Save our Heritage!

By Temple Mount Sifting Project
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[Click the cc button at the bottom of the video in order to see English subtitles].

An Urgent Call

The Temple Mount Sifting Project is at risk of closing. Since 2004, we have been sifting the soil destructively and illegally bulldozed from the Temple Mount in order to preserve, research, and publish the archaeological history of this ancient and holy place. This atrocious destruction was committed with no archaeological supervision by the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the Waqf in order to prevent the revelation of the hundreds of thousands of important artifacts within the soil that attest to the First and Second Temple periods, the Byzantine period, the Crusaders – history they would rather be overlooked. We have spent the last 12 years working tirelessly to make sure that these artifacts are not lost and forgotten. The funds to continue researching the important artifacts found by the project will run out in 5 months. We need your help to continue our research and keep our doors open.

 


Important Update: There were some confusing media reports that the sifting resumed and that there will be some government funding for the project. This is not true. We still have not received any formal notice of assistance from any government agency, and even if the government eventually steps in, they will provide support – not funding for the whole project. This will also take time we do not have before we have to close our doors. Please do not let these messages confuse you. There is now an urgent need for donations to continue the project's activities, and this campaign is all or nothing. Once we are able to obtain funding for the research and publication of the artifacts that have already been discovered we will resume the sifting, but without immediate help, the funds in our bank account only allow the research to continue until September. 


Our Story

In 1999, an illegal excavation was carried out on the Temple Mount by the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the Waqf. The excavation, officially intended to create an entrance to a new underground mosque, was carried out quickly and destructively in order to prevent the revelation of historical remains. During the work, ancient structures were destroyed and 9000 tons of earth saturated with archaeological artifacts were loaded onto trucks and dumped in the Kidron Valley. This is the largest archaeological destruction ever carried out in Israel, and it took place at the most central site in Israel's history: the Temple Mount.

Temple Mount Destruction
Trucks illegally removing archaeologically rich earth from the Temple Mount


This illegal and reprehensible excavation work was carried out without interference from the police and the government of Israel. Even the unified outcry from all sides of Israel’s political spectrum did not prompt the government to take decisive action against this destructive excavation. 

Zachi Dvira, an archaeology student, along with friends, carried out a preliminary survey of the debris that had been thrown out. Many archaeological finds were recovered in this survey, including artifacts from the time of the First Temple and the Second Temple. Yet, the actions of Zachi and his team met with objections from the authorities. Senior archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay joined forces with Zachi, and together they overcame the obstacles imposed by the authorities. In 2004, they finally received the license to reclaim the Temple Mount debris. They established the Temple Mount Sifting Project to sift through this material in a controlled manner by a team of archaeologists and interested volunteers from around the world.

Sifting Project Volunteer
A volunteer sifts material from the First Temple Period through the modern era at the Temple Mount Sifting Project

We call on you, the public, to take responsibility for saving the heritage of the Temple Mount. 


Act now and save our heritage, your heritage.


Where does my donation go?

Your donation will fund highly trained researchers and the scientific analysis of artifacts found in the sifting. This includes cataloguing finds, artifacts comparison, and doing advanced statistical analysis to better understand the context of our artifacts.

Our current goal is to fully fund our research lab in 2017 so that we can complete current research on special finds, coins, and pottery and stay on track for our publication deadline in 2019.

Among other things, our research includes the reconstruction of the floors of the Second Temple court, the dating of Temple Mount artifacts to the 10th century BCE that contradicts the minimalist dating of the First Temple Period, the discovery of buildings on the Temple Mount during the Byzantine period and a better understanding of the daily lives of people on the Temple Mount in all periods throughout the site’s 3000 year history. 

Why should I support THIS project?

Through us, you can ensure that facts, reality, and the heritage of all people who connect with the Temple Mount are protected and shared. Ignorance feeds conflict and dispute, while knowledge helps us better understand our common past.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project’s finds represent the first-ever archaeological data originating from within the Temple Mount. Our research has the ability to challenge theories, clarify understandings, and present the factual data about the history of the Temple Mount. We hope to encourage educated discussion on the history of the Temple Mount. 

We can undermine the Temple Denial movement; but only if our facts and research are shared with the scientific community and the public. As a member of the global community, it is your responsibility to preserve this heritage. This is your chance to take part in revealing Jerusalem’s ancient past and ensure that the heritage of all people who feel connected to the Temple Mount are protected and shared.

Opus Sectile
Dr. Barkay reveals Second Temple Opus Sectile floor tile patterns reconstructed from Sifting Project finds


Gifts:

We chose to hold a crowd funding campaign in which most of the gifts we offered to our backers is the research that emerges from our finds. We believe that revealing the artifacts from the Temple Mount is the greatest reward we can provide to the public and to the wide range of interested people around the world. 

However, for those who want tangible recognition for their participation in saving the artifacts of the Temple Mount, there are a few gift options that will allow you to own a piece of history. The first is a replica of the rare half-shekel coin found in the sifting. On one side, it reads "Holy Jerusalem" and on the opposite side "Half of the Shekel." This coin was given as taxation to the Temple by pilgrims during the Second Temple period. 

We also offer replicas of three of our arrowheads. One is very rare and from the First Temple Period. The second is Hellenistic and possibly from the time of the war between the Greeks and the Maccabees. The third is Babylonian and possibly from the destruction of the First Temple itself. 

FOR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS FROM THE US, PLEASE CONTACT US AT: [email protected]

A nation unfamiliar with its past will see a poor present and uncertain future. -Yigal Allon



An introduction video for Sifting Project from 2014 


To learn more about the Temple Mount Sifting Project and read some of our preliminary publications, please visit our blog.



