Finds from the Temple Mount

Yesterday afternoon I took my archaeology students to help with the on-going sifting operation from the Temple Mount debris. They have made some remarkably discoveries in the two years that they have been methodically sifting the material.

The archaeologist in charge is Gabriel Barkay, who has been involved in Jerusalem archaeology for the last 40 years. He suggested yesterday that the current project may take him the rest of his life. They have searched less than half of the debris so far.

Last week a major find from the same material was announced in the journal of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research. An inscription from a monumental arch with the name of the Roman general Silva was discovered by the Muslims during the earth’s removal, but it only became known to a few archaeologists several years ago. The inscription is about 3 feet long by 2 feet high and, according to Barkay, was part of a hence unknown Roman triumphal arch in the vicinity of the Temple Mount. Haaretz has more details.

For more about the project, see the Temple Mount Archaeological Destruction website. The author, Zachi Zweig, tells me that a new website is coming with up-to-date information.


4 thoughts on “Finds from the Temple Mount

  1. Hey, hold on just a minute! They’ve been sifting the material for “two years”, they’ve searched “less than half” so far, & it may take Gabriel Barkay “the rest of his life”?

    I surely hope he will live more than 2 years! Even if they’ve only sifted 1/10th of the debris, I certainly hope he’ll be around for more than 10 years! Would to God that all the great Biblical archeologists live at least as long as Avraham Biran has!

    P.S. Thanks for the fresh photos!

    (P.P.S. “An inscription from monumental arch” needs an indefinite article, although it sounds the way Gabriel Barkay talks! You can delete this P.P.S. after you fix it; maybe you could put it in quotes.)

  2. D’oh!!! If 2 years are 1/10th, then, he should be here 20 more years (not 10, but still reasonable, & still plenty of time for him to share his expertise at other excavations).

  3. There is an interesting article in the current BAR about the Roman occupation of Jerusalem and the view that the garrison stationed there after 70 was actually on the Temple Mount. Interesting timing on your post, Todd!
    What a treat for the students as well! Oh to be there again!

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