Showing posts with label archeology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label archeology. Show all posts

Monday, August 8, 2016

Israel, Archeology and Post-Modern Gobbledygook - Tsvi Sadan ISRAEL TODAY

Israel, Archeology and Post-Modern Gobbledygook

Monday, August 08, 2016 |  Tsvi Sadan  ISRAEL TODAY
Archeology and Palestine is a mismatch simply because there are no archeological Palestinian sites. At best archeology can inform us about Muslim life and culture since the 7th century AD. This is of little use to archeologists who are willing to compromise their discipline in the name of political agenda. 
If one would ask about Zionists harnessing archeology for their political ends, they have done that, but they at least didn't have to fabricate Jewish archeology.Archibald Sayce didn't fabricate the Siloam Inscriptionand Yigael Yadin didn't forge the Dead Sea Scrolls. 
Further still, no Jewish archeologist was ever involved in institutionalized destruction of Muslim artifacts and systematic elimination of evidences of Muslim presence in the Land of Israel.
Palestinian archeologists and their sympathetic comrades are doing whatever they can to subvert archeology in such a way as to erase any Jewish link to "the Land of Palestine." Jordanian official Raef Yusuf Najm is representative of this official Palestinian policy, claiming that "throughout history, Muslims and Christians have lived in Al Quds (Jerusalem) as one Palestinian people. Their coexistence was marred only by the Crusade invasions, then the Zionist and colonialist Israeli invasion which is trying to judaize the land and the people through all forms of crime and tyranny."
This effort to erase Jewish archeology as a way of weakening Israel is supported by the New Israel Fund (NIF), a subversive organization whose real aim is to turn Israel into a democratic, rather than a Jewish-democratic state. 
In one of its latest Facebook posts, NIF proudly announced its support of Emek Shaveh, an organization of Israeli archeologists that has teamed up with their Palestinian counterparts. So unaware of their betrayal of their academic discipline, Emek Shaveh proclaims on its website that the group is made up of "archaeologists and community activists focusing on the role of archaeology in Israeli society and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
One of archeology's roles is to dispel the notion that it can support the Jewish claim to the land. The founder of Emek Shaveh, archeologist Gideon Sulimani, exited NIF when he said that "a nation or religion should not use archeological artifacts as a proof of land ownership." This, however, is a strange accusation considering that Jews have prayed to return to Jerusalem long before the idea of archeology was ever conceived. At worst, Israeli archeologists were trying too hard to produce scientific evidences for the traditional Jewish claim of Israel being the land of their fathers.
Emek Shaveh has radically departed from "Zionist archeology." If fact, this organ is not interested in proving anything, least of all proving Jewish presence in this land.
Truth is not what they are after. These "scientists" are in the business of peace, and for the sake of that goal truth can be manipulated, denied and locked in post-modern gobbledygook. 
A masterpiece of truth-evasion is found in their brochure entitled "Frequent Questions about Jerusalem's Old City." Consider this sentence alone: "Archaeology can support different historical scenarios, but it neither conclusively proves nor absolutely disproves them." In other words, if one so wishes, archeology can support the Palestinian narrative. All that needs to be done is to say that David is not conclusively Jewish. Likewise, since no blood stains or pieces of priestly garments can be found on the Temple Mount, evidences of ancient Jewish religious warship there can't be regarded as conclusive. 
Though seeking peace is admirable, one has to wonder how such damaging dishonesty can advance it.
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

1700-Year-Old Gravestones of Unknown Rabbis Uncovered in Northern Israel - by Michael Bachner BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS

(Photo: Courtesy/TPS)

(Photo: Courtesy/TPS)

