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 upper portion of the image — just right of center. For a detail click here.
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 grooves in the wall, running through the middle 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. Just to the right of the image is the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount area.