Emek Shaveh’s archaeological tour in the Village of Silwan and at City of David aims to expose the cultural wealth of the site and to describe the role of archaeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in the life fabric of the village. At the site, archaeological layers – from Jerusalem’s earliest existence and to this day – have come to light, and it constitutes a key focal point of political friction in East Jerusalem.

The Silwan/City of David tour is a walking tour, which includes visits to archaeological sites and through the streets of the Village of Silwan.

The recommended minimum donation to help cover costs is NIS 50.

The tour is approximately two hours long, and is suitable for age 18 and up. Please bring a sun hat, water, and walking shoes.

Meeting point: In front of the entrance to the “City of David” archaeological park in Silwan.

Your guide will be Alon Arad (contact at: 054-6363013 or alon@emekshaveh.org)

Start location: In front of the “City of David”  Visitors Center in Silwan.
Nearby parking areas: Zion Gate parking lot (a close walk to the Visitors Center).
Mamila parking lot (a close walk to Jaffa Gate, and from there, through the Old City; about 15 minutes total).
Included
Guiding, maps, walking trail.
Not included
transportation
, entrance fee to sites (we will not enter sites that charge a fee)
Arriving by private vehicle:

In Jerusalem: From Hebron Road

Go north on Hebron Road towards the Jerusalem Cinematheque. After passing the Cinamatheque on your right, continue until the traffic light, where you will see a sign to the “City of David.” Go right at the traffic light, and immediately right again. You will descend a narrow road that leads to the valley. At the bottom, turn left. Continue along Maalot Ir David Street until it ends (mostly a sharp incline). At the end of the road, you’ll see the “City of David” Visitors Center on your right. Park along the road, or at the Mt. Zion parking lot (see above), which will be on your left.

In Jerusalem: From Bar-Lev road

Take Road 1 (Bar-Lev Road) south towards the Old City; go left at Sultan Suleiman Street (the turn is directly across from the Old City Walls). Continue straight along the walls (they will be on your right), and when they end, go right again along Jericho road. Go right at the first light to Ha-Ofel Road; at the top of the street on the right, you will see the Dung Gate. Park along the road, or at the Zion Gate parking lot (see above).

From outside Jerusalem

 At the entrance to the city, continue straight to Sderot Shazar. Bear right at Sderot Ben Zvi; after passing through the traffic light, get in the left lane. At the light immediately after Gan Sacher, turn left to Ramban Street. Continue with the street, and take an immediate left at the “no entry” sign to Ben-Maimon Street. Go straight to Paris Circle (Kikar Pariz).  At the large intersection, turn right onto Keren Ha-Yesod Street; continue down the hill until you see a gas station on the right. Continue straight through the light to David Remez Street. Follow the road around, past the Khan Theater (on your left) and the Old Train Station (on your right), until the next light, which is Hebron Road. Go left on Hebron Road. After the Cinamtheque (on your right), continue straight until the traffic light, where you will see a sign to the “City of David.” Go right at the traffic light, and immediately right again. You will descend a narrow road that leads to the valley. At the bottom, turn left. Continue along Maalot Ir David Street until it ends (mostly a sharp incline). At the end of the road, you’ll see the “City of David” Visitors Center on your right. Park along the road, or at the Mt. Zion parking lot (see above), which will be on your left.

Using public transportation:

Take any bus that goes to the Western Wall and the Dung Gate: 38,1,2 or 3.

From the Central Bus Station the 1 and 3 buses depart from Binyanei Ha-Uma (across from the bus station) to these destinations.

The number 2 bus departs from the Har Nof neighborhood.

The 38 bus also reaches the Western Wall.

 

1

The City of David Visitors Center

Here we will meet the tour guide, look at the site and its features, hear about the establishment of the ”City of David” Visitors Center in the early 2000s, and learn about the effects of establishing an archaeological tourist site on the surrounding area.
2

Observation point

Walking up to an observation point we will become acquainted with the surroundings: the village of Silwan, the Kidron Valley, the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif, and more. Here we will discuss the boundaries of Jerusalem throughout its various historical periods as well as the history of archaeological research of ancient Jerusalem. We will touch on the importance of Silwan / City of David in the struggle for identity and sovereignty over Jerusalem.
3

The archaeological excavation known as ''King David's Palace'' located below the visitors center

In this stop we will review the archaeological excavations conducted here and provide a description of the most prominent finds that were exposed. This will be followed be a discussion of the various interpretations presented by the excavators and researchers about the finds revealed here, and of the gaps between the finds and the narrative told to visitors at the site. Finally, we address the political impact of the ancient story on the present, and the importance of archaeology in shaping identity.
4

Area G excavations

The major remains that were discovered here during the various periods are presented in the excavation area known as the Government Compound. Through them we will try to get to know the city and its inhabitants during the time of the Kingdom of Judah. We will discuss the question of what can and cannot be learned about the past from archaeology in addition to current issues: who are the El’ad Foundation and the Nature and Parks Authority that manage the site?
5

Wadi Hilweh Street

We will leave the ”City of David” via the main street of the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan, look at the characteristics of daily life in the neighborhood, and learn about the changes that have taken place in the wake of the settlers’ entry. We will discuss the possibility of engaging and presenting archaeology in charged sites such as Silwan, how ancient relics can promote understanding between conflicting parties, and how communities can be integrated into managing sites located in their area.
6

The ''Givati Parking Lot'' archaeological excavation area

We will review the important finds that were discovered in this excavation and discuss the previous uses of this formerly open area. We will also deal with the Kedem Center, a tourism shopping mall that is about to be built on top of the excavation, and discuss the connections between residents’ needs, archaeology, narrative, and the political struggle over Jerusalem.

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