Catalogue


Just past? [electronic resource] : the making of Israeli archaeology /
Raz Kletter.
imprint
London ; Oakville, CT : Equinox, 2006.
description
xix, 362 p. : ill., maps.
ISBN
1845530853 (hb)
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
added author
imprint
London ; Oakville, CT : Equinox, 2006.
isbn
1845530853 (hb)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Archaeology and the 1948 war -- Abandoned places, new places -- Foreign aid -- Frozen funds -- A battalion of guards -- Relief work -- Man robs his land : "agreement" with General Dayan -- "Gold of Ophir for Beth-Horon" : 3,000 shekels -- The building beyond the border : the PAM, 1948-67 -- A building of dreams : a home for the IDAM and the origins of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem -- A dead man on the council : the story of the supreme archaeological body in Israel -- "But trust comes from the heart" : travels with the Government Tourist Corporation -- "Whether in a courtyard of a synagogue, in a courtyard adjacent to a synagogue, or under a synagogue" : the Safad affair -- The policy of salvage and early Israeli excavations -- Myths and conclusions.
catalogue key
11364890
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 333-343) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-11-01:
This is an unusual book with an unclear agenda. It represents the first attempt to examine Israel's preoccupation with archaeology, not as an academic program or as a polemic to lay historic Jewish claim to the land, but as a complex of many competing factors. The book covers the period from Israel's War of Independence in 1948 through the 1990s, but focuses on the 1970s. Kletter (Israeli Antiquities Society) accesses numerous archives in his careful, well-documented look at the impact of archaeology on government policy and behavior as well as the government's frequent ignoring of the impact of development, resettling of populations, and military needs on remnants from the past. The book explores and evaluates Israel's Department of Antiquities and Museums, the Israel Museum, and Moshe Dayan's theft of archaeological finds for his personal collection. But aside from openly exposing the many flaws in the processes and procedures of Israeli archaeology and expressing mocking amusement about them, the author fails to critically assess scholarly results or archaeology's impact on Israeli national identity. In sum, this strangely organized, extremely detailed narrative may be of considerable interest to specialists, but lack of real focus renders this study of limited general appeal. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students/faculty. L. D. Loeb University of Utah
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2006
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Summaries
Long Description
During the last decade substantive changes have occurred in the way that archaeology is conducted in the 'Holy Land' as indeed throughout the Near East but one thing never seems to change: archaeology in Israel/Palestine always takes on a political dimension. This book tells the story of the creation of Israeli Archaeology in the 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike other books on the archaeology of the 'holy-land', it isn't just a chronological parade of important excavations and nice finds, but a history of intrigues, budgets, failures and, above all, dreams. The book is based on documentary material, often from obscure periodicals in Hebrew, as well as thousands of original documents never published before. It is the first large scale publication using preliminary archival material about Israeli archaeology. It is also an independent study that reflects the author's personal views. The documents reveal a surprising picture. Much has been written about archaeology in Palestine during the Ottoman and British Mandate periods but very little exists about Israeli archaeology after 1948. Archival documents have not been treated and biographies of Israeli archaeologists are rare and not critical. Obituaries are short and, naturally, positive The regular products of archaeological writing-excavation and survey reports and the like are focussed on specific topics and thus not helpful for examining the larger picture. Criticisms are also rare, almost always limited to very narrow arenas: the political place within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the accusation about the "Biblical Archaeology" bias We read much about the "myth of Masada", for example, but nothing about why, by whom and when was the decision made to start excavations at Masada, who gave the budget and how Yadin became the excavator. Uniquely this book gets to the heart of such decisions and the political circumstances in which they were made. In recounting the history of archaeology in Israel,the author argues that any community focused on the study of some distant human past must also acknowledge its own roots; its genesis. Without knowing the origins and history of Israeli archaeology, there can be no open-minded evaluation of it. R. Kletter has worked at the Israeli Antiquities Authority since 1990 and is a member of the IAA editorial board. He has participated and carried out dozens of excavations in Israel and lectured at Haifa and Beer-Sheba Universities. He has published extensively on Bronze and Iron Age archaeology and Biblical archaeology.
