(Haaretz) On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed the resolution to partition Palestine,and Eleazar Lipa Sukenik met with an antiquities dealer from Bethlehem and bought some rolled-up parchments and two clay pots that had been brought to the merchant by Bedouins. That night, as crowds gathered to celebrate the UN resolution, the professor opened the packages and began to read the ancient writing for the first time in 2,000 years.
Lipa Sukenik is the founding father of Israeli archaeology and the story of how he opened the scroll on the 29th of November has become its creation story. His son was the general Yigal Yadin, who turned archaeology into a national hobby – some would say obsession.
In countless archaeological digs throughout Israel since its establishment in 1948, exposing human history from the dim reaches of prehistory to the Ottoman era, from narrow exploratory ditches to mega-excavations of tells and whole ancient cities, millions of ancient artifacts and remains have been found that tell the stories of the people and the place.
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