Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Digging the Bible
Herodion itself testifies to how archaeology and politics can mix in tragic and long-lasting ways. In 1982, David Rosenfeld, an American-born Israeli settler who ran the Herodion museum and tourist site, was murdered by two of his Palestinian employees. The day after his funeral, settlers from the nearby settlement of Tekoa set up a new outpost on the hill closest to Herodion. They called the outpost El-David, and it was an explicit "screw-you" to Palestinians. According to the town's Web site, the new settlement "was deemed an appropriate Jewish and Zionist response to Arab terror. Instead of panic and fear on the part of Jews, the Arabs got a new settlement and new settlers." Eventually, El-David grew into a permanent settlement. Today it has 150 families, including those of Gady, Aryeh, and Israel's most famous right-wing politician, Avigdor Lieberman. It is now called Nokdim. That name makes a conscious biblical claim on the land: The prophet Amos, who preached in this area, is said to have come from a place called Nokdim.

Not much archaeology in the article but interesting.

UPDATE: Also see here.