University of Southern California

CRCC Institute for Shared Heritage


The Israeli-Palestinian Archaeology Working Group (IPAWG)

A future State of Palestine will be located primarily within the biblical boundaries of the ancient states of Israel and Judea. Archaeological materials recovered there by Israelis since the 1967 war will be claimed by Palestinians through sovereignty and by Israelis as national heritage. For both sides archaeology is a highly-charged, symbolic manifestation of personal and national identity. Archaeology may jeopardize future peace agreements if not dealt with systematically and thoroughly.

Presently, no formal preparations are being made by either side to deal with this issue, so IPWAG is filling the void. It is vital to prepare for heritage division by creating reliable data resources that will enable negotiations to take place.

The Israeli-Palestinian Archaeology Working Group (IPAWG) is a group of Israeli and Palestinian archaeologists - both from academic and government entities - who recognize that conflicts and tensions related to archaeological heritage (ancient objects and places) pose a significant challenge to future peace negotiations.