A few years ago, the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem was renamed the Kenyon Institute, after the late Dame Kathleen Kenyon who is best known for her excavations in Jericho and Jerusalem. The school’s website states its purpose:
The Kenyon Institute is proud to present cutting-edge research in the humanities and social sciences in the form of lectures and seminars throughout the year. The Lecture Series is an opportunity for Visiting Research Fellows and other researchers, both on CBRL-funded and non-affiliated projects, to present preliminary results on their work in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
A look at their lecture series, however, shows that their involvement with politics has taken over from their stated objective:
Tuesday 3 May 2011, 5pm (World Press Freedom Day)
Journalism in the time of Revolution: How do journalists deal with the challenges of covering conflict and rapid political and social change?
Dr Ehab Bessaiso, Media Expert and Lecturer, Cardiff University (via Skype); Nick Pelham, Correspondent, The Economist; Nasser Atta, Journalist, ABC; Khalil Assali, Chairman, Jerusalem Press Club; Sa’id Ghazali, Blogger, hankashtika.blogspot.com
Tuesday 24 May 2011, 5pm
Democracy from below: Lessons from the revolutions
Dr Samir Awad, Professor of International Studies, Birzeit University; Omar Shweiki, Acting Director and Research Scholar, Kenyon Institute, Council for British Research in the Levant
Tuesday 31 May 2011
Rock-cut Tombs in Petra and Jerusalem: some similarities and differences
Dr Lucy Wadeson (CBRL Fellow and University of Oxford)
Stephen Rosenberg, who posted the Bible and Interpretation‘s “Archaeology in Israel Update – April 2011”, advises the following:
The lectures now current both fail to serve British scholarship or to serve the original purpose of the School, the promotion of archaeology in the region. We trust that the CBRL and the Amman School will take the appropriate action to correct the position.
The lecture on the rock-cut tombs in Petra, however, appears to deal with archaeological similarities and differences with tombs found in Jerusalem, but I fail to see what journalism and revolutions have to do with archaeology, as it appears to serve a particular political agenda.
There are some beautifully decorated rock-cut tombs in Jerusalem, which certainly have some similarities with those in Petra. We believe to have identified the Tomb of Annas the High Priest, an elaborately decorated tomb in the Hinnom Valley. Gustav Dalman, who, together with his son Olaf, investigated this tomb in 1925, called this tomb the most beautifully decorated rock-cut tomb between the Mediterranean and Petra: