This same period is also referred to as Early Bronze IV, Intermediate Bronze Age and Early Bronze-Middle Bronze Age. Archaeologists have not yet agreed on the appropriate designation. See Rudolph Cohen, “The Mysterious MB I People—Does the Exodus Tradition in the Bible Preserve the Memory of Their Entry Into Canaan?” BAR 09:04.


The Bible contains two parallel accounts of this episode. The other is contained in 1 Chronicles 21:18–26. In Chronicles. Araunah is called Ornan. And the price of the site has inflated in the retelling: In 2 Samuel, we are told that the price was 50 shekels of silver. In 1 Chronicles, it is 600 shekels of gold.


See Neil A. Silberman, “In Search of Solomon’s Lost Treasures,” BAR 06:04.


Solomon’s Stables, of course, are not Solomonic but part of the substructure of the Temple Mount platform built by Herod the Great. The size and configuration of the Temple Mount did not satisfy the grand schemes of Herod. He had the Mount enlarged, especially on the southern side, by constructing tiers of vaults to raise the level of the ground and support the platform. The original lower courses of the tiers supporting the vaults have survived in the halls of “Solomon’s Stables”; the vaults themselves are a later repair, perhaps of the Crusader period. The knights of the Knights Templar who had their headquarters in the El-Aqsa mosque used the vaulted halls under the Temple Mount platform as stables. Thus, while the attribution of these halls to Solomon is historically not correct, their use as stables is factual.



Louis-Hugues Vincent and E. H. J. Mackay, Hebron—Le Haram el-Khalil (Paris, 1923), pp. 53–66; E. Pierotti, Machpela—Ou Tombeau des Patriarches a Hebron (Lausanne, 1869), pp. 92, 94.


Account of a verbal report by Colonel Meinertzhagen in Vincent and Mackay, Hebron—Le Haram el-Khalil, pp. 58–60.


Ze’ev Yeivin, “Notes on the Structure over the Cave of Machpelah,” Atiqot VII, 1974, pp. 58–60.


Yeivin, “Notes on the Structure.”


William G. Dever, “A Middle Bronze I Site on the West Bank of the Jordan,” Archaeology 25, 1972, pp. 231–233; idem, “A Middle Bronze I Cemetery at Hirbet el’Kirmil,” Eretz Israel 12, 1975, pp. 18–33.


William G. Dever, “A Middle Bronze I Site on the West Bank of the Jordan,” Archaeology 25, 1972, pp. 231–233; idem, “A Middle Bronze I Cemetery at Hirbet el-Kirmil,” Eretz Israel 12, 1975, pp. 18–33.


Rivka Gonen, “Efrat,” Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 31, 1981, pp. 124–127, plates 22 A, B.


Conflicting points of view have been voiced since the early days of archaeological research in Jerusalem. See Charles C. Warren and Claude R. Conder, Survey of Western Palestine Vol. V (London, 1884), pp. 98–100; Yigael Yadin, “The First Temple,” in Michael Avi-Yonah, ed., Sefer Yerushalaim (Jerusalem, 1957), p. 187 (in Hebrew); Avi-Yonah, “Jerusalem of the Second Temple Period,” in Yadin, ed., Jerusalem Revealed (Jerusalem, 1975). p. 13.


According to this view, the Temple was located further to the north. See Asher Kaufman, “Where the Ancient Temple of Jerusalem Stood,” BAR 09:02.


I. Ben Hanania, “Sacrilegious Actions of a British Archaeological Expedition,” News of the Israel Exploration Society 14, 1948, pp. 51–55 (in Hebrew). I wish to thank Prof. Zev Vilnai, who drew my attention to this publication.


Guy LeStrange, Palestine Under the Moslems (Beirut, 1965), p. 134.


Charles Clermont-Ganneau, Archaeological Researches in Palestine, 1873–1879, Vol. 1 (Paris, 1899), p. 222.


LeStrange, Palestine Under the Moslems, p. 132.


Mordechai Margaliot, Encyclopedia of the Sages of the Talmud and the Geonim, Vol. 2, (Tel Aviv, 1973), p. 687 (in Hebrew).


Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (New York, 1950), p. 161.


Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine, p. 162.


In connection with the finding of the skull of Araunah, it is interesting to note that in one burial cave at the cemetery at Efrat, a skull, placed carefully in a shallow depression in the rock floor and secured in position with small stones was found. This find has not yet been published. See Gonen, “Efrat,” IEJ, 31, 1981, pp. 124–127, plates 22 A, B.


Dever, “New Vistas on the EB IV (MB I) Horizon in Syria-Palestine,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 237, 1980, pp. 35–64.


Gonen, “Efrat,” IEJ, pp. 124–127, plates 22 A, B.


Y. Sa’ad, “A Bronze Age Tomb Group from Heblat el Amud, Silwan Village Lands,” Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan VIII–IX, 1964, pp. 77–80.


Kathleen M. Kenyon, Digging Up Jerusalem (London, 1974), pp. 80–81.


R. A. S. Macalister and G. J. Duncan, “Excavations on the Hill of Ophel 1923–1925,” Palestine Exploration Fund Annual IV, 1926, pp. 173–174.


Dever, “New Vistas,” BASOR, pp. 42–45.


Warren and Conder, Survey of Western Palestine, Vol V, pp. 217–255, cf plan on p. 117. Reservoirs numbers 4, 23, 25 and 34 on this plan are all cut in the rock on the upper platform around the Dome of the Rock. A shaft is explicitly mentioned for reservoir number 4.


Benjamin Mazar, “The Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem Near the Temple Mount—Second Preliminary Report, 1969–70 Seasons,” Eretz Israel, 10, 1981, pp. 22–25 (in Hebrew). See pp. 24–25 for plans and sections of these burial caves.


Gonen, “Efrat,” IEJ, p. 126.


B. Mazar, “Excavations in the Old City,” p. 23.


Yigal Shiloh, “Jerusalem, City of David 1982,” IEJ 33, 1983, p. 130; idem, “City of David 1983,” Hadashot Archeologiot 83, Fall 1983, p. 41 (in Hebrew).


Kenyon, Digging Up Jerusalem, pp. 82–90.


Dever, “MB IIA Cemeteries at ‘Ain es-Samiyeh and Sinjil,” BASOR 217, 1975, pp. 23–26.


In this connection, it is interesting to mention Tur-Sinai’s suggestion about a relation between a threshing floor and places of disaster and mourning over the dead. N. H. Tur-Sinai, “The Ark of God at Beit Shemesh (1 Samuel VI) and Perez Uzza (2 Samuel VI; 1 Chronicles XIII),” Vetus Testamentum 1 (1951), pp. 275–286.