New Books

By: Hayah Katz

The Changing Landscape of Israeli Archaeology: Between Hegemony and Marginalization

The book reviews Israeli archaeology from the establishment of the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society in 1913 to the present day, taking historical, sociological, and political contexts into account. So far, most of the studies which have dealt with the development of Israeli archaeology have focused on issues related to the connection between the archaeological activities and Zionist nationalism. In contrast, only a small amount of research has been written about the attitude towards archaeology through the eyes of groups that were on the margins of Israeli society.

The book examines, for the first time, in a broader view, the status of archaeology in four groups: the secular Jewish community that was the main axis of Israeli archeological activity; the religious Zionist society; the Haredi community (including the ultra-Orthodox); and the Arab one. First, it analyzes the way in which internal forces in each group shaped the development of its archeological knowledge, and then it demonstrates how the interactions between the various groups influenced the development of Israeli archaeology as a whole. The last chapter deals with the status of women in Israeli archaeology. This topic, which has been studied from the 1980s onwards in reference to European and American archeology, has so far been ignored in the Israeli context.