1700-Year-Old Gravestones of Unknown Rabbis Uncovered in Northern Israel

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast the understanding.” (Job 38:4)
Three ancient gravestone epitaphs written in Aramaic and in Greek were recently uncovered in the Galilee region in northern Israel. The people commemorated in two of the inscriptions are described as rabbis, but their exact names and identities have yet to be identified by further research.
The two epitaphs end with the Hebrew greeting word “shalom” (meaning ‘hello’ or ‘peace’). The Greek inscription mentions the name “Jose”, which at the time had been a very common name among Jews in Israel and in the diaspora.
The gravestones were buried in the western part of the cemetery of the Jewish community of Zippori in the Lower Galilee region, which was a major Jewish city in ancient times. The information that ultimately led to the discovery originally came from residents of the community.
The excavation was conducted by researchers from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology in Kinneret College, and from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
Is there archaeological proof of the Exodus? Find out in "Patterns of Evidence: the Exodus" DVD
“One of the surprises in the newly uncovered inscriptions is that one of the people buried is nicknamed as ‘The Tiberian’,” said Dr. Motti Aviam from the Kinneret College. “This is the second case of a person from Tiberias buried in the Zippori cemetery. Perhaps Jews from all around the Galilee chose to be buried in Zippori due to Judah the Prince’s important activities in the city.”
Judah the Prince, nicknamed simply ‘Rabbi’, was the chief redactor of the Jewish Mishnah (the first major work of Rabbinic literature) and he lived in Zippori during the Roman occupation. Zippori was the first capital of the Galilee region in Hasmonean times, until Tiberias was founded in the first century CE.
The city was a bustling Jewish center as indicated by the many artifacts discovered in the city, including Jewish ritual baths (mikveh) and 17 epitaphs, mostly in Aramaic which had been the spoken language among Jews at the time. Some of them also spoke and wrote in Greek.
“The significance of the gravestones lies in the fact they reflect the daily life of Jews in Zippori and their culture 1,700 years ago,” said Dr. Aviam.

Gravestone with Inscription in Aramaic Commemorating Rabbis, Uncovered in Zippori 27.1.16 Process of cleaning the inscription. (Photo: Miki Peleg, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)
Gravestone with Inscription in Aramaic Commemorating Rabbis, Uncovered in Zippori 27.1.16
Process of cleaning the inscription. (Photo: Miki Peleg, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

“One of the inscriptions features the Hebrew word ‘leolam’ (meaning ‘forever’), for the first time in Zippori,” he added. “The word is known from epitaphs in other locations, and means in this context that their burial place shall remain his forever, without anyone robbing it from them.”
The inscriptions will be researched further, and the researchers believe that more research will likely produce new discoveries. The IAA and the Kinneret College also stated that the gravestones will be on display for the general public.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Stones with a human heart

