Emek Shaveh is an organization of archaeologists and community activists focusing on the role of archaeology in Israeli society and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We view archaeology as a resource for building bridges and strengthening bonds between different peoples and cultures, and we see it as an important factor impacting the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our fundamental position is that an archaeological find should not and cannot be used to prove ownership by any one nation, ethnic group or religion over a given place. We believe that the archaeological find tells a complex story which is independent of religious dictates or traditional stories, and that listening to this story and bringing it to the wider public can enrich culture and promote values of tolerance and pluralism.
The cultural wealth of the archaeological sites is an integral part of the cultural assets of this country and is the joint property of all the communities, peoples and religious groups living here. Moreover the term “archaeological site” does not only refer to excavated layers of a site but also to its present day attributes – the people living in it or near it, their culture, their daily life and their needs.
We, the members of Emek-Shaveh, are dedicated to changing the view according to which the ruins of the past as tools in the service of a national struggle. We oppose attempts to use archaeological finds to legitimize acts that harm disadvantaged communities.
We support archaeological practices that benefit the general public as a whole. We promote efforts to include the local residents living in and around a site in archaeological activities such as joint excavations and developing the site. All this can bolster an environmental conscientiousness amongst the local residents, encourage social involvement and even generate a process of real social change.
Cost: Recommended contribution 50 NIS
Duration of Activity: 2 Hours
Community/Narrative: Israeli, Palestinian
``Emek Shaveh’s archaeological tour in the Village of Silwan and at City of David aims to expose the cultural wealth of the site and to describe the role of archaeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in the life fabric of the village. At the site, archaeological layers – from Jerusalem’s earliest existence and to this day – have come to light, and it constitutes a key focal point of political friction in East Jerusalem.
The Silwan/City of David tour is a walking tour, which includes visits to archaeological sites and through the streets of the Village of Silwan. It is guided by archaeologists and village residents.``