Sonia Halliday Photographs/photo by F. M. C. Birch

Built on an inhuman scale, massive steps—each 1.5 feet tall and 2.5 feet deep—lead up to the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, near Miletos, in modern Turkey. Monumental steps like these, which commonly surround Greek temples on all four sides and are called a crepidoma, are almost too tall to climb, which is why a set of smaller, more manageable steps (at left in the photo) was inserted on the front side of the temple platform.

The monumental steps visible in old photos of al-Haram al-Sharif may have been part of a similar stepped platform on which the Jerusalem Temple stood.