I recently had the delightful experience of spending a few days with Israeli archeologist Dr. Gabi Barkay and his sweet Esther. Dr. Barkay, director of the Israel Excavation Society Sifting Project, was in town on his lecture tour of the United States.
What exactly is the Sifting Project? For the past nine years, Dr. Barkay has been sifting through the 400 dump truck loads of soil that was dumped as refuse after the construction of the subterranean mosque on the Temple Mount.
Dr. Barkay told me he wasn’t sure he would find anything of worth in the Temple Mount Soil. The excavations, which should have been undertaken utmost care, had been violently accomplished with backhoes and dump trucks, crushing priceless artifacts in the process.
But there was yet much to be redeemed. Dr. Barkay and his team have led countless volunteers as these treasures have been salvaged one by one from the Temple Mount Soil.
I can’t wait to get back to Israel to take my place with the volunteers at the project!
To learn more about the Temple Mount Sifting Project and help with the effort, visit Dr. Barkay’s website. If you happen to be lucky enough to visit Israel, stop by and help with the effort. Volunteers can work for periods as short as two hour shifts. You could be a part of the next big find!