To encourage the preservation and restoration of Tell Gezer, the Biblical Archaeology Society, publisher of the Biblical Archaeology Review, has placed $5,000 in The Gezer Preservation Fund (account 249–142-7 at the National Permanent Federal Savings and Loan Association, Washington, D.C.). This money, plus interest, will be paid to the group or institution that undertakes the preservation and restoration of Tell Gezer. The money will remain in the account for three years, after which time it will no longer be available for this purpose.

We hope that others will add to this seed money fund. We appeal especially to the many American graduates of the Gezer excavation: Help get the ball rolling.

The preservation and restoration of Tell Gezer is a major undertaking. It will cost several hundred thousand dollars. But we believe that in the end a modest charge to tourists for viewing the excavation will repay the funds necessary to undertake the work. And in any event, the job must be done.

Those who love the Bible, Gezer graduates, and many others have a special interest in and responsibility for Tell Gezer. The Gezer excavations were a major project of Hebrew Union College for ten years. They were also sponsored by the Harvard Semitic Museum. The American Schools of Oriental Research was an active backer of the project, indirectly if not directly. The United States Government provided most of the funds to excavate—and expose to the elements—the deteriorating remains. Perhaps the U.S. Government could assume some of the responsibility for finishing the job, by means of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. The Israeli Antiquities Department and the Israeli National Parks Authority might each be willing to lend assistance.

Perhaps such a diffusion of responsibility would make the task more difficult rather than easier. Clearly, some self-starters are needed. If our readers have any ideas or suggestions, we would be glad to hear from you.

The Gezer project was initiated by two archaeological giants—George Ernest Wright of Harvard University and Nelson Glueck of the Hebrew Union College. Both men, unfortunately, are now dead. But they left thousands of friends, students and devotees who cherish their memory. They would not have left this work unfinished. In honor of their memory, we cannot either.

One further point: So far as we are aware, no popular book has been planned to tell the story of the Gezer excavation. It could be an archaeological best seller. Wright wrote a popular book on the excavation at Shechem; Glueck, on his archaeological surveys. Kenyon wrote two popular books on Jerusalem and another on Jericho. Yadin wrote on Masada and Hazor. Pritchard wrote one on Gibeon. Why not on Gezer?

We realize that scholars have a primary responsibility to scholarship. And we know that the Gezer team is hard at work preparing its multi-volumed technical report. Three volumes are in final preparation for publication and will probably be in print in 1984. The team expects to publish two more volumes by 1985. However, the interest of the lay public should not be forgotten, so we hope that the scholars will try to include a book for the layperson in their plans.