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Virtual Reconstruction Model
Unresolved Areas

The Herodian Temple Mount real-time simulation model represents the most accurate reconstruction possible given the information available. The emphasis of the model was always the areas immediately adjacent to the Israel Antiquities Authority excavations around the southwestern corner of the platform. Thus, an ongoing question during the model construction process was whether or not to include sections of the complex in the absence of reliable excavation data or the presence of conflicting information. This question arose with four critical areas of the model: the eastern end of Huldah Gates Street, the Triple Gate passage, Barclay's Gate, and the Second Temple itself.

In the case of the east end of Huldah Gates Street, the best evidence for a sloping staircase is a series of scorch marks visible on the southern elevation of the platform. These marks suggest a fire within the supporting vaults for the street, but had never been accurately surveyed, so could not be accurately modeled. The decision was made to leave a 'best guess' configuration in place, and not attempt any kind of detailing. The model on display in Ethan and Marla Davidson Center shows this area as simple, untextured polygons.

At the other extreme, there was a wealth of historic data available for the Triple Gate passage. Unfortunately, the sources conflicted and were little help in reconstructing the Herodian passage, so the decision was made to build only a simple, untextured suggestion of the passage.

Barclay's Gate on the Western wall presented another challenge. Warren documented two cisterns that could be interpreted as an L-shaped passageway leading from the mouth of Barclay's Gate to the top of the Temple Mount platform. In absence of accurate data, the cisterns were simply modeled and no attempt is made at connecting the passage to the platform surface. During a flight session with the real-time model, users can, however, 'walk' to the end of Barclay's Gate passage and rise up through the platform to see where it may have terminated during the Herodian period of occupation.

The following pages discuss in greater detail the Triple Gate and Second Temple reconstructions.

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