Women throughout the world are uniting to celebrate International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8th. Originally established to promote equality, nowadays International Women’s Day recognizes and celebrates women’s achievements in social, political, technological, and economic advancement.
Among such advancements are the astonishing archaeological discoveries at the historic City of David, site of Biblical Jerusalem and the most excavated site in Israel. Usually, the laborious task of digging required to unearth the countless archaeological goodies is performed by strong, robust men. However, at the City of David, several women have proven their capabilities as they join the male-majority group aiding in the excavations.
The City of David excavation is among Israel’s most important, helping to establish a connection between ancient Jews and today’s Israelis. Ze’ev Orenstein, Director of International Affairs at the City of David, told Breaking Israel News, “The City of David is responsible for some of the most significant archeological discoveries attesting to the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem dating back thousands of years.”
When asked about her role as a female excavator at the archaeological excavations in the City of David, Ayala Diamant said, “People are constantly asking me if I really dig, and I tell them that anyone can do it – man or woman, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has their own capabilities and can find their place in this type of work.”
Echoing his support for female efforts in Biblical archaeology, Orenstein said, “The reality is that some of the most significant discoveries from Biblical Jerusalem in recent times have been made by [women].”
Orenstein referred to Dr. Eilat Mazar, a world-renowned archaeologist, responsible for several recent important discoveries. Among them, said Orenstein, is “the possible location of King David’s palace dating back to the 10th century BCE; two seals bearing the names of government ministers of King Tzedekia, who counseled to kill the Prophet Jeremiah right before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (586 BCE); and most recently, the royal seal of the Biblical King Hezekiah himself, in an excavation adjacent to the Temple Mount and the City of David.”
It is archaeologists like Diamant and Mazar, among countless others, who have proven time and again that the capabilities of women are unlimited – a proud message to carry as we celebrate the enduring strength and tenacity of women worldwide.