Main Description
During the last decade substantive changes have occurred in the way that archaeology is conducted in the 'Holy Land' as indeed throughout the Near East, but one thing never seems to change: archaeology in Israel/Palestine always takes on a political dimension. This book tells the story of the creation of Israeli Archaeology in the 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike other books on the archaeology of the 'Holy Land,' it is not just a chronological parade of important excavations and nice finds, but a history of intrigues, budgets, failures and-above all-dreams. The book is based on documentary material, often from obscure periodicals in Hebrew, as well as thousands of original documents never published before. Archival documents have not been treated and biographies of Israeli archaeologists are rare and not critical. Obituaries are short and, naturally, positive. The regular products of archaeological writing-excavation and survey reports and the like-are focused on specific topics and thus not helpful for examining the larger picture. Criticisms are also rare and almost always limited to very narrow arenas: the political place within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the accusation about the 'Biblical Archaeology' bias. We read much about the 'myth of Masada,' for example, but nothing about why, by whom and when the decision was made to start excavations at Masada, who gave the budget and how Yadin became the excavator. Uniquely this book gets to the heart of such decisions and the political circumstances in which they were made.
Main Description
During the last decade substantive changes have occurred in the way that archaeology is conducted in the 'Holy Land' as indeed throughout the Near East but one thing never seems to change: archaeology in Israel/Palestine always takes on a political dimension. This book tells the story of the creation of Israeli Archaeology in the 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike other books on the archaeology of the 'holy-land', it isn't just a chronological parade of important excavations and nice finds, but a history of intrigues, budgets, failures and, above all, dreams. The book is based on documentary material, often from obscure periodicals in Hebrew, as well as thousands of original documents never published before. It is the first large scale publication using preliminary archival material about Israeli archaeology. It is also an independent study that reflects the author's personal views. The documents reveal a surprising picture. Much has been written about archaeology in Palestine during the Ottoman and British Mandate periods but very little exists about Israeli archaeology after 1948. Archival documents have not been treated and biographies of Israeli archaeologists are rare and not critical. Obituaries are short and, naturally, positive The regular products of archaeological writing-excavation and survey reports and the like are focussed on specific topics and thus not helpful for examining the larger picture. Criticisms are also rare, almost always limited to very narrow arenas: the political place within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the accusation about the Biblical Archaeology bias We read much about the myth of Masada, for example, but nothing about why, by whom and when was the decision made to start excavations at Masada, who gave the budget and how Yadin became the excavator. Uniquely this book gets to the heart of such decisions and the political circumstances in which they were made. In recounting the history of archaeology in Israel,the author argues that any community focused on the study of some distant human past must also acknowledge its own roots; its genesis. Without knowing the origins and history of Israeli archaeology, there can be no open-minded evaluation of it. R. Kletter has worked at the Israeli Antiquities Authority since 1990 and is a member of the IAA editorial board. He has participated and carried out dozens of excavations in Israel and lectured at Haifa and Beer-Sheba Universities. He has published extensively on Bronze and Iron Age archaeology and Biblical archaeology.
Table of Contents
List of illustrationsp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Acknowledgementsp. xvi
Abbreviationsp. xix
Archaeology and the 1948 Warp. 1
Abandoned places, new placesp. 42
Foreign aidp. 82
Frozen fundsp. 90
A battalion of guardsp. 117
Relief workp. 133
Man robs his land: "agreement" with General Dayanp. 150
"Gold of Ophir for Beth-Horon": 3,000 shekelsp. 165
The building beyond the border: the PAM, 1948-67p. 174
A building of dreams: a home for the IDAM and the origins of the Israel Museum, Jerusalemp. 193
A dead man on the council: the story of the supreme archaeological body in Israelp. 214
"But trust comes from the heart": travels with the Government Tourist Corporationp. 250
"Whether in a courtyard of a synagogue, in a courtyard adjacent to a synagogue, or under a synagogue": the Safad affairp. 284
The policy of salvage and early Israeli excavationsp. 295
Myths and conclusionsp. 310
Other documents from the IDAM filesp. 321
Bibliographyp. 333
Author indexp. 345
Indexp. 347
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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