Muslims and Jews are at odds, again, over one of the most significant religious locations in the world — the Dome of the Rock. This time, it’s a result of a remodeling project that some say could actually have covered up hidden secrets from the Bible.
What began as a routine carpet replacement project now reads something like the plot from an Indiana Jones film. The Dome of the Rock is a shrine in Old Jerusalem, which is significant for both Judaism and Islam.
Ancient Jewish tradition postulates that the Ark of the Covenant, which may contain the original copy of the Ten Commandments, is hidden somewhere in a chamber. Muslims believe that the Dome of the Rock is the location where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Online publication MLive.com reports that the carpet replacement is overseen by the Waqf, which is the Muslim authority that administers the compound in which the Dome of the Rock is located. Israeli authorities say that they were unaware that the project was taking place.
The cause of the upset is that some believe that the new addition of carpet could irreparably damage the intricate designs on the floor. Furthermore, researchers and archaeologists say that some of the secrets of the Bible could be hidden within the designs, which have never been documented before.
“Something is there. I don’t know what. But something is hidden there,” said Israeli archaeologist Zachi Dvira, who studies the site.
However, according to the Daily Mail, researchers were unable to document the floor’s designs before the new carpet was installed.
“We got to part of them. We didn’t get to it all. I won’t ask anyone to pull up the carpets to document it,” Israel Hasson, director of the Israeli Antiquities Authority said. “We will wait for the next opportunity. We’re sure to be here over the next 2,000 years.”
Experts say that carpets in high traffic areas may need professional cleaning on a quarterly basis and should be replaced altogether as needed. The carpet in the Dome of the Rock was replaced just 12 years ago, so researchers may not have to wait that long.