The Politics of Archaeology in Israel Part II

The Politics of Archaeology in Israel Part II The Politics of Archaeology in Israel Part II

Status: Finished

Genre: Non-Fiction



Status: Finished

Genre: Non-Fiction



The following book provides a synthesis on the history of the politicization of the practice of archaeology in Palestine. Its purpose is to demonstrate the various aspects that have influenced the practice of archaeology in Palestine and how these aspects have come to reinforce themselves. Various topics, starting with the nineteenth century’s search for Biblical remains, the creation of the Israeli state, the destruction of archaeological evidence, reburial practices, the tourist industry, and the effects of the evangelical movement in Palestine are examined in this thesis. Investigation into the maintenance, interpretation and/or destruction of archaeological sites is studied.
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The following book provides a synthesis on the history of the politicization of the practice of archaeology in Palestine. Its purpose is to demonstrate the various aspects that have influenced the practice of archaeology in Palestine and how these aspects have come to reinforce themselves. Various topics, starting with the nineteenth century’s search for Biblical remains, the creation of the Israeli state, the destruction of archaeological evidence, reburial practices, the tourist industry, and the effects of the evangelical movement in Palestine are examined in this thesis. Investigation into the maintenance, interpretation and/or destruction of archaeological sites is studied.

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Politics of Archaeology in Israel Part II

Author Chapter Note

The following book provides a synthesis on the history of the politicization of the practice of archaeology in Palestine. Its purpose is to demonstrate the various aspects that have influenced the practice of archaeology in Palestine and how these aspects have come to reinforce themselves. Various topics, starting with the nineteenth century’s search for Biblical remains, the creation of the Israeli state, the destruction of archaeological evidence, reburial practices, the tourist industry, and the effects of the evangelical movement in Palestine are examined in this thesis. Investigation into the maintenance, interpretation and/or destruction of archaeological sites is studied.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 02, 2010

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 02, 2010





The Construction of Israel (continued)

Deep nationalistic tendencies emerged in such conclusions as this: “Its (Masada’s) scientific importance was known to be great. But more than that, Masada represents for all of us in Israel and for many elsewhere, archaeologists and laymen, a symbol of courage, a monument of our great national figures, heroes who chose death over life of a physical and moral serfdom.”1 These nationalistic approaches to Masada were maintained through the 80-90’s and, according to John Douglas, “the Israeli soldiers to this day hear the words spoken by the ancient zealot leader, El Azar, urging a suicide pact rather than defeat. When the ceremony ends, the soldiers chat in unison “Masada shall not fall again!”2

The Galilee in particular was an area that revealed the hardening link between archaeological practice and contemporarystate building. Excavations at Hazor, for example, began in 1955, funded by both the Hebrew University and the Israel Exploration Fund (Map 1). Yadin excavated both the Lower and Upper Cities, and was hoping to find material evidence for Israelite settlement in the land of ancient Canaan. Yadin had found a “small Israelite settlement” in the Upper City whose ceramic remains corresponded with that of Israelite settlements in Upper Galilee, which had been previously surveyed by Aharoni. Yadin dated the first Israelite settlement to the 11th century, and concluded that the settlement in the Galilee was initiated after the conquest of Hazor.3 Yadin even claimed that there was no reason to “suppose that Joshua did not conquer Hazor.”4 As Nadia Abu El –Haj states, “What all this archaeological evidence verified, for Yadin, was the historicity of the story of the conquest presented in the Book of Joshua.”5 The Bible mentions that Hazor suffered complete destruction, and both Yadin and Aharoni agreed to back the biblical source. Both archaeologists “invoked empirical facts as the basis for verifying or falsifying, proving or disproving specific aspects of the Biblical textual accounts.”6 But Biblical source on Hazor is misleading. According to William Dever, “most archaeologist are inclined to date this destruction about 1250 B.C.E. probably too early for the Israelites, at least under Joshua.”7 He goes on to mention that “There is not a single destruction layer around 1200 BC that we can ascribe with certainty to the Israelites.”8 The link between archaeology and state building was forged not just in the ‘Biblical’ artifacts that were unearthed but in the labor used to unearth them. Yadin, for example, performed nationalist duties along with archaeological ones at Hazor.

The settlement of the Upper Galilee region had posed one of the strongest challengesto the newlyestablished Jewish state. Most of the state’s Arab citizens “resided inLower Galilee, in response to which the state launched several efforts toJudaize the region in the 1940s and 1950s.”9 The Israeli government was, however, not very successful in developing the Upper Galilee, and so settled Jewish immigrants in the region. As NeilSilberman states: “Yadin saw the Hazor project as his own contribution to thestate, far transcending the bounds of pure archaeology. TheEastern Galilee and Huleh Valley, where Hazor was located, were areasthat Yadin knew well.” As Silberman continues: “The Hazor excavations were a source of employment in a regionsuffering from a weak economy.” Such a large-scale project at Hazor “could offermaterial and cultural benefits to the region, a source of steady employment for workersand an impressive historical monument to link the farNorthern region with the mainstream of Israelite history”10 Furthermore, Yadin even arranged to have the governmentto supply the “daily transport of immigrant workersto and from the site.”11 Again, Yadin utilized his government connections to facilitate archaeological work and in this case he repaid the government by providing immigrants with jobs, as well as by finding Israelite evidence that basically claimed the land belonged to Israel.

Yadin’s excavations, as with most excavations of the time, were organized hierarchically, based on class and ethnicity. For example, the supervisory positions were held by Ashkenasi archaeologists, while the recently arrived Mizrahy immigrants supplied the hard labor. This class/economic pattern of Ashkenasi/Misrahi was evident in the Israeli economy as a whole.12 Thus, the state directly paid and provided transportation for newly arrived immigrants at an archaeological site with the dual purpose of fuelling the economy and documenting the Hebrew Bible. Above it all was the goal of cementing Israel’s current domain in the Galilee to its Biblical past.

Part of the sustaining power of Zionism was that it was embedded into the educational system. According to Amos Funkenstein: ”In the nation-state of the nineteenth century, collective memory was largely produced by historians and found its way into society through textbooks, speeches, lectures, and symbols.”13 Zionists were able to diffuse their ideology through schools. Three systems of Jewish education exist: secular, religious, and independent. The religious schools are operated by Zionist groups, usually affiliated with the National Religious Party. The independent involve a broad range of ultra-Orthodox schools, while the secular are affiliated with the Jewish-Zionist movements.14 The overall Jewish curriculum for children in Israel begins with the study of the origins of theJewish people during the biblical period, covering topics such as “From Tribes toPeople,” “The Kingdom of David,” “Prophet versus King,” and “Jerusalema Capital.”

