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Archaeologists from the Temple Mount Sifting Project announced that they have restored some of the flooring tiles from the Second Temple using colored stone floor tile segments found in the earth and rubble that had originally come from the Temple Mount. Known as opus sectile, Latin for 'cut work,' this style of floor tile is more expensive and prestigious than the more common mosaic flooring. Of the many tile segments discovered so far, more than 100 date to the time period of Herod's Second Temple. Seven floor tile designs have been assembled by using basic geometry, the known size of a Roman foot (approximately 29.6 cm), and similarities to the tile designs used by Herod at other sites, including his palaces at Masada, Herodium and Jericho. Archaeological architect Leen Ritmeyer (ABR's architect at the Khirbet el-Maqatir and Shiloh excavations) suggests that these tile designs adorned the interior of some of the buildings that surrounded the Temple, and/or from under the colonnades around the smaller courts. Paving stones discovered in situ from Herod's Temple Mount show that the open courtyard would have likely been paved with large limestone slabs, which would have weathered better than the more delicate opus sectile floor tiles. 

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