Stones with a human heart

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 |  Tsvi Sadan  ISRAEL TODAY
My guess is that the recent recognition of Beit She'arim as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will not change the minds of those who believe that the "Jewish people" is a modern invention concocted to solidify Western colonialism in the Middle East.
Fortunately, unlike people, stones are incapable of rewriting history. They can't change the inscriptions engraved on them and they can't move themselves to new, less sensitive places.
This is not to say that archeology is not used as a tool to support beliefs and political aspirations. Archeology was initiated by people who sought to find hard proofs for biblical history, and Israel has always used it to support the right of the Jews to return to their ancient homeland.
Beit She'arim was a first century AD Jewish town destroyed by the Romans in 352 AD. The site is located 20 km east of Haifa, in the southern foothills of the Lower Galilee. Its fame came from Rabbi Yehuda Ha'Nasi, who lived there most of his life, and there he was buried.
Ha'Nasi was the compiler of the Mishna, the most important Jewish text after the Bible, which is why his burial site became a magnet for many Jews from Yemen to Antioch wishing to be buried by his side. With time, the town's cemetery has become a Jewish necropolis that has documented "two centuries of historical and cultural achievement."
UNESCO recognition of this site as a "Jewish cultural center" is not a political move in support of Israel. It is simply a statement of the obvious, just as the newly deciphered inscription is.
Similarly, while the reasons for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to publish a newly found inscription bearing the name Eshba'al Ben Beda on its webpage are quite obvious, the ceramic jar from the time of David with its ancient Hebrew script that bears the name doesn't leave much room for manipulation.
According to Yosef Garfinkel of the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "This is the first time that the name Eshba'al has appeared on an ancient inscription in the country … until about five years ago we knew of no inscriptions dating to the tenth century BCE from the Kingdom of Judah."
Eshba'al was also the name of King Saul's son (1 Ch. 8:33), who according to Jewish tradition is the same person named Mephiboshethin 2 Sa. 4:4. Whoever Eshba'al Ben Beda was, there seems to be no argument that he was a Judean who lived in the Valley of Ellah, the same place where David fought Goliath.
Stating the obvious is becoming increasingly necessary in an age when archeology is has become prey for those denying any Jewish links to the Land of Israel.
Most know of the systematic destruction of archeological findings by the Palestinian digging under the Temple Mount. Fewer know about the removal of any reference to Jewish life even from villages bearing Hebrew names, like Beitar (Batir), Anatot (Anata) and Tekoa (Tekua).
The Visitor Information Center of Bethlehem (Hebrew: Beit Lehem), for example, does not inform visitors at all regarding the history of nearby Batir at the time of the Great Jewish Revolt in 135 AD. Likewise, though the prophet Amos is mentioned in the history of Tekua, visitors are not told that he spoke Hebrew, not to Palestine, but to Israel and Judea.
As one Hebrew song puts it, "there are people with a heart of stone," but there are also "stones with a human heart" that are speaking to us so that we may know, if only we had ears to hear.
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

'Indivisible' Film Tackles Crusade to Destroy Israel - Laurie Cardozza Moore

'Indivisible' Film Tackles 

Crusade to Destroy Israel

 Chris Mitchell ARIEL, Israel -- Does the modern State of Israel have a right to the land on which it exists? Do the Palestinians? A new documentary tackles those questions and the longest-running conflict in the Middle East.

"Israel Indivisible: A Case for the Ancient Homeland" highlights Israel's latest challenge.

"Today the world media has joined the Islamic campaign to extinguish Jewish history as part of their effort to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state," producer Laurie Cardozza Moore told CBN News.

The film lays out a compelling and comprehensive case for Israel's right to the land.

"The evidence for Israel is overwhelming," Cardoza continued. "From archeological science to historical record to biblical scriptures to political resolutions and laws, there should be no dispute to the rights of the Jewish people to all the land the Roman Empire called Palestine."

The producers chose to premier the film in a symbolic site -- Ariel, the center of Israel's biblical heartland. At the premier, the film's producers shared what motivated them.

"The goal is to educate Christians to bring this message because this message is being distorted, and there are lies being propagated about Israel and this whole Middle East conflict," Moore explained.

"I feel what we're doing at PJTN is just coming alongside God's biblical narrative and telling a story that nobody seems to want to tell and then using the film, using the program, to mobilize Christians to action to stand with our Jewish brethren."

Many Jews believe disinformation is one of the main weapons used against the Jewish state.

"The first step in -- God forbid -- the physical destruction of the State of Israel is the intellectual destruction undermining the whole reason for being of the Jewish state of legitimacy," Rabbi Ken Spiro said.

The film unmasks some common misconceptions in this disinformation campaign, such as the term, "West Bank."

"Why is it called the West Bank?" filmmaker Stan Moore asks. "It's called the West Bank because when Jordan, basically in 1948, when they took it over they called it the West Bank of their country, the West Bank of the Jordan River. They named it the West Bank. You know for centuries, forever, it's [this area] been called Judea and Samaria."

1948 Independence Hall in Tel Aviv

Many see the film as a tool to give Israel's supporters the facts they need in this battle.

"And if they don't have the facts at hand, they become apologetic. The minute they become apologetic, they lose the argument," Dr. Shmuel Katz explained. "They need to be knowledgeable. Once they are knowledgeable, they can stand up for what's right."

