Suleiman the MagnificentThere are various accounts of Suleiman the Magnificent efforts to locate the Temple’s ruins. Rabbi Eliezer Nachman Puah, (1540), relates:

I have been told that in the day of Sultan Suleiman the site of the Temple was not known and the Sultan had every corner of Jerusalem searched for it. One day the man in charge of the work, despairing after much searching and inquiring in vain, saw a woman coming with a basket of rubbish and filth upon her head. He asked her: “What are you carrying on your head?”- And she replied: “Rubbish.” “And to where are you carrying it?” “To such and such a place.” “Where do you live?” “In Bethlehem.” “Is there no dunghill between Bethlehem and this place?” “It is a tradition among us that whoever takes a little rubbish to that place performs a meritorious act.” The curiosity of the officer aroused and he commanded a great number of man to remove the rubbish from the place…and the holy site was revealed. When the Sultan learned of this, he rejoiced greatly and ordered the place to be swept and sprinkled and the Western Wall washed with rosewater.”