The Hebrew Bible is even studied consistently in Israeli secular schools for “over 11 years of school, from 2nd grade on, for three to four hours a week”15 Efforts have been made to try to create new visions of history: for example, in 1995 a new high school curriculum adopted by the Ministry of Education formed by a committee headed by Hebrew University archaeologist Yoram Tzafrir, brought up to date the history both of the twentieth century and of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and the establishment of the State of Israel was situated in a broader context of other national struggles. Israeli history was portrayed as a history not only of wars, but also is covered such issues as immigration or economic development.”16 At the same time, efforts were made to “decrease the demonization (of Arabs) implied through earlier textbooks.”17One critic mentioned that: “not once in all this was there a single reference to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish people, or Jewish history or to the fact that thestudents are going out to dig in the Jewish state.” Instead, there was a profusionof distilled universalism where the curriculum: “recommends expanding the discussion to its universalaspects,” “the spirit of man,” “the culture of mankind,” “human culture and its contribution to mankind,” and so forth. The new curriculum seemed deficient to some scholars, since there were hardly any references to Israel, the country in which the students happen to be living.18 Its books belonged to the documentation of “universal history,” in which the main actors were not the Jewish people, but world civilizations: those of Greece, Rome, Europe, America, and soforth. This new vision of history left many Israelis feeling that the Jews were essentially presented as secondary characters and not principle subjects in their own history.19 Heated debates engulfed the political arena, and in 2004, the Minister of Education disqualified the curriculum to reflect the earlier national/historical agenda, in line with Zionist principles.20

In sum, archaeological evidence for the Iron age, Masada, Hazor and other Biblical sites reinforced and validated the recently created state of Israel. Generals turned archaeologists looked for and found the symbolic archaeological sites that would help blend nationalist sentiments with religious ones. Archaeology and the dissemination of archaeological knowledge in schools were thus tools used to further the Zionist nationalist agenda.

Excavations And National Identity After 1967

After the war of 1967, the Israeli government encouraged archaeologists to launch excavations in the occupied territories, (Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights). The territories eventually tripled the size of the Israeli state.21 For example, approximately 800 sites were either surveyed or excavated in the Sinai.22 After 1967, Israel was also able to occupy what is today known as the “Jewish Quarter,” in Jerusalem. The government took title to the land and buildings in the Jewish Quarter. In Jerusalem, for example, the Old City was declared a protected antiquities zone, where no new construction could take place until archaeologists had examined the proposed building sites. Nahman Avigad was the archaeologist hired to manage the excavations in the Jewish Quarter. In his opening sentence on the archaeological excavations in Jerusalem from 1969 to 1981 he mentions: “the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 was not only a great historical event... but was as well an event that will long be remembered as a turning point in the archaeological exploration of the city.”23 The fact that he mentions the reunification as “a great historical event” shows the archeological enterprise to be more than just an academic exercise. He further mentions how the reconstruction of the Jewish Quarter was also an act of validating the past. He clearly favors and supports the religious and political significance of Jerusalem for the Jewish community. The excavations that were under his administration, testified to the preference of Jewish history over other histories, such as Muslim or Christian.

Avigad’s primary aim was to document the controversial Iron Age/Israelite period on the Western Hill of Jerusalem (Table 1). Before his discoveries, there was no evidence that the Western hill was even populated until the Hasmonean period (152 - 37 B.C.). However, “the material –cultural evidence found by Avigad’s team was said to have resolved this argument once and for all. The excavations produced facts that proved there had been an Israelite presence on the western hill.”24 Avigad found evidence for an Israelite Jerusalem in the excavation of a wall, fortification tower, and a building dated to the 8th and 7th century B.C., after the presence of “Israelite pottery” found in the tower. He believed the wall was constructed by Hezekiah, since the Hebrew Bible mentions that Hezekiah built the wall around the city. He mentions that “ In our opinion there are reasonable grounds for ascribing the building of this wall to Hezekiah, who ‘built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers and another wall without.’(2 Chron. 32:5).”25 Avigad further relied on the Hebrew Bible for the conclusions of his excavations, when he cited the Hebrew Bible as a corroboration of the excavated remains: “That Jerusalem had spread beyond the city-walls in the period of the First Temple is hinted at already in the Bible, where mention is made of two suburbs, the Mishne, and the Maktesh (Zeph:I 10-11 Neh II9).”26 Finding the Iron Age city symbolized the culmination of the Israeli conquest and seemed to justify the settlement, expansion, and establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of an ancient Israelite state.27 The narrow focus of his excavations is a sign of scientific neglect in favor of a nationalist belief brought on by and funded by the Israeli State.

In 1994 Geva Hillel countered Avigad’s argument claiming that the lack of evidence for other material remains (the Persian period and Hasmonean period) did not support the existence of a settlement on the Western hill at any time.28 Despite the scant evidence for the Iron Age in Nahman Avigad’s excavations, his discoveries set off other archaeologists on the quest to find archaeological evidence for the history of settlement during the First Temple period (or Iron Age II). According to Nadia Abu-El Haj, “In fact, Avigad’s engagement with the question of Iron Age settlement wasperhaps his most important contribution to thewider (transnational) field of biblical archaeology. These excavations played adecisive role in the forging of scientific consensus on a historical question thathad long dominated disciplinary debate, which concerned the expanseand dating of settlement in the Iron Age city.”29 The larger concept underlying the discovery of evidence for Iron Age II is that it not only establishes the presence of Israelites in Jerusalem before the exile in 586, in some sense giving modern Israelites legitimized ownership of the area, but that it also backed up the Biblical scriptures and maximalist positions.

The Burnt House, in the Jewish Quarter is one of the most important site excavated by Avigad during the reconstruction of the Old City. It is believed that the house belonged to the priestly family of Kathros, mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud: a stone weight bearing the name of Kathros was found in the house. The Burnt House supposedly tells of the catastrophic events that occurred in Jerusalem in 70CE. A coin dated to 69 CE, is supplied as sufficient evidence to relate the burnt house to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Although the Burnt House is possibly connected with the burning and sacking of the temple, it could also be that the house was burned down by the citizens of the town, since the Kathros family was regarded as corrupt and was known to have been robbing the temple. This alternative, however, is not even addressed in the publication of the site. Josephus mentions in The Jewish Wars that the Roman Legion burned the city down, and it was on this alone that Avigad rested his conclusions. But the Burnt House, the Roman siege, and the burning of Jerusalem comprise “ a tale of destruction much more in keeping with nationalist historiography than are several alternative but equally plausible accounts.”30

The Biblical accounts of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587/6 BCE also caught the attention of other scholars. As Hillel Geva states concerning his excavations atJerusalem’s citadel:“Webelieve that the remains of this earlier wall may represent the pre-exilicfortification, the upper part of which collapsed eastwards into the cityduring the destruction of Jerusalem m 587/6 B.C.E.”31 The battles and destruction of 587/6 were important events to locate in the archaeological record but so were the burning and the battles.32 Avidgad found a number of ‘Israelite andBabylonian’ arrowheads within the remains of a large and structure, which was later called the Israelite Tower.Avigad states: “This heavy structure obviously belonged to thenorthern defense line of Jerusalem during the later Judean monarchy.... the burnt remains and the arrowheads found at the foot of the fortification seemto point to a battle which took place here during the capture of Jerusalem by theBabylonians in 586 B.C.”33 It was the Hebrew Bible that allowed Avigad to make such conjectures, and his eager audience allowed them to stand uncontested. And so the Zionist movement accords with Tilley’s linkage of land and narrative: “if stories are linked with regularly repeated spatial practices they become mutually supportive, and when a story becomes sedimented into the landscape, the story and the place dialectically help to construct and reproduce each other.”34

During June 1967 the Wailing or Western Wall was given the large open space that characterizes it today. In order to provide the surrounding space of the Western Wall, Avigad, and the Antiquities Authority authorized the destruction of the area surrounding the Dung Gate,35 while Jewish Symbols were selectively preserved and highlighted to signify the Jewish presence in the Old City. Thus, as Christopher Tilley notes, the “Landscape perception, now being structured through monuments and relationships between them, became far more focused.” Tilley continues: “meaning (is) now controlled by the imposition of the cultural form of the constructed monument.”36 Jerusalem has always been the symbolic city for many Jews since the presence of the first Temple. The work in the Dung Gate area opening up the Western Wall changed the very landscape and its meaning, imposing cultural form and constructed monuments upon it. The constructed landscape- the platform surrounding the Western Wall - provides a view to the conceived and ideational landscapes. In ancient Jerusalem, the Temple was the main constructed monument of the Jews, now the Western Wall serves as one of the main signifiers of the Jewish presence and control over the Old City.

These excavations concentrated on erasand objects considered significant to “Jewish national history.” According to Abu El Haj, “It was inrelation to the First and Second Temple period histories of Jerusalem(and more broadly of Palestine), after all, that the practices of settler nationhoodhad long been reenacted, concretizing ancient Israelitehistoryand continuously reinstating the ancient nation and its territorial locus and claimsas historical fact.”37 These excavations not only focused on specifichistorical eras considered to mark the birth and rise of the Jewishnation in ancient Palestine, they also concentrated on specific historicalstories. By this practice the work of archaeology helped to mold to a particularunderstanding of the history of the area. Settlement (its topography and chronology), fortification, and war(between the Israelites and the Babylonians) are thethree topics that dominate accounts of the city’s Iron Age past.38The consistent attempt to legitimize the Bible has not only led to a complete dismissal of the history and archaeology of groups other than the Israelites, but it has also led to the erroneous manipulation of archaeological finds to fit the Biblical text.


Archaeology in Israel has been used to create a unified idea of the state through the presentation of the past, its connection to the present, and its projected future. The modern Israeli state derives its origins and legitimacy from the Davidic Monarchy, mentioned in the Bible, and to the conquest by this monarchy of the Cannanite people. The foundation of the modern Israeli state thus stands on a ‘historical’ continuum extending from the Davidic monarchy to the present. The city of David, significantly, is believed by many archaeologists, to be located in the Silwan neighborhood of southeastern Jerusalem, and so Jerusalem itself remains the focus of current political conflict.

The key, of course, is the extent to which the Bible can be used as an historical source. Once routinely considered reliable and authoritative, the Bible has increasingly been attacked over the last 20-25 years as essentially a fiction, its ‘history’ a myth. In 1992, for example, Philip Davies argued that Biblical Archaeology and Biblical Studies were in fact a scholarly construct built upon a misreading of the biblical traditions and that the history of ‘ancient Israel’ was not an historical reality. Heated debates between so-called ‘minimalists’ (who reject the Bible as an historical source) and ‘maximalists’ (who continue to accept the essential historicity of the Bible) are now the norm in the Biblical scholarly world. Scholars such as William Dever and P.Kyle McCarter who seek convergences between the stories of the Bible and the sites on the ground, are considered maximalists, while such scholars as Neils Peter Lemche and Thomas Thompson who view the Bible primarily as literature composed centuries after the events they purport, favor the minimalist position. The sometimes vicious minimalist/maximalist debate has naturally affected archaeological interpretation particularly in Israel, where the debate over who was where at a given time indirectly establishes the legitimacy to rival claims over the area.

Minimalist vs. Maximalist

It is only recently that archaeologists such as Israel Finkelstein have been able to undermine the accepted chronology of important archaeological areas and date the material to a much later time.39 For example, Megiddo, Hazor, and Gezer, which until recently were dated to David’s and Solomon’s time (10th and 9th centuries), have now been re-dated (9th and 8th). However, although he has revised the chronology, Finkelstein still believes in searching for the Bible in the archaeological record. It is interesting to note that Finkelstein’s book The Bible Unearthed once was considered radical by maximalists. Finkelstein believes in an ‘historical core’ to the Bible, and states that it arose “from clear political, social, and spiritual conditions…”40 Although Finkelstein proposed some novel ideas about the Bible, his discourse remained within the parameters of the Bible as a source. His work suffers from the conflict between its inherently progressive revision of Biblical archaeology and its tradition within ‘maximalist’ confines.