Rabbi Spiro sees the information as the first line of defense not only for Israel, but also for the West.

"It's not only threatening Israel. [It's threatening] the whole foundation of Western civilization," he warned. "So movies like this -- that present information and facts -- are the most basic and powerful tool we have. Not just the case for Israel, but for the case for truth."

Watch here: CBN News video

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lost Biblical Treasure Trove Discovered by Israeli Fisherman

Lost Biblical Treasure Trove Discovered by Israeli Fisherman

“My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you…” (Proverbs 7:1)
(Photo: USDA NRCS)
(Photo: USDA NRCS)
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has announced the discovery of a treasure-trove of archeological finds. First reported by Arutz7, the find first started with a phone call from Poriya Illit resident Osnat Lester to the IAA. Lester told the IAA “Stored in my warehouse there are crates full of ancient jars that were left behind by a relative, a fisherman, who has passed on. I want to hand over the jars to the state, but it is important for me that my grandchildren will know where they will be kept in the future.”
(Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)
(Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)
The IAA immediately sent two archeologists to Lester’s home. After opening and inspecting the contents of the crates, the archeologists were amazed to see several whole ancient jars and other objects from various time periods wrapped in bedsheets and pieces of cloth. Many of the jars were from the Roman and Byzantine era and contained wine, oils, and perfumes. One of the more impressive finds was a tall, intricate vase from the Biblical era dating back 3,000 years ago.
After studying the contents of the crates, IAA archeologists believe that the jars were carried in ancient ships that sank at different points in time. Covering the jars were layers of encrustation, including chalk sediment and sea shells, which indicate the jars remained untouched for many years on the ocean floor.
In related news, Hebrew text recently translated offers greater insight into treasures found inside King Solomon’s temple. The text, “Treatise of the Vessels” or “Massekhet Kelim,” describes how the treasures of the temple were spread throughout the land.
James Davila, a professor at the university of St. Andrews, explained to the Christian Post how the treasures of King Solomon’s temple were “concealed by a number of Levites and prophets” and “hidden in various locations in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia, while others were delivered into the hands of the nagels Shamshiel, Michael, Gabriel and perhaps Sariel.”
The First Temple was built by King Solomon and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II in 587 BCE. One of the most sought after treasures and remnants of the temple is the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the original stone tablets on which the 10 Commandments were written.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mark Burnett Working on ‘The Bible’ Sequel, to Air on NBC Next Spring

Jesus in 'The Bible'
NBC will air a sequel to 'The Bible' next year. (Joe Alblas/The History Channel)
Fans of last year’s record-breaking The Bible have reason for celebration: Major network NBC will air a sequel next year.
Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, will produce A.D.: Beyond the Bible as a follow-up to their hugely popular miniseries, which aired on the History Channel last spring.
The Bible premiered to 13.1 million viewers, and the 10-hour miniseries beat almost everything else on television. It was the third most-watched cable series or miniseries of the year. NBC is hoping to break that record with the sequel.
“We are firmly in the ‘event’ business and nothing has more event potential than A.D. as it continues immediately after the The Bible ended,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement.
The 12-hour miniseries is expected to take up the story of the New Testament after the crucifixion of Jesus, and will contain other elements as well, Burnett told TV Guide Magazine.
“You’ve got parts of the Bible,” Burnett said when asked what will be used as source material for A.D., which is a working title. “Josephus was Jewish and wrote one of the most incredible historical documents [in the first century]. There’s also great archeology and a lot of writing to mine.”
NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke added: “Everyone’s lives were completely altered in an instant and the immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had an impact on his disciples, his mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the time. In the first episode alone you see the last moments of the Crucifixion, Judas taking his own life after betraying Christ, Peter denying Jesus three times, and then the miracle of the Resurrection.”
Burnett spoke of series like The Tudors and The Borgias, which both “weave fiction and history, as inspiration,” explained TV Guide Magazine. The magazine asked if this means A.D. will contain some fictional elements and perhaps original characters. Burnett said yes.
“Much the way HBO's Rome did. With the spirit of history. Clearly A.D. is not predominantly Bible stories. This goes beyond that. But we spoke to all our advisers and our huge network, NBC, and they can’t wait for this.”
The producer said A.D. will likely last more than one season.
“It could run in the same way as Game of Thrones, 12 hours year after year. I don't think for a minute that A.D. lasts for just a season,” he explained.
Burnett, who produces The Voice for NBC, also talked about why he picked the network to air his next project.
“I chose NBC because I believe they could turn this into an enormous event,” he said. “This is more than TV for us. When you have the amount of passion that Roma and I have for a subject, you're willing to do anything it takes to launch and make it happen.
According to the Los Angeles Times, British playwright and screenwriter Simon Block will write the series. A director and star have not been set.
In addition to the sequel set for next year, an edited-down movie version of The Bible will be released in theaters Feb. 28. Click here to watch the trailer for Son of God.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Searching for the Ark of the Covenant - Jerusalem Dateline

