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Archaeology and state formation in the Middle East

Structure
Historical Review of Israel Archaeological practice before 1948 in Palestine Israeli Archaeology and Nationalism after 1948 - Tel Jezreel - The Jewish Quarter Ancient Sites in Modern Battles - Temple Mount - The Hasmonian tunnel Archaeology and Religious Nationalism Comparative look at state formation in Turkey

It can be argued that there is an almost unavoidable or natural relationship between archaeology and nationalismthis relationship is not necessarily corrupt or intrinsically suspect (Kohl et al, 1995, p3)

Brief Historical Review


Judea was the name of the home of the Jews in ancient times. It was conquered by the Romans and renamed Palestine Palestine was later conquered and inhabited by Arabs for over a thousand years The Zionist movement 1917 - Palestine was granted to Britain as a League of Nations mandate to build a national home for the Jewish people 1933-1945 - the Holocaust 1947 the UN partitioned the land into Arab and Jewish states 1948 - Establishment of the State of Israel 1967 - Israel's army captures East Jerusalem from Jordan

Archaeology before 1948


Foreign institutions Biblical archaeology Restoration from desolation (Silberman, 1991)

Web Reference 2

Archaeology after 1948 (the Establishment of the State of Israel)


The Zionism Effect Focus on eras of national ascendance and glory (El-Haj, 1998) Search to legitimize national heritage Political pressures of biblical stories
Argument - whose archaeology, Israels or Palestines?

Collective memory
collective memory is more than just an aggregate of individuals' personal memories, and such inevitably cannot possibly capture what an entire nation, for example, collectively considers historically eventful or uneventful. (Zerubavel, 2003, p28)

The Collective memory/history of Jewish people through archaeology lead to the state formation of Israel at the expense of the Arab community. Importance of having a collective memory leads to

Bulldozer archaeology

Web Reference 3

Why?
Used to quickly get down to important stratigraphy Focus on Iron Age through to early Roman (ElHaj, 1998) The search for a Jewish national past overrides other evidence

This creates a primarily nationalistic archaeology Example the biblical site of Jezreel

Tel Jezreel
Research priorities The Iron Age City (El-Haj, 1998, p172) Recorded use of a bulldozer

Web Reference 4

Archaeologists response
I believe the use of a JCB to determine the line of the rockcut Iron Age moat was justified. It was essential to establish the size of the Iron Age enclosure in order to understand properly the site A JCB with a long arm working delicately under archaeological supervision was the right solution: it can do useful work without damaging ancient remains, and I believe that this was the case here. Archaeologist David Usshiskin responds to El Haj accusations, Solomonia Blog, 5 December 2006: http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/009649.shtml

Jewish Quarter
Considered central to national heritage Details left out of site reports (e.g. Avigad and the burial cave p171)

Controversies in archaeological practice


Focus on specific eras leaves some archaeological remains ignored or rushed through Controversial use of bulldozers Archaeology affected by political pressures to obtain national heritage Pressure from the religious sphere

Ancient Sites in Modern Battles


- Only certain archaeological sites are turned into national monuments and then tourist attractions - Focus on Islamic history in the public, its multicultural heritage is not shared. - Discrimination over which periods deserve to be shared with the public - Case Studies Temple Mount and the HasmonianTunnel

Jerusalem Changing Ownership


1006-586 BC The first Temple Period the Israelites 63 BC - Roman conquest of the Holy Land

313 AD - Constantine makes Christianity the official religion of Roman Empire


614 AD Persian conquest. Christians exiled to Persia, Jews banished from Jerusalem

1187 AD Crusaders, violent conquest of Holy Land


1840 Turkish conquest 1917 British capture of Jerusalem

1948 Rebirth of state of Israel


1965 Jerusalem divided, Jordanian rule over east? 1967 Jerusalem reunited

The Temple Mount Changing Ownership


To Jewish people it is Temple Mount. To Muslims it is Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary. (put in picture) It is considered the most sacred site of Judaism and the third most sacred site of Islam (Inbari, 2007, p29)

- Significant changes in ownership and religion - Modern Day - Governed by the Supreme Muslim Religious Council (Wagf). - Restrictions for non-Muslims put in pic http://www.masada2000.org/jerusalem.html

The Temple Mount Changing Ownership

The HasmonianTunnel

of a new entrance to a tunnel through the old centre of Jerusalem - Violent Palestinian response (picture)

- opening

Archaeology and religious nationalism


-Religious Zionism - Cautious approach - Effect of historical/ religious consciousness on archaeology - Authority of archaeology for historical importance lies between religious and secular - Professional and ethical responsibilities of archaeologists? (Kohl, 1998, pp.241-243)

Ongoing debate (show news)

Print screen bbc news I'm Palestinian but where am I from?

Israeli vs. Palestinian Ethnicity?

Around parts of East Jerusalem a massive wall now separates some Palestinian suburbs from the centre of Jerusalem and others from the West Bank put in picture

Nation forming in Turkey


Identity politics

An article on archaeology and nationalism cannot fail to mention the unique role archaeology has played in the construction of Israel and Israeli national identity. Arguably archaeology has contributed more to this case of state formation than any other (Kohl, 1998, p137)

Conclusion
"societies in fact reconstruct their pasts rather than faithfully record them, and that they do so with the needs of contemporary culture clearly in mind manipulating the past in order to mold the present. (Kammen, 1991) Has the past of Jerusalem been invented or rediscovered? How much of it is socially constructed phenomena (Kohl, 1988), or manipulation for political gain?