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The visitor's guide is based on Emek Shaveh’s archeological tour in the village of Silwan and at the City of David national park. The tour, initiated in 2007, is led by Israeli archeologists in cooperation with Palestinian residents of Silwan. The guide focuses on the remains of past cultures found in the archeological site of ancient Jerusalem (City of David), while acknowledging the Palestinian village of Silwan in which the site is situated. It gives the visitor the tools for an independent appreciation of the variety of cultures and eras represented at the site, with an emphasis on everyday life.
The village of Silwan is adjacent to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Any action taken in an area of conflict affects and is affected by that conflict. Therefore, no archeological excavation, tourist trail, or even tour guide can be free of politics. This guide does not presume to ignore the political situation, nor does it claim to be objective. On the contrary, the goal of the guide is to arouse awareness of the reality in Silwan today, and of the role that archeology plays, both in the conflict and in the understanding of the past of the city.
The guide offers several stories and hypotheses about the history of the city and about the interpretation of its remains. We do not pretend to be exhaustive. Archaeological research is dynamic; new theories and hypotheses shed light on our understanding of the archeological remains. Even a casual visit to the site can inspire new interpretations of the past, sometimes of no less value than those offered by scholars.
The guide proposes a number of routes through the archeological site and the
village of Silwan: for example, you may choose to focus either on the village or
on the archeological park, or take a combined route that includes both the village
and the park. Whatever your choice may be, the visit to the site and to the village
is a personal one, and the guide is a tool that will help you create this personal
experience. It is our hope that you will share the personal experience and what is
written in this guide with those around you.
Download the Guide
The guide is available for free in PDF format. You can download a preview of the guide here (7 MB).
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