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  • Boundaries, Barriers, Walls

    Katharina Galor

    Chapter from the book: Galor, K. 2017. Finding Jerusalem: Archaeology between Science and Ideology.


    This chapter provides a description of Jerusalem’s physical landscape, summarizing the geological and topographic features of the Historic Basin, delineating the frequently changing city boundaries, barriers, and walls from the Bronze Age to the present. This chapter seeks to examine and better understand the physical realities of the present: how they reflect the past, and how these ancient material remains stimulate memory, conscious knowledge, and unconscious perception. The city’s barriers and walls, its natural as well as its built features, have defined physically and symbolically, spaces, buildings, and people. On the positive side, they have contributed to enclose, unite, and protect; on the negative, they have fostered isolation, segregation, and confrontation. To the explorer, these boundaries serve as important markers of time and space, at once concrete and scientifically established, yet flexible and elusive as they take on different roles in the many narratives which link the past to the present. In this study, they assist in framing Jerusalem’s history of archaeological investigation, as well as the city’s populated, settled, claimed, and contested lands.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Galor, K. 2017. Boundaries, Barriers, Walls. In: Galor, K, Finding Jerusalem. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.29.b

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    Published on March 24, 2017