Biblical Archaeology Review 9:6, November/December 1983

Queries & Comments

BAR’s Proposal to Save Gezer Amusing If It Weren’t Presumptuous

To the Editor:

Had you consulted me before publishing “The Sad Case of Tell Gezer,” BAR 09:04, you would have learned several pertinent facts:

(1) The Gezer Staff had always hoped to reconstruct the site and open it for tourism, but we have been awaiting the building of a modern access road, only now nearing completion.

(2) Despite the obstacles, by 1970 we had already invested a year’s work and many thousands of dollars in the complete consolidation and reconstruction of the most visible monument, the famous Middle Bronze “High Place” (which you illustrate, apparently unaware of this fact). We had also consulted with the leading experts in Israel and in Europe on preservation of the mudbrick Middle Bronze gateway and the plastered portions of the Solomonic gateway, only to learn that there is no effective solution if they are to be left exposed to view, as we both desire.

(3) Finally, already a year ago President Alfred Gottschalk of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and I had submitted a several hundred thousand dollar proposal for the consolidation of the site and its opening for tourism as soon as conditions permit. We consider this our responsibility, and we intend to pursue it through the proper authorities, the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums.

Your implication that HUC-JIR and the Gezer Staff have been irresponsible, and that the BAR must now “save” Gezer, would be amusing if it were not so presumptuous.

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