Dr. Eilat Mazar – a Hebrew University archaeologist who worked in close cooperation with Elad over past years, and who is considered one of the most productive researchers in Jerusalem and in the City of David area in particular – has castigated Elad for the excavation of a large subterranean pit, called “Jeremiah’s Pit,” at the entrance to the City of David visitors’ center complex.
Mazar’s claims against Elad are being leveled at a crucial time as a proposed law to privatize public parks is being considered. If approved, the bill will enable Elad, a private association which excavates, maintains and conducts tours of the City of David, to maintain control of the historic site – situated in the predominantly Arab village of Silwan, adjacent to the Old City.
“To my astonishment I discovered that for over a year Elad, together with the Antiquities Authority, has been secretly planning a tourism gimmick called the ‘Jeremiah’s Pit Project,” writes Mazar in her letter, noting that the excavation is only two meters away from the excavation area that she directed between 2005 and 2008. She says that she wanted to continue digging in the present area, but was prevented from doing so “for logistical reasons, since north of the site the Antiquities Authority permitted Elad to build a special events hall,” and because of the area’s proximity to a residential building and a road.
Ha’aretz has more- where the title of the essay is ‘top archaeologist decries Jerusalem dig as unscientific tourist gimmick‘!!!
There goes her funding from Elad! And at last she’s finally seen what the rest of us have known for years.
- Elad: Wielding Power to no Good Purpose (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- The “Large Stone Structure” in Jerusalem: Reality versus Yearning (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Finkelstein v. Garfinkel: The ‘Ir David’ Smackdown (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)