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From Shiloah to Silwan Newsletter - March 2010

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From Shiloah to Silwan Newsletter - March 2010

I. Archaeology and National Heritage Sites

II. Damages caused by the excavations of tunnels

III. New interactive map of archaeological excavations and tourists sites at our website

IV. Closing of the investigation of the shooting of Ahmed Qaraeen

V. Givati Parking Lot excavations

VI. Volunteers needed

VII. Upcoming Tours

I. Archaeology and National Heritage Sites

The Israeli government’s National Heritage Program includes 37 archaeological sites. The program detaches these sites from their overall historical context and instead makes them part of an ideological campaign to augment the dominant national (i.e. Jewish) ethos. This selective conservation of the collective memory of the nation inherently and deliberately ignores anything that is not consistent with its ideological perspective – whether this be thousands of years of Jewish life outside of Israel’s borders, or thousands of years of non-Jewish life within these borders.

We believe that all archaeological sites are an integral part of the overall local heritage, many of them being universal cultural treasures that are not the exclusive property of a particular nation or religion.

Following are two links dealing with this subject: http://www.haaretz. spages/1152211. html

Muslim rights on the Jewish past: http://www.commongr oundnews. org/article. php?id=27386&lan=en&sid=0&sp=0&isNew=1

II. Damages caused by the excavations of tunnels

On March 1, a four-meter-long pit appeared in the Wadi Hilwa neighborhood, in the parking area just above the mosque. According to the engineer sent by the Jerusalem municipality, the pit was a result of the archaeological excavations of the tunnels carried out by the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

We have been opposing the digging of tunnels for the last few months since it contravenes archaeological practice and all ethical principles that apply to archaeological excavations. In fact, it also entails the destruction of antiquities. We hope the tunnels excavations will stop before someone will get hurt and maybe this pit will be a warning sign to all the authorities and organizations responsible for the damages.

A link to the Jerusalem Municipality engineer's talk with the local residents: com/watch? v=QbESX5K5sWc

More information on: http://www.silwanic .net

III. New interactive map of archaeological excavations and tourists sites at our website

We have recently added to our site a map and accompanying information about the excavation and tourist areas in the village of Silwan:http://www.alt- map.html

This new material allows visitors to our website to see for themselves the extent of the excavations being conducted in the village and their impact on the areas taken over for these purposes.

IV. Closing of the investigation of the shooting of Ahmed Qaraeen

Last September, one of our regular hosts in the village of Silwan, Ahmed Kar’in, was shot and wounded by a soldier on vacation. Only slowly and with great difficulty is Ahmed recovering from the wound to his leg. Recently we learned that the police investigation of the case has been closed for lack of culpability or, in other words, the police has accepted the shooter’s version of the incident.

V. Givati Parking Lot excavations

Despite the call by us and others to leave in place in the Givaati parking lot a find made from the Moslem Period (dated to the Abbasid Caliphate – the 8-9 centuries CE), we have learned that the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has decided to remove this stratum in order to excavate the strata beneath it. The IAA maintains that archaeological finds from this period are sparse at this location. However, it’s important to note that, based on excavations that were conducted in other parts of the Givaati parking lot, the Moslem Period stratum here was both significant and rich in finds.

We believe that it is worthy to display to the public all the strata uncovered in the Givaati parking lot, particularly the later strata for which no representative display has been left in any of the other excavated areas at the site. In this way the site can serve as a tangible evidence for the multiplicity of cultures in Jerusalem’s past.

VI. Volunteers needed

If you'd like to volunteer to help with translation, or legal issues, or participate in any other activity, please contact us by email:info@alt-arch. org

VII. Upcoming tours

The archaeological tour "From Shiloah to Silwan" offers a unique experience of the "City of David" archaeological site located in the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

This is an unusual tour because along with an introduction to the archaeological splendor of the site, it also introduces the visitor to the role of archaeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on the residents living near the site.

The tour is guided by an archaeologist and village residents.

The English tour will take place on Friday, March 19, at 1 pm

The Hebrew tour will take place on Saturday, March 20, at  2 pm

For registration: http://www.alt- tours.html

Join our facebook group: http://www.facebook .com/pages/ mq-swwh-Emek- Shaveh/332750350 674

www.alt-arch. org




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