Thirty-one pages is a slim product for five years of excavation—even if it is only a preliminary report. So it has been said of the text of Yigal Shiloh’s reporta on his excavations in the City of David, the oldest inhabited area of Jerusalem.
The criticism, however, is unjustified—not because there are also four pages of densely packed endnotes; not because there are also 34 pages of maps, plans and drawings; not because there are also 41 pages of plates, often with several pictures to a page; and not because the writing is remarkably clear and condensed (a tribute to translator Rafi Graiman as well as to author Shiloh). The criticism is unjustified because this volume provides a remarkable picture of the results of the excavation. True, all the evidence is not here. And professionals who want the proof for the conclusions will miss it. They will have to wait for the final report. But the results—in considerable detail—are here in drawings, pictures and words.