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Why YOU Should Support The Sifting Project

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Hello there! We’ve had quite a response to our new crowdfunding campaign! I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters and want to thank each and every one of you.

I also want to get serious for a moment. A number of people have asked me, “why should I contribute to the Sifting Project? Aren’t there more important charities? Can’t I just share your videos and posts? Then other people will surely give!”

Look. There are a number of worthy causes out there. Even within archaeology, there is important research that needs to be funded all over the world. I talk a lot about the gifts on our website, but here is the truth. The Sifting Project has a special place in my heart because it has arisen against adversity for the sole purpose of trying to share the unknown, unexcavated history of the Temple Mount, one of the holiest places on earth to more than half the world’s population, with those exact people. So, in short, here is my answer.

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You should support our project because through us, you can ensure that facts, reality, and the heritage of all people who connect with the Temple Mount; Jews, Christians, and Muslims, is protected and shared. Ignorance feeds conflict and dispute, while knowledge helps us better understand our common past. I truly believe that having a better, more scientific understanding of the Temple Mount can only aid us in our path toward understanding and eventually peace.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project’s finds represent the first-ever archaeological data originating from within the Temple Mount because no proper excavation has ever been done there due to religious and political concerns. These concerns are valid. This is why the Sifting Project offers an amazing opportunity to archaeologically understand the history beneath the surface of the Temple Mount.

Our research has the ability to challenge theories, clarify understandings, and present the factual data about the history of the Temple Mount. We can undermine the Temple Denial movement; but only if our facts and research are shared with the scientific community and the public.

Our mission is to publish at least 3 volumes of our research on the Temple Mount’s history, special finds, coins, and pottery in 2018. We want our scientific research to encourage educated discussion on the history of the Temple Mount.

As a member of the global community, it is your responsibility to preserve this heritage. This is your chance to take part in revealing Jerusalem’s ancient past. You can ensure that facts, reality, and the heritage of all people who feel connected to the Temple Mount is protected and shared. This is why you should support the Sifting Project, but also why you should give toward our research.

For more information, see our crowdfunding website at half-shekel.org.

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Annual Appeal

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Check out our new video!

Dear friends,

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Artifacts from the Temple Mount

The story of the Temple Mount is the story of Jerusalem itself. A holy site to the three largest monotheistic religions, it is one of the most concentrated archaeological sites in the world. As you know, our finds here at The Temple Mount Sifting Project constitute the first-ever archaeological data originating from below the Temple Mount’s surface. Yet without being able to publish our research, it will be as if our 500,000 artifacts had never been found. Our research has the ability to challenge theories, clarify understandings, and present the factual data about the Temple Mount. We can undermine the Temple Denial Movement: but only if our facts and research are shared with the scientific community and the public.

Our mission is to publish at least 3 volumes of our research on the Temple Mount history, special finds, coins, and pottery in 2018. We want our scientific research to encourage educated discussion on the history of the Temple Mount.

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The Lab Staff  Says, “Join Us and Donate Today!”

slide1As 2017 approaches, we are faced with the reality of needing financial support to continue our research in the lab. With your help, our Annual Appeal will allow us to enter 2017 knowing that our focus can remain on our research and not on ways to raise money or cut the budget to keep the lights on. Our first goal is to fund the core research needed to fill the pages of our upcoming publication on the project, coins, and pottery. Once we’ve accomplished this task, our goal is to secure the minimum budget needed to keep our lab doors open.

This is the lab that gave you the reconstructed patterns of King Herod’s Temple Mount Courts, articles on figurines, Temple Denial, and other important research. Join our mission and help us progress with our research. Donate today and share this campaign with your friends and family because everyone should have the opportunity to support such an important project.

Donate Now at www.half-shekel.org

Thank you for your support. This project can not be completed without you.

Seasons greetings and much gratitude,

Dr. Gaby Barkay, Zachi Dvira, and the staff of the Temple Mount Sifting Project

Bejeweled

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Warning: This is a post about jewelry. Be wary when sharing it on social media before the holidays.

