Many architectural elements representing multiple eras have been discovered within the mounds of soil removed from the Temple Mount. While precious large pieces were noticed by the construction workers and kept at the site, few escaped the teeth of the bulldozers, and hundreds of smaller pieces made their way into our buckets. Both plain and ornate, these pieces of floors, columns, column capitals, architraves, ceilings, and roofs and all forms of decorations, speak to the many building projects and structures the Temple Mount has seen over the centuries.
The splendor of Herod’s Temple, porticoes and courtyards, can still be traced by dozens of architectural finds, such as fragments of decorated column capitals, decorated floor tiles (opus sectile), and pieces of painted wall plaster (fresco). Other architectural elements, such as glass mosaic pieces (tesserae) and glazed ceramic tiles attest to the architectural changes and renovations during the Muslim periods.