Thursday, September 03, 2020

Ultra-Orthodox protests over grave excavations

ARCHAEOLOGY AND THEOLOGICAL POLITICS: Ancient Graves Discovered Outside Jerusalem Spark Battle Over Roadworks. Ultra-Orthodox activists protest removal of skeletons, dismantling of 1,900-year-old graves – despite the fact they're probably not Jewish (Nir Hasson, Haaretz premium).
The discovery of ancient graves outside Jerusalem has led to a fight that threatens the construction of the new main road entrance to Jerusalem.

Archaeologists discovered the graves during an excavation ahead of the paving of a new route from Motza, a suburb north-west of Jerusalem, to the center of the city. They believe they were part of a Roman colonial settlement dating back 1,900 years. This would mean the graves did not belong to Jews, who did not live in this area after the destruction of the Second Temple.

A large Canaanite-era temple has also been excavated at Tel Motza (Tel Moza, Tel Moẓa, Tel Moẓah). For more Iron-Age discoveries there, see here and links. Motza may also be the site of New Testament-era Emmaus.

The article also reports that there has been recent protesting in Tel Aviv over ancient graves found during digging associated with the light rail.

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