Emek Shaveh is now offering its well-known tours of the Old City Basin in Jerusalem in an online format.

The first tour will take place on 6th of October at 16:00 Israel time.

Emek Shaveh’s tours focus on the place of archaeology and heritage in the context of the geopolitical realities and the impact of tourism development policies on the residents living in or near the archaeological sites. These online events will feature a pre-recorded tour framed by a live introduction, explanations and a question-and-answer session. Each event will last between an hour to an hour and a half.

Pre-registration is required for participation in the tours following which you will receive a zoom link to the event.

Silwan/The City of David: Tuesday, October 6, 16:00.

This is an archaeological-political tour of one of the most popular archaeological sites in Israel and the heart of the political conflict between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

We will visit the ancient remains of the City of David National Park and try to understand what the finds can tell us about the history of Jerusalem. We will discuss the debate amongst archaeologists regarding the significance of the finds, the manner in which the site is presented to the public and its impact on public perceptions of the site’s history and heritage.

The tour will then take you into the residential areas of Silwan to become acquainted with the tensions between Palestinians and settlers in the neighborhood.  We will consider the question of why such an important national park is operated by a settlers’ organization and what the State of Israel is looking for under and the homes of the residents.



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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review