Enlisted Archaeology

As an Israeli human rights professional who is also the holder of an MA in Hebrew Bible and a former guide at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, I found myself in a unique position in my approach to archaeology in the West Bank. In both Israeli (B'Tselem) and international (Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council) organizations I worked for, I was unique in promoting a nuanced approach that was willing to acknowledge the importance of findings from the West Bank to Jewish history; Whereas in my religious community, my objection to the exploitation of archaeology as a means to take over land, and to the twisting of the historical narrative for political purposes, was simply incomprehensible to many. In this talk I will share my approach to this dilemma. This talk is sponsored by the New Israel Fund of Canada.



Naama Baumgarten-Sharon