Eilat Mazar reflects on her discovery of a Jerusalem wall built by King Solomon
Jerusalem: Shoham Academic Research and Publication, 2011
174 pp., 213 illus., $39.95 (hardcover)
Most archaeologists can remember the specific moment when they fell in love with history and the process of archaeological discovery. Hebrew University archaeologist Eilat Mazar’s pivotal moment came very early in her career; she was a young girl when she accompanied her grandfather, famed Israeli archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, to his excavation near the Temple Mount. She later participated in excavations in the City of David and has, most recently, been credited with discovering a Jerusalem wall built by King Solomon. This wall from the time of King Solomon is considered to be one of her most notable achievements, though she has also made substantial headway in her excavation of the Ophel in Jerusalem, the area adjacent to the City of David where the wall was discovered.
In her new book Discovering the Solomonic Wall in Jerusalem, Mazar describes her discovery of the wall from the time of King Solomon, as well as a particular segment of her excavations at the Ophel in Jerusalem (the area located between the Temple Mount and the City of David). Written primarily for a popular audience, Mazar’s book details her early archaeological work in the City of David under Hebrew University Professor Yigal Shiloh, an excavation which marked the beginning of her professional involvement in Jerusalem archaeology. Professor Oded Borowski of Emory University, who reviewed the book for Biblical Archaeology Review, notes that Mazar also provides a thorough history of the excavations at the Ophel in Jerusalem, beginning with the work conducted by 19th-century British explorer Charles Warren. She then goes on to discuss the excavations conducted at the Ophel in Jerusalem during the 20th century by Dame Kathleen Kenyon, her grandfather Benjamin Mazar, as well as her own recent work.
According to Borowski, Mazar’s book also contains personal anecdotes, including reflections on her experiences in the field with her grandfather Benjamin Mazar, both at the Ophel and the City of David excavations. The book and its review have us looking forward to the next chapter in Eilat Mazar’s distinguished career.
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