As has been mentioned by Keith Whitelam, “Finkelstein’s (1988) study of ‘Israelite Settlement’ is an interpretation of archaeological data from the Late Bronze to early Iron Ages which assumes the unity and identity of Israel, in effect an incipient nation state, in the Palestinian highlands.”41 According to Whitelam, Finkelstein refers to the Israelites differently in his study Israelite Settlement. For example, the word ‘settlement’ is used with a capital letter to refer to Israelite settlements and a lower case to refer to as a regular settlement.42 Whitelam suggests that Finkelstein gives more importance to Israelite settlements, and argues that for Finkelstein the “period of the Settlement and Judges” is synonymous with the term “Early Israelite period,” and the archaeological definitions “Iron I” and “Early Iron Age” thus tying the Bible to specific archaeological strata (Table 1). Furthermore, the cataloguing of hundreds of Iron I sites and their identification as Israelite, particularly in the hill country, (modern Israel’sJudaea and Samaria), have only emphasized Israel’s claim to the landof the past and present. Thus, according to Whitelam, the symbiotics of the archaeology of ancient Israel have been effective to confirm that the past belongs toIsrael.43 Finkelstein adds that the “Early Iron Age is equivalent to the period from the end of the Late Bronze Age to the beginning of the Israelite monarchy.”44 The Early Iron Age and the Bronze are refer to Biblical periods, such as the founding of the Davidic Monarchy, and according to Whitelam “The archaeological investigation of the Late Bronze –Iron Age transition and Iron I is the act of searching for the narrative to possess the past.”45

Most minimalist scholars claim that maximalist conclusions are drawn from a readingof the biblical traditions rather than the archaeological evidencealone. These conclusions follow in the tradition of Alt and Albright, assuming that the earlyIron Age sites must be “Israelite”. According to Whitlam the maximalist position “contains an essentially circular form of reasoning in order to sustain the notion of identity and land:definition of Israelite culture and sites has been determined archaeologically; the Hebrew Bible indicates which areas wereIsraelite during the Late Bronze and early Iron Ages; those siteswhich fall within these areas are Israelite; Israelite material culture isdefined as the material culture at the sites in areas designated by theHebrew Bible to be Israelite; the discovery of these Israelite sitesconfirm the essential historicity of the biblical narratives.”46 The Hebrew Bible (Samual II, 2) states that David’s general Joab crawled through a water shaft, and conquered the Jebusites, who at that time lived in a supposedly well fortified town. After the conquest, David transformed the area into the capital of the United Monarchy of Israel (Silwan). Archaeologists Margreet Steiner and H.J. Franken, from the University of Leiden, are responsible for continuing the research and the excavations done in Silwan by Kathleen Kenyon. Kenyon in the late 19th century was one of the first archaeologists to excavate in Jerusalem, and also in the Silwan area proper. Both Kenyon and Franken refute the theory that the city of David is located in the Silwan area.47 The evidence to support the Biblical text is indeed meager and ambiguous. A few ceramic remains and a stepped terrace are all that were found, and it is impossible to be certain that the date of the material is from the 10 century B.C (the date commonly used for David). Thus Steiner states that “In the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, Jerusalem was neither a large royal city nor a small market town, but an administrative center of at least regional importance. Unfortunately, no agreement has yet been reached on the dating of the pottery from this period. Pottery and buildings commonly ascribed to the tenth century BCE (and thus to the period of the United Kingdom of biblical texts) might easily date from the early ninth century BCE or even later.”48 Minimalist positions usually agree that thenorthern hill country was settled from about 1200 to about 900B.C.E.. Judah, which had hardly any settlements during this time, began to be settledin 850 to 800. Jerusalem was not settled until about 900. Thus, there is a lack of evidence for a tenth-century Jerusalem. Minimalists believe that Jerusalem becamea major town only after theconquest of Lachish in 701 B.C.E., since there is evidence that Lachish was fortified around 900 BCE..49 The developmentof royal objects and artifacts such as sealsand inscriptions appears only around 850-800 B.C.E..Thus, as Thompson states “withouta significant population in Judea, without a city of Jerusalem, it’s very, verydifficult to talk about a united monarchy under David and Solomon in thetenth century.”50

The preoccupation of early Israeli archaeology was to excavate to the Bronze Age and Iron Age periods to find the origins of the Hebrew Bible. Finding the Hebrew Bible in the archaeological record secured and legitimized the presence of the Jewish state in Israel. Although there is no way to prove that the Silwan in Jerusalem is the actual Ancient City of David, municipal signs, tour guides, literature, and, a significant amount of scholarship all continue to support the premise, as do most Israeli archaeologists. According to Kohl, “A commonnationalistreading of the past is to identify the entities archaeologists define, particularlyarchaeological cultures, in terms of an ethnic group ancestral to the nationalityor aspirant nationality of interest. Such identifications provide the nationalityin question with a respectable pedigree extending back into the remote past,firmly rooted in the national territory; land and people are united.”51

Archaeological evidence has been molded not only to assert what is written in the Scriptures but also to assert the dominion of Israel over the Jewish quarter in the Old City in Jerusalem. The nationalistic tendencies of the state have been absorbed by scholars and archeologists who propagate the idea of a strong Davidic Monarchy and insist on recreating that image in the present through the support and justification of the Israeli State, and therefore of the occupied territories as well. This connection of past to present is one foundation of the legitimacy of the Israeli state. Although Biblical scholars and archaeologists have been aware of the lack of archaeological evidence to support the Davidic theories, they have still persisted in constructing the massive edifice of a Davidic empire, which has basically benefited the propagandistic policies of the Israeli state. The Bible has been the background before which many archaeological assumptions are made. This bias unfortunately has added to the disregard for Arab or Palestinian culture and history.


The privileging of one culture over another through the justification of the past has been and still is actually experienced in the Silwan quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. In April 1968 the Israeli minister of finance decided “to develop the area (Jerusalem) to house Israeli Jewish families and to reestablish a Jewish presence in the Old City.”52 The new Jewish Quarter was “significantly wider than the pre-1948 quarter. Thus between 5 and 6 thousand Palestinians were evicted from their homes adding to the new wave of internal and external refugees produced by the 1967 war.”53 Situations similar to this one were repeated again and again in Israel where archaeology remained a powerful tool of national sentiments. In the 1970’s, for example, fundamentalist groups began to invade and dislocate Muslims from their homes in the Silwan under the pretense that the land was the Ancient City of David; thus, as Jews, they were entitled to it. 54 The destruction of cultural properties was so widespread in Israel that the international community responded. UNESCO Decision No. 88 specifically asked Israel to “desist from any archaeological excavations, the transfer of such properties and any change of their features or their cultural and historical character, particularly with regard to Christian and Islamic religious sites.”55 Sadly, damage to cultural properties continued regardless of this warning.

