Since then, many volunteers have been sifting through the rubble, finding priceless antiquities. I quoted an article last year about it, and now more has been found. From Ha'aretz:
By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz CorrespondentThe Muslim reaction in the Arabic papers is predictable. Notice his title, which may or may not be an accurate translation from Google of an al-Hayat article:
The project of sifting layers of Temple Mount dirt has yielded thousands of new artifacts dating from the First Temple period to today. The dirt was removed in 1999 by the Islamic Religious Trust (Waqf) from the Solomon's Stables area to the Kidron Stream Valley. The sifting itself is taking place at Tzurim Valley National Park, at the foot of Mount Scopus, and being funded by the Ir David Foundation. Dr. Gabriel Barkai and Tzachi Zweig, the archaeologists directing the sifting project with the help of hundreds of volunteers, are publishing photographs and information about the new discoveries in the upcoming issue of Ariel, which comes out in a few days.
The bulk of the artifacts are small finds - the term used for artifacts that can be lifted and transported, rather than fixed features. The dirt was removed in the course of excavating the mammoth entrance to the underground mosque built seven years ago in the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount. The Waqf and Islamic Movement in Israel separated dirt from stones, then used the ancient building blocks for rebuilding, in case the police barred construction materials from being brought in.
Most of the finds predate the Middle Ages. The finds include 10,000-year-old flint tools; numerous potsherds; some 1,000 ancient coins; lots of jewelry (pendants, rings, bracelets, earrings and beads in a variety of colors and materials); clothing accessories and decorative pieces; talismans; dice and game pieces made of bone and ivory; ivory and mother of pearl inlay for furniture; figurines and statuettes; stone and metal weights; arrowheads and rifle bullets; stone and glass shards; remains of stone mosaic and glass wall mosaics; decorated tiles and parts of structures; stamps, seals and a host of other items.
The sifting project is precedent-setting: This is the first time dirt from any antiquities site is being sifted in full. Among the many volunteers are soldiers, tourists, high-school students and yeshiva boys. Visitors over the past few months have included ultra-Orthodox MKs and rabbis, who usually steer clear of archaeological digs.
When the dirt was originally trucked out, the late director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Amir Drori, termed it "an archaeological crime," and the attorney general at the time, Elyakim Rubinstein, said it was "a kick to the history of the Jewish people." Now it turns out that the dirt removed from the Temple Mount harbors thousands of small finds from diverse periods.
...The most striking find from this period is a First Temple period bulla, or seal impression, containing ancient Hebrew writing, which may have belonged to a well-known family of priests mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.
Many other findings date from the Persian period (Return to Zion), Hasmonean, Ptolemaic and Herodian periods, as well as from Second Temple times. Second Temple finds include remains of buildings: plaster shards decorated a rust-red, which Barkai says was fashionable at the time; a stone measuring 10 centimeters and on it a sophisticated carving reminiscent of Herodian decorations; and a broken stone from a decorated part of the Temple Mount - still bearing signs of fire, which Barkai says are from the Temple's destruction in 70 C.E.
The project has also yielded artifacts from the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Early Arab periods. According to Barkai, the Byzantine finds radically alter the assessment that the Temple Mount was empty at that time.
Sheikh Taysir Al Tamimi, the Chief Judge of Palestine, chairman of the Supreme Council for the Elimination of Forensic and preacher of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi reports of the allegations and claims Israeli official in archeology found relics of the structure of Jews under the foundations of Al Aqsa Mosque in 1999, He described the allegations as sheer lie and a falsification of historical facts, If this claim is true for the established minimum and Agaadoha Since then, archaeologists have announced that the Jews repeatedly not finding any trace of their alleged temple, or of Jewish history in Jerusalem. Despite this, they decided to continue the excavations in order to undermine the foundations of the mosque and causing the collapse of its architecture."Supreme Council for the Elimination of Forensic?"
Notice the bald-faced lies: it was the Arabs who excavated under the Temple Mount, and archaeologists all agree that the Second Temple existed at that site (although there is still controversy about the First Temple) - let alone that the city was a Jewish city at that period.
Palestinian Arab TV is repeatedly broadcasting even more absurd claims, such as that no Jews were in the area until the 16th century and that the Western Wall was built as part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (which was built 11 centuries later!) And it gets even better:
In a previous interview with WND, Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement, claimed the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built by angels and that a Jewish Temple may have existed but not in Jerusalem.These are the lies that get broadcast and printed in Islamic media every day, not to mention printed in their textbooks.
"When the First Temple was built by Solomon – God bless him – Al Aqsa was already built. We don't believe that a prophet like Solomon would have built the temple at a place where a mosque existed," said Hatib.
"And all the historical and archaeological facts deny any relation between the temples and the location of Al Aqsa. We must know that Jerusalem was occupied and that people left many things, coins and other things everywhere. This does not mean in any way that there is a link between the people who left these things and the place where these things were left," Hatib said.
When truth is held in such low regard, how can anyone believe anything these clowns ever say?