High Court to rule Tuesday on management of Tel Shiloh archaeological site

Emek Shaveh is demanding that the site of Tel Shiloh, where archaeologists believe a stone foundation for the Ark of the Covenant is located, be managed by the Civil Administration.

June 11, 2019 03:21
2 minute read.
THE ANCIENT settlement of Shiloh with vineyards in the distance.

THE ANCIENT settlement of Shiloh with vineyards 370. (photo credit: Batsheva Pomerantz)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The High Court on Tuesday will hear a petition by an Israeli NGO that claims to be working to defend cultural heritage rights in Israel and the West Bank to remove management of what is considered a biblical archaeological site from the hands of a private settler NGO and place it under the auspices of the Civil Administration.

Emek Shaveh is demanding that the site of Tel Shiloh, where archaeologists believe a stone foundation for the Ark of the Covenant is located, be managed by the Civil Administration.  The site is now contained within the boundaries of the West Bank community of Shiloh.
Emek Shaveh is working with Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights.

In recent years, Israeli authorities and community members have been investing considerable efforts to turn Tel Shiloh archaeological site into a major tourist attraction. Visitors can stand on the spot where it is believed the Ark once stood. The Ark itself was taken into the battle described in the Book of Samuel and captured by the Philistines.

In addition to the Ark, at the location one can see remains of Byzantine churches, as well as mosques that were built at the site during the Islamic period.

In 1996, the Civil Administration transferred the site to the management of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. In 2013, the regional council handed over management of the site to a private settlers’ NGO called the “Mishkan Shiloh” association. 

“The visitors’ experience in Tel Shiloh is primarily based on the biblical story and establishes without any archaeological evidence that the Tabernacle and ancient Jewish community were located here,” Emek Shaveh said in a release. 

The High Court of Justice will hear Emek Shaveh’s and Yesh Din’s petition against the transfer of authority for the site’s management to the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council and then to the Mishkan Shiloh Association.  

Last month, Emek Shaveh and Yesh Din presented a different but related case to the High Court asking that the State of Israel not conceal the names of archaeologists working in the West Bank, which would be in line with accepted academic standards in Israel and around the world whereby information about archaeological research and discoveries are transparent and accessible to the public. The names of the archaeologists are currently concealed for fear that they would be subject to an academic boycott.

The High Court ruled against Emek Shaveh and Yesh Din and in favor of continuing to conceal the names of the archeologists.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

June 19, 2019
When Palestinian Arabs and Jews fought the Nazis side by side


Cookie Settings