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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘ancient’

3,000-Yr-Old Timna Valley Gatehouse Dates Back to Kings David and Solomon [video]

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

A 3,000-year-old military complex has been unearthed in the Negev Dessert by archaeologists from Tel Aviv University’s Institute of Archaeology.

Erez Ben-Yosef, one of the leaders of the excavation, told Fox News this weekend that a recent analysis of finds from a gatehouse complex uncovered in 2014 reveal the remains of the stables and other artifacts actually date back to the time of Kings David and Solomon.

In an article slated to appear in the February 2017 issue (Vol. 11, pp 411-426) of the Journal of Archaeological Science, Ben-Yosef and his colleagues, Dafna Langgut and Lidar Sapir-Hen describe the site as an “Iron Age gatehouse and associated livestock pens in one of the largest copper smelting camps in Timna Valley – Site 34 (“Slaves’ Hill”).”

In an exciting yet wordless Hollywood-style trailer produced for his “Central Timna Valley Project (CTV) in 2014 to recruit student volunteers, Ben-Yosef manages to convey all the excitement, determination and anticipation associated with archaeology — and still show the thankless hard work that can also go along with it — in less than sixty seconds.

“Join us in the field to excavate ancient mines and discover if those were really the legendary ‘King Solomon’s Mines.’ The excavations are taken place in the Iron Age smelting and mining sites of southern Israel (Timna Valley),” reads the text below the trailer on YouTube. “This is a Tel Aviv University project that include a field school with academic credit.”

Two years later, a second YouTube video shows how far strong muscles and cheerful team work will get you.

Now, two years later, he and his colleagues report the extraordinary state of preservation of organic materials allowed the archaeologists to investigate animal bones as well as seeds and pollen found in dung piles.

The scientists concluded the gatehouse was used for keeping donkeys or mules and probably goats, which were fed with “grape pomace and hay (rather than straw) that originated from the Mediterranean regions… This food reflects special treatment and care, in accordance with the key role of the donkeys in the success of copper production and trade in a logistically challenging region…. The gatehouse and walls also indicate substantial investment in deterrence and defense, reflecting a period of instability and military threat in 1 0th c. BCE Timna.”

“When we uncovered the stables, the material was so well preserved and ‘fresh’ that we could not believe it [was] 3,000 years old,” Ben-Yosef told Fox News. “Only when the dates came back from the lab were we reassured that indeed these were the remains… from the time of David and Solomon.”

The multi-year project continues, with the field work team to continue working in the February 2017 season, carrying out probes at several sites and surveys of manganese mines.

Hana Levi Julian

Ancient Inscription Identifies Gargilius Antiques as Roman Ruler on Eve of Bar Kochva Revolt

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

University of Haifa researchers have made an important discovery underwater: a rare inscription from the period preceding the Bar Kochva revolt offers for the first time the definite identification of Gargilius Antiques as the Roman prefect of Judea at that time. The inscription was found in a University of Haifa underwater excavation at Tel Dor, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, about 20 miles south of Haifa.

“For the first time, we can state with certainty the name of the Roman prefect of Judea during the critical period leading up to the Bar Kochva revolt,” stated Prof. Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa, who is directing the underwater excavation with Dr. Gil Gambash, head of the Marine Civilizations Department at the University of Haifa, who helped him interpret the inscription. “In addition, this is only the second time that the name ‘Judea’ has appeared in any inscription from the Roman period,” he added.

Tel Dor, identified as Biblical Dor, was an active community until at least the fourth century CE. It has been first excavated as early as the first half of the twentieth century. Since 2003, the excavation has been led by Dr. Ayelet Gilboa of the University of Haifa and Dr. Ilan Sharon of the Hebrew University, together with Prof. Rebecca Martin of Boston University and Prof. Yasur-Landau.

Anchors, earthenware, and many other items have already been found in the inlets at Dor, but it is doubtful that anything prepared the researchers for their latest discovery. In January, Ehud Arkin-Shalev and Michelle Kreisher, two research students from the Coastal Archeology laboratory at the University of Haifa, found a massive rectangular stone within the area of Dor Nature Reserve. Even before they took it out of the water they could see that the stone bore an inscription. After consulting with Kobi Sharvit, the director of the Marine Archeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Yigal Ben Ari, head of the Coastal District in the Nature and Parks Authority, it was decided to remove the inscription from the sea as quickly as possible to prevent it being damaged or covered by sand.

After a complicated engineering operation to remove the artifact, the researchers realized that they were looking at a hewed rectangular stone 33.46 inches high and weighing more than 1,323 pounds. The stone bore a seven-line inscription in Greek, and, according to Prof. Yasur-Landau, “probably formed the base of a sculpture from the Roman period. As far as we know, this is the longest inscription found underwater in Israel.”

Dr. Gambash joined in the task of deciphering the inscription. The work on the eroded stone has not yet been completed, but the researchers have already made two exciting discoveries. First, and most importantly, the inscription mentions the name Gargilius Antiques, and states that his position was prefect of Judea. Antiques’ name also appears in a similar inscription that was found some 70 years ago, but in that case the finding did not include the name of the province where he served as prefect. An academic debate followed, with some scholars arguing that the inscription stated that Antiques was the prefect of the province of Syria, while others were convinced that it clearly identified him as prefect of Judea. The newly-found inscription proves beyond all doubt that Gargilius Antiques was the Roman prefect of Judea during the period leading up to the outbreak of the Bar Kochva revolt in 131 CE.

But the identification of Antiques’ position is not the only exceptional feature of this finding. To date, the name “Judea” has only been found in one other Roman inscription – a famous item from Caesarea that mentions the name of the prefect Pontius Pilate.

