Zwinglius Redivivus

Simcha Isn’t Telling the Story Right: Or, How a Smear Campaign is Waged

Today Mr Jacobovici posted this:

Recently, Professor Yuval Goren shocked an audience at Tel Aviv University by proudly describing his method of archaeological excavation using a Caterpillar bulldozer. Biblical Archaeology Review has now dubbed the technique “Cater-pillaging”. Goren who is a petrographer i.e., an expert in stones, not archaeology, seems to not be aware of the importance of stratigraphy at Tel Socoh.

To call this a failure to tell the whole story would be more than an understatement.  In point of fact, Professor Goren relates the truth-

gorenThis photo was not taken at all on Tel Sochoh but in a valley south to it, where our survey revealed on a terrace some waste remains of a ceramic workshop. The valley is not registered as an archaeological site in the IAA records, nor did we find there any architectural remains except for Arab terraces. During our excavation season, we referred to this terrace in the Wadi as Area B and for an entire week we performed there controlled excavation in 5×5 meter squares that can be seen in the photo. The reason was to collect these wasters for archaeomagnetic dating and try to reveal their source. By the end of the week, when no archaeological remains were found at considerable depth, we decided to make there a trial trench with a digger to make sure that no archaeological remains existed at what was apparently virgin soil. The trench was made after receiving the permit by the Jerusalem District Archaeologist and the Head of Excavations and Surveys in the IAA. It confirmed our impression that there were no remains apart from some swept sherds in the terrace soil. Hence we closed Area B and continued our excavations at Areas A and C on the tell (needless to say, with no tractors or the like).

In a conference at Tel Aviv University last October, I presented this narrative in order to show why GPR and remote sensing will be mandatory now in order to locate the lost ceramic workshop. We are currently running these methods.

Simcha asserts that Prof. Goren isn’t an archaeologist but anyone who bothers to check the facts will quickly learn that he has three degrees in archaeology with countless days and vast experience in field archaeology.  That BAR published the story advert along the same lines as Simcha has today shows simply that Shanks et al are more interested in portraying those with whom they disagree in a negative (and untrue) light than they are in the facts.

If you subscribe to BAR, you’re supporting the dissemination of such misrepresentations.   Or, to be perfectly frank, smear campaigns.

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Written by Jim

April 28, 2013 at 14:26

Posted in Archaeology

29 Responses

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  1. Jim,

    BAR didn’t run a story, rather, that photo and the caption around it was actually a 1/4 page ad taken out and paid for by non-other than Robert Deutsch. He had originally spammed a bunch of us trying to get bloggers to give his ‘ad’ a little publicity.

    Deutch’s claims are, of course, deliberately misleading.

    Robert R. Cargill

    April 28, 2013 at 14:51

    • thanks for the clarification. i’ll rephrase and say that the report appeared on the pages of BAR. ;-)
      not surprising given the fact that they run ads for all sorts of antiquities dealers.

      Jim

      April 28, 2013 at 14:55

      • Well, Ive never met Robert Deutch, but he is paying money to smear Dr. Goren, deliberately misrepresenting a legitimate archaeologist’s methodology, and then emailing the pic to others trying to spread the disinformation.

        And of course, who buys into it hook, line, and sinker, but a confessed non-archaeologist and non-academic. (Fish pun fully intended.)

        The question one must ask is what does Mr. Jacobovici and Robert Deutsch have in common that might cause them to perpetuate the smear of a legislate scholar like Dr. Goren? Hmm…

        Robert R. Cargill

        April 28, 2013 at 15:14

      • a very fine question indeed.

        Jim

        April 28, 2013 at 15:18

      • Legitimate.

        Robert R. Cargill

        April 28, 2013 at 15:26

      • i wouldnt have bothered to mention simcha’s piece except for the fact that outrageous mistruths have to be answered when a proper scholar’s reputation is being smeared. i think i owe it to people.

        Jim

        April 28, 2013 at 15:27

  2. Robert Cargill has a very developed imagination. Interesting, but there is no need for such a skill in order to understand the picture, the picture which worth a 1000 words. No excuses for this archaeological misconduct. As an example, Megiddo is excavated by Ussishkin and Finkelstein since 1992 (and I was there from the beginning). There we never used caterpillars, not on the tell and not on the lower terraces, which are of course belonging to the tell. There are no talking mirrors for hypocrites.
    Robert Deutsch

    Robert Deutsch

    April 28, 2013 at 17:01

    • you were at goren’s lecture in october and know that the catepillar was operated where and how he says.

      Jim

      April 28, 2013 at 17:03

  3. Jim. You were not there. I repeat: there are no talking mirrors for hypocrites.

    Robert Deutsch

    April 28, 2013 at 17:06

    • so i am forced to take the word of someone who was. someone who presented the lecture and knows the material, or someone in the audience who is reporting on it. which would any sensible person believe? the person whose subject it is or the person whose subject it is only at second hand?

      Jim

      April 28, 2013 at 17:08

  4. As I mentioned: A picture worth a thousand words. But maybe Robert Cargill (which I never met) can help me to point out which ones among the thousand words are deliberately misleading ?

    Robert Deutsch

    April 28, 2013 at 17:19

    • which part of this is not correct:

      “This photo was not taken at all on Tel Sochoh but in a valley south to it, where our survey revealed on a terrace some waste remains of a ceramic workshop.

      The valley is not registered as an archaeological site in the IAA records, nor did we find there any architectural remains except for Arab terraces.

      During our excavation season, we referred to this terrace in the Wadi as Area B and for an entire week we performed there controlled excavation in 5×5 meter squares that can be seen in the photo. The reason was to collect these wasters for archaeomagnetic dating and try to reveal their source.

      By the end of the week, when no archaeological remains were found at considerable depth, we decided to make there a trial trench with a digger to make sure that no archaeological remains existed at what was apparently virgin soil. The trench was made after receiving the permit by the Jerusalem District Archaeologist and the Head of Excavations and Surveys in the IAA. It confirmed our impression that there were no remains apart from some swept sherds in the terrace soil.

      Hence we closed Area B and continued our excavations at Areas A and C on the tell (needless to say, with no tractors or the like).

      In a conference at Tel Aviv University last October, I presented this narrative in order to show why GPR and remote sensing will be mandatory now in order to locate the lost ceramic workshop. We are currently running these methods.”

      Which part?

      Jim

      April 28, 2013 at 17:22

  5. Jim my friend, are you an archaeologist ? Most of it is fabricated. The photo was taken on the Golan hights. The valley is the Qidron Valley. The site is missing on the maps, is only in my imagination. There was was found only organic material from goats. The caterpillar is a Mirage. Mandatory methods of petrographers !

    Robert Deutsch

    April 28, 2013 at 17:38

    • you keenly avoided answering my simple question. instead, you decided to make me the subject. unfortunately i’m not so easily tricked. so, if you would, please point out which sentence is incorrect and offer evidence as to its incorrectness.

      or as we say down here- stick to the subject.

      Jim

      April 28, 2013 at 17:43

  6. Of course the area belongs to Tell Socho. He was looking for the LMLK jars workshop based on ancient remains. This was the main task of the expedition as it was declared prior the excavations. Acording to the IAA a tell and its 300 meter suroundings is an archaeological site. It is not in the valley but on the slope of the Tell. The reason for the excavation was not to collect wasters but to find the workshop, and so on. All the excavator’s post is false ! I repeat, a picture worth a thousand words.

    Robert Deutsch

    April 28, 2013 at 18:04

    • I guess I’m still waiting for an answer to whether the pic and caption in BAR was actually an ad paid for by Mr. Deutsch. I’d just like to see him acknowledge it and take ownership of it.

      The question then becomes why Mr. Deutsch saw fit to take out an ad designed purely to attempt to criticize Dr. Goren. The cutesie characterization “Cater-pillaging” sounds like something Joe Zias might come up with. This is suddenly OK?

      So why would Mr. Jacobovici highlight a misleading ad paid for by Mr. Deutsch in the pages of BAR criticizing Dr. Goren?

      bobcargill (@xkv8r)

      April 29, 2013 at 09:29

  7. nothing? once it is revealed that mr. deutsch took out a paid ad in bar to chastise dr. goren, suddenly he doesn’t want to defend his ad anymore?

    bobcargill (@xkv8r)

    April 30, 2013 at 08:53

  8. Dear Dr. Cargill. I am surprised of your very developed imagination. First you declared a declaration involving my name and now you are asking if it is valid. Therefore I will let you in obscurity. In any event, why are you defending an excavator’s misconduct. We have to be on the same side in this. Or he is your friend ? Even after he lied that the excavation is not at Tell Socho. And you mentioned Joe Zias – I hope he is not your friend. Tell me more about who are and who are not your friends … and I will tell you more about who are they. And why are you attacking Simcha Jacobovitz. Are you afraid that he will find out before you who wrote the dead sea scrolls ?

    • If you want others to tell you who are their friends, it seems appropriate that you disclose yours. When I received your post through ANE, my antennae immediately went up because you were linking to Simcha Jacobici’s website. We have experience with Mr Jacobici, the [not so] Naked Archaeologist and his lack of reliability on other occasions so, who are your friends?

      George Somsel

      May 4, 2013 at 11:07

      • it’s plainly clear that mr deutsch is in collusion with simcha

        Jim

        May 4, 2013 at 11:10

  9. Onece you declared a declaration based on speculations, you will remain with the question. In any event, read my last post and answer my questions.

  10. huh? so why not just say ‘i bought the ad’? if you’re ashamed of it, print a withdrawal. i’m sure hershel will let you. and if not, why not own it? everyone knows you did in fact place the ad. so trying to evade isn’t really helping you.

    Jim

    April 30, 2013 at 15:37

  11. jim, this has become a truly bizarre exchange. lol. the lack of rational logic in mr. deutsch’s responses is, well…odd. i’ll leave him to his thoughts.

    bobcargill (@xkv8r)

    April 30, 2013 at 15:54

  12. As once said somewhere else, “Until this moment, …, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” Whoever you are, “You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

    This is a nasty, shameless and outrageous smear campaign that relates only to the vested interests of a community of archaeological forgers who Yuval dared challenge.

    David

    May 1, 2013 at 10:46

  13. Just as a matter of interest and a point of order..
    The machine is not a bulldozer. it is what we call a JCB in the UK or a backhoe in the USA – use of this type of machinery is standard in the UK and very useful to, – with skilled archaeologists it is what we call the big yellow trowel, so to suggest this is a damaging piece of machinery – is to miss to serious points.

    It is not a tracked bulldozer – that is clear from the image – and it is not being used badly.. the trenches are then completed by hand – even I can see that from this image. I suspect that Deutsch has never used or been present when this type of machine is used…

    for his delectation – here is one in action – though please don’t try this at home… ( he peels a banana with it. )

    bajrblogDavid Connolly

    May 3, 2013 at 08:38

  14. in my defense, all machines are bulldozers, all drinks are coke, all tissue is kleenex, and all dogs are german shepherds. i also only know 8 color names. those are the only 8 colors that exist. ;-)

    Jim

    May 3, 2013 at 08:45

    • I’ll let you off :)
      It is however also a precision instrument in the right hands. :)

      I think the smear is rather unpleasant as well.. – not so good :(

      bajrblogDavid Connolly

      May 3, 2013 at 08:58


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