Unique Archaeology Map of the West Bank and East Jerusalem

Suzanne Muchnic, of the Los Angeles Times, reports on a new online map that will be of interest to students of the archaeology of Palestine. Here is a portion of that report.

A searchable map detailing 40 years of Israeli archaeological work in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, developed for the USC Digital Library, has won the 2009 Open Archaeology Prize from the American Schools of Oriental Research.

Project leaders Lynn Swartz Dodd of USC and Rafi Greenberg of Tel Aviv University are expected to accept the award on behalf of an international team composed of Americans, Israelis and Palestinians.

The West Bank and East Jerusalem Digital Map

The digital map apparently won the approval of jurors because it offers a body of information previously unavailable to the public about sites surveyed or excavated since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

USC’s website is part of an effort to establish a framework for the disposition of the region’s cultural heritage in the event of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. Interactive satellite maps on the website show about 7,000 archaeological locales, including Shiloh, where the original tabernacle of the Hebrews is thought to have been located, and the Qumran caves, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found.

The public can access the West Bank and East Jerusalem Archaeology Database at http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/wbarc. Users must have Google Earth to get full use of the information.

Read the complete article in The Los Angeles Times. A UCLS news release may be read here.

This is a remarkable map. It includes only sites in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that have been surveyed or excavated. A search may be made by archaeological period, or by type: burial, cave, cistern, winepress, synagogue, mikveh, tell, etc.

I have added a link to this map on the Biblical Studies Info Page under Scholarly/Archaeology.

This video features Lynn Swartz Dodd and Ran Boytner discussing the importance of this project.

Earlier we reported here on the interactive map of the Dead Sea by A.D. Riddle and David Parker showing the history of change. We look forward to more material of this sort in the years to come as scholars make their information available to the wider public.

HT: Joseph Lauer.

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