Ha’aretz reports that the Dutch government has donated 300,000 euros (about $408,000) to the Palestinian Authority to finance the excavation and conservation of Tell Balata in Nablus. This is the biblical city of Shechem. The full account is here.
The site, according to the Ma’an report, is listed by UNESCO in the Inventory of Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites of Potential Outstanding Universal Value in Palestine, with experts estimating some of its towers and buildings from the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age dating back 5,000 years.The Netherlands’ representative to the PA, Jack Twiss Quarles van Ufford, said the initiate was meant to bolster PA Prime Minster Salam Fayyad’s plan to work toward a unilateral declaration of Palestinian by 2011.“The creation of institutions can only be sustainable if it goes hand in hand with the strengthening of the cultural identity of the Palestinian people,” Twiss told Ma’an, adding that “sites like Tell Balata are simply too important to be neglected.”
The photo shows the previously excavated ruins of Tell Balata (Shechem) in the valley below Mount Gerizim.
In the next post we will note the importance of Shechem in biblical history.
HT: Joseph I. Lauer
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