Presentation on theme: "1 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority The Mugrabi Gate Access Restoration Project."— Presentation transcript:
1 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority The Mugrabi Gate Access Restoration Project
2 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority The Mugrabi Ramp The Original Mugrabi Ramp Prior to its 2004 Collapse
3 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Historical Landmarks In 1848 missionary James Thomas Barclay, the American Consul in Jerusalem, discovered the northern doorpost and the enormous stone lintel of an ancient gate, the earliest of the gates into the Temple Mount compound. Barclay discovered the gateway from the inner side of the Temple Mount compound.ancient gate Researchers identified the gate as dating back to the time of the Second Temple, perhaps the Coponius Gate. At the end of the 10th Century the gate was blocked with stones and the gatehouse on the inside dedicated to El-Buraq. (The site is currently closed, and accessible by approval of the Waqf only.) In 1199, an Islamic seminary called the Al-Afdalia Madrasa was erected adjacent to the Barclays Gate. The ruins of this Madrasa today form part of the earthen ramp leading up to the Mugrabi Gate.Al-Afdalia Madrasa In the 12th Century (or perhaps later) a new gate was constructed above Barclay's Gate called Bab al-Maghariba, the Mugrabi gate, named after the residents of the quarter. In 1850 the Jewish sage, Abdullah of Bombay, tried to purchase the Western Wall. In 1887 Baron Rothschild planned to purchase the entire Mugrabi Quarter area.
4 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Historical Timeline On the eve of World War I (1914), the Palestinian Land Development Company tried to purchase the area around the Western Wall. After the Balfour Declaration (1917), Jewish National Institutions in Palestine emphasized the Western Wall as a premier holy site of the Jewish people. The Mufti of Jerusalem declared the Western Wall to be a holy Moslem site and called it El Buraq, the name of Prophet Mohammed's wondrous steed. Following the riots of 1929 the British mandatory authorities set up a commission of enquiry which ruled that there was no religious or historical basis for this claim, and that the El Buraq story was invented by the Mufti to incite the Moslems against the Jews. After the Six Day War (1967), the Western Wall plaza was expanded and Barclay's Gate exposed.
5 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority The Mugrabi Ramp Decision – Timeline In February 2004, the Mugrabi Ramp collapsed.the Mugrabi Ramp collapsed A lengthy series of meetings and a visit by senior officials to the site resulted in a decision to construct a temporary bridge, in order to permit the removal of the earthen ramp in an organized archeological excavation and the construction of a new access route to the Mugrabi Gate. The timeline: – – Construction of the temporary bridge. – – First proposal submitted by architect Ada Carmi-Melamed. – –Second proposal submitted by architect Ada Carmi-Melamed. – – Meeting attended by members of the Archeological Council and other public figures, including professors of archeology. – – Second meeting attended by members of the Archeological Council and other public figures, including professors of archeology. – – Meeting chaired by the Mayor of Jerusalem. – – Permit granted, and a decision taken regarding start of excavations in the archeological park – Permit granted, and a decision taken regarding start of excavations in the archeological park. In addition to the above, countless preparatory meetings and consultations were held prior to the taking of decisions.
6 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority The Collapse of the Mugrabi Ramp February 2004 Barclay's Gate Collapsed Ramp
7 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Action Plan and Recommendations The Antiquities Authority gave careful consideration to all the opinions on excavation and construction of a new access to the Mugrabi Gate, held a public and professional debate on the matter and reached a considered decision. The Antiquities Authority recommended adopting the revised plan submitted by architect Ada Carmi-Melamed regarding the bridge alignment, and to hold a subsequent meeting regarding its final form. The Antiquities Authority will excavate columns for the new bridge in the archeological park, ensuring a minimum effect on the park. The Antiquities Authority will conduct an orderly archeological excavation of the Mugrabi Ramp remains and decide which relics are preserved on-site and which are to be removed.