Project by

Temple Mount Sifting Project
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The Temple Mount Sifting Project was established in 2004 and aims to recover archaeological remains in the debris that came from illegal excavations that were carried out in the Temple Mount in 1999. The project is managed by archaeologists Dr. Gabriel Barkay and Mr. Zachi Dvira under the academic auspices of Bar-Ilan University.
234,378 ILS
Pledged of 250,000 ILS
94%Funded
33
Days to go
789
Backers
Minimum 20 ILS Do a Mitzvah!
A donation with no gift which shows your simple solidarity with the cause of the project.
17 Backers
Minimum 50 ILS Thank You Letter
Thank you! Your contribution helps support and further advance the research of the Temple Mount Sifting Project.
It is our pleasure to send you an official thank you letter (by email).
115 Backers
Minimum 100 ILS PDF Informational Booklet
Receive a PDF (via email) copy of our 40 page informational booklet about the project and the finds of the Temple Mount. This gift is included in all the following gifts.
261 Backers
Minimum 180 ILS Do a Mitzvah!
A donation with no gift which shows your simple solidarity with the cause of the project.
17 Backers
Minimum 200 ILS A tour of the Temple Mount with Zachi Dvira
on June 8th (Hebrew only)
25 Backers Pledged of 30
Minimum 200 ILS A tour of Ir David with an expert archaeologist
on June 15th (Hebrew Only)
8 Backers Pledged of 50
Minimum 250 ILS Be First to Know
Get email updates about special finds BEFORE publication. This is a special discount for donors in this campaign. This gift is included in all the following gifts.
50 Backers
Minimum 300 ILS Sponsor the Analysis of Ten Ancient Coins
The Temple Mount Sifting Project recovers about one coin a day, over 6000 coins to date. Historically, the first coins are from the early days of the Second Temple (the Persian period). The coins have many interesting details that help us understand the period in which they were used. Some even have inscriptions in ancient Hebrew.
23 Backers Pledged of 500
Minimum 350 ILS Replica of Half-Shekel Coin
Receive a brass replica of the Half Shekel rare coin found in the Sifting. Two thousand years ago it was offered as a contribution for the Temple’s operation in accordance with the biblical commandment mentioned in Exodus 30:13. A person could give only half of what was needed and his neighbor's contribution would complete the donation. And so it is today, we could not hope to complete our work without your kind assistance.
The price includes shipping fee.
38 Backers Pledged of 180
Minimum 360 ILS Do a Mitzvah!
A donation with no gift which shows your simple solidarity with the cause of the project.
0 Backers
Minimum 400 ILS Sponsor a Day of Pottery Analysis
Through pottery analysis, we can obtain information about the nature of activity on the Temple Mount during each period. The pottery can be dated by analyzing the materials and the shape of the vessel. Hundreds of thousands of fragments of pottery vessels were discovered in the sifting. Much of it is from the time of the First and Second Temples.
21 Backers Pledged of 300
Minimum 450 ILS Arrowhead Replica from the Days of King Solomon
We will send you an exact replica of a rare arrowhead from the days of King Solomon that was found in the sifting project. This is an amazing way to own a piece of history.
13 Backers Pledged of 30
Minimum 500 ILS Arrowhead Replica from the Days of the Maccabees
We will send you an exact replica of an arrowhead that was found in the sifting and is dated to the days of the Maccabees. This is an amazing way to own a piece of history.
4 Backers Pledged of 30
Minimum 600 ILS Sponsor the Cleaning of 10 Ancient Coins
Up to date more than 6000 coins have been found by the Sifting Project, but 1500 of them still haven't been cleaned of their rusty incrustation and patina. We may have important and unique coins vital to our understanding of the Temple Mount and not know it because we can't see the inscription through the patina.
6 Backers Pledged of 150
Minimum 680 ILS Silver Steling Replica of Half-Shekel Coin
Receive an elegant olive wood box with a silver sterling replica of the rare silver Half Shekel coin found in the Sifting. Two thousand years ago it was offered as a contribution for the Temple’s operation in accordance with the biblical commandment mentioned in Exodus 30:13. A person could give only half of what was needed and his neighbor's contribution would complete the donation. And so it is today, we could not hope to complete our work without your kind assistance.
The price includes shipping fee.
21 Backers Pledged of 50
Minimum 750 ILS Arrowhead Replica from the Destruction of the Firs
We will send you an exact replica of a very important arrowhead from the destruction of the First Temple. It was found in the sifting and was most likely used by the Babylonian army who destroyed the Temple. This is an amazing way to own a piece of history and of your heritage.
6 Backers Pledged of 30
Minimum 1000 ILS Sponsor Two Days of Architectural Analysis
We have recovered many architectural elements that enable us to reconstruct the characteristics of buildings used during the various periods of the Temple Mount's history.
6 Backers Pledged of 80
Minimum 2000 ILS Private Visit to our Research Laboratory
Take a group (up to 6) to see our Research Lab, meet our expert staff, and handle our special finds.
4 Backers Pledged of 30
Minimum 4000 ILS Lecture in Your Community
We will give a presentation in your community (in Israel only) tailored to your interests.
2 Backers Pledged of 25
Minimum 7500 ILS Sponsor the Study of a Biblical Seal Impression
Dozens of seal impressions from biblical periods were found in the sifting. Some of them require thorough research to decipher the designs and inscriptions and tell us about the people who used them and why.
1 Backers Pledged of 10
Minimum 25000 ILS Sponsor a Chapter of Research
You will get your name published as the sponsor of a chapter in our final publication. Please contact us for more details.
0 Backers Pledged of 30
Minimum 100000 ILS Sponsor a Volume of Research
You will get your name published as a sponsor of one of the volumes of research in our final publication. Please contact us for more details.
0 Backers Pledged of 4