© Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP/Corbis

PREPPING FOR IL PAPPA. During his visit to Israel in May 2009, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated mass before a huge crowd in Jerusalem’s Kidron Valley, immediately east of the imposing Temple Mount (visible at top). As part of the preparation for the Pontifical Mass, a contractor was hired to dig into the terraces at the site. The digging revealed ancient refuse pits from the Second and First Temple periods. The soil was sent to be wet-sifted by Barkay and Dvira’s team, where bullae, pottery, broken figurines and more were revealed.