Monday, April 03, 2017

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has run out of funding

THE TEMPLE MOUNT SIFTING PROJECT: Is this the End of the Sifting Project?
To all of our friends and supporters,
We have an important announcement to make. We want to make our official announcement that the sifting of material from the Temple Mount has stopped. This is due to a number of different reasons including lack of funding and differences between the directors of the Sifting Project and the Ir David Foundation that has, until now, funded the operation of the Sifting Site at Emek Tzurim. We will not resume the sifting until the publication of research on the finds that we have already recovered has been fully funded and completed.

Thirty percent of the material that the Waqf illicitly excavated and dumped remains to be sifted. And quite a bit that has been sifted remained to be studied fully. I hope very much that funding comes through from somewhere to continue this important work. A similar situation arose back in 2008, but the project was able to continue.

Here's an article on the possible closing of the project: Innovative Temple Mount Sifting Project Facing Termination over Funding (JNi.Media). It contains background information and a brief account of the discoveries the project has made so far:
The research that has been conducted so far on the sifted artifacts has already yielded significant discoveries and innovations. Among them are: identifying many finds from the early days of the First Temple Period (debated in recent scholarly circles); deciphering a seal impression of a Priest from the Late First Temple Period that sealed a fabric parcel of precious metals, reconstruction of floor patterns of the lavish courts of the Second Temple; the discovery of many architectural finds from the Byzantine Period which are evidence of structures on the Temple Mount contradicting the notion that described the Mount as a garbage dump in this time period; and researching a large collection of Early Islamic coins and the most richly varied collection of common and extremely rare coins from the Crusader Period, as well as unearthing much evidence of the presence of the Knights Templar.
Notice that these finds cover the whole period between the First Temple up to the Crusades. These are just a few of the discoveries. There have been many others. (See, for example, here.) Imagine what other treasures still lie hidden in those heaps of dirt. If there are any philanthropists reading this who are looking for a project to fund, I am sure you will want to consider this one.

I have been covering the Temple Mount Sifting Project since its inception. Past posts on those floor tiles from the Herodian Temple courtyard are here and links. Background here with many, many links.