Thursday, December 09, 2004

The past has been paved

As I feared, the impressive Hasmonean-era archeological site on the edge of modern Modi'in has been razed by Israel's Antiquities Authority to make way for a new luxury neighborhood.

All that remains is the mikveh. The massive adjacent olive press is gone, its millstone having been relocated to the Antiquities Authority's warehouse.

The bulldozers moved in on Chanukah eve and destroyed a site dating to the kingdom established by the Maccabees, adjacent to the modern city bearing the name of their hometown. I'm still stunned.

Local activists were working on getting a court order to stay the execution. This may have actually spurred the authorities to act quickly.

The nearby Chalcolithic site remains in place for now.

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