Readers of Gershom’s last post may be interested in an article I published in Nature last year on Elad’s role in running the site of the City of David excavations.
As I reported in the same journal earlier this month, a group of Israeli and Palestinian archaeologists recently unveiled a draft agreement about how archaeological sites and artifacts would be treated under a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
As Gershom notes, every historical or archaeological site can provide the basis for a variety of different stories. True, archaeological artifacts and sites provide hard facts that limit the kinds of stories you can tell. A Palestinian scholar who proclaimed that City of David structures dating from the eighth or ninth century BCE were actually from the early Islamic period would have a hard time getting anyone to take his case seriously because we know from other sites that buildings built in those periods have distinct styles and methods of construction. An Israeli who tried to argue that Arabs never ruled Jerusalem would run up against all those layers of Muslim and Arab remains that excavators have found all around the city.