|Church of the Holy Sepulcher|
|The Unction Stone of the Holy Sepulcher|
|The Unction Stone|
|doorway capitals of the Holy Sepulcher|
|Lintel of the Holy Sepulcher|
|Crusader facade of the Al-Aqsa Mosque|
|Dome of the Rock|
|Dome of the Rock|
The arches whose capitals are from the Herodian construction of the Temple Mount, which the Muslims had taken over in the 680s for the construction of the Dome of the Rock to be completed in 691. The unbelievable politics of this site during the Six Day War in 1967 (Jewish forces were on the Temple Mount, had it, possessed it, and gave it back to Muslim control). Many frames. But the Dome of the Rock amplifies itself - you see from almost anywhere in Jerusalem, it makes whatever shot you're taking, whatever view you're trying to remember, instantly iconic.
|Dome with Suleiman's Fountain|
The entire site is ringed with smaller sites of proximity and devotion - smaller voices who wanted to be close. The Dome of the Rock is so magnificent that even Suleiman the Magnificent (son of the Ottoman ruler who conquered Jerusalem in 1517) represented himself only with a fountain. The amplifications here don't encroach upon the object of devotion - it's too solid and unchangeable in its geometric form, in its relative centrality. Pity the Holy Sepulcher's messy architectural lay-out and urban setting - its amplifications accrete.
|Church of the Dormition|
There were smaller sites of amplification, too. The Church of the Dormition (Mary went to sleep at the end of her life, she didn't die) has the requisite incense holders and candles and altars (and the requisite Greek Orthodox monk hurrying my students past their fleeting authentic moments, clearing the way for the next batch of pilgrims). The Crusaders built a wonderful staircase here. But the addition I stood before for a long time was a mihrab on the northern wall - the niche in the wall that faces Mecca towards which Muslims pray. It was dark and partially covered by a board and so there is no picture. But you have to think of a place amplified by another religion as pretty special.
|Stone of the Ascension|
Amplification isn't about knowing, or truth, or authenticity. It's about flux, and extrapolation, and reaching. The benefit is that you're unbounded - you go as far as imagination (yours or someone else's) takes you. The church of the Ascension, also a mosque, has preserved the indentation of Christ's foot onto stone, his right foot specifically, as he alighted into heaven. The one thing, in a strange way now that I think about, that amplification isn't about is intimacy. Students expecting to feel a closely to Christ by gazing upon his footprint were shaken - it wasn't there. Amplification alights over the empirical.