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View looking northeast toward the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount. The spring (= start) of the arch embedded in the supporting wall is visible in the middle of the image. For a general view 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.