Israeli Archeologists Cheat: “I Have Skeletons Lying In Buckets In My Office”


Haaretz reports in an article titled, “Israeli Archeologists Dodge the Law to Study Human Remains,” that many archeologists deliberately flout regulations requiring them to report the finding of remains to the Religious Ministry.

The regulations require that “In every case of finding bones suspected of being human bones it is necessary to summon to the site a representative of the Religious Affairs Ministry to bury them anew. An anthropologist summoned to the site is authorized to register the number of those buried, their age, gender, diseases and genetic and anthropological characteristics… There is an absolute prohibition on physical damage to human bones, including any kind of laboratory test.”

Archeologists may examine remains on site but cannot remove them somewhere else.

Many of them ignore the rules unless forcibly stopped by police or chareidi protesters. This is evident from many academic articles based on such illegal research.

“I have skeletons lying in buckets in my office,” an archaeologist admitted. “Before I retire I’ll find a way to return them. That’s how it is; people are working quietly.”

Foreign archeologists are even less concerned about observing the letter of the law. Many archeologists complain that the Israeli regulations hamper science by preventing the extraction of information from remains, by keeping academic teams away from cemeteries in the first place, and by causing neglect of the study of human remains.

{ Israel News Bureau}