Monday, July 12, 2010

Making a home for archaeology

On June 30, quite by accident, I made an exciting archaeology discovery that made me very happy.

While walking over to the Israel Museum, I noticed this helium balloon floating with a camera suspended from it.

The cables tethering the balloon led to this construction site.

I hurried over to investigate and was overjoyed to discover that here will be built the NATIONAL CAMPUS FOR THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF ISRAEL!

The bulldozer in the photo was just beginning to scratch the surface.
So far, this group of huts and containers is all there is, as far as I know.
In the background you see the green oval of the Hebrew University stadium.

( This and the following two photos are courtesy of the image gallery at
But here is what it WILL look like maybe even next year already!

This is so cool!
The roof here in the scale model is meant to look like the black canopy netting under which we diggers excavate in the hot season.
But this one has a hole in the middle which will collect rain water and funnel in down into a pool, like a waterfall!
God bless architect Moshe Safdie and his great ideas!
Read his Design Concept for the campus here. You'll love it.
Also inspiring are the The Vision and the Mission Statement for the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel.
Here is part of The Vision:

"By creating the National Campus, nearly one million objects in the Archaeological National Collections [including 15,000 fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls], the National Archaeological Library and Archives, the National Archaeological Conservation and Restoration Laboratories, the housing facilities, the archaeological education centers and the headquarters of the Israel Antiquities Authority will be brought to a safe and permanent home, in Jerusalem's Museum Hill. . . . "
At present, all these treasures and resources and people are scattered all over Israel and mostly can't be seen. It is time they got a place all their own.
The treasures collectively represent the cultural heritage of the Land of Israel, and in a way the archaeological work conducted in our country is also universal in that it preserves the heritage of all mankind.
This good news is my contribution to That's My World Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

I liked the balloon in the first photo! :)

Anonymous said...

A promise in the making. Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday.

daily athens

VioletSky said...

For such an ancient city, there is a lot of innovative modern building happening!!

This looks very exciting.

Sara said...

That is very exciting. I love the canopy idea that drains into a pool below when it rains. Maybe one day you will be photographing that for us, on a rare rainy day in Jerusalem!

Pietro said...

It will be a great structure, very nice indeed! Let's hope the works will not last too much and for the next year it will be finished.

Cloudia said...


Aloha from Hawaii, friend :)

Comfort Spiral

spacedlaw said...

Lovely design!

VP said...

The camera hanging from a balloon is one of my favorite dreams. It looks like somebody is building some of yours... A great 'archeological' discovery!

Hilda said...

Oh wow, that is awesome news! I'm just as excited as you are, even if I doubt I will ever be able to visit. The design of the building is fantastic!

Luna Miranda said...

the model looks beautiful, and the roof is quite unique.

B SQUARED said...

This is such a great idea. Can't wait to see it completed.

Lesley said...

I notice that your labels for archaeology have, by far, the most posts, so I can see why you would be so excited by this discovery!

Good eye for noticing the camera on the blimp!

Hels said...

Dina, good to hear that you are getting a really splendid new institution, right next to the Uni and the Knesset.

What will happen to all the other archaeological collections in Israel? Will the Bible Lands Museum, Wohl Archaeology Museum, Tower of David, First Temple Period Museum, Rockefeller Archaeological Museum etc go in with the new National Campus, once it is up and running?

Dina said...

Shalom friends and thank you all for sharing the excitement!

VP, speaking of dreams, well, yes, when I saw the site I started dreaming of working there someday (if/when I get too old to dig).

Hels, no no, the places you mention are private museums. This new campus will be for the "national," i.e. State of Israel discoveries dug up by the state's Israel Antiquities Authority (Reshut HaAtikot).

Louis la Vache said...

This news is as exciting to your readers as it is to you, Dina!

JM said...

I can easily imagine how excited you were with your new find! How nice, Dina!

noel said...


i loved your story and tour, thanks for showing this to us today, what a great thing you will have in the near future, congratulations

Arija said...

Dina, how utterly wonderful and such a fitting design. You Israelis don't do things by halves, even the slopes in the model are carefully contoured to better absorb any rain and stop them eroding away. I hope it lives up to and exceeds your expectations.

Rob and Mandy said...

What a fantastic idea! Yes, bring it all together!

Kay said...

Wow! That is darn awesome! You have the most amazing places in Israel and I love how you're capturing them and showing it to the rest of us.