In 1999, thousands of years’ worth of fragile and irreplaceable Jewish archaeological antiquities were surreptitiously and violently dug up by Arab bulldozers at Judaism’s holiest site, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, to build an entrance to a subterranean mosque.I have been blogging on this story ever since the Temple Mount Sifting Project's inception, but a reminder never hurts. Background here with many, many links.
The resulting thousands of tons of invaluable debris – believed to contain over 1 million artifacts dating back to the First Temple period – were then carted off in dump trunks and discarded like garbage to a nearby landfill in Jerusalem’s Kidron Valley.
According to internationally recognized archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, PhD, who is the co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, located near Mount Scopus, the removal represents perhaps the greatest archaeological crime in history.
However, only slightly more than 50 percent of the reclaimed earth has been sifted, and a massive shortfall in the project’s funding now seriously endangers the possibility of continuing the work. In an effort to ensure that the project continues, Barkay and Dvira launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this month.
In the meantime, despite a growing Arab campaign to rewrite Jewish history at the contested holy site, Barkay notes the sifting project has been instrumental in irrefutably proving the inexorable link between Jews and the Temple Mount.
“Even now we have new information that may well change the written history of some of the periods of the Temple Mount,” he says.
“The sifting project has proven itself to be an inexhaustible source of knowledge for the research and study of the archaeology and history of the Temple Mount, and the project is continuing full steam with many more finds waiting to be discovered by professionals and visitors who come to work at the site.”
Monday, September 28, 2015
The Temple Mount Sifting Project
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Jewish history’s greatest archaeological crime. The Temple Mount Sifting Project, now in its 10th year, has uncovered hundreds of thousands of invaluable antiquities from tons of ancient debris discarded like trash from Judaism’s holiest site (DANIEL K. EISENBUD, Jerusalem Post).