By Eric M. Meyers and Christopher Rollston, ASOR Blog Guest Editors for March 2012
It has come to the attention of the ASOR Blog that a newspaper article about the so-called “Patio Tomb” in East Talpiyot was published in Hebrew in DAVAR on May 22, 1981 (this tomb has also been called “Talpiyot Tomb B”). The article was entitled, “Haredim Prevent Removal of Ossuaries from Ancient Tomb,” written by the late archaeologist and journalist, Zvi Ilan. Within the article, Ilan notes that religious extremists prevented the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in 1981 from excavating the tomb. Although Amos Kloner (the excavator for the IAA) wished to excavate the tomb, he was not permitted do to so, nor was he even permitted to remove artifacts from the tomb (although he managed to remove a small ossuary belonging to a child). In fact, he was forced to abandon his attempt to write a full scientific report. Kloner’s incomplete report is mentioned briefly in Tabor and Jacobovici’s book.