Several experts familiar with the Temple Mount complex maintain that significant deterioration of the Western Wall is not imminent.
By: World Israel News Staff
Following the descent of a massive stone on Monday from the Western Wall edifice onto a prayer platform at the Jewish holy site, several leading experts weighed in on the prognosis for the ancient structure.
While no one was injured by the accident on Monday, initial reports indicated that the entire wall, which remains one of the primary pilgrimage locations in the Holy Land, might be in danger of toppling.
Contrary to these reports, earth sciences professor Simon Emmanuel and archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar told the Times of Israel on Tuesday that rocks falling off the Western Wall is “very rare.”
Notwithstanding their less alarmed take on the Monday incident, both experts stressed the need for continuous monitoring of the site, which they said could reveal problems before an actual disaster occurs.
Neither scientist recommended rushing to close the prayer plaza or the adjacent archaeological site, defying initial proclamations that the whole Western Wall is a “danger zone.”
Emanuel previously published on the topic in a leading peer-reviewed journal called Geology, detailing his findings related to limestone, erosion, and weathering rates.
He told Times of Israel that periodic incidents such as Monday’s accident, and a similar event in 2004 when a rock fell of the wall, represent products of the natural weathering process structures undergo.
While Emmanuel and Mazar outlined several potential theories as to the cause of Monday’s accident, they concurred that the holy site could stay open to the public.