Using Historic Data
Measurements from historic data was often combined with more recent excavation data during the construction of the Herodian Temple Mount real-time model, especially for areas now closed to excavations or when a single source did not contain all of the necessary information to construct a three-dimensional model. Wilson's 1864-65 survey of the platform was used to locate the Double and Triple Gate passages in plan. The threshold elevation on the southern wall was taken from the elevation drawings completed following Mazar's 1967 excavations. The longitudinal section was based on Melchoior de Vogue's 1864 drawing through El-Aqsa Mosque and the Double Gate passage. Rarely did these disparate sources reconcile unconditionally.
For the Double Gate passage, the problem was a 1.85-meter discrepancy in elevation, revealed when Melchoir de Vogue's section was texture mapped onto a polygon constructed perpendicular to the threshold plane. To correct this problem, the options were to 1) extend the passage and add 9 more stairs (pushing the openings on the platform to the north, 2) slope all or some portion of the passage to compensate for the discrepancy, or 3) shorten the passage and add more stairs (keeping the opening on the platform intact). The decision was made to follow de Vogue's section until the final, northern-most staircase in the passage. At this point, the pitch of the staircase was increased to make up for the discrepancy in elevation.