On This Day

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Hilda and Flinders Petrie 1903

Did you know that on this day (November 26th) in 1896 Sir Flinders Petrie married his wife Hilda, who excavated with him throughout their marriage? Perhaps best known for his excavations in Egypt, Sir Flinders Petrie also spent time excavating and doing research here in Israel. We would like to wish the Petries a happy 120th anniversary.

Research

Well, this is a great excuse to talk about some of our research here at the Sifting Project, and weddings always make me think of rings. Though we have many rings of different styles and types, today we are going to focus on glass rings and bracelets.

During the first nine years of the Sifting Project approximately 1800 glass bracelet fragments and about 150 glass finger ring fragments were recovered and catalogued (we have since found many more but they are waiting to be officially counted and added to the database.) Circular glass “bangle” bracelets were common in Israel from late Roman times to the present, and these inexpensive bracelets were the most prevalent type of glass jewelry in the Levant and the Near East. Although the majority of these bracelet fragments are the brightly colored ones popular during the Islamic periods, especially Mamluk and Ottoman, the collection includes some that are consistent with the dark monochrome bracelets dated to the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods. The range of bracelet diameters indicates that these inexpensive ornaments were popular among children as well as adults. Glass finger rings, some matching the glass bracelet styles (such as the bracelet third from the right), were not as varied or as popular as the bracelets.

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Assorted Glass Bracelet Fragments Found by the Sifting Project

Glass Bracelets

Glass bracelets first appeared in Egypt in the 2nd millennium B.C.E. They became more popular in Europe during the last centuries of the first millennium BCE, but did not become common in the Levant until the 3rd century C.E. They were very popular during the Islamic periods when brightly colored bracelets replaced the earlier mostly dark-colored ones. During the later Islamic periods Tyrus, Hebron, Aleppo, Acre, Sidon, Raqqa, Cairo, Alexandria and Damascus were famous glass production centers, and Hebron was especially famous for its glass bracelets from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Bracelets from Hebron were still made there and sold in Jerusalem into the 20th century.

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Assorted Glass Ring Fragments Found by the Sifting Project

Glass Finger Rings

Glass rings began to appear in Israel in the late Roman period, about the same time as glass bracelets. Their types were not as varied as the bracelets, nor were they as popular, but the sizes indicate that many were worn by children. The rings are often monochrome, but the rings of the Islamic era are multicolored, with added colored patches and trails creating rings that matched bracelet types. One popular type found on the Temple Mount was a simple monochrome band decorated with an added contrasting glass “gem” at the seam. Another was monochrome with a flattened rhomboidal or oval bezel. Glass rings were produced in Hebron during most periods and continuing into the 19th century.

Very few glass rings have been published from sites in Israel, and Maud Spaer (see below) only wrote a typology for glass bracelets, not glass rings.  Consequently, the dating of many of our rings is based on finding matching types of bracelets, and giving the rings the same date as the bracelets.  For example, the ring on the far right matches the bracelet 3rd from the right — turquoise base with white-yellow-orange-black-striped patches.

Further Reading
Maud Spaer, “The Pre-Islamic Glass Bracelets of Palestine,” Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 30 (1988), pp. 51‒61; “The Islamic Glass Bracelets of Palestine: Preliminary Findings,” JGS, Vol. 34 (1992), pp. 44‒62.
Margreet L. Steiner, “An Analysis of the Islamic Glass Bracelets Found at Tell Abu Sarbut,” in M. Steiner and E. van der Steen, Sacred and Sweet: Studies in the Material Culture of Tell Deir ’Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut (Leuven: Peeters, 2008), pp. 231-239.
Maud Spaer, “Bracelets and Other Jewelry,” Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum: Beads and Other Small Objects (Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 2001), pp. 193‒210, Pls. 33‒37.

 

lady-layard-necklaceCan I write a post script on a blog? Now I know that this has nothing to do with our project or the Petries, but speaking about archaeology and weddings, how amazing is this jewelry made out of cylinder seals? It was given by Archaeologist Henry Layard as a wedding gift to his wife Enid in 1869. It is currently in the British Museum. Now you all know what to get me for the holidays.

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