Conference: “Recalculating Route”: Navigating between Antiquities, Sanctity and Nationalism in Jerusalem

Thursday, 30 June 2016, 17:00-21:00

At The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Ancient sites in Jerusalem’s historic basin are in many cases also sacred sites and tourist attractions. These sites create a sphere in which scientific, social, religious, economic and nationalist agendas intersect. To date, the Israeli authorities have not presented a comprehensive plan for the excavation, conservation and development of archaeological sites in the historic basin. In the winter of 2015-2016, the organization Emek Shaveh brought together a group of experts from multiple fields, which met at Manarat: The Van Leer Center for Jewish-Arab Relations, and formulated a set of guidelines for the creation of such a plan.

In the first session of the convention, the expert committee will present the document, and representatives from state authorities will respond. The second session will focus on the relationship between archaeology, tourism, sanctity and community. The session will include findings from a survey examining Israeli and East Jerusalem residents’ opinions on archaeological and sacred sites in Jerusalem, a discussion of Israel’s legal system’s treatment of ancient and sacred sites, and a discussion of Palestinian access to heritage and touristic sites in the vicinity of their neighborhoods.

Download an invitation to the conference “Recalculating Route”: Navigating between Antiquities, Sanctity and Nationalism as PDF file

17:00-18:40    First Session:– Guidelines for Managing Excavations and for the Conservation and Development of Sites in Jerusalem’s Historic Basin

Chair: Prof. Rehav Rubin, Department of Geography, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Prof. Raphael Greenberg, Department of Archaeology and Ancient Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University

Presentation of the Guidelines for Creating a Comprehensive Plan for Jerusalem’s Antiquities


Yisrael Hasson, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Tamir Nir, Holder of the Site Conservation Portfolio at the Jerusalem Municipality, previously Jerusalem Deputy Mayor

Ilanit Malkior, Tourism Manager at the Jerusalem Development Authority

Prof. Lynn Dodd, Director of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program, University of Southern California


18:40-19:00    Coffee Break

19:00-20:30    Second Session: Jerusalem All-Inclusive – Sanctity, Tourism and the Residents

Chair: Dr. Yoni Mendel, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Yonathan Mizrachi, Archaeologist, Emek Shaveh

Presentation of Findings from a Survey on Israeli and East Jerusalem Residents’ Opinions Regarding Archaeological/Sacred Sites in Jerusalem’s Historic Basin

Husam Jubran, Tour Guide

National Identity Shapes Perceptions of Ancient Sites

Prof. Chaim Noy, Tourism Department, Ashkelon Academic College

“Oh, Holy Tourism”: Discussion, Practice and Underground Tourism in the Old City

Eitay Mack, Lawyer

Selectively Sacred in the Historic Basin: How the State of Israel Manages Sacred Sites and Appropriates Them in Favor of the Jewish Public


The conference will take place in Hebrew, with a simultaneous translation into English.

Admission is free.

The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, 43 Jabotinsky St., Jerusalem

Tel: 02-5605222,

Parking is not available at the Institute. (Metered parking is available on the neighboring streets.)

Photographs taken at the event will be posted on the VL Institute’s website and on Emek Shaveh’s website,

and on social networks.



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