The land of Israel is rich in history and material culture and has long been the location of extensive archaeological excavation. 'Just Past?' examines the origins of Israeli archaeology in the 1950s and 1960s. Drawing on previously unpublished documentary material, the study offers a history of intriguing finds, failures and dreams. 'Just Past?' covers a range of topics, from the 1948 war to the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums, issues of foreign aid, and the political circumstances behind the decision to start excavations at Masada. Highlighting the centrality of politics to archaeology in Israel/Palestine, 'Just Past?' presents an assessment of the origins of Israeli archaeology which will be invaluable to students and scholars of history and archaeology.
1: Introduction.; 2: In the Middle of an Excavation a Camouflaged Evacuation Post for the Wounded -- Archaeology and the 1948 War; 3: Abandoned Places, New Places; 4: Foreign Aid; 5: Frozen Funds; 6: A Battalion of Guards; 7: Relief Work; 8: Man Robs His Land: Agreement with General Dayan; 9: Gold of Ophir for Beth-Horon 3,000 Shekels; 10: A Tale of Two Houses; 11: From Council to Council; 12: "But Trust is to the Heart": Travels with the Government Tourist Corporation; 13: Whether in a Courtyard of a Synagogue, in a Courtyard adjacent to a Synagogue or under a Synagogue: The Safad Affair; 14: Policy of Salvage and Early Israeli Excavations; 15: Myths and Conclusions; Appendix: Some other Letters