Archaeological sources

Court of gentiles

An overview of the Court of the Gentiles.

  • Carved stone found in an excavation of the Migdal synagogue, a Galileean synagogue, in 2009.
  • It has carvings on it depicting Herod’s Temple from before its destruction in 70BCE which have contributed to our understanding of the Temple layout and the conceptualisation of the Temple as a holy place.
Magdala Stone

Magdala Stone

  • Fragment of the upper corner of the temple colonnade with an ancient Jewish inscription.
  • The inscription is written in Square Hebrew alphabet and translates as “to the place of trumpeting to declare/distinguish”, but is cut off at this point, and is thought to be a directional sign for the priests who blew trumpets to mark the start and end of the Sabbath.
Trumping Place Inscription

Trumping Place Inscription

  • A stone from the partitioning wall between the Court of the Gentiles and the inner courts which was discovered in 1871.
  • The inscription was written in Koine Greek and reads “No stranger is to enter within the balustrade round the temple and enclosure. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue.”
Soreg Inscription

Soreg Inscription