Archaeology, Architecture and the Politics of Verticality

Weizman, Eyal. 2023. Archaeology, Architecture and the Politics of Verticality. In: Ian Parker, ed. For Palestine: Essays from the Tom Hurndall Memorial Lecture Group. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, pp. 123-142. ISBN 9781805110262 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The Israeli-Palestinian is defined by where and how one builds. This chapter explores the politics of verticality. The terrain dictates the nature, intensity and focal points of confrontation. On the other hand, the conflict manifests itself most clearly in the adaptation, construction and obliteration of landscape and built environment. Planning decisions are often made not according to criteria of economical sustainability, ecology or efficiency of services, but to serve strategic and national agendas. The West Bank is a landscape of extreme topographical variation, ranging from four hundred and forty metres below sea level at the shores of the Dead Sea, to about one thousand metres in the high summits of Samaria. Settlements occupy the high ground, while Palestinian villages occupy the fertile valley in between. This topographical difference defines the relationship between Jewish and Palestinian settlements in terms of strategy, economy and ecology. The politics of verticality is exemplified across the folded surface of the terrain–in which the mountainous region has influenced the forms the territorial conflict has produced.

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Book Section

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This lecture and chapter was extracted from Weizman, E., ‘The Politics of Verticality: The West Bank as an Architectural Construction’, Mute Magazine, 1 (2004), 27,

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures
Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


26 June 2023Published

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Date Deposited:

07 Nov 2023 10:34

Last Modified:

07 Nov 2023 10:39


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