How to Participate
Participants join us in the wet sifting phase of the work. Beginning by choosing a bucket with material soaked in water, spilling it onto a screen and spreading the mud out evenly. Each screen has a hose for washing off the mud. Make sure you also wash out any mud that may still be inside the bucket.
There is no age limit, but children must be at least 3 feet high in order to reach the screens. Participants should come with comfortable work clothes and shoes that they don’t mind getting dirty, since the work is outdoors and involves both water and mud. The work is done under a shelter during summer and inside a greenhouse during the rainy season.
Once you have thoroughly washed the material, scan it for any item that looks man-made. Generally, there are six common types of finds that you should be looking for: 1. Pottery 2. Glass shards 3. Bones 4. Metals 5. Mosaic stones 6. Worked stones. Rarer finds such as: coins, seals or jewelry, may also turn up and should be given to the archaeologist on site for registration.
After all relevant items are removed; a member of the staff will check the screen and approve the disposal of the remaining stones.
For further information about opening hours, prices and reservations please visit our information page at the City of David website.
Long term volunteering
Volunteers at the Sifting Project require us to appoint staff members to instruct them until they are well-trained and can check the sifting trays by themselves before dumping the material. This is why we charge a fee for the first three days of volunteering. The fee is half the price of regular participation. After being qualified to check trays, the volunteers are added to the site staff, and their tasks include filling up buckets, dry sifting, pushing wheelbarrows and pottery registration as well as helping out with any of the site needs. We can handle volunteer groups of up to 20 people, but in case of very busy days with large groups of visitors, some volunteers may be shifted to help in other City of David excavations.
Our working hours: Winter – Sun.-Thur. 8:00-16:00 and Friday 8:00-13:00; Summer – Sun.-Thurs. 9:00-17:00 and Friday 8:00 -13:00.
Points to consider:
* Volunteering must be arranged in advance.
* We do not provide accommodation for volunteers.
* You must provide your own transportation to and from the site. We can provide you with information about the local bus service.
* There are no shops to buy food near the site, so we suggest you bring your lunch.
To arrange long term volunteering and for further information, please contact us by phone at +972-2-628-0342.
We welcome return volunteers. Please just give us notice when you are planning to come.
We welcome return volunteers- just give us a notice before your planning to come over.
Reaching the sifting site
The worksite is inside the Tzurim Valley National Park, which is on the southern slopes of Mt. Scopus, right below the Brigham Young University complex. There is direct access to the site by car through Atur Road – Ben Advayah Street, right above Ibrahamiah college.
People who intend to arrive by bus should take a bus that terminates at The Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus (Har Hazofim) and get off just before the university tunnel (with the guard after he checks the bus). There is a 10-15 minute walk along the road (Mazar St.) adjacent to the southern fence of the university. At the end of the road, turn right towards Beit Orot and the Brigham Young University, cross the road and continue until you see a brown sign that says “Tzurim Valley”. Go down the valley path until you see a large tent with the sign “Temple Mount Salvage Operation”.
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