Just beyond the women on the left is a column, and to the left of that is the Foundation Stone (not visible).  If Leen Ritmeyer's placement of the Holy of Holies on the Foundation Stone is correct, then this would be the area where the "Holy Place" would have been—the place where the incense altar, the candelabra, and the table with showbread were located.

The stone has many events associated with it in Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions:  The binding of Isaac, the place of the Holy of Holies in the Solomonic and Herodian Temples; maybe a Roman Temple, the place from which Mohamed made his night journey to the "Distant Place," a Church Altar, etc.

The Dome of the Rock was completed about A.D. 691 by the Moslem Umayyad Dynasty which was headquartered in Damascus.  The Dome structure was intended to portray the glories of Islam and to divert pilgrim traffic to Jerusalem - from Mecca and Medina.

The photo is courtesy of David Padfield (www.Padfield.com).  The commentary is that of Carl Rasmussen.