The Blog

Welcome to the Temple Mount Sifting Project blog. This blog will serve as a platform for supplying general information and updates about the project. Previous volunteers and other people who are related to the project may discuss various thoughts and ideas. Please join our conversation!

The blog is managed by Jennifer Greene (PR and donor relations) and Zachi Dvira (Zweig) who directs the Sifting project together with Gabriel Barkay.

The posts are written by: Jennifer Greene, Zachi Dvira and others.

Follow us on twitter @TMSifting  and on facebook!

Donate to help us publish our research at half-shekel.org.

Contact us at  contact@tmsifting.org

Any questions regarding volunteering should be done through the contact information in the How to Participate page.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dacia
    Jan 04, 2008 @ 00:35:14

    I am interested in volunteering for your site this summer, I emailed you, but have interest in if you have found many/any finds with any Aramaic script? For research I am doing…
    God Bless,


  2. Kevin Dowling/Audrey Anderson
    Mar 02, 2008 @ 14:12:49

    Dear All

    Now that we are back home in the North of England, I just wanted to write a few lines to say how much we enjoyed our visit to the project. It was a highlight in our visit to Israel and the opportunity to sift through material of such significance was a real privilidge. I do hope that we get the chance to return for a longer period sometime in the future. Thanks to Arran and everyone who made us feel so welcome and took the time to give us a perspective on the project. It was an amazing day! If anyone of you are visiting the North of England do get in touch and we can provide somewhere to stay for a few nights and take you to visit Hadrian’s Wall and some of the other local sites(not quite the Temple Mount but very interesting all the same!).

    Best Wishes to All and Good Luck!

    Kevin and Audrey.


  3. Wayne Rockman
    Jun 24, 2008 @ 22:25:25

    I have worked at the site in April and May and would like to thank everyone there, especially Tali and Hillel, for their warmth and kindness. I am very proud to have had this great opportunity to participate. I hope my next trip to Israel and The Temple Mount Antiquities Salvage Operation will be very soon. Sincerely, Wayne Rockman, New Jersey, U.S.A.


  4. Fam.Schipper-Codrington
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 16:28:02

    We have worked on the site on Monday 4th of May 2009 with a group from Holland.
    Our Mom, Mrs.G.R.(Rachel)Schipper-Codrington found a coin. It was probably used for temple tax.
    We are looking forward to more information about the coin she found.
    We are so thankful to have been able to participate. It was a wonderful experience. Thank you all for your kindness. Shabbat Shalom.
    The Schipper-Codrington family from Holland, Europe


  5. Bob Messing
    Sep 12, 2009 @ 23:44:37

    During Passover, 2008, I spent two days working at the Temple Mount Dig and had an amazing time. I wrote an article about it. I thought you might be interested in seeing it. It just appeared in the September – October, 2009 issue of “The Shekel” which is published by the American Israel Numismatic Association. I do appologize for taking some of the material in the article from your web site. However, I could not say it any better.
    I hope to be in Israel for Passover and hope to spend more time at the dig.
    Keep up your good work.
    Bob Messing,
    Montclair, New Jersey

    Coin Hunting at the Center of the Universe

    By Robert Messing, AINA LM 38

    When I was Israel during Passover 2008, I spent two days at the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem. I was able to sort through artifacts that had been taken from the Temple Mount in search of coins and treasures from the past. I became part of the first archaeological project that has EVER examined artifacts from the Temple Mount.

    The story begins in October, 1999, when the Islamic Wakf, the Moslem trust, conducted an illegal and archeologically damaging construction operation on the south-east corner of the Temple Mount. During this operation, 10,000 tons of rubble, bursting with archeological wealth relevant to Jewish, Christian and Moslem history, was removed by heavy machinery and unceremoniously dumped by trucks into the nearby Kidron Valley. Starting in November, 2004, Bar Ilan University archeology professor Dr. Gabriel Barkay and a small team, led by his former student Zachi Zweig, transferred 68 truckloads of the rubble saturated with archaeological finds from the garbage dump to the Emek Zurim National Park and began the first examination of this holy soil.

    The extrodinary significance of this project is because the Temple Mount, also known as Har Habyit and Mount Moriah, is the theological, national, cultural epicenter of the Jewish people. This is the place that King David purchased from Ornan, the city’s former Jebusite king in the eleventh century BCE. It is described in the Bible, 1 Chronicles 21:25, “So David paid Ornan for the site 600 shekels’ worth of gold.” It was on this site that King Solomon, David’s son, built the first Temple in the tenth century, BCE. This temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by the Babylonians. The second temple was rebuilt on the same site in 516 BCE under the leadership of Ezra and then renovated and enlarged by Herod the Great in 20 BCE. The second temple was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans. Since that time, Jews have had no or limited access to the Temple Mount. Even today, during “open” days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Temple Mount, but only if they conform to a strict set of Wakf guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring any “holy objects” to the site.

    The area of the Temple Mount Sifting Project is better known to many by the New Testament Name of the Valley of Jehosephat. It is located between Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives and commands a lovely view of the Temple Mount. While the work that I did was simple, the experience was exhilarating. It began when I chose a bucket filled with material taken from the Temple Mount that had been soaking in water. I spilled the material onto a metal screen and then used a hose to meticulously wash off the mud from the material. Then with great expectations, I began to scan the material for treasures. Since I was looking at debris that came from underneath both Temples, the possibilities were unlimited. I was certain that I would find pieces of weapons that were used by Jews to fight the Babylonians or the Romans, ancient coins or even one of the 12 gems from the High Priest’s golden breastplate. Each bucket that I dumped onto the screen was like a gambler rolling the dice. I had another chance to “hit the archeological jackpot.” Like most gamblers, I never hit the jackpot. But unlike most gamblers, I left a winner. For two days, I was physically connected to this wonderful and holy place that was, and remains, a vital part of our history and culture. Although I found no coins, I did find bits of Roman glass and mosaic, old pottery and many bone fragments. (Part of Temple service performed by the priests consisted of daily animal sacrifices.) I also had the opportunity to meet and talk with the director, Zachi Zweig.

    It is interesting that the idea of the Temple Mount Sifting Project was movingly expressed in the Book of Psalms:

    “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)

    Note to visitors to Israel – This project is not performed by a small clique of archaeologists. This project depends on volunteers’ participation. I would strongly urge you to volunteer for this remarkable experience. You can spend just a few hours or days at the site. You get the opportunity to meet people from all over Israel and all over the world. It could turn out to be one of the highlights of your life. (For additional information, Google “Temple Mount Sifting Project.”)


  6. Spyware Blockers
    Nov 18, 2009 @ 16:04:02

    Just want to tell you thanks for all the great info found on your site, even helped me with my work recently 🙂 keep it up!


  7. Avrohom
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 20:39:19

    when will http://www.har-habayt.org be up again?


    • templemount
      Aug 11, 2010 @ 19:05:14

      It is down, since there is a new official website of the Temple Mount Antiquities Rescue Committee , which is a invested website that is maintaned proffesionally.


  8. MacrocompassionDavid Chester
    Jul 16, 2014 @ 11:01:35

    Great publicity in ESRA magazine! Hope to enroll for voluntary work soon.


  9. David Johnosn
    Sep 05, 2016 @ 17:33:47

    We were there in December and I bought a shirt that says, “I dig Jerusalem.” Now I can’t find the shirt anywhere. Is there a place to buy a large shirt like that? Could find a store on your site.
    Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: