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-
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.
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.