American Archaeologist Returns from Palestine
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American Archaeologist Returns from Palestine

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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

A picture of the Palestine that flourished before the advent of the Israelites, and a contrasting view of the Palestine of today, have been brought back by Dr. Elihu Grant, professor of Biblical literature at Haverford College.

Dr. Grant was associate director of the archaeological expedition undertaken by the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif., at the site of ancient Mizpah, eight miles from Jerusalem, where the Prophet Samuel proclaimed Saul the first King of the Isrealites, Dr. William F. Bade, dean of the Pacific school was director of the expedition.

A large section of the old city wall was uncovered, together with many cisterns, wells, storehouses, dwellings and tombs, some of the latter going back to the Bronze Age, and revealing a high degree of civilization.

The cost of excavating has gone up, Dr. Grant discovered. Where native laborers formerly received 15 to 18 cents a day, they now receive 50 cents and upward. In addition to paying high wages, the modern archaeologist in Palestine finds himself also playing the role of benefactor to the native farmer on whose lands he is digging.

Beneath the rocky top soil that covers the site of some long-dead city, the archaeologist finds layer on layer of rich soil in which are hidden the pottery fragments and other remains from which he is able to reconstruct the life of another age. When careful sifting of this earth has given him all that he is seeking, he has it carried out and spread upon the land, filling up his deep excavations with rock and other surface debris.

As a result of this custom, Dr. Grant and his co-workers received a cordial invitation to return. They had given back to cultivation three acres of ground in a land where every inch of fertile soil is precious.

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