Jerusalem Dateline

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief
Add to Technorati Favorites

Searching for the 
Ark of the Covenant

This week on Jerusalem Dateline,
we explore the ongoing search for
the Ark of the Covenant, the real
life "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Plus, get an in depth look at the
persecution of both Jews and
Christians in the Middle East.

Also, see why thousands of athletes
came to Israel for one of the world's
biggest sporting competitions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Did David, Solomon Exist? Dig Refutes Naysayers, Friday, June 07, 2013
Did David, Solomon Exist? Dig Refutes Naysayers

JERUSALEM, Israel -- Did characters like David and Solomon really exists? Many historians today are divided over this question. But CBN News met with two archaeologists who are digging up parts of David's life, and what they've found supports the biblical accounts down to the smallest details.

David is the most famous king in Israel's history, but some say he wasn't the great ruler described in the Bible. One Israeli archaelogists said, "David and Solomon did not rule over a big territory. It was a small chiefdom, very poor."

"This is a great chief. If you want to call King David a chief or King Solomon a chief, and this is a huge tribe," archeologist Eilat Mazar said.

Others say David never existed at all. Even a professor of biblical studies insisted that he is not the only scholar "who suspects that the figure of Kind David is about as historical as King Arthur."

What Does the Bible Say?

But archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel believes otherwise and has set out to prove the validity of the biblical accounts and its most famous historical figures.

"These guys said, 'We didn't have any archaeological memories, so David and Solomon are mythological figures," Garfinkel said. Yet one by one, those "archaeological memories" are being uncovered and all over Israel excavators are confirming the biblical story of Israel's greatest king.

The Bible records David's story in great detail from his days as a shepherd boy to his death in the royal palace in Jerusalem. Today, you can walk in the same places where David walked and they still have the same names as they did 3,000 years ago.

There's Bethlehem, the place where he was born and where he was anointed the king of Israel at just 15 years old. Then there is Ein Gedi, the desert oasis where David hid from King Saul in caves. And Hebron is where he spent seven years as the King of Judah.

For centuries the Bible was the only written evidence that David even existed. There was no archaeological record of his reign until about 150 years ago.

New Evidence Unearthed

In 1868, a stone tablet was discovered in Jordan. It was written by a Moabite king named Mesha, an enemy of Israel.

The stone dates to around 840 BC, less than 200 years after David and it provides the first known reference to the "House of David" outside the Bible.

"And 'House of David,' it means 'dynasty of David.' So we know that there was a guy called David, and he had a dynasty," Garfinkel said. "Okay, so now this is absolutely clear that David is not a mythological figure. So the mythological paradigm collapsed in one moment."

More than a hundred years later the same phrase, "House of David," turned up on another stone, this time in northern Israel.

It was written about 200 years after David's rule -- again, by one of Israel's enemies, Hazel, the king of Damascus. "He said, I killed 70 kings. I killed a king from Israel and a king from the House of David," Garfinkel explained.

