Management and Conservation Policies of Cultural Heritage in Jericho

Topics: West Bank, Israel, Archaeology Pages: 6 (2489 words) Published: January 12, 2013
Annali dell‟Università degli Studi di Ferrara Museologia Scientifica e Naturalistica

ISSN 1824-2707 volume speciale 2012

Management and conservation policies of cultural heritage in Jericho Ahmed Rjoob
Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Palestine ahmed.rjoob@student.unife.it

__________________________________________________________________________________ Abstract This paper presents the management and conservation policies of cultural heritage applied in Jericho since the British mandate time. It highlights the main jurisdiction, management and planning frameworks that have direct impacts on the conservation and safeguarding of its cultural significance. It also tries to show how various conservation and valorisation strategies cause irreversible damage to cultural heritage resources in Jericho. Keywords: Conservation, Management, Valorization, Cultural Heritage, Jericho. __________________________________________________________________________________ Cultural Heritage of Jericho Jericho is known as the oldest city in the World. It is located 10 kilometres northwest of the Dead Sea in the Jordan Rift Valley (Anfinset 2006,63). It lies 250 meters below the sea level, making it also the lowest city on earth (MoTA 2005, 12-13). Its diverse geological formation and unique tropical, sub-tropical climate zones, and perennial springs have made it an attractive place for settling down and practising new subsistence pattern based on the domestication of plants and animals since the 10th millennium B.C (Rast 1992, 55). In the 8th millennium, it became one of the main centres of the Neolithic revolution in the World (Stein 2003, 1). A bird‟s eye view on the rift valley shows Jericho as a unique green oasis in the Jordan Rift Valley. Its cultural landscape and sky horizon has been shaped by numerous natural and cultural heritage components since thousands of years, including natural cliffs, archaeological sites, traditional mud-brick houses, palaces, irrigation installation, pools, hedges and monasteries (Anfinset 2006,63). Management of cultural Heritage in Jericho Jericho has been the subject of archaeological investigations since the 19th century. In 1868 Captain Charles Warren dug some experimental shafts in nine archaeological sites looking for biblical Jericho (Kelso 1951, 34). On behalf of the German Oriental Society, Sellin and Watzinger conducted big scale excavations in Tell es-Sultan (1907-1911) and showed the great potential of the site. Between 1930s and 1950s, the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem conducted several important excavations under the direction of John Garstang and Kathleen M. Kenyon, revealing 23 phases of occupation in addition to the Neolithic town. From 1997-2010, several archaeological excavations were carried out in Tell es-Sultan and in other sites all over Jericho, such as Tell al-Mafjar, Khirbet alMafjar (Hisham‟s palace), Tawahin es-Sukkar, etc. (Taha 2010, 20). Among more than eighty archaeological places listed in Jericho, there are four managed sites and only two of which, Hisham‟s palace and Tell es-Sultan, are open to the public (DACH‟s Archive; Rjoob 2006, 146). During the British Mandate (1919-1948) and Jordanian rule (1948-1967), the Palestinian Department of Antiquities supervised the archaeological activities in Palestine. After the Israeli occupation in 1967, archaeological affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was transferred to Israeli Staff Officers for archaeology whom are part of the Israeli occupation authority (Greenberg & Keinan 2007,16). In early 1980s, the site of Tell esSultan was open to the public as a national park.

A.

Rjoob / Annali dell'Università di Ferrara, Mus. Sci. Nat. Volume speciale 2012

Since 1994, after the Palestinian Authority took over its responsibilities, the Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage (DACH), which is currently attached to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA), has managed part of the...

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