Sunday, June 27, 2010

Archeology in Israel

The performing space of the Bible was always an attraction for explorers, researchers and laymen in search of the past and from the early 20the century became the arena of intensive archeological activities by local archeologists and by members of foreign expeditions. Following the establishment of the nation-state in 1949, Israel developed a special “love affair” with archeology, and was used as a “tool” to return to the roots, and as a “means of acquaintance” to produce an attachment to the territory, and to learn more about the ancient land.

This impressive historical site in the Judean desert, Masada became a symbol for a heroic “last stand” for the State of Israel and played a major role for Israel in forging national identity. After its use as a national symbol faded, the meaning of “Masada” entered the political and semiotic “performance space”. The “masada-complex” became part of the vocabulary in political psychology – also in arguments with no direct connection to Israel.

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