Monday, November 09, 2020

More on Khirbet Kafr Murr

SALVAGE ARCHAEOLOGY: Beit El settlement expansion threatens to bury Jewish Second Temple heritage. As apartment towers rise in West Bank town, remains of Jewish village conquered by Romans fight the elements — and population boom — for a chance at preservation in planned park (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
Despite the obvious investment taking place to document and preserve it, Khirbet Kafr Murr is not a classically “important” site: The archaeological surveys and excavations point to a small agricultural settlement spanning from the 8th century BCE to 749 CE. At its peak during the Jewish Revolt against the Romans, some 100 Jews would have taken a final stand here. Today, just one of the many towering apartment buildings encroaching upon the excavation site holds many more.

As with every salvage excavation, the question looms over how much will be done to preserve and present the findings for the public. And while concrete plans are discussed in the local regional council and COGAT to establish a modest archaeological park in the heart of the new neighborhood, other sections have already been documented, carefully covered, and are now buried under the cement foundations of the new apartment towers.

A long, informative article on an impressive off-the-main-road site.

I noted the discovery of Second Temple-era remains at Khirbet Kafr Murr (Khirbet Kafr Mer) back in 2006. For recent notice of that pottery found there in a cistern, see here.

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