Zwinglius Redivivus

Further on the Tel Aviv ‘City of David’ Excavation

Posted in Archaeology by Jim on December 25, 2012

In consultation with experts ‘on the ground’ I have learned that-

1. The area of the Tel Aviv excavation is on the “City of David” ridge (and known as such for the last century): this ridge was excavated by the late Yigal Shiloh on behalf of the Hebrew University in the 1980s (Area E of his dig).

2. Calling this place Silwan, as Haaretz has done without explaining its exact location, is intentionally misleading political spin. The village of Silwan is located to the east of the Kidron ravine.

3. The dig is a cooperative effort of Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority and IS NOT connected with any other organization, will not be financed by any other organization, and will not receive orders or guidance from anyone, including Elad!

Location of Area E4. In this case, as in all other aspects of its teaching and research, Tel Aviv University is behaving properly and legally.

5. There is only one purpose for this dig: to better understand the history of Jerusalem through the ages.

6. The dig will, therefore, naturally be carried out in accordance with the highest professional standards which characterizes all of Tel Aviv’s field-research. It will be open to all visitors and will strive to cooperate with the people living in the area.

7. However it is essential to note that the area is not inhabited. The closest Palestinian houses are around 70 meters to the east (that is, all the way over on the other side of the ravine); others are about 200 meters to the north; and still others are far to the south (far enough, in fact, that they cannot even be seen from Area E). And, finally, there are still other homes around 150 meters to the west, on the top of the ridge (see the photo to the right, and click to enlarge).

Still further insight into Tel Aviv’s work at the location can be found in Israel Finkelstein’s essay in Forward Magazine titled In the Eye of Jerusalem’s Archaeological Storm.

All in all, then, not only is the petition floating around contra Tel Aviv University’s work at the City of David inappropriate, it is founded upon numerous egregious errors and misstatements of fact.

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4 Responses

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  1. CS said, on December 25, 2012 at 18:19

    Thanks for the corrective, Jim! The reputation of TAU’s archaeologists is beyond reproach. Also thanks for the mention of Israel Finkelstein’s Forward article. Here’s a link to it: http://forward.com/articles/137273/in-the-eye-of-jerusalem-s-archaeological-storm/

    • Jim said, on December 25, 2012 at 18:22

      i thought i had included it. bizarre. for some reason wordpress has been stripping links lately. will try again.

  2. Jim said, on December 25, 2012 at 18:23

    no- it was there. light green. ;-)

  3. CS said, on December 25, 2012 at 18:33

    Didn’t show in light green in my browser … but, once knowing it was active, clicking on it got me there.


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