The West Bank and East Jerusalem Searchable Map
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This collection includes lists of archaeological sites that have been surveyed or excavated since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. Since that time, the oversight of the antiquities of the area has devolved on two government bodies: the military administration's Staff Officer for Archaeology (SOA) in Judea and Samaria and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The IAA, which is responsible for East Jerusalem, is a civil branch of government and its records are open for inspection. Some of the records of the Staff Officer for Archaeology in Judea and Samaria are being accessed in full for the first time as a result of the joint Israeli-Palestinian Archaeology Working Group. This involved a team of Israeli and a team of Palestinian archaeologists and cultural heritage professionals working in concert to create new data resources that document the single, unitary archaeological landscape of the southern Levant, which is now bisected by the modern borders.
The Israeli-Palestinian Archaeology Working Group sponsored and partly funded a research effort by Rafi Greenberg (Tel Aviv) and Adi Keinan (University College London) in order to gather details about each site in the West Bank excavated or surveyed between 1967 (updated periodically). These data include the site name(s), location on a GIS grid, description of the site's major components (e.g. olive oil press; ritual bath; sheikh's tomb; church, synagogue, village); details about the periods when the site was occupied (e.g. Neolithic, Byzantine [Christian]; Iron Age II; Ottoman); and information about the excavators or surveyors who gathered data about the site; and relevant publications/bibliography. This collection page provides access to a database, which is a work in progress. We look forward to additions to this database file in the future as additional data are provided by Israelis, Palestinians and others.
The data contained in this database is also available in a visually searchable Google Map interface.
Generous donors provided funding for various stages of this project (in chronological order):
University of Southern California (USC) Center for Religion and Civic Culture, the United States Institute for Peace, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, The S. Daniel Abraham Centers for Middle East Peace & Economic Cooperation (Washington DC) and for International and Regional Studies (Tel Aviv), the USC Provost's Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Initiative, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies and several private donors, including Mary Louise Remy; Howard and Roberta Ahmanson; Jack and Peggy Bryant; Wally and Suzy Marks; Nancy Berman and Alan Bloch; and Luis Lainer.
Additionally, we would like to acknowledge the following people for their contributions to this project:
- For their assistance in obtaining basic published and archival information: Aryeh Rochman, Ruthy Shem-Tov, Michal Shmuel, Gideon Avni, Jon Seligman, Gideon Solimany and Yehuda Dagan of the IAA; Yitzhak Magen and Yoav Zionit of the SOA.
- For providing GIS layers and cartographic help: Hanita Cinamon, Dan Rothem (S. Daniel Abraham Center, Washington) and Adi Bin-Nun (Hebrew University).
- For legal help: Raz Ben-Dor of the Freedom of Information Movement.
This site received the 2009 ASOR Open Archaeology Prize. This award is sponsored by the Alexandria Archive Institute to highlight efforts within the archaeological community to provide public access to research content. The competition is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David Brown Book Company.