Marble floors of the lost Temple

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Only a few weeks after Jews mourned the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans, floor tiles from the courtyard of the second Temple in Jerusalem have been successfully restored for the first time by archaeologists from Jerusalem's Temple Mount Sifting Project.

The archeologists added that due to their distinctive style, "more than 100... definitively dated to the Herodian Second Temple period".

Six hundred floor tile fragments have been recovered from rubble that the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which manages the Muslim buildings at the site, removed from the area around the Temple Mount.

The tile patterns were restored by Frankie Snyder, a member of the Temple Mount Sifting Project by using mathematical skills in geometry and finding similarities in tile design used by King Herod.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project is run under the guidance of Bar-Ilan University and the Israel Parks & Nature Authority. "This type of flooring, called 'opus sectile, ' Latin for 'cut work, ' is very expensive and was considered to be far more prestigious than mosaic tiled floors".

"Though we have not merited seeing the Temple in its glory, with the discovery and restoration of these unique floor tiles, we are now able to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Second Temple, even through this one distinctive characteristic", Barkay said.