Skip to comments.Stuck between Israel and PA, key archaeological site neglected [Sebastia]
Posted on 07/28/2013 10:31:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Ancient Israelite capital Sebastia, site of important Roman and Crusader ruins, lies unprotected because of security situation.
The ancient town of Sebastia is one of the major archaeological sites of the Holy Land, with its overlapping layers of history dating back nearly 3,000 years. But today the hilltop capital of biblical kings, later ruled by Roman conquerors, Crusaders and Ottomans, is marred with weeds, graffiti and garbage.
Caught between conflicting Israeli and Palestinian jurisdictions, the site has been largely neglected by both sides for the past two decades. Beyond the decay, unauthorized diggers and thieves have taken advantage of the lack of oversight to make off with priceless artifacts...
It served as the capital of the biblical Kingdom of Israel under the name of Samaria in the 8th and 9th centuries B.C. Alexander the great, King Herod and Medieval Islamic rulers have all left their marks. According to tradition, the town is also the burial place of John the Baptist, revered by both Christians and Muslims.
The remains extend from the present-day Palestinian village of Sebastia and up a nearby hill to the site of the ancient capital of Samaria at the top -- around a square kilometer that includes a Crusader cathedral, an ancient Roman city boasting a forum, a colonnaded street and a temple to Augustus, and the remains of the palace of Omri, the 9th century ruler of the Kingdom of Israel.
Therein lies the problem: Most of the ruins lie in areas under full Israeli control, with some in areas under Palestinian civilian control but shared security responsibilities under the 1990s peace deals that divvied up the West Bank into zones of authority.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesofisrael.com ...
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
I have a son, Sebastian, named after the place.
Sure hope he grows up to be a good Samaritan...
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