Destruction of Artifacts and Sites

Neglect and ignorance of the Muslim heritage in the city was manifested in the excavations directed under Benjamin Mazar at the Southwestern end of the Temple Mount. Practically all of the archeological remains of the Muslim period at the site have been ignored, except for a courtyard surrounded by trees, which are supposed to stand for the columns belonging to an Umayyad palace. The reconstruction of this area has been blatantly biased and inaccurate. Since the 1967 war, many Palestinians have feared the systematic erasure of Muslim history in Jerusalem and rightly so, since Muslim monuments have been leveled either by bulldozers or by excavations. The Israeli era started by destroying one hundred and thirty five homes along with displacing and evicting 650 people from their homes in the Maghariba Quarter.56 Islamic monuments affected by these actions were the Afdali and Buraq mosques, which stood in the now demolished Maghariba Quarter (next to the Western Wall), and the Fakhriyah Hospice and the adjoining mosque, which were destroyed so as to clear 82 meters of the Western Wall.57 Excavations carried out below the Haram wall in 1985, sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs, also caused “structural damage to, or even the collapse of, a number of historic waqf properties.”58 These properties are located in the Ribat Kurd/Madrasa Jawhariya Complex.

Other examples of the neglect of the Palestinian heritage include the excavations undertaken in Jezreel, which were jointly sponsored by the Tel Aviv University and the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. This project had as its goal the exploration of Iron Age remains. Still, the upper strata which contained evidence for the Islamic period was completely destroyed through the use of bulldozers, and so the Islamic period was completely eliminated from the record of the site.59 The search for the Iron Age in the archaeological record is solely the search for the origins of the Israeli people - origins that will attest to and validate their presence in the area as the “first” inhabitants and thus the legitimate inheritors of the land. And the neglect of Islamic remains by Israeli archaeologists is not only seen in the physical destruction of sites, but also in the omission of any written accounts of those remains in the excavation reports.60 Given the long Islamic history in the area, it seems highly improbable that the obliteration of the Islamic material was a mistake.

Politics have had a recent and serious impact on archaeology, where “years of conflict have left Palestinian antiquities in a sad state and in many cases out of Palestinian control.”61 In the 1970s two Palestinian departments of archaeology were founded, one at the Bir Zeit University and the other at the University in Nablus, Al Najah. Although much energy was invested in creating these departments, “the accomplishments of these institutions were as modest as their available resources.”62 The archaeology departments at both schools were keen on creating a unique ‘Palestinian’ past. For example, surveys were performed in pre 1948 Palestinian villages. According to Silberman “No less important was the increasingly conscious connection between the study of material culture and modern political assertions of Palestinian Arab territorial sovereignty.”63 It appears that archaeology in the hands of Palestinians was similar to that of the Israelis; both utilized archaeology to create a sense of legitimacy and right to the land. The main difference is that the Palestinians did not receive enough funding to continue strongly in that direction, and without means the efforts flagged.

Since Israel has been able to forge a strong identity locally and nationally, many scholars believe that Palestinians should forge an equally strong identity, especially in the Western world, whose media often portrays Palestinians as ‘terrorists’. But the task is monumental, since so much of the Palestinians past has been lost due to the “deliberate confiscation of Arab cultural resourcesby Israelis - such as the large Library of Dr. Tawfiq Canaan in 1948, the PalestineArchaeological Museum and its library in Jerusalem in 1967, and the libraryof the Palestine Research Center in Beirut in 1982 - as well as the destructionof cultural property in the form of entire villages in 1948-49.”64 The destruction of many villages in a sense obliterated a significant amount of the Palestinian cultural property since “the Palestinians’ link to their past is largely throughthe villages.”65 Furthermore, Palestinians are afraid of finding archaeological remains in the villages where they live, since archaeological sites can be legally expropriated by the Israeli government. These laws are based onthe assumption that antiquities, movable or immovable, are the property ofthe state.66 Thus, as Glock states “The need for a benevolent Arab governmentis imperative if there is to be freedom to explore the Arab past of Palestine.”67 It was not until after 1993, and the formation of the Palestinian Authority that Palestinian archaeologists were first able to work in the field, and even then the activity was minimal.

Not only does the cause of Palestinian archaeology lack its own funds, but also foreign universities, which provide most of the funding for excavations, hardly focus on Islamic or Palestinian history. The amounts of foreign and local excavations that deal with Islamic/Ottoman periods are very few. For example, in 27 excavations cataloged in the BAR journal 2003 out of the 27 only 5 excavations include of either the “ Ottoman period” or “Islamic” occupation and not one focuses on those periods. Emphasis is placed much more on the Bronze Age, with 12 excavations and the Byzantine period with 9 excavations. In 2004, out of the 22 sites mentioned, the results were as follows: 6 sites mention the ‘Ottoman or ‘Islamic’ occupation but not one excavation focuses on either period. Nine sites focus on the Bronze and Iron ages, and 8 focus on Roman periods, 2 on Neolithic, 1 on Paleolithic, and 1 on Nabatean. Only in 2001 is there an actual example of an Islamic site as such being excavated. The site is 6 miles southwest of Amman, Jordan, and is identified as Hisban.

Although some scholars contend that the political phase of archaeology is over, it seems rather that archaeology tends to sway to the rhythms of political tension in the area. For example, at Nablus many sites - the ancient casbah in particular- were badly damaged during Israeli incursions in April 2002.68 A recentreport by donor nations and international agencies “estimateddirect damages of U.S. $114 million, half of that involvingancient public baths, mosques, historic houses and other culturalsites dating back almost 1,000 years.“69 Since the 2000 intifada, Palestinian excavations have been put on hold or have ceased entirely. For example, at the Cannanite site at Tal-al sakan in Gaza, excavations due to start in the summer, it had the financial backing of the French government, but ‘security concerns’ prevented excavations. Observers mention that the site was located near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim. Excavations were most likely cancelled to deter fighting between Arabs and settlers who would be in too close proximity of one another.70 According to Moain Sadaq, Gaza’s leading archaeologist, “the ancient site has continued to deteriorate under the rumbling of Israeli tanks and bulldozers.”71 Several layers of the ancient city have come loose. A lack of funding and a lack of technical expertise exacerbate the problems of maintaining the few sites that have already been excavated.

