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.
We apologize to all those planning to come and sift with us. Ir David will continue to sift archaeological material at Emek Tzurim through the Antiquities Authority, but it will not be related to our project in any way. We will miss all of you, and hope that you will join with us when we are able to restart the sifting in the future.To date, we have sifted through about 70% of the material taken out of the Temple Mount in 1999. As you know, this is the first archaeological material ever to be researched from within the Temple Mount itself. We have recovered innumerable artifacts and have brought about huge discoveries through our research. Yet more research is needed on many objects. Completing the research on these objects may cause us to change our methodology or approaches to the material, and we want to ensure that there is unsifted material on which to use a new methodology if needed. Though unexpected, the stopping of our sifting could be a good thing for our project’s methodology in the long run.
Project directors meet with Prime Minister, Netanyahu
All of this change in our organization also forces us to face the realities of the funding deficit of our research. We have spent a good portion of the last 6 months trying to gain concrete promises of government support for our project, but nothing yet has been announced despite vague promises from the Prime Minister himself. We are now launching a crowdfunding campaign aimed at our Israeli supporters in the hope that this will help us last the year. You are also invited to help with this campaign.
We are sorry for sending this disturbing message, especially before the holidays, but we believe, and want you to believe, that everything that happens is for the best. The Sifting Project is now entering a new era and the future may conceal some new surprises.
With so much gratitude for your support through the years,
Dr. Gaby Barkay, Zachi Dvira, and the staff of the Temple Mount Sifting Project