Now, after years of legal and bureaucratic delays, the prison is to be relocated, freeing up the site for further exploration potentially as early as 2021.The prison is being moved because of new regulations to alleviate overcrowding, but the move is a bonus for archaeology. The move has been in the works for some time, but plans seem to be firming up. This is the first time I have heard that the site may be available for archaeology "as early as 2021."
The prospect already has archaeologists excitedly talking about an area they have started to call “Greater Megiddo”.
“When the Christian prayer hall was first found beneath the prison, we were all excited for one minute,” said Matthew Adams, director of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, who has spent years excavating at Megiddo.
“And then we realized, “Oh, it’s in a maximum security prison, so we’ll never actually be able to do anything with it.”
“Now that the government has decided to move this prison, we can explore this really amazing and interesting part of the development of early Christianity in a way that we didn’t think we’d be able to.”
For past posts on the archaeology of the Megiddo area, including the "God Jesus Christ" inscription and the remains of the Sixth Legion Roman camp ("Legio"), see here and here and follow the links
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