Showing posts with label Israel Antiquities Authority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel Antiquities Authority. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Remains of 2000-Year-Old Jewish Town Found Under Arab Neighborhood - David Lazarus Israel Today

Remains of 2000-Year-Old Jewish Town Found Under Arab Neighborhood

Thursday, March 28, 2019 |  David Lazarus  Israel Today
Impressive remains of a large Jewish village from the Hasmonean period have been discovered during an excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Sharafat neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The excavation reveals a town from between 40 and 116 BCE, the period in which the famous "Maccabee" family defeated the Greek conquerors and reestablished Jewish rule over the Land. The Hasmonaean/Maccabee dynasty eventually expanded into the regions of Samaria and the Galilee, reaching as far north as Lebanon and Syria, and south covering the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and Idumea (Moab) in southern Jordan. Modern scholars refer to this period as an independent kingdom of Israel. The Hasmonean dynasty survived for 103 years before yielding to the half-Jewish Herod the Great (an Idumean) as king in 37 BCE. Herod made Judea a Roman client state and ordered the killing of all male Jewish infants when he heard that “the King of Jews was born in Bethlehem.”
The Maccabee town on the east side of Jerusalem and not far from Bethlehem has so far yielded remains of a large wine press containing fragments of many storage jars and one of the largest mikvahs, or ritual baths, ever found in Israel. Early Jewish followers of Jesus were known to use these miqvehs for ritual baptisms. An impressive olive press, a water cistern, rock quarries and other constructions revealing a large, industrious Maccabean village have also been found.
A significant find in the town is the unusual and extravagant burial site which includes an entrance hallway leading into a large courtyard carved into the bedrock. The courtyard includes a stone bench along the entire circumference and a cave with numerous chambers chiseled into the walls that served as tombs. The burial cave was sealed in accordance with the orthodox restrictions against disturbing the dead.
Ya'akov Billig, director of the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, stated: “It seems that this burial estate served a wealthy or prominent family during the Hasmonean period. The estate was in use for a few generations as was common in that era.”
Large elaborate building stones common during the Second Temple period were also found at the burial estate, including a Doric heart-shaped pillar capital. This as well as few cornice fragments found were used at the time as decorative stone and marble work on important buildings. Such quality craftsmanship of architectural elements is very rare. These types of ornamental burial sites have been uncovered in Jerusalem’s Kidron Valley, where a priestly family called Benei Hazir are buried, as well as at several tombs in Jerusalem’s Sanhedriah neighborhood where members of the ancient Sanhedrim were interred.
A large columbarium cave, a rock-cut dovecote or structure to house pigeons or doves, was also discovered at the site. Doves were an important commodity during biblical times providing for the prescribed sacrificial offerings at the temple. They were also bred for their meat and eggs. Columbarium caves designed for breeding the doves are a known feature in the Jerusalem area.
Only a small section of the Hasmonaean village has so far been excavated. Even these limited finds indicate an important agricultural town during the days leading up to the coming of Jesus the Messiah that produced wine and olive oil, as well breeding doves for priests and local residents to bring up to the Temple for sacrifice.
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Friday, December 1, 2017

Drone Flight Reveals 2,200 Year Old Idumean Structure in Central Israel - CBN News

Aerial View of 2,200-Year-Old Idumean Structure, Photo, IAA
Aerial View of 2,200-Year-Old Idumean Structure, Photo, IAA
Drone Flight Reveals 2,200 Year Old Idumean Structure in Central Israel
CBN News 12-01-2017
JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli archaeology's newest tool, the drone, revealed an intriguing find during a pass over the Lachish region during the recent Sukkot holiday.
The compact aircraft discovered what excavation directors – Dr. Oren Gutfeld of the Hebrew University, and Pablo Betzer and Michal Haber of the Israel Antiquities Authority – called "a rare and exciting find."
The structure, in what was the town of Horvat Amuda, is one of only a handful of its kind in Israel.  Archaeologists said that it is most likely a 2,200-year-old Idumean palace or temple, the IAA said in a press release.

