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Stories about Tell Balata

The Oral History project, as part of the Tell Balata Archaeological Park project, published an arabic-english booklet of local stories about the site of Tell Balata. An archaeological site near Nablus (West Bank).

Gerrit van der Kooij
01 June 2012

'Stories about Tell Balata' is a selection of stories by local people of all generations living around the historical site of Tell Balata. It records their testimonies, personal feelings, emotions, and life experiences connected to this place. Together, they form a spontaneous collection of stories by men and woman, the elderly and the young, including the smallest of children who are still forming their feelings towards the site.

"The American excavations were like a celebration: for three months more than 200 villagers had a job."

Memories of the site

The history of the people of Balata is connected to the site. Some people were involved with the excavations of former archaeological expeditions. Their memories are still full of various stories about Tell Balata and the way in which its surroundings transformed over time.

"Once I found a piece of pottery with a figure of a woman feeding her son. It was beautiful [...] But I loved the work at the excavation. It is such an amazing feeling to find an artifact. It encourages you to dig harder and deeper, to find out what else is still covered in the soil."

The booklet

This sample of stories was collected by a joint Palenstinian-Dutch team, specialized in conducting oral histories.

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