On the 9th of August 2004, Israel’s army demolished three ancient buildings, along with eleven modern apartments, in the West Bank city of Hebron. The buildings were built during the Ottoman period. The destruction was allegedly carried out to further the implementation of the Road Map for Peace, yet it displaced 50 families. The BBC correspondent to the Middle East, Dan Cruickshank, visited Israel and noted the “destruction of huge swathes of historical buildings in towns such as Nablus and Hebron. He noted that over 100 sites that used to be there are gone, such as the Ottoman soap factory, a marketplace and a lot of 16th century stuff.”72 In the following weeks, some Palestinians responded to that attack by attacking the supposed Tomb of Joseph.73 Other Israeli areas that were attacked are the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron, and Rachel’s tomb, now a synagogue in Bethlehem, both now heavily guarded by the Israeli army.74 The Israelis are able to guard their sites of national historic interest while the Palestinians cannot.

The fence or wall now being built and separating Israel from Palestine has also had a devastating effect on archaeological remains. For example, ancient ruins in cities such as Tulkaram have been destroyed and damaged, or in some cases essentially annexed to Israel by the wall itself. During the construction of the wall in 2003, an archaeological site that claims Christian heritage was destroyed in Abu Dis. The destruction of sites has caused the World Archaeological Congress to criticize Israel’s practice of destroying the Palestinian archaeological sites.75

One irony behind all this is that all antiquities discovered or excavated in the occupied territories remain under the Israeli control. The École biblique archéologique française de Jérusalem, for example, excavated a Hellenistic Harbor off the coast in Gaza in 1999. The finds were to be exhibited in the Louvre the following year. In order to transfer the items to France, the French archaeologists did not have to acquire Palestinian permission; rather Israeli permission was the only requirement needed.76 Furthermore, in Gaza, Roman pillars that were part of the Bait Hanun site were seized by the Israeli authorities, as were so called “anthropoid coffins” excavated in 1994.77 In the West Bank two sites such as Joseph’s Tomb, Herodion, Sebastia, Tal al-Nasba, Gebion, and Bait Al remain under Israeli control despite their obvious Palestinian location.

The Dead Sea scrolls are another contentious topic. The Scrolls were the main antiquities that were seized in 1967, along with other precious artifacts. These artifacts were thesource of a political disagreement that erupted into public debate withthe launching of ‘Operation Scroll’ in November of 1993. “Operation Scroll” basically was an Israeli effort to seize any remaining artifacts in the occupied territories in anticipation of a withdrawal. The main areas that were surveyed were the caves in the Jericho area, where scrolls previous had been found. The Palestinian negotiators of the Oslo Accords demanded the repatriationof captured and excavated archaeological remains. The Palestinians demanded that “the territory in whichobjects were found determines rightful ownership, regardless of its relics or cultural purview.” 78 Apparently the Israel Antiquities Authority had the legal responsibility, as defined underinternational law, to protect archaeological objects from destruction.All discoveries were to be passed to the Civil Administration, in this case, themilitary administration that has ruled the territories since the 1967 war.The argument was framed in this way: in the future, it may be possible to turn everythingover to the Palestinian state, “But in the beginning the Palestinians willhave other worries: by the time they have time to search for scrolls the antiquity robbers will not have left any trace of them.” The Antiquities Authority’s official spokesperson similarly appealed to the specialstatus of the artifacts as objects of science that had to be protected: “The Operation is conducted in accordance with the Jordanian law and inaccordance with international law and the Hague Convention which statesthat archaeological artifacts in an occupied area must be preserved, andthat it is the purpose of the operation: to protect the archeological artifacts from antiquity robbers.”79 Thus, the government of Israel through ‘diplomacy’ and international law, was able to attain archaeological artifacts that ostensibly belong to another country. But as long as that country does not exist, Israel can keep what it has found. Other laws, however, tend to create obstacles for Israel’s own archaeology; the Israeli Antiquities Law, for example, allows the export of antiquities that are obtained through unlicensed or illegal excavation.80 This law unfortunately encourages pillaging, the destruction of archaeological sites, and the illegal smuggling of artifacts, Israeli and Palestinian alike.

The Palestinians are not the only ones to complain of the destruction of national patrimony. In 2000, the Waqf , the Muslim religious trust responsible for the Temple Mount, was given authority by the Israeli Prime Minister Barak to construct an entrance into the Al-Marawani Mosque.81 Trucks and bulldozers removed about 6,000 tons of earth, creating a hole about 200 feel long and 75 feet wide on top of the Temple Mount.82 Many Israelis felt that the archaeological work was done without any oversight, but the Israeli government refused to take further action since a “tough stance by Israel will enflame the Palestinians and set back the peace talks.”83 Israeli law requires the supervision of archaeological sites by the Antiquities Authority. An exception however is made for holy places which are under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister.84 In this case, Prime Minister Barak decided to allow the work to proceed without oversight and allowed the remains that were excavated to be thrown out at the dump sites. This project on the Temple Mount caused a public outcry, but it continued nonetheless. This, however, was not the first incident of contention between Israelis, archaeology and the government Artifacts, their provenience and their rightful ownership are not the only point of contention in archaeology in Israel. The excavation of human remains may be one of the most sensitive issues for many Israelis.

