Biblical Archaeology Review 23:5, September/October 1997


Is It Still in Charge of Archaeology?

After years of animosity between ultrareligious Jews and the archaeological establishment, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), under the direction of Amir Drori, is taking an unprecedented stab at bridging the gap by allowing IAA-sanctioned religious observers to attend digs.

Fourteen supervisors from the Ministry of Religious Affairs have been granted observer status at the country’s rescue excavations—digs the IAA is mandated by law to conduct in areas where roads or other development is planned. The IAA will inform the ministry when it is about to begin an excavation, and the ministry may dispatch an observer to the dig and take any unearthed bones for religious reburial.

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