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Community Archaeology in Israel/Palestine

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Although Community (or Public) Archaeology originated in western countries, it has now spread all over the world. It integrates the archaeological past with living peoples in new and unique ways. It is however, a rather loosely-defined field; to some it means an attitude and a theoretical concept, which is, or should be, valid for archaeology as a whole and for every archaeologist. For others it is a certain practice or sub-field of archaeology, which by now has its own experts – that is, community archaeologists.

It is perhaps not surprising that in Israel/Palestine Community Archaeology touches heavily upon the present, perhaps more than upon the past. No archaeology in this region is ‘neutral’ and the living communities are part of the heated, on-going political, social and religious conflicts that have shaped the past, and are shaping this land for over more than a hundred years. The question is whether archaeology, including Community Archaeology, strive to neutrality? Can Community Archaeology free us from the hegemonic position of the archaeologies of nations and states?

This is the first volume dedicated to Community Archaeology in Israel/Palestine. Chapters in the book challenge (in several ways, though not always explicitly) the traditional “Biblical Archaeology” approach to the archaeology of Israel/Palestine. They present their individual concepts and ideas about Community Archaeology in Israel/Palestine, bringing different questions and treating different case studies, and also reaching different though not unrelated conclusions. The volume gives a first, refreshing look of a new archaeology in an old land.

Published: Jul 30, 2024

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
The Nature and Development of Community Archaeology in Israel/Palestine: An Introduction Raz Kletter, Liora Kolska Horwitz
Chapter 2
Sebastia: Promoting Community’s Role in Preserving Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas Osama Hamdan, Carla Benelli
Chapter 3
Something Old, Something New: Conducting Community Archaeology at the Wrong Site Tawfiq Daʿadli
Chapter 4
Community Archaeology in Israel: Test Cases, Observations – and Questions Gideon Sulimani
Chapter 5
A Socialist Critique of Archaeology in Israel: Community and Antiquities as Social Value Ianir Milevski
Chapter 6
Community Archaeology before Community Archaeology? Dhahr el-Mazra‘a (Nahariya) and Kfar Bar’am Raz Kletter
Chapter 7
Community Archaeology and the Har Michia Rock Art Park in the Negev/al-Naqab Joshua Schmidt, Liora Kolska Horwitz
Chapter 8
Archaeological Communities in the Shadow of Dividedness: Impressions from Israeli and Palestinian Scholars Dirk Conradie
Chapter 9
“Truth springeth out of the earth” (Psalm 85, 12): The Museum Curator and Community Archaeology Irit Ziffer
Chapter 10
Archaeology in a Tray: Integrating Students with Autism in Laboratory Research Nimrod Marom, Nofar Shamir, Inbal Vortman-Shoham, Marissa Hartston, Roee Shafir, Lee Perry Gal, Bat-Sheva Hadad, Guy Bar-Oz
Chapter 11
Silwan (East Jerusalem): Trying to Breach the Archaeological Siege of a Community under Occupation Yoni Mizrahi
Chapter 12
Toward a Decolonial and Denationalized Public Archaeology Raphael Greenberg
Chapter 13
An Afterword on History, Archaeology and Heritage in Israel/Palestine Emanuel Pfoh