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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.

 

 

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”.

Map to Sifting Site

Click on map icon to see detailed map

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbra Wagner
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 08:18:21

    I will be in Jerusalem in December after volunteeering at the BAP project (http://acl.arts.usyd.edu.au/bap/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=62) I would love to spend a day with the sifting team and the project. Can you please advise if this is possible?

    Reply

  2. Lisa Plummer
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 20:47:17

    Dear Friends,
    We participated in the dig in September with the homeschool group comprised of families from US, Canada and Australia. We cannot thank you enough for the incredible experience that you provided for all of us. We found three coins and a pendant charm during our brief time with you, in addition to all kinds of stones and bones, marble and mosaic tiles. Thank you for all of yoru help, patince and guidance. Aaron, I also must apologize if I offended you in any way at the end of our visit. I was the woman who prayed for you and please know that my heart was just overflowing with blessings for you and the team and I did not mean to do any harm. Please forgive me if I did.
    Thank you again for the tremendous work that you are doing on behalf of Israel and the world. The best is yet to come!
    May God Bless the work of your hands and hearts,
    Lisa Plummer, 9/08

    Reply

  3. Lisa Plummer
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 20:47:56

    Dear Friends,
    We participated in the dig in September with the homeschool group comprised of families from US, Canada and Australia. We cannot thank you enough for the incredible experience that you provided for all of us. We found three coins and a pendant charm during our brief time with you, in addition to all kinds of stones and bones, marble and mosaic tiles. Thank you for all of your help, patince and guidance. Aaron, I also must apologize if I offended you in any way at the end of our visit. I was the woman who prayed for you and please know that my heart was just overflowing with blessings for you and the team and I did not mean to do any harm. Please forgive me if I did.
    Thank you again for the tremendous work that you are doing on behalf of Israel and the world. The best is yet to come!
    May God Bless the work of your hands and hearts,
    Lisa Plummer, 9/08

    Reply

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    Dec 26, 2008 @ 12:36:48

  5. RaiulBaztepo
    Mar 29, 2009 @ 10:44:45

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

    Reply

  6. Arogartinia
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 04:28:21

    FANTASTIC!

    Reply

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  10. Lia Mason
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 04:55:40

    I highly recommend this project to any visitor to Jerusalem or anyone who cares about the First and Second Temple Periods of the Mount. This was one of the four “must do” things that I planned for my second visit to Israel (near Sukkot; October 2008). There, I found all the staff the most welcoming people that I have ever met in my whole life! Add to that, simply touching the dirt of the first Temple period and beyond–made this experience one of my most memorable and heartwarming times in my entire life! A sifter can only hope that they found something to fit a missing historic puzzle but until it is all analyzed, one may never know. This project must continue the search and research, so I highly recommend that you support this worthy project; then it will be there later, for you to experience, also!

    Reply

  11. Ruth
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 22:39:41

    Spent a morning with the project on a visit to Israel earlier this month and I can’t recommend it highly enough. What an amazing experience! Even though none of my finds was “the find of the century”, it was amazing to think of the significance of what we were doing.

    When the guide handed me my certificate, I read the words, “Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come: For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and love her dust (psalms 102: 14-15)” and saw that the dust was still on my fingers, I just cried!

    Thank you and Kol HaKavod!!!

    Reply

  12. Lindsay Ingalls
    Apr 03, 2010 @ 05:07:10

    I particpated in the ABR Sifting Project Tour in January. It was an awesome experience to sift Holy Ground!!! So exciting to find pottery, bones from the sacrifices, mosaics, Roman glass, a coin, and an ancient nail. The soil was gray- filled with ashes from the sacrifices. Meeting so many wonderful people and sharing a special experience was life changing!! It was wonderful!! I encourage you to visit Israel and volunteer in this important project.

    Reply

  13. Tommy Chamberlin
    May 08, 2014 @ 16:40:21

    I am leading a tour to Israel starting next week and as part of our schedule I insisted we spend a morning at your project. We are with Faith Based Expeditions and are scheduled to volunteer on your dig the morning of May 18th. I have followed your work for some time and look forward to our time with you. If you can advise us I am curious what project you are working on so I can advise our group? Thank you so much for your time and look forward to our time with you,

    Tommy

    Reply

  14. TMSP
    May 12, 2014 @ 15:55:49

    We are happy to here that you will be spending the morning of 18th of May with us. I didn’t understand your question regarding what project are we working on?

    Reply

  15. Tommy Chamberlin
    May 13, 2014 @ 03:39:34

    My apologies for the confusion – I was only inquiring if u are currently working on sifting soil from the Temple Mount or if you are currently doing wet sifting from another location?

    Reply

  16. TMSP
    May 13, 2014 @ 09:21:15

    Visitors and volunteers sifting only the Temple Mount dirt. The dirt from other excavations are being sifted by our staff members.Currently, our staff members sift dirt from IAA excavations in the City of David Herodian street, and dirt from the foundations of the Temple Mount western wall foundations.

    Reply

  17. Tommy Chamberlin
    Jun 09, 2014 @ 17:27:19

    I just wanted to leave a comment here thanking your staff for a wonderful experience at the Temple Mount Sifting Project for our group. As our tour leader I insisted our group visit your site and volunteer for a couple hours. It was a wonderful experience for myself and our group – I’d highly recommend any tour group traveling through Israel put your site on their must do list. Thank you again for allowing us the opportunity to be “amateur archaeologists” for a couple hours – I look forward to news and reports from your site in the coming years as I can now feel I have invested of my time in your work.

    Reply

  18. Roberto Cole
    Jun 13, 2014 @ 23:37:47

    Is it possible to simply visit and observe without sifting?

    Reply

    • TMSP
      Jul 08, 2014 @ 11:19:29

      yes. It is possible just to receive the introduction lecture.

      Reply

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