Two stone incense altars were discovered at the site. One of them bore the engraved image of a bull standing in what appears to be a columned temple.  According to the archaeologists, the bull was one of the deities worshipped by the Idumeans.
In addition to the altar, archaeologists also uncovered fragile pottery vessels, including painted bowls, juglets and oil lamps.
In the Hellenistic period, Horvat Amuda was one of the agricultural resource villages for the neighboring Idumean capital of Maresha. The Idumeans, originally a Semitic people hailing from what is now southern Jordan, settled in the Judean hills and created Maresha as a center for their religion and commerce.
Archaeologists believe the structure was intentionally dismantled around 112 BCE when Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus I sacked Maresha. The residents later converted to Judaism and assimilated into the Judean population. (The most famous Idumean is probably King Herod from the Bible.)
Also discovered at the site were numerous underground passages cut by residents of nearby Beit Guvrin for escaping from the Romans during the time of the second Jewish Revolts in 132–135 CE.
The dig is sponsored by the IAA and Beit Lehi, a U.S.-based Mormon non-profit organization, which sponsors excavations in the Land of Israel. Archaeology students from the Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University and a group of U.S. volunteers helped in the excavations the Times of Israel reported. 

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What Was Daily Life Like for Jesus? Archaeologists are Now Painting a Much Clearer Picture - CBN News

What Was Daily Life Like for Jesus? Archaeologists are Now Painting a Much Clearer Picture
CBN News 03-20-2017

The head of the The Israel Antiquities Authority’s archaeological division said over the weekend that the agency has made a “great leap” over the past two decades in understanding how Jesus and his contemporaries lived.
“Nowadays we can restore in a very clear way the daily life during that period, from the moment of birth, through the person’s life, his dining customs, where he traveled across the land, and until his day of death including his burial,” Gideon Avni told AFP. “Over the past 20 years we have made a great leap in understanding the way of life of Jesus and his contemporaries.”
Israel happens to be one of the most archaeologically active nations on planet Earth, according to the Associated Press, with experts from all over the world heading to the Middle Eastern country to try and find treasures of old — and considering the impact of both Jesus and the Bible on history and society, that quest is more than understandable.
And as time forges on, the discovers just keep on coming. Avni said that unearthed findings unfold on a weekly basis, shedding new light on what life was like during Jesus’ time, with Avni’s comments coming as The Israel Antiquities Authority offered up on Sunday a rare look into the collections it houses in its 54,000-square foot warehouse.
The items — among the more than one million currently in the hands of the agency — included cooking utensils, a wine press, nails from crucifixions, jewelry, vases and other findings, AFP reported.
Avni said it is essential for The Israel Antiquities Authority to understand what life was like in Jesus’ era “from birth to death,” noting that, in addition to the more than one million items, the agency receives 40,000 new find every year from a total of 300 dig sites.
While no direct items have been found attributed to Jesus himself, historians have been able to explore the distance of travel between villages where Christ preached, and have also discerned what those locations looked like, the AP reported.
As for the lack of direct archeology linking Jesus to the region, Avni said this shouldn’t cause alarm. First and foremost the vast majority of historians have no doubt about Christ’s existence. Furthermore, Avni noted that Jesus was one among many people living in that region, making tracing items back to him quite tough.
“You have to remember that Christ was one among more than a million people living during this time in the Holy Land,” he told the AP.
As Faithwire has reported, there’s no shortage of interest in Jesus life, with CNN currently airing season two of its show “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery.” It’s a series that explores Christian artifacts, biblical figures and the locations associated with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
There has also been quite a bit of excitement over research surrounding what some believe was Jesus’ burial site. You can read about some of the other archaeological discoveries here.
(H/T: AFP)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mysterious, Ancient Stone Monument Unearthed in Galilee - Andrew Friedman BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS

Mysterious, Ancient Stone Monument Unearthed in Galilee [PHOTOS]

