Some years back some good friends told me that archaeology is never *intensively politicized in Israel, (for it is always in some way politicized, even if one is tempted to exaggerate its political *impact); or at least, they argued, what’s wrong with rooting for one side in History, as glimpsed through archaeology? The ritual Channukah archaeological announcements tend to belie the naive notion that archaeology is a-political. I just got one from this lovely organization called Tzapit. Because it’s urgent that people everywhere know there wasn’t some historical gap in the Jewish occupation of Jerusalem — in fact the Hasmoneans *were there! This is news? — they urge me to “PRINT TELL A FRIEND….” …And so I obey: the story is here. But of course the problem with “rooting” for one “side” in History in this situation is that real people actually get run out of their real houses and neighborhoods on the strength of these claims. After going on the Ir Amim tour, my views on this have really hardened: this isn’t playing around with historical facts, but rather playing with fire!
"My memory happily returns to to that other world, committed to sorrow and ancient customs, reneged by History and State, eternally patient…" (Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli).
Saw Lior Schlein at ambassador’s house at Rosh Hashannah toast and then caught this:
How cool are elephants? Sorry.
This is a brand new discovery from a Galilee synagogue of late antiquity; it’s a Samson scene, but there’s some suspicion that the Samson legend and the legends of the Maccabees were being conflated in this period. In other words, this is a battle elephant from one of the battles of the Maccabean Revolt. This is the idea of Matt Grey and Chad Spiegel:
This is beyond me, and a lot of it seems to relate to internal academic politics to which I am not privy, but:
Statement by faculty members of the Marco and Sonia Nadler Institute
of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, regarding the alleged use of
mechanical excavator at Tel Socoh
A defamatory, anonymous paid advertisement, alleging that Prof. Yuval
Goren of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University has used
a mechanical excavator to “pillage stratigraphy” in the excavation of
Tel Socoh in the Shephelah, has again been published in the Biblical
Archaeology Review (BAR). Those who read BAR should note that:
1. There was no use of a mechanical excavator on Tel Socoh.
2. The slide shown in the ad illustrates work carried out in a wadi
near the mound, as a sequel to a systematic manual excavation from
surface to natural soil nearby. The sounding was aimed at detecting
pottery and slag in the vicinity of the site. This method is
authorized (and endorsed) by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
3. This is a common method in archaeology. Most seasoned
archaeologists – regardless of period of research, location on the
globe, and institutional affiliation – use mechanical excavators in
certain, closely controlled circumstances.
Signed: Oded Lipschits, Erez Ben Yosef, Shlomo Bunimovitz, Yoram
Cohen, Alexander Fantalkin, Israel Finkelstein, Moshe Fischer, Yuval
Gadot, Amir Gilan, Raphael Greenberg, Zeev Herzog, Dafna Langgut,
Nadav Na’aman, Benjamin Sass, Deborah Sweeney, Oren Tal
Deir- Ezzor : Fouilles clandestines à Tell Sheikh Hamad دير الزور : لصوص الاثار ينهبون تل الشيخ حمد (by The Syrian Archaeology)
בום פם מארחים את ברי סחרוף - בום פם (גרסה ארוכה) (by ברי סחרוף - Berry Sakharof)