“As much as he hated the travel—he loved the writing—the virtuous delights of organizing a disorganized country, stripping away the inessential and the second-rate, classifying all that remained in neat, terse paragraphs.”—Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist1
Ronny Reich, who together with his partner, Eli Shukron, codirected excavations in the City of David for 15 years, may best be described as the accidental author of this book dedicated to Yigal Shiloh’s memory. From 1978 to 1985 Shiloh directed large-scale excavations in the City of David aimed at establishing an archaeological park. Reich’s and Shukron’s excavations were necessitated by renewed efforts to achieve that goal. Philanthropist Mendel Kaplan, who funded not only Shiloh’s excavations but also this book, explains in the foreword that:
Yigal Shiloh died in November 1987 at the age of 50. We knew each other for ten years and had reached an understanding that together we would publish a popular book on the City of David archaeological dig. Ronny Reich’s agreement to write this book, which includes a summary of Yigal’s finds, is meant both as a tribute to Yigal and an attempt to make good on that original understanding.