It would be a little ironic that the more Israel digs in that area in search of its ancient history, the more Islamic history it will unearth. This is, by the way, the same Mugrabi Bridge that has recently been controversial.
JERUSALEM, Israel, Feb. 19 (UPI) — Remains of a Muslim prayer room were unearthed near Israel’s Western Wall in 2004, but the discovery was kept secret until now, YNetNews reported.
The find was located under the dirt embankment adjacent to the Mugrabi Gate. The information was known to several Israeli officials, YNetNews said, but kept from the public until it was revealed in an article posted on the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Web site by archaeologist Yuval Baruch.
In an article entitled “The real story,” Baruch said the collapse of an embankment near the Mugrabi Bridge, unearthed a small room with a roofed alcove and a dome — a type of Muslim prayer alcove facing south. There has been speculation the space might be the remains of a prayer room that had once been part of a school for Muslim studies.
The remains apparently date back to the 11th century. The finding was kept secret out of concern that the Muslim community would demand the site be declared sacred, YNetNews said.
Recent protests over work currently being done near the Mugrabi Bridge are based on concerns that destruction of the embankment would damage Muslim sites. [source]
I absolutely love how that (not so) little detail was left out of most reports I heard. Makes one wonder what they’re unearthing now that we’ll hear about in 2010, if at all.
What sayed said is true as well, never heard of it in the media..