The present excavators in ancient Jerusalem consider their work relevant to their own community, but not to that in whose back and front yards they are digging, i.e. the Palestinian inhabitants of the Old City and nearby villages. They prefer to see only a distant past, thus helping their political sponsors imagine an Arab-free Jerusalem. In such a setting, the very act of talking about the past has to be decolonized. If ethical practice demands that archaeologists enter into a meaningful dialogue with the local community, then we surely must avoid settler and government agendas and discourses like the plague, stop taking their money, and actively concern ourselves with the present and the contemporary past, i.e., the archaeology and ethnography of the inhabitants of the historical basin itself.
Read the rest of the paper by Raphael Greenberg who is Associate Professor in Archaeology University of Tel Aviv over at The Bible and Interpretation here.