TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Exciting news from the Temple Mount Sifting Project. Yesterday Dr. Gabriel Barkay presented a paper on a new discovery at a conference at Bar-Ilan University. The information comes from some recent excavations that are to be discussed in two journal articles by Barkay and some of the other project members. These articles are summarized in a post at the project's blog: Finds from the First and Second Temple Period city dumps at the Eastern slopes of the Temple Mount.
Briefly, a salvage operation at the area indicated uncovered important ancient garbage dumps and the material was turned over to the Temple Mount Sifting Project for analysis. They have processed many important artifacts from the dumps. These include a very early assemblage of pottery (10th-9th centuries BCE), which certainly seems to indicate that someone was doing something in this area of Jerusalem in the late Iron Age IIA, and an inscribed "lmlk" "fiscal bulla" from the the 8th/7th century BCE.
(Via Joseph I. Lauer.)
More on the Temple Mount Sifting Project here and many links. It is worth emphasizing that these latest artifacts come from a scientific excavation, not from the informal ravages of the Waqf on the Temple Mount.