Prof. Rafi Greenberg, Leora Hemi, Prof. Ze’ev Herzog, Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen, Prof. Elchanan Reiner, Dr. Noa Rubin, Dr. Leah Shamir-Shinan, Dr. Nili Shehori, Giora Solar, Shira Wilkoff, Dr. Yuval Yekutieli
Jerusalem’s antiquities are an extremely valuable cultural asset of the city’s inhabitants, the country, and the world, but they are managed by Israeli authorities with no comprehensive plan and no declared, transparent, and valid guiding principles. This state of affairs, generated by political and other factors, is causing grave harm to archaeological remains, allowing presentation of them in a manner that is controversial in terms of both research and politics, permitting construction over them, and excluding them from public access and public discussion.
The interdisciplinary steering committee convened by Emek Shaveh: Archaeology in the Shadow of the Conflict aims to present an alternative to the existing situation. The committee’s members include archaeologists, conservators, urban planners, historians, geographers, researchers of tourism, and architects. They are formulating a professional policy document that will define principles for excavation, conservation, management, and presentation to the public of the archaeological sites in Jerusalem. The Manarat Center ascribes great importance to the very existence of a serious discussion like this one, because until now the professional bodies have not formulated a comprehensive plan for the city’s antiquities and there is almost no public discussion of the topic. Both the Israel Antiquities Authority and the planning bodies are aware of the need for such a plan, but for various reasons are unable to formulate one.
At the end of the process of discussion and thinking, the committee will present a policy paper at a conference in which international experts in archaeology and conservation of heritage sites will participate. In addition, Emek Shaveh will present the document to the various bodies and authorities involved in the management of archaeological sites in Jerusalem, with the aim of conducting a professional discussion with them and of promoting the implementation of its recommendations.