8 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Guiding Principles - Inter-Religious Considerations The Antiquities Authority has never excavated, nor will it ever permit excavation, in the Temple Mount compound. It is a site of supreme historical value in which excavations are prohibited. All construction is to take place outside the Temple Mount, and care taken to preserve the status quo. The distance between the columns of the bridge and the Temple Mount will be 80m. The construction is being carried out in an area under Israeli sovereignty and under the responsibility of the Jerusalem Municipality and the Government of Israel. The parties responsible for religious affairs on the Temple Mount, including the Moslem Wakf, were kept fully informed of Israels intention to restore the access, in the ongoing dialogue which exists between them. All care is taken that the construction of the new bridge does not harm religious sensitivities, the holy places, or other religious interests.
9 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Guiding Principles – Project Decisions Several options were evaluated over the years. The collapse of the ramp posed a danger to tourists ascending to the Temple Mount and to the worshippers in the Women's Area in the Western Wall plaza below. The site was declared hazardous by the City Engineer immediately after the collapse. Greater Jerusalem, in its entirety, is a declared antiquities site. According to the Antiquities Law, the Antiquities Authority is required to excavate every archeological site that has been damaged, willfully or by natural causes, so that any engineering plan (construction of a new bridge or strengthening of the existing ramp) requires a full archeological salvage excavation. The strengthening of the existing ramp or the construction of a new bridge necessitates construction of engineering infrastructures which in turn require a full archeological excavation. The importance of preserving the appearance of the Western Wall plaza as a holy site, dictates a suitable reconstruction of the damaged Mugrabi gate access. The new access should provide convenient and safe passage for visitors to the Temple Mount, including disabled persons.
10 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Guiding Principles - Construction Work Professional work of the highest standard will be guaranteed. Complete excavation of the site will be conducted with full transparency, and the excavation will be open to professional review. After the excavation a decision will be taken as to which relics are to be preserved on site and which are to be removed. The exact location for the bridge columns will be determined only after excavation in order to ensure minimal effect on the artifacts found at the site.
11 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority The Western Wall Plaza – Madrasat El-Afdalia Until 1967, the Western Wall area comprised buildings of the Mugrabi Quarter and the El-Meidan Quarter. The street opposite the Western Wall housed a Madrasa (Islamic seminary) called the Al-Afdalia constructed in 1199 during the Ayyubid Period, to serve the believers of the Malki order. Information on this building is very limited. It was demolished together with the other buildings in the quarter, but an earthen ramp remained leading to the Mugrabi Gate, that contained a ruin belonging to the Madrasa prayer room that still exists. Other than the ruin no other remnants of the Madrasa are known to remain. The ruin (existing situation) The entrance to Madrasat El-Afdalia before it was destroyed.
12 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Barclay's Gate & Madrasa Ruin Today Barclay's Gate The Madrasa Ruin
13 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority Barclay's Gate El-Buraq Mosque Mugrabi Gate The Temple Mount The Western Wall Barclay's Gate Underneath the Mugrabi Gate ramp is a gate dating back to the Second Temple period, known as the Barclay's Gate (named after the US consul who first identified the site in 1855). We now know only of the massive lintel on the outer side. The original entrance to the gate was at the level of the Tyropeon Valley Street (from the Herodian period). The gate dimensions are 5.6m between the doorposts and 8.8m from the threshold to the lintel. The lintel is made of a single stone 2m by 7m. This stone can be seen from the Women's section of the Western Wall Plaza and inside a room located underneath the Mugrabi Gate. From the Temple Mount side there is access to the inner side of the gate via a staircase to the north of the Mugrabi Gate. These steps lead to a room known to Moslems as El- Buraq Mosque. This room was apparently part of the original or restored passage that led visitors to the Temple Mount from the entrance via the gate up to the level of the Temple Mount plaza. This passage was similar to the well- known passages from the Hulda Gates on the southern wall, up to the level of the Temple Mount plaza.
14 February 2007 The Antiquities Authority The Mugrabi Ramp Situation Prior to Project - January 2007 View from the archeological garden