Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Petition Against City of David Excavations Rejected

From the Jerusalem Post:

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition submitted against the Israel Antiquities Authority by residents of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, concerning excavations being conducted at the City of David archeological park in the neighborhood's Wadi Hilweh section.

The petition, which was the second of its kind submitted by residents - and dismissed by the court - within the last week, alleged that the excavations were being done without the proper permits and were encroaching on the residents' private property. Residents also complained that the archeological projects had damaged their homes.

The IAA, however, claimed that the residents were being "incited by other figures whose considerations are political and improbable," and maintained that the excavations were of the utmost importance.

One of the excavations is being conducted next to the Givati parking lot, which is located south of the Old City's southern wall, at the entrance to Silwan. According to the IAA, numerous layers of antiquities have been revealed during the excavation, including a "very impressive" structure that was likely a public building dating back to the late Roman period.

Remains from the early Islamic period have also been uncovered, as well as remains from the Second Temple period. According to the IAA, "all of the remains were scientifically excavated, through meticulous work, while photographing and documenting everything."

The second excavation, which was the subject of the residents' most recent petition, exposed a drainage channel structure from the Second Temple period that extends over a distance of many dozens of meters. According to the IAA, "the structure is surprisingly well preserved, and one can walk through it upright, for most of its length. The excavators were aware of the structure's existence; nevertheless, the segment that was excavated was only recently exposed."

The full article is here.

HT: Joe Lauer

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