HISTORY STRIKES AGAIN

With over 15 years of experience of archaeological excavations in and around Ein Gedi, Dr. Gideon Hadas and his team have been able to connect to ancient and fascinating periods - Time Travel!


It is said that he who does not remember his past – has no future.  This is very much so regarding archaeological excavations.  Dr. Gideon Hadas (78), a member of Kibbutz Ein Gedi since 1962, has been carrying out excavations every winter in Ein Gedi for over 15 years.  Gideon, who describes himself as an avid history buff, established a delegation in 2002 under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  The work is conducted with the help of volunteers who, over the years have helped in the uncovering of Ein Gedi’s past - a village from the Second Temple period including houses and a village from the Byzantine period that was close to the Byzantine Synagogue that can be visited until today boasting a fabulous mosaic floor.

 

Among the findings discovered to date are the wooden anchors dating to the Roman period. The rare anchors were discovered on the shores of the Dead Sea during a coastal tour (December 2003-January 2004) and their weight is estimated to be about 500 pounds. Other anchors located at the entrance to Kibbutz Ein Gedi are also a rare discovery, as they are stone anchors from the second and third centuries BC. In recent years, such searches have focused on the village houses, including the unveiling of the nearby 'Halfi House', which was completely burned down in the middle of the 6th century AD. During the search, remains of plaster, fragments of Roman jars and asphalt crumbs characteristic of these ancient periods were discovered.

 

Remember, the archaeological excavations at Ein Gedi started somewhere in the 1960s. During these years, the synagogue was discovered and began to search for the village houses adjacent to it. Until 2002, the excavation area of ​​the Byzantine-period village houses led by Prof. Izhar Hirschfeld was enlarged, and from there Gideon undertook the challenging task, not before surveying the kibbutz's archaeological map, a Sisyphean fieldwork surveying it since the founding of the state.

 

"You can call it a hobby, as people do not make a living from excavations with us, but it is certainly a contagious bacterium that has been able to ‘knock down’ quite a few people, from Israel and abroad. The very idea of ​​joining together for a lofty cause in order to trace the remains of fascinating historical periods is something that manages to connect and unite people,'' says Gideon.

 

The latter adds to the process of digging which fills it with self-fulfillment: '' On a personal level it is unusual fun. This process is intriguing, challenging and brings me incredible personal satisfaction. What is beautiful about archeology in general is that what is true and valid today is not at all certain that it will be true tomorrow. It's just like opening a great puzzle. However, there is still a lot to do and look for. You could say we left a lot of corners and work for future generations too. The fact that people have been volunteering from 1996 and up to this day, every year, proves that Time Travel really exists.