Friday, August 07, 2009

Harold and the Purple Crayon in the West Bank

My boys  -- or maybe it was just me -- used to love a children's book dating from 1955 that consisted of few words -- just a purple crayon line drawn by a little boy Harold that would periodically explode into trees or planes or even more fantastical objects. 

 I was reminded of this book by the line that runs through all the ruins of Masada. What the line actually is, however, is a demarcation between what ruins were actually found and new reconstruction added. This was disturbing. I had been thinking the line marked what had been exposed versus what was dug up. But no. someone is reconstructing ruins.

How do you do this? If you are gonna reconstruct why not rebuild the whole structure? Or leave the ruins as you found them -- eg. Pompeii. Why reconstruct ruins that are bigger than the ruins you found?

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