Archaeologists in Jerusalem say they have for the first time reconstructed likely designs of a Biblical Jewish temple floor using original fragments.
Experts reassembled pieces of tiles found amid tons of earth from the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.
They say the tiles date from the period of the Second Temple, during the time of King Herod about 2,000 years ago.
The temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD during a Jewish rebellion.
Some 600 segments of coloured stone floor have been found since archaeologists began examining the debris from the hilltop site in 2004.
The plateau where the temples stood is the most sacred site in Judaism. It is joined by the Western Wall, venerated by Jews as part of the original supporting wall of the temple compound.
Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) is also the place where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven, and is the third holiest site in Islam.
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SOURCE: BBC News