Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) has launched a new Israel Archaeological Archive, to be accessible on the Internet in English, with a general explanation also available in Hebrew.
A Heritage Program jointly initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office and the IAA, the digital archive will feature tens of thousands of documents, photos, maps and plans from the period of British Mandate (1919-1948), ranging from Akko to Jerusalem.
“The archive is an invaluable project, a site that will consolidate some 30,000 Israeli antiquities web sites into one location for worldwide access,” explained Dr. Uzi Dahari, deputy director of the Antiquities Authority. “The scientific importance of the archive is invaluable; it is the only one of its kind in Israel and in the world. In Israel there are approximately 30,000 known and declared antiquities sites that constitute our heritage – the largest and most important asset of the State of Israel.”
Uploading the material to the site required special preparations, with the task of scanning entrusted to ImageStore Systems Ltd. “This is because the archival material is especially delicate and sensitive and cannot be scanned with industrial equipment, rather it can only be done individually and manually,” the IAA said in a statement.
“The information constitutes the principal foundation of archaeological research of the past one hundred years,” noted a spokesperson at the Heritage Program in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The project is funded under the PMO’s “Landmarks” heritage program. “We will make this extraordinary information accessible to the general public in Israel and abroad,” affirmed the IAA spokesperson.
The new archive may be accessed at www.iaa-archives.org.il.