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Do these photos tell us anything?

Ashkelon Tiberias

Ramat Rachel

Tel Hazor



No, of course not. Because in truly scientific archaeology, context matters. All the above photos were taken in legally controlled archaeological excavations in Israel, directed by high-profile, well trained, distinguished archaeologists. Controlled trial trenches, made by diggers, are executed under specific circumstances in excavations ranging in time between the Lower Paleolithic site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, through the Iron Age of Horvat Qeiyafa to the Early Islamic sites of Ramleh and Beth-Shean (and beyond). A picture alone will never tell us anything about the project, unless it is accompanied by the true archaeological context and decisions that led to this method. Context does not matter to dilettantes and amateur archaeologists practicing pseudo-science to promote their own agenda, greed and profit. It does not matter to the antiquities dealer who, for decades, made his living by selling looted archaeological finds that were torn away from their archaeological context, hence losing most if not all of their scientific significance forever. Context does not matter to the sensationalist journalist or tabloid filmmaker, who substitute the dust and sun or mud and rain and hard work of proper archaeological excavations, or tiresome and painstaking lab research, with peeping holes and robotic arms in search for the Holy Grail, the True Cross, David's sword or Solomon's crown. It is THEIR photos and so-called "documentary" films that tell us the truly sad story of archaeology in the Holy Land.