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Jerusalem Archaeological Park
The Temple Mount walls
Site 12: The 'Trumpeting Place' Inscription

One stone found fallen on the paved street (see Tour 1, Site 6) was carved with an inscription reading in Hebrew ..., 'To the trumpeting place to...'. On the basis of written sources, this stone probably indicated the place where the priests, serving on the Temple Mount in the Second Temple period, were to stand just before and after the Sabbath and blow a trumpet, announcing the inauguration or the close of the holy day of rest. The stone itself is on display in the Israel Museum

The shape of the ashlar block bearing this inscription indicates that it was originally placed at the top of the corner of the Temple Mount. The inscription was carved above a wide depression cut into the inner face of the stone. Various attempts have been made to complete the inscription. Some read the missing word as 'to announce'; but the most convincing suggestion to date adds the words: ... that is, 'to distinguish between the sacred [the Sabbath] and the profane [weekdays]'. This reconstruction fits Josephus' account: ...at the point where it was the custom for one of the priests to stand and to give notice, by sound of trumpet, in the afternoon of the approach, and on the following evening of the close, of every seventh day, announcing to the people the respective hours for ceasing work and for resuming their labours (Jewish War, Book 4, Chapter 9).
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