Antiquities Authority begins excavations in Tel Hebron

Previous digs found walls from the eras of Noah, Abraham and Joshua.

January 9, 2014 01:24
1 minute read.
Tel Hebron

Archeological dig that began in Hebron this week.. (photo credit: Courtesy David Wilder)

The Antiquities Authority began an archeological excavation this week in Hebron, where Jewish residents hope to find remains from the era of King David, 3,000 years ago.

The NIS 7 million project that began on Sunday, in an area of the West Bank city under Israeli control, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, according to the Antiquities Authority.

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The project’s 0.6 hectares, known as Lots 52 and 53, are owned by Jews, the authority said. It added that Hebron’s Jewish community wants to eventually transform the site into an archeological park that can accommodate visitors.

The excavations are taking place in an area of the city known as Tel Rumeida, where Ruth is buried and where past finds revealed walls from the eras of Noah, Abraham and Joshua. There are also remains of a home from the First Temple period.

The authority said the site hosts remnants that date back to the Early and Middle Bronze Age and that it moves up through time to include the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, medieval and Ottoman periods.

The excavation that began on Sunday is the fourth dig in the Tel Rumeida area.

It follows work done in the 1960s, the 1980s and the late 1990s.

On Thursday Hebron’s Jewish Community spokesman David Wilder wrote of the project on his Facebook page: “Fifteen years ago archeologist Emanuel Eisenberg, from the Israeli Antiquities Authority, headed excavations that led to fascinating discoveries in Tel Hebron.

“This week he returned, together with Prof. Shlomo Ben-David from Ariel University, and renewed excavations on the tel. Hopes are high for more fascinating finds, going back to the days of King David and before.”

The Culture and Sports Ministry and the Civil Administration were also involved in the project.

Palestinians want the entire city of Hebron to be part of their future state. This week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Hebron, whose Jewish roots date back to the Bible, must be part Israel.

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