It's National Archaeology Day today in many parts of the world.
Click on the map to find activities to attend in your area.
Israel is not participating but that's OK--every day is an archaeology day in The Holy Land!
I'll show you what grandson Dean and I did when he came to visit in July.
We rose with the sun, took two buses to Mount Scopus, and walked way over to these stairs.
At the bottom, in Tsurim Valley, you see our destination, the long black tent.
On the horizon to the left is the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.
Please click on the photos you want to see in closer detail.
I had booked (and paid for) Dean and me to work four hours at the sifting project, officially called the Temple Mount Antiquities Salvage Operation.
Just one Swedish family showed up; but on some days a big group or dozens of volunteers will come to work.
First a nice staff archaeologist welcomed us and talked about the history of Jerusalem and about the sad need for such a sifting project.
In what at first looked like the Western Wall, "stone" by "stone" was rotated to reveal posters full of information for our guide's lecture.
Each one chooses what he hopes to be the lucky bucket and pours the wet material onto the screen.
Wet sifting (see video!) is much more revealing than the old method of shaking the dry material back and forth in the sifter.
I was proud of how my 8-year-old patiently and conscientiously examined each piece, looking for interesting finds.
Into the white plastic cups at the edge we sorted any pieces of pottery, plaster, glass, bone, metal, mosaic stones, and worked stones.
We didn't find any coins, seals, or jewelry, but the warm personal encouragement and teaching from Yuval was a treasure in itself.
Everyone would combine their finds into sorting buckets.
Then at the end of each 2-hour stint we all gathered at the exhibition tables and compared our finds of the day to pieces that had been found during the past ten years.
Orderly arrangement from First and Second Temple periods to Roman, Early Islamic, Mamluk and Ayyubid, Crusader, and Ottoman periods, all the way to Israel statehood days.
Despite the heat, Dean wanted to continue till early afternoon.
We each took home a nice certificate to remind us of Dean's first initiation into archaeology.
I'm hoping he will want to work in the field when he is a bit older, just like his grandmother.
Happy National Archaeology Day from Jerusalem!
The Smithsonian has an article, albeit somewhat misleading and with some mistakes, about how the Muslim Waqf used bulldozers to dig into the Temple Mount and build a new mosque, illegally. Tons of excavated earth was just dumped in the Kidron Valley. This is why our salvage sifting of it is necessary.