In about two weeks we are going to launch a new crowd funding website to support the research and publication of the more than half a million archaeological finds from the Temple Mount that we have uncovered so far. In addition to the funding goal; this website will also tell the world the story of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. So far we have translated this website into 13 languages! We are now searching for translators into Arabic and Korean. If you know any suitable translators for this task we’ll appreciate references to email@example.com
Nadav Shragai from Israel Hayom also published an article on the issue. So far it is the most comprehensive one published about this issue.
Among the finds from the Sifting Project are hundreds of opus sectile (Latin: “cut work”) paving tiles that can be traced to various time periods on the Temple Mount – Herodian/Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic, Crusader, Later Islamic and Modern. Frankie Snyder, who is the opus sectile specialist for the Sifting Project, is researching various patterns used during this 2,000-year span of time in order to determine precisely which tiles are from which time period and which floor or wall patterns. Her findings will be published in the future. Because of her research, it was extremely disappointing last week that we, and other archaeologists, were denied access to the Dome of the Rock when opus sectile floors in that building were temporarily exposed between the time old carpeting in the building was removed and new carpeting was laid. Being able to document the patterns, materials and quality of workmanship would have been extremely useful in this research. Eventually, some archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) were allowed in, but by then, many of the floors were again hidden from view under the new carpeting.
During the brief time that the opus sectile floors were uncovered the shrine was closed to Muslim worshipers and visitors, but some who were present at the work took photographs of certain floors and posted them on several Facebook pages. From these photographs, we have been able to learn some information, but ultimately they create more questions than answers.