Archaeology Dig in Jerusalem Uncovers Route for Student Exploration

The archaeologists hard at work excavating ancient Jerusalem are focused on the land, or more precisely, what’s underneath it.

As the unearthing of pathways, walls, pottery, official clay seals and more continues under the watchful eyes of thousands of annual tourists, scholars are learning more about the spot where King David once reigned, now known as the City of David.

What these archaeologists are not consumed with, however, are the borders and politics of the modern land they’re digging beneath—East Jerusalem—mostly inhabited today by Palestinians. And yet their work makes life above ground more complicated, writes New York Times columnist Bari Weiss about a recent visit there.

The dig is an example of the kind of old meets new dynamic explored in the new Israel…It’s Complicated, which helps students in older elementary and middle school understand and navigate this complex terrain. Drawing from primary documents, real quotes from real people, and contemporary news articles, the course provides an overview of the Jewish historical connection to the land and a portrait of modern Israel. At the same time, Israel…It’s Complicated refuses to shy away from the nuance and complexities that Israel navigates, as highlighted by the article about the archaeology dig. 

 A chapter about Israel as a place of mixed cultures examines how modern and ancient coexist, and challenges students to discuss the benefits and challenges of sharing sacred spaces. The companion Teacher Resource Guide provides lesson plans and a robust curated collection of primary documents, charts, maps, and activities relevant to students lives to give them an understanding of the multifaceted place that is Israel today. Israel...It's Complicated is now available, and the Teacher Resource Guide will be available in early May.


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