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Public Invited to Seek Temple-Time Artifacts

The City of David invites the public this Passover to join the exciting search for ancient artifacts in rubble taken from the Temple Mount.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/28/2010, 11:15 PM / Last Update: 3/29/2010, 6:44 AM

Flash 90

Jewish community leaders from the "City of David" (Ir David) in Jerusalem are inviting the general public to take part in a unique Passover activity – searching for ancient artifacts in rubble removed from the Temple Mount. "City of David" spokesman Udi Ragones discussed the project with Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service.

"This is rubble removed from the Temple Mount itself; it is filled with archaeology,” Ragones said. The dirt was removed by
A teenager from Neve Daniel recently found a half-shekel coin of the kind described in the Torah.
the Islamic Wakf, which has done construction on the Temple Mount despite the presence of ancient artifacts at the site. The artifacts, along with surrounding earth and stone, are treated by them as garbage. The Wakf's unprofessional approach, which disregards Israeli law on the treatment of such sites, is seen by many as an attempt to erase the records of ancient Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.

More than 40,000 volunteers have joined "Ir David" in recent years in searching through the “garbage” for objects from Jerusalem's past. This is the first time that the search for artifacts has been opened to the general public.

Volunteers have found artifacts from varying points in history, including the times of the first Temple. A teenager from Neve Daniel recently found a half-shekel coin of the kind described in the Torah, giving further evidence of the half-shekel payments formerly made at the Temple.

The sifting work is overseen by professional archeologists, who can tell volunteers what exactly they have found.

Besides the chance to join the search through history, "Ir David"  invites Israelis and tourists to take part in tours through historic Jerusalem. "Ir David" or the "City of David" as it is known in English, is the actual location of the Biblical City of Jerusalem captured by King David over 3,000 years ago.  The Ir David Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1986, is dedicated to the preservation and development of the Biblical City of David and its environs.