Israel's Makor Rishon Hebrew daily reported at the weekend that a major biblical archeology find in the Judean hills south of Jerusalem is apparently being covered up by the government.
Last week, a member of the Kfar Etzion Field School in the Eztion Bloc of Jewish communities stumbled across an ancient ornate pillar as he descended into a cave in the Judean hills.
The pillar and its attached capital clearly belonged to a royal structure, and local archaeologists said it certainly dated back to the times of the Judean kings, if not David himself.
The undisturbed nature of the find suggested that a large part of the ancient palace was probably buried intact beneath where the pillar was found.
"We appear to have a complete castle here," Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rosental told the newspaper. "Those who lived here after it did not know of its existence and thus, instead of using its stones to build a new building as was the usual practice, left it intact."
But, when Rosental contacted Israel's Antiquities Authority, he was harshly rebuffed and told to "keep [his] mouth shut" about the find.
The Antiquities Authority later confirmed to Makor Rishon that the find exists, and had actually been first discovered last year, but that present political sensitivities prevent archaeologist from exploring the site at this time.
It was pointed out that the find is located in territory claimed by the Palestinian Authority. Uncovering a major and even unprecedented archaeological site that solidifies the ancient Jewish presence in and control of these lands could upset the peace process.
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