Bone Considerations: Archaeology, Heritage, and Ethics at Mamila, Jerusalem

Bibliographic Information

Article Title

Bone Considerations: Archaeology, Heritage, and Ethics at Mamila, Jerusalem

Journal Title

International Journal of Cultural Property

Author(s)

Gideon Sulimani, Raz Kletter

Month of Publication

August

Year of Publication

2017

Volume Number

24

Issue Number

3

Article Pages

321-350

Web Address (URL)

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-cultural-property/article/bone-considerations-archaeology-heritage-and-ethics-at-mamilla-jerusalem/D7C225315069A1BF2B1363ED747CDF7D

Additional Information

Available Through

Cambridge Core

Language

English

Notes

Mamilla cemetery was one of the largest and most important Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem. The plans to build a “Museum of Tolerance” in it led to heated protests and a prolonged legal procedure in Israel’s Supreme Court of Justice. In 2008, the court approved the plans and many hundreds of graves were exhumed. Through the available sources, including the court’s archival files, we discuss political, legal, and archaeological aspects of this case, focusing on ethics about cemeteries and descendant communities. The discussion shows that the Israel Antiquities Authority breached the court orders and that the treatment of the archaeological remains was biased. “Their” graves were destroyed, and the bones reburied in secret, while “our” remains in the same areas were carefully excavated and preserved. Tolerance to “our” heritage at the expense of “theirs” is intolerance.

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