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Book: Community Archaeology in Israel/Palestine

Chapter: “Truth springeth out of the earth” (Psalm 85:12): The Museum Curator and Community Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44991


This paper discusses the role of the archaeological museum as mediator between the archaeologist and the public, based on my work and life-long experience as a museum curator. A museum’s prime social function is to conserve (curator; French: conservateur, British: keeper), it must be conservative, although clearly this function need not conflict with activity. The role of museums is to preserve the cultural heritage of the past and transmit it to future generations. We should all be grateful to the scholars and administrators in our museums who devote their lives to very strenuous activity – cataloguing the treasures, restoring damage, answering queries, and above all, making the object under their care accessible to the public through permanent displays and temporary exhibitions. Curators have to speak with the public, keeping up with the changes in society and trends.

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