TOWARDS AN INVENTORY FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT IN ISRAEL
Keywords: Heritage Inventory, management, archaeological sites, GIS, conservation, significance assessment, risk assessment
Abstract. The vast amount of archaeological data and information that is systematically accumulated in the Israel Antiquities Authority database, has not yet been transformed into a tool for heritage management, i.e. accessible knowledge of the sites' cultural significance and risk assessment that is needed to support wise decision making regarding its future. As a response, a pilot project for developing an inventory for the archaeological heritage management was launched. A basic ESRI ArcGIS Online system was developed as a prototype, following the categories recommended in international standards for documentation. Five field surveys implementing the GIS system were conducted to examine different aspects and workflows: ancient synagogues in the Galilee, sites at risk, mosaics in Tel Shiqmona, the ancient settlement of Huqoq and sites included in The National Master Plan for Forests and Afforestation. The pilot project revealed the main gaps in knowledge and the critical faults in the working procedures. In spite of the systems' technological limitations, the results were convincing enough to promote a multidisciplinary discussion about the need for integration of significance and risk assessment in the working processes of the organization.