“The Most Important Discovery was the People”: An Interview with Dr. Gabriel Barkay -- By: Gordon Franz

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 22:1 (Winter 2009)
Article: “The Most Important Discovery was the People”: An Interview with Dr. Gabriel Barkay
Author: Gordon Franz


“The Most Important Discovery was the People”:
An Interview with Dr. Gabriel Barkay

Gordon Franz

Stephanie Hernandez

Raised in the ghettos of Budapest, Hungary, Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkay has had an accomplished career in the archaeology of the Bible Lands. Barkay holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Hebrew University and a PhD from Tel Aviv University. His doctoral dissertation, completed in 1985, was on “Northern and Western Jerusalem at the End of the Iron Age.”

Gordon Franz: Thank you for doing this interview for us, Goby. In which schools have you taught?

Gabriel “Goby” Barkay: I taught for 27 years at Tel Aviv University in their Institute of Archaeology. Since 1997 I have taught at different schools, mainly Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University Rothberg School for Overseas Studies, and for more than 30 years I’ve been teaching at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies, better known today as the Jerusalem University College.

Gordon: Where have you excavated?

Goby: I started my excavations at Tel Arad in 1963. In 1964 I participated in a short excavation in Jerusalem on the road going up to Mount Zion, known as the Pope’s Road. In 1965 I participated in a dig as a student with Yigael Yadin at Megiddo. That same year I started for several seasons excavating in the Negev with Avraham Negev, including Beersheva and Tel Masos for eleven seasons. I also spent fifteen years at Lachish. Since the 1970s I concentrated my efforts on Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity. For seven seasons I directed the excavations at Ketef Hinnom below the St. Andrew’s Church of Scotland, as well as several burial caves in the Hinnom Valley. To the west of Jerusalem I dug one of the tumuli, and also spent a short season at Ramat Rachel. I dug for two seasons at Jezreel. I dug one season at Susa in Iran during the winter of 1969. In the last seven years I have been involved in a project in the Shephelah at Tel Zayit, digging with Professor Ron Tappy from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Gordon: How did you become involved in the Temple Mount Sifting Project?

Goby: A violation of the law took place on the Temple Mount when a gigantic mosque was built inside Solomon’s Stables in 1996. In 1999 there was a removal of an enormous quantity

Zachi Zweig

The Moslem authorities illegally removing dirt with heavy machinery from in front of “Solomon’s Stables” in order to construct an entrance for...

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