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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Missing Archway in Migdal Zedek

The Nature and Parks Authority of Israel is responsible for the upkeep of Migdal Zedek today. Earlier this year they published on their website an article about a missing archway. In the fortress there is an ornate entrance which is visibly missing some stones. It seems that this is a recent development, and as late as the 1970s these stones were still in place. Zvika Tzuk explains that the stones are of archaeological importance and they are trying to recover these stones.

Looting stones is one of the most common stories of ruins. On one hand, ruins have been erased in this manner. On the other, perhaps we should consider this a legitimate activity for ruins. We wrote in our Ruins Criteria that ruins should not suffer from human intervention. By this we mostly meant that attempts to rebuild or preserve ruins ruins the ruins. [not a typo!] But perhaps negative intervention is legitimate. Ruins have always undergone looting. This is part of what makes them ruins.

This is a delicate subject. On one hand, we would like everyone to be able to enjoy the lovely decorated archway. On the other hand, we want everyone to enjoy the lovely ruins. This is one of the many points where archaeology and ruin-ology do not jive.

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