The discovery comes against the background of UNESCO decision which has cast doubt on the Jewish connection with Temple Mount. Archeologists responsible for the discovery insist that the publication of their research was devoid of any political motives and had nothing to do with the recent resolution.
“The UNESCO decision, just a few days before the archeological conference, is a coincidence,” the archeologists said.
The research conducted by archeologists Assaf Avraham and Perez Reuven shows that the holy inscription is approximately 1,300 years old and illustrates the influence of Jewish tradition during the period which saw the completion of the occupation of Jerusalem.
The ancient inscription, hanging above the prayer area in a mosque built during the reign of Umar ibn al-Khattab (634-644) directly links the al-Aqsa Mosque with the Jewish temple, the researchers claim, due to the word selection connecting ‘Beit Almakdas’ and the al-Aqsa mosque.
“In the name of Allah the Merciful and Compassionate, this property in Nuba, in its borders and territories, is dedicated to Beit Almakdas and the al-Aqsa mosque by the Prince Umar ibn al-Khattab for Allah to be praised,” the inscription states on the 60cm by 40cm limestone slab.
According to the archeologists, “at least one of the main names for the Dome of the Rock during the first centuries of Islam was ‘Beit Almakdas’, which preserved the Hebrew name of ‘Beit HaMikdash.’”
“The choice to use the words ‘Beit Almakdas’ is no accident,” Avraham explained. “The use of this name is the result of the profound influence of Jewish influence on the development of Islam during its genesis.”
The researchers concluded that the inscription, along with other Islamic traditions, indicates that the construction of the Dome of the Rock is inextricably linked to the Jewish presence prior to, and during its erection.