Sacred Geography, by Edward Fox

Archaeology in the Holy Land--until recently often called "biblical archaeology"--has been involved in the region's political struggles since the late 19th century. In the formative phases of exploration and discovery, the colonialist European powers and, later, America, in their quest to "prove the Bible," engaged in a form of cultural imperialism. Both used archaeology not only to impose the values of the Christian West upon the indigenous peoples of the region but also to dispossess them of their own past.


More recently, both ardent Israeli Zionists and reawakening Palestinian nationalists have gotten into the game, which revolves around the question "Who owns the past?"

 

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