Human Remains

From 1969 until the 1980s, for example, burial services were held for the remains of the Bar-Kochba fightersat Nahal Haver near the Dead Sea.“The military reburial of Bar-Kochba’smen in 1969 was originally demanded by Knesset members from the religious AgudatIsrael party, and became a national event. It was broadcaston Israel’s new television service under the enthusiastic supervision of thenArmy Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren and marked a high point in Israel’srelationship with its past.”85

During the 1980s protests over the extraction of human remains hit a high point. Excavation of human remains became a sensitive issue for mostly the religious Jews who felt that it was disrespectful to excavate the bones of their ancestors. The ultra-Orthodox Haredim object to the excavation or disturbance of human remains,based on the premise that it is “disrespectful to the dead, that it causes thedead to tremble in fear of God’s final judgment, and that disinterringthe dead may render them incomplete and therefore unsuitable for resurrection”86 The Talmud, however, allows for reburial under certain circumstances. Both Hallote and Joffe state that the ultra-Orthodox objection to the disturbance of human remains “is a distortion of the precepts of Talmudic Judaism.”87

In 1987, however, thousands of Jews protested the American excavation at Caesaria,88 and soon the ultra-Orthodox developed a process of unofficial archaeological supervision, where investigators would visit excavations searching for evidence of humanremains. 89 These visits were usually done without the excavators’ consent. Excavations in Jerusalem after 1987 at the French Hill, Mamilla and in the ArmenianQuarter, west of the Damascus Gate, caused large-scale protests. In 1992, for example, there were three days of rioting, after 16 ossuaries from the French Hill wereremoved. The religious authorities, however, were able to get them reburied.90 When a crypt containingbones was found below the Armenian Church, protests occurred which then resulted in the mutilation of a Greek mosaic.91 These protests resulted in a lawsuit and a ruling that stated that burials were to be considered part of the definition of antiquities.92

Other protests were held in the City of David in Jerusalem at the excavations conducted by Yigael Shiloh of the Hebrew University. Archaeologists and members of various sects,led by chief rabbis Shlomo Goren and Ovadia Yosef, collided angrily at the City of David, throwing stones and accusations thatexcavations were being carried out in a (non-existent) Jewish cemetery.93Then “Rabbi Goren threatened the Education Minister, Zevulun Hammer,with excommunication if he did not close down the excavation. When Hammerconceded, his decision however was overruled by the High Court.”94 Then the media began to cover the confrontations. The project director was filmed waving animal bones at protestors who became enraged as they apparently regarded the bones as human remains. The confrontationsat the City of David were soon extended to other sites, completely radicalizing the public image of archaeology.

In 1996 for example, protests halted a project run by Harvard University in Ashkelon.95 In 1998,Religious Affairs Ministry representatives at many a archaeological site actually removedhuman remains without any archaeological supervision.96 In 2000 a protest against construction work on the entrance to the Murwani Mosque brought more than 3,500 protestors together. This was the largest demonstration the Temple activists had ever pulled together, and according to Gershom Goremberg it was a “sign of growing support on the radical wing of “redemptive Zionism.”97

In 1992 the Shas party become an important political force when itentered into a coalition with Yizhak Rabin, defying Rabbi Schach but underthe leadership of Rabbi Ovadia Yosei- and Aryeh Deri. Protestagainst archaeology spread to sites such as Migdal HaEmek and Modi’in, and in thelatter case Rabin himself was forced to suspend the excavations for a period.98 After the United Torah Judaism party took charge of the Housing Ministry in 1995, it had put a stop to the Modi’in excavations all together.

According to Hallote and Joffe, it “should be recalled that the legal definition of ‘who is a Jew’ washotly debated in living terms throughout the late 1980’s and early1990’s, as hundreds of thousands of new immigrants were arriving fromhe former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.”99Many of the of the ultra-Orthodox political parties rejected the archaeological categories which had contributed to earlyIsraeli identity. Thus an anti-modernist and anti-scientific sense ofJewish identity was created. “Ultra-orthodoxy in general rejects anything outside theBiblical accounts and chronology, limiting the age of the world to just over5760 years.”100 Ultra-orthodoxy thus viewed virtually all human remains in Israel/Palestine as those of Jews. According to the author “This practice and cognitiveprocess strengthens the exclusivity of the Jewish peopleand their claim to the ‘Holy Land,’ and the primacy of the ultra-Orthodoxmonopoly on defining who was, and is, a Jew.”101

Since ultra-Orthodoxy rejects the ‘scientific’ approach of archaeology and history, and regards the presence ofother ethnic and religious groups as a kind of apostasy, most ancient burials were considered those of Jews.102 A statement made by Rabbi Breitowir addresses the mindset directly:“While a majority of the world population may be non-Jewish, a majority of thebodies buried in Eretz Yisrael over thousands of years may certainly be assumedto be Jewish.”103

In 1994, Israel’s Attorney General issued a ruling onthe legal status of human remains. “To the surprise and dismay of thearchaeological community, the ruling stated that while ancient graveswere antiquities and could be excavated, human remains were not.”104 The ruling was the first of its kind. In the 1990s the issue of reburial began to emerge. A result of this was that many prehistoric, pagan, Christian and Moslem remains wereput under Israeli and in this sense Jewish dominion.105 In 1996, for example, more than 300 boxes of human remains, of both Jews and non-Jews were sent to the Ministry of Religious Affairs for reburial. A similar situation occurred with a tomb found at Mamilla, outside the Western Wall of the old city. The tomb contained thousands ofskeletons of Christians who had been massacred in 614 A.D. by Persians. Although the tombstood adjacent to a Byzantine church and bore alarge cross on its lintel, it was deemed Jewish. The ultra-Orthodox organized strong opposition to the extraction of the bodies, and in due course the remains were given a Jewish burial.106 In September 1996, Arabs protested an opening of a tunnel along the Western Wall which resulted in a number of Arab casualties. Events in 1996 shocked the archaeological world when representatives of the ultra-Orthodox communities calledupon the Prime Minister to fire the director of the antiquities authority.107 In 1995-96 theIsraeli government agreed to appoint a rabbinical representatives to theArchaeological Council to make sure that religious interests were represented.The Council had responsibilities that included the granting of licenses to excavateparticular sites, and it essentially was the group responsible in forming archaeologicalpolicy.108

In 1998 and 1999 the Antiquities Authorities budget was reduced by 75%. 109 In December2001 the Israeli government cut 38% of the financial support forthe Israeli Antiquities Authority, leaving its future in even further doubt. The political aspects of archaeology are thus manifest not only in the lobbying successes of the Ultra-Orthodox in general political affairs, but also in their success in decreasing funds to the Antiquities Authority, thus affecting the entire Israeli archaeological enterprise. Archaeological sites and excavations, however, have benefited from the interests of foreign universities and from tourism.


During the 1870s many tourists visited Palestine by steamship. While under British rule, group tours to the Holy Land were promoted by companies such as Thomas Cook & Son. Mandatory Palestine became an attractive place to visit. Religious pilgrims were the bulk of the country’s visitors, but an ever-growing streamof secular tourists visited the country as well.110 The first carriage road from Jaffa helped to bring wealthy tourists to their final destination – Jerusalem.111 Most of the travelers hailed from England, followed by other areas in Europe and America. The lure of the Holy Land for some tourists was the possibility of finding earth –shaking Biblical discoveries, along with the possibility of buying ancient remains in the antiquities market.112 Thus, as Silberman notes “Ancient pottery, coins, and figurines soon replaced the more traditional souvenirs of a trip to the Holy Land,”113and so antiquities collecting emerged out of the colonialist encounter, together with a deep-set European Romanticism.

