The First Temple was virtually reconstructed following the description found in the First Book of Kings.
Are the more-than-3,000-year-old ruins of the Temple of Solomon truly lost under the Holy City? According to biblical tradition, as well as to other Scripture-related narratives — which often contradict one another, as in the case of Josephus and rabbinic sources — the colossal temple that housed the Ark of the Covenant would have been built around the year 960 BC, probably in Phoenician style. Contemporary archaeologists have not been able to gather too much evidence of the presence of the Temple originally built on the Temple Mount. Where the Solomonic edifice, as well as the even grander Second Temple destroyed by the Romans during the siege of Jerusalem, was once erected, there stands nowadays one of the most important Islamic sanctuaries in the world. The Dome of the Rock (Qubbat As-Sakhrah) is built over a stone sacred to both Jews and Muslims, claimed by both traditions as the rock on which Abraham bound his son (Isaac in Jewish tradition, Ismail in Muslim tradition) for sacrifice.
Excavation in such a religiously layered, complex, and contested site would be impossible, so the 3D animation made by Daniel Smith -who kindly shared it with us- may be the closest we get to reconstructing the Temple of Solomon in its glory. Smith used SketchUp2016 and followed the measurements provided in the Bible’s First Book of Kings, Chapters 6 and 7, for the animation.