What a beautiful summer!
We have been having a great summer at our sifting site in Emek Tzurim. We have been updating the sifting facility, and every day it seems like we are making the site more fun and beautiful.
This week we got a new curtain for our lecture area. It describes the 6 categories of finds that we collect on site: Glass, Mosaics, Pottery, Bones, Special Stones, and Metal. Fun and useful, this is a great addition to our site.
We have also been updating our supplies. We have new wheelbarrows (such a fun color!) and we have new sifters on their way.
Right now, we are conducting a special summer campaign on site. We have special hours that people can come without an appointment and help us sift. Come at 10am, 1pm, or 4pm for an awesome sifting experience (Hebrew lecture only). Families are encourages to bring their children and we have been having a great time meeting all of the locals and Israelis that have been coming as a part of this campaign.
As a part of the campaign (and we hope we get to keep it) we also have a fantastic coin minter. For 5 shekel, you can take home a Sifting Project coin with the seal of the City of David on one side and a replica of the half-shekel found on our site on the reverse (see below). The pomegranates with the words “Jerusalem the Holy” is my favorite side of the coin, so I am glad that they chose to duplicate that side.
Watch Hillel make these Sifting Project coins here. You can subscribe to our youtube channel and get notified when we start uploading our new video-blog series on Temple Mount history and finds.
Really, I think we have too much fun at the sifting project. Should someone really enjoy their job this much?
For more information about how to participate, click here!
Articles from the Project, Finds, general, Research, temple mount, Temple Mount News archaeology, crusader periods, Dome of the Rock, floors, Frankie Snyder, opus sectile, temple mount Leave a comment
New Images from the Dome of the Rock
Frankie Snyder is our expert in floors among other things (my shameless plug of the day). She wanted to let you all know that last week, the renovation work that had been in progress for several years on the interior of the Dome of the Rock was completed! As a result, the construction barrier that encircled the central arcade was finally removed. This then enabled the carpet replacement begun in April of 2015 with the outer and inner ambulatories to be carried out on the central arcade.
As the old carpeting on the floor of the central arcade was removed, beautiful opus sectile floor panels were revealed, and workers inside the Dome of the Rock shared many photographs of these floor panels on social media. In a post on the Temple Mount Sifting Project’s website on December 22, 2015, we reported that portions of these floors could be dated to the Crusader period. We are pretty sure that part of the original Crusader floor was removed in a later period and replaced with new designs.
Last week’s photographs give us some amazing views of these rarely published floors that provide us with information previously unavailable to us.
We now have a more complete understanding of the extent of the floor panels. Frankie knew that the main floor panel extended farther to the north and south than what our original picture showed, but did not know the pattern sequence. Also she only knew a fraction of what the small panel to the north of the main panel looked like. Her assumption was that it was like the small panel to the south of the main panel, but was not sure. Well, photographic evidence proves that she was right!
So what’s next?
The floors of the Dome of the Rock have been renovated/reconstructed in the past — more than once. We need to learn the complete history of what was originally there, what was removed and when, what was replaced and when, and what was renovated and when. We may never get the full story, especially as to what the original floor panels looked like, but we can surely try. Check out our previous post about these Crusader Floors and an article by Israel HaYom talking about this research. Here is more information about the renovations at the Dome of the Rock.