Tourism Before 1948

With tourism increasing, the locals, Jews and Arabs alike, began competing for the tourist business. Both groups had their own vision and history of Palestine.114According to the Jerusalem based Zionist Trade and Industry Department, the Arabs attempted to deter anyonebut themselves from profiting from the tourist trade.115The documents note that “Arabtour-guides sent tourists only to non-Jewish stores, Jewishdrivers did not receive work and even the Allenby Hotel, considered the bestand largest hotel in the city, was boycotted by the Arab tour guides.”116 In the beginning of the tourist industry Arab tour guides outnumbered Jewish ones. That soon changed and guidebooks, tourist maps,advertisements, films and tour guides were all used to shape and presentthe Zionist take on Palestine.117 The foundation of the “Zionist Information Bureau for Tourists,” established by the World Zionist Organization on behalf of Palestine’s Jewish population, began to operate in 1925.118 The Tourist Bureau had three main objectives: to contact prospective tourists abroad interested in visiting Palestine;to keep close contact with the visiting tourists and aim to instill the importance of the Zionist enterprise; and to introduce these tourists to various local Zionistbenefactors and charities upon their return home.119 In 1922, for example, theZionist Trade and Industry Department published “Eretz Israel” for Jewishtourists. The guidebook focused primarily on Palestine’s distinctive Jewish aspects and itsunique historical and religious association with the Jewish people. The large contribution by Jews to the construction of modern dayPalestine was also covered in the guidebook. Furthermore, Jewishsites and institutions, old and new, particularly in Jerusalem, were the main highlights of the guidebook.120 After 1927,the Bureau began supporting an annual tour and publishing Hebrew guidebooks for the many Jews from the Diaspora who were interested in making aliyah – immigrating to Palestine. Other guidebooks tended to focus on Christian pilgrim sites.121 But the Hebrew guidebook helped provide a comprehensive image of “Eretz Israel that was being built on the soil of thishistoric, ancient land.”122

The film “To a New Life,” produced by the Zionist movement and aired in 1935 in Berlin, also helped to promote tourism to Palestine. The film portrays Jerusalem as the “center of the world’s three great monotheisticreligions (as well as) accenting the fact that Judaism’s association with theHoly City antedated the other two by thousands of years.”123 The film alsofocused on the city’s holy sites, while presenting a very modern view of Jerusalem by displaying the Strauss Medical Center,Jewish Agency buildings and the Hebrew University.124

After the Zionist leadership announced that the Jews were ready to join the British war effort, thousands of local Palestinian Jews enlisted inthe British armed forces. The relationship between British and Jewish forces intensified when “during the war some 210,000 soldiers enjoyedthe Bureau’s services. They went on field trips organized by the Bureau,visiting various historic and religious sites, as well as Jewish agriculturalsettlements and industrial enterprises. They were also given the chance tostay in the country’s kibbutzim for three days of rest andrecreation, free of charge. Some 60,000 soldiers took advantage of theattractive offer.”125 Thus Zionist tourism flourished and helped to cement the Zionist view in visitors’ minds as well as legitimize their “occupation” through guidebooks that helped script a new history of the area based on the Bible and Zionist independence theories. Biblical archaeological sites brought tourists to the ‘Holy Land’, while tour guides engraved their visions of Palestine on the visitors, consequently influencing the political future and events in the area.

Tourism After 1948

Archaeological sites excavated at the beginning of the nation state bore the risk of becoming national monuments, later transformed intolucrative tourist attractions. The artifacts excavated at such sites were of course, stored and displayed in nationalmuseums and formed an important aspect of the state’s national patrimony. Both sites and artifactshave been incorporated into “state regalia as symbols appearing on nationalflags, currency, and stamps or memorialized in patriotic songs and national anthems.Maps are compiled showing the distribution of sites identified ethnically and consideredto be part of the state’s cultural patrimony;not infrequently, such sites are located beyond the state borders, their representation constituting an implicit ancestral claim on a neighboring state’s territories.”126 Thus national identity is created through the use of symbols that stem from the commemoration of the “remote, archaeologically ascertainablepast.”127 This is nowhere clearer than at Masada where as we have seen, the connection of past to present was promoted. Masada helped cement the connection of lsrael’s present with Israel’s past,and evencaptivated rabbinical authorities. The graves of what were thought to be Masada’s Jewishdefenders, were a concrete presence. Vigils and pilgrimages were held at Masada by visitors, tourists, and scouts.

Beginning with Masada, large numbers of foreign tourists and volunteers participated in Israeli excavations. Masada was followed by the American excavation at Gezer. These excavations helped bring a significant amount of American and European scholars andstudents in touch with Israeli society and culture, thus aiding in establishing trust, shared experiences and relatedness that aided Israel’s cause; something the Palestinians were not able to do.128 There are more known ancient sites per square mile in Israel than in any other country. In 1997,according to official figures, some 250 excavations took place withinIsrael proper (plus more than fifty in the occupied territories).129 These excavations necessitated the rise of museums and with them promoted a clear bias.

The evolution of severalTel Aviv area museums into “Museum Haaretz” in the early 1960’s, and the establishment of the Israel Museum and the Shrine of’ the Book, in 1965, helped consolidate Israel’s identity for visitors and for the Israelis themselves. Even the Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in the ‘Shrine of the Book’ tell of nationalistic motivations. The monumentality of the museum inspires awe and the round altar where the main scroll is displayed lies“like the relic of a saint.”130 Anyone would easily be impressed by the monumental aspects of the building as well as by the content of the Shrine of the Book – the earliest documented account of the Hebrew Bible. The Shrine of the Book helps create a continuum of the ancient Hebrews to the modern Israelis, thus as Steven Dinero states: “The resulting decontextualisation of culture through the packaging and selling of the tourist product leads to a loss of communication or understanding between the host and tourist populations. Many tourists arrive with stereotypical images of their hosts and selectively perceive stimuli which will reinforce those images.”131

See Continuation in Part III

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