Noah Wiener

ROSETTES AS A ROSETTA STONE. In the ceiling of Al-Aqsa’s nave, the Byzantine-era floral carvings help decipher the layered history of this beam. The wood was carbon-dated to sometime between the first century B.C.E. and the third century C.E. The decorations match the style of Byzantine church beams from the sixth century, suggesting that the beam’s placement in the mosque was at least a tertiary use.