“I’m only 83, why should I retire?”
Bernie Alpert – “I started digging in Tel Maresha around 34 years ago. Back then there was no national park here. The place was wide open and archeological findings were continuously being stolen.
“In 1981 my wife and I initiated the Archaeological Seminars Institute that combines tourism with a genuine archaeological digging experience.
“For those who wonder, it is nothing like the Sallah Shabbati movie’s famous forestation scene – there are approximately 5,000 caves in the Tel Maresha area and less than 10 percent of them have been excavated to date. So the tourists who come here are doing their job as true archaeologists and actually discover new and exciting findings every day. These valuable finds have included the world’s most ancient Ketubah as well as fragments of steel, which is the first found evidence of the Maccabean revolt. It is a never-ending dig as we also intentionally keep some of the caves unexcavated, leaving them for future generations to explore.
“People sometimes ask me about retirement. I’m only 83, why should I retire? Besides, the older an archaeologist gets, the more findings he excavates – so the better and smarter he becomes!