The author brings up some great points about the history of Judaism and Israel as seen through the anthropological and archaeological record. The history seen within many parts of Israel is closely intertwined with big archaeological finds associated with certain eras as discussed in the reading. I did not realize just how closely related more current areas of Israel is with the history associated with those areas.
One thing that did bug me about this reading was the digs made against Palestinian people, and how they aren’t as interested in their own past as the Jewish/Israelites. I guess to me not being crazy national about your past and country isn’t really the same thing as not being concerned about your past. One can be interested about history and the past without shouting it to the world all of the time.
How proud Israelite anthropologists and archaeologists are of their interwoven everything is was kind of odd to me. It seemed like all of their pride in their country came from the telling of their past and how they overcame instead of how their country was functioning in the present.
Mainly, the author made lots of great points about how religion is so closely related to the way they view different artifacts from the past, and how different eras of history are studied. In the now liberal and democratic state of Israel, monuments and such from minority religions are protected, but that makes it seem like those artifacts could have been destroyed before. Did they? I’m not sure if anyone really knows, but it seems to me that the nationalist pride of Judaism could have gotten in the way of science a few times. Also the practice of labeling items with religious group names instead of the eras they were associated with struck me as odd. Why mark things as Arab or Christian instead of marking them as from Early Islamic Empire or Roman Era? Seems like it is a way to remind people that there are distinct populations of people in Israel, and they will always be minorities in a Jewish state.