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and will tell thee great things, and hidden, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3 (The Israel Bible™)
Archaeologists from Tel Hai College, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced the discovery of a 4,000-year-old dolmen, a large table-like stone structure, near Kibbutz Shamir in the Upper Galilee. The dolmen is marked by its huge dimensions and the artistic decorations engraved in its ceiling.
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the dolmen was discovered inside a large chamber measuring 2 by 3 meters, and was covered by an enormous stone estimated to weigh at least 50 tons, one of the largest stones ever used in the construction of dolmens in the Middle East. The dolmen itself was enclosed in an enormous stone heap (tumulus) approximately 20 meters in diameter, and its stones are estimated to weigh a minimum of 400 tons. At least four smaller dolmens that were positioned at the foot of the decorated dolmen were identified inside the stone heap.
“In other words, what we have here is a huge monumental structure built hierarchically (with a main cell and secondary cells). This is the first time such a hierarchical dolmen has been identified in the Middle East,” said the IAA in a release.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Israeli Hikers Discover Rare Engravings - CBN News Julie Stahl

Israeli Hikers Discover Rare Engravings


CBN News Julie Stahl

JERUSALEM, Israel – Three Israeli hikers discovered ancient engravings of a menorah and a cross in the Judean plains over recent the Hanukkah holiday, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Tuesday.
Mickey Barkal, Sefi Givoni and Ido Meroz, all members of the Israel Caving Club, were exploring a water cistern, when they found the engravings on the chalk bedrock of the walls.
"That's how we came to this cave, which is extremely impressive, with rock-carved niches and engravings on the wall," said Meroz, according to an IAA statement.
"Just before we were about to return we suddenly noticed an engraving that at first glance seemed to be a menorah. When we realized this is an ancient depiction of a menorah, we became very excited. Its appearance was quite distinct," Meroz said.
The hikers reported the find to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The menorah engraving has a base with three feet and evidently portrays the menorah that stood in the Temple during the Second Temple period. A cross was engraved near the menorah and third engraving resembles a key, "characteristic of antiquity."
There was also a columbarium – niches used to raise doves – nearby. Doves were part of the Temple sacrifice.
"It is rare to find a wall engraving of a menorah, and this exciting discovery, which was symbolically revealed during the Hanukkah holiday, substantiates the scientific research regarding the Jewish nature of the settlement during the Second Temple period," said IAA archaeologist Sa'ar Ganor.
According to Ganor there are buildings and hiding places from the second century AD – from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt, as well as buildings from the Byzantine period.
"The menorah was probably etched in the cistern after the water installation was hewn in the bedrock – maybe by inhabitants of the Jewish settlement that was situated there during the Second Temple period and the time of Bar Kokhba – and the cross was etched later on during the Byzantine period, most likely in the fourth century CE [AD]," Ganor said.
The IAA said only two other engravings of menorahs like this have been found in the area. The exact location of the engravings was not made public to protect them.
The hikers who discovered them will be given good citizenship certificates and invited to participate in upcoming IAA archaeological surveys.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Palestinians Claim Hebrew-Language Dead Sea Scrolls - Israel Today

Palestinians Claim Hebrew-Language Dead Sea Scrolls

Sunday, November 06, 2016 |  Israel Today Staff
So, the Dead Sea Scrolls are demonstrably written in Hebrew. But the Palestinians are now saying these ancient documents are, like Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Arab Muslim in origin.
That is how ridiculous the campaign to delegitimize Israel has become.
Carmel Shama-Hacohen - Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - said the Palestinians raised the matter informally during a recent meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin.
According to the ambassador and to representatives of the Israel Antiquities Authority who were present at the meeting, the Palestinians intend to make a formal claim to the Dead Sea Scrolls when the committee next convenes in 2017.
“This is another provocative and audacious attempt by the Palestinians to rewrite history and to erase our connection to our land,” Shama-Hacohen told The Jerusalem Post. “The Dead Sea Scrolls are factual and weighty archeological evidence of the presence of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.”
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