One of David's greatest victories took place in the valley of Elah. This is where the young shepherd boy killed the giant Goliath, and it's one of the few places where you can still catch a glimpse of the Israel that David knew.

Nearby are the ruins of the Philistine city of Gath, the hometown of Goliath and the remains of the brook where David found the stone that killed him.

And high above the valley is a fortress that's thousands of years old to the local Bedouin. This place is still known as "Khirbet Daoud" or "David's Ruin." It's the only iron age city in Israel that's perfectly preserved and almost frozen in time.

"For us as archaeologists, this is one of the richest sites in Israel. This is like a biblical Pompeii," Garfinkel said.

The Hebrew name is "Khirbet Qeiyafa" or "Fortress of Elah." Garfinkel first uncovered the city in 2007. He recovered some burnt olive pits from the site and sent them to Oxford University for carbon-dating. The results surprised even Garfinkel himself. "It turns out that this beautiful city and all the finds is from about 1020 to 980 BC, and this is exactly the time of King David," he said.

In David's day, the Valley of Elah served as a neutral zone between the Israelites and the Philistines. In Qeiyafa, which was right on the frontlines, excavators discovered a large cache of weapons.

"We are shedding some light on the story of David and Goliath. We are in the same location, in the same time the city is heavily fortified. We have all these weapons, so I'm telling you that this indeed was an area of conflict between two political units," Garfinkel said.

In the Bible, this fortress is mentioned with a diferent name, Sha'Araym, "The city of two gates." In 1 Samuel 17, Sha'Araym is the place where the Philistines fled after David killed Goliath.

"Sha'Arayim means in Hebrew "two gates." In KQ, we have two gates. So if you take the biblical tradition, the location, the chronology, the meaning of the name -- all these aspects fit Qeiyafa perfectly," Garfinkel said.

A Philistine or Jewish City?

Just 10 days after Qeiyafa was discovered, critics argued it was a Philistine city, not a Jewish one, so Garfinkel went to work proving them wrong.

"What is the ethnic component of the city? I think that the city is Judean based on four arguments," Garfinkel said.

His first argument is the city's design.

"It has a big casement city wall and houses abutting the city wall," he said. "This is known from four other sites, so now we have five sites. All these five cities are in Judah. None of them is in Philistia. This is really typical Judean urban planning."

His second argument is the animal bones found in the city, all of them strictly kosher.

"We have sheep, goat, cattle, but we have no pigs and no dogs. On the Philistine side, they consume pigs and also dogs. Up to 20 percent of the animal bones at Philistine sites are pigs. But here nothing," Garfinkel said.

And he argues that the pottery shard, also known as a ostracon, is the earliest example of Hebrew writing ever unearthed. On it are written commandments to worship the Lord and to help widows, orphans, and slaves.

"It started with the word al-ta'as, which means "Don't do." And "ta'as," to do, is only in Hebrew. It's not Canaanite and not Philistine," Garfinkel explained.

Garfinkel also argues that the absence of idols, which would have been in abundance, points to a Jewish city. "If you go to Canaanite temples of the Late Bronze, you will find a lot of human and animal figures, but not in KQ. So the people here really obeyed the biblical taboo on graven images," he said.

The esteemed archeaologist points out that in the absence of idols there were religious shrines. And the models predate Solomon's temple by about 40 years. Yet they match the Bible's description of the temple down to the triple framed doors. They're the first phyisical evidence of Jewish worship in the time of King David.
Garfinkel humbly admits that "it was not [his] mission to prove the historical authenticity of the biblical tradition." He claims he "had no idea" of what he would find. It is proof beyond his imagination that the Bible is more accurate than many critics would like to admit.

Yet, as he pointed to his collection of evidence he told CBN News, "These are the animal bones, these are the radiocarbon dating, this is the inscription, these are the fortifications, and then you have the biblical tradition. And what do you know -- they just happen to fit nicely with each other."