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Thirty-nine levels of history. I’m descending under the ancient City of David which is located outside the existing walls of Jerusalem on the south eastern corner. It’s the most active archaeological site in Israel and the most politicised.

Most Muslim and Palestinian history is visible above ground. To discover Jewish history, you need to go below. That certainly is the case in Jerusalem.

The funding for this excavation is by non-Israeli groups, mostly Christian. The evidence continues to deepen and strengthen the Biblical account and Jewish ownership. That’s why some Palestinian archaeologists have boycotted the site. As one political observer commented, “The site has become weaponised.” Another element in the never-ending struggle for ‘the land.’

Why am I wearing my Lawrence of Arabia cap underground? That’s another story I tell you later.

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