PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 48, November 26, 2006, Article 26

TEMPLE TROVE DISCOVERY BARES THE POLITICS OF ARCHEOLOGY IN ISRAEL

On Friday, November 17th the Associated Press published an
interesting account of an archeology project in Israel that has
unearthed ancient coins as well as local political rivalries:

"Off an East Jerusalem side street, between an olive orchard and
an abandoned hotel, sit a few piles of stones and dirt that are
yielding important insights into Jerusalem's history.

They come from one of the world's most disputed holy places ? the
square in the heart of Jerusalem that is known to Jews as the
Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

The story behind the rubble includes an underground crypt, a
maverick college student, a white-bearded archaeologist, thousands
of relics spanning millennia and a feud between Israelis and
Palestinians which is heavily shaped by ancient history.

Among finds that have emerged are a coin struck during the Jewish
revolt against the Romans..."

"The site has been the frequent arena of Israeli-Palestinian fighting,
and its volatility has prevented archaeologists from ever touching it."

"Ignoring fierce protest from Israeli archaeologists who said priceless
artifacts were being destroyed to erase traces of Jewish history, the
Waqf dug a large pit, removed tons of earth and rubble that had been
used as landfill and dumped much of it in the nearby Kidron Valley.

The Waqf's position was, and remains, that the rubble was of recent
vintage and without archaeological value.

Zachi Zweig, a 27-year-old archaeology undergraduate at Bar Ilan
University near Tel Aviv, showed up at the dump a few days later.
Though Israel's archaeological establishment had shown no interest
in the rubble, Zweig was sure it was important, especially after a
Waqf representative told him to leave."

"In 2004, after five years spent getting a dig license and raising
funds, they had 75 truckloads of rubble moved to a lot on the slopes
of Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.

The first coin they found, Barkay said, was one issued during the
Jewish revolt that preceded the Roman destruction of the temple in
Jerusalem in 70 A.D., imprinted with the Hebrew words "Freedom of Zion."

The most valuable find so far, Barkay believes, is a clay seal
impression discovered last year. Its incomplete Hebrew lettering
appears to name Ge'aliyahu, son of Immer. Immer is the name of a
family of temple officials mentioned in Jeremiah 20:1."

"Archaeology here, however, is rarely just about providing insight
into the past."

"Dig a centimeter beneath the debate over antiquities," he said,
"and you hit the debate over whom the Mount belongs to, and a
centimeter beneath that is the war over whom the entire country
belongs to."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster