© Erich Lessing

The Place of the Trumpeting: The eight-foot-long ashlar bears a dramatic, but incomplete, Hebrew inscription, “to the place of trumpeting to [or “for”] … ” Although the excavators who discovered the stone in 1969 made an earnest search for the missing fragment, it was never found.

What does the inscription mean? Scholars have offered several suggestions for the missing words: “to the Temple,” “to herald the Sabbath,” “for the priest.” However the inscription ended, it gives us hard evidence that atop the Temple Mount walls, above the southwest corner shops, there was a designated place for a priest to stand and announce with a trumpet blast the beginning or end of the Sabbath (see drawing).