Personal Account from Emek Tzurim- Page 2 | Elie Rosen | City Of David


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A collection of seals (bullae) from the late First Temple period, discovered in...

Personal Account from Emek Tzurim- Page 2 | Elie Rosen

When I ask Zweig, “What keeps you motivated?” in the face of a less than ideal excavation scenario, he shrugs. (Analyzing material away from their site is tantamount to archeological suicide). Giving up is simply not an option. The material is too fruitful and the site too historically important to lose heart. “Plus,” says Zweig, “every time we almost give up, we find something special.” In the past year, for example, significant discoveries have been made, including a bulla, or seal impression, thought to be used to close cloth sacks of silver. It bears the name of Gedalyahu Ben Immer Ha-Cohen, suggesting that the owner may have been a brother of Pashur Ben Immer, described in the Bible [Jeremiah 20:1] as a priest and temple official.[i]
Yet, even if nothing were to come from his excavation, Zweig would continue the painstaking process nonetheless. Archeology, for Zweig, is more than digging for old stuff. It heeds a higher calling of ensuring that history, a people’s history, is treated with the appropriate amount of dignity. “Dr. Barkay always says that [The dirt] doesn’t have the same value as a living person, but still when it’s dead you have to give it respect.” As a result, Barkay and Zweig’s Temple Mount salvation project ensures that the story of the Temple Mount, and by extension the Jewish people, is examined in an honorable fashion before finally ‘laying it to rest.’
After all the archeological dust settles, what will the excavation ultimately reveal? And what story will the artifacts tell? Zweig hesitates to even speculate. Yet Zweig, with the help of the Ir David Foundation, understands the larger effect of providing a thorough investigation into the history of the Temple Mount. “We have a potential to bring people to have more interest in the Bible, and other ancient Jewish sources.” This is ultimately part of Zweig’s aspirations: to create an excitement about Israeli history in a way that previous finds, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, did.
Zweig and his team want to make sure that they have a say in the writing of the history of the Temple Mount and prevent any more corruption at the hands of others. For without Zweig’s steadfast vigilance, significant parts of Jewish history would have never left the landfill.
 Elie Rosen, a Brown graduate, interned at the City of David during the summer of 2006. He is currently living in Jerusalem.

link to Hebrew Bible and ANE History Lists Commentary

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