For the past several weeks, the Archaeological Authority, along with Ariel University, have been conducting digs in the Tel Hevron (Admot Yishai, also known as Tel Rumeida) area. The project is set to continue through the end of the year, with archaeologists excited at the possibility that significant finds will be unearthed.
Hevron community spokesperson Noam Arnon said that the dig was being conducted “in what is essence the ancient heart of Hevron, the Biblical city of Hevron. The site is next to the Jewish neighborhood of Admot Yishai, and next to the graves of Yishai and Ruth. It was an area that was populated by Jews for thousands of years.”
In work that began in the 1960s, several promising finds have already been unearthed, including a wall from a First Temple-era home, and artifacts dating back to the days of King David, who for a period ruled the country from Hevron. Other Second Temple-era artifacts have been found as well.
Hevron community leaders hope to establish a permanent archaeological park at the site, Arnon said.
The dig needs workers, and Arnon issued a call for young, able-bodied people to come out and help. “The pay is good, but it is very challenging work. The Archaeological Authority will be very happy to speak to candidates. We hope that Jews from around the country will come to uncover the Jewish past of Hevron,” he said.
The area of Admot Yishai is owned by Jews, but several Arab families have built homes on the land, said Arnon, expressing hope that the houses would not interfere with the project.
“The homes were built over archaeological finds,” he said. “I hope we will be able to reach all the necessary finds without a problem. This is an important opportunity to discover ancient Hevron, the city where Abraham and our other forefathers lived.”