Immediately after the Bar Kochva revolt, the Romans decided to abolish the province of Judea and to obliterate any mention of its name. The province was united with Syria to form a single province called Syria Palaestina, from 135 to about 390. So the newly discovered inscription dates to just before Judea ceased to exist as a province under that name.

After the inscription has been fully deciphered, the researchers will turn to examining its historical context. “Together with the inscription that was found around the time the State of Israel was established, we have here two sculptures honoring and lauding the prefect Antiques,” note the researchers, adding: “The question is – why? Do these inscriptions mark two different significant events, or was it usual practice to erect a new sculpture for the patron of the city without any special reason?”

The inscription was revealed to the public for the first time on Wednesday, as part of a special exhibition entitled Via Maris, in the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Library at the University of Haifa. It is part of the fourth annual Haifa Conference on Mediterranean Research, which is devoted this year to the history of the Mediterranean. The exhibition and the conference were organized by Dr. Gil Gambash and Historian Dr. Zur Shalev, to mark the upcoming inauguration of the Haifa Center for Mediterranean History (HCMH).

JNi.Media

Ancient Arabic Inscription Identifies the Dome of the Rock with the Jewish Temple [video]

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

A team of archaeologists revealed the existence of a 1000-year-old text, dated to the beginning of the Islamic era, which indicates that the Muslims perceived the Dome of the Rock as a reestablishment of the earlier Jewish Temple. They referred to it as “Bayt al-maqdis” in the inscription, which derives from the biblical Hebrew terminology as ‘Beit Hamikdash’, known as the Hebrew reference to the Holy Temple. This unique find is located in the central mosque at the village of Nuba, next to the city of Hebron. Its significance lies in the fact that it is dated to the early Islamic Period, and it sheds light on the sanctification process of Jerusalem and especially of the Temple Mount to the Muslems.

The text on the rock quotes:

“In the name of Allah, the merciful God This territory, Nuba, and all its boundaries and its entire area, is an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque, as it was dedicated by the Commander of the Faithful, ̒Umar iben al-Khattab for the sake of Allah the Almighty”

The village of Nuba is mentioned in the inscription text as an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis [The Holy Temple] and the al-Aqsa Mosque. The text also notes that the one who did the dedication was ̒Umar iben al-Khattab, the Arab ruler who conquered Jerusalem from the Byzantines in 638 AD.

Assaf Avraham and Peretz Reuven, the archeologists who presented the existence of the inscription last week in the Conference on ‘New studies in the archaeology of Jerusalem and its region’ that was held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, pointed out that this text is, in fact, testimony that at least one of the names of the Dome of the Rock in the first centuries of Islam was “Bayt al-Maqdis” which preserves the Hebrew name “Beyt ha-Miqdash” (literally the “House of Sanctuary”).

“The choice to use the name ‘Bayt al-Maqdis’ was not original,” says Assaf Avraham. “Using this name derived from the deep influence of Jewish tradition on the development of Islam in its earliest days.” In an article that was published in the Conference pamphlet, early evidence was presented in the form of quotes by Moslem believers who, it appears, entered and prayed within a place of worship at the Temple Mount, which was named “Bayt al-Maqdis” For example:

“I would regularly pray with Ibn-Dahar in Bayt al-Maqdis, when he entered, he used to remove his shoes.” “Anyone who comes to Bayt al-Maqdiss only for the sake of praying inside it – is cleansed of all his sins.” “I entered Bayt al-Maqdis and saw a man taking longer than usual for his bows.” “The rock that is in Bayt al-Maqdis is the center of the entire universe.”

“Early Islamic literature shows that religious rituals were conducted within the Dome of the Rock at the beginning of the Islamic era” says Assaf; “These rituals were inspired by ancient traditions which took place within The Biblical Temple as is documented in the bible and in ancient Jewish literature”. An ancient Muslim source describes and stresses this point:

“Every Monday and Thursday morning the attendants enter the bath house to wash and purify themselves. They take off their clothes and put on a garment made of silk brocade embroidered with figures, and fasten tightly the girdle embellished with gold around their waists. And they rub the Rock over with perfume. Then the incense is put in censers of gold and silver. The gate-keepers lower the curtains so that the incense encircles the Rock entirely and the scent clings to it.”

These well documented and detailed procedures bear similarities to rituals that were practiced in the Jewish Temple, and were probably derived from them.

The Nuba inscription implies that the building of the Dome of the Rock marks the re-construction of the biblical Holy Temple, in essence, one of the most significant acts in the early history of Islam, a new world view that asked to glorify Jerusalem’s position as the world’s religious center for Islam.

When cross-referenced with other Muslim traditional literature of the time, it becomes clear that the Dome of the Rock’s structure was named Bayt Al-Maqdis in which prayers were conducted traditionally. It was the holiest structure within the Temple Mount and it was perceived as a renewed temple.

This unique revelation bears importance and relevance today considering Unesco’s latest resolution which ignores the Jewish affinity to the Temple mount.

Video of the Day

Ancient Muslim Inscription Confirms Dome of the Rock’s Jewish Temple Origin

Friday, October 28th, 2016

The ninth annual conference on archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem and its environs that was held at the Hebrew University this week revealed the existence of an ancient Muslim inscription testifying to the fact that the original name of the Dome of the Rock, Qubbat al-Sakhrah, was “Beit al Maqdis” بيت المقدس — “Beit Hamikdash” in Hebrew, aka the Jewish Temple — during the early Muslim era, Makor Rishon reported Friday.

According to archaeologists Assaf Avraham and Peretz Reuven, the inscription is dated to the 10th century CE, about a thousand years ago. It is located above a mihrab-prayer niche inside an active mosque in the village of Nuba, located seven miles north-west of Hebron. It is unknown when it was placed there, but it certainly throws a fresh light on the process by which Jerusalem became holy to the Muslims and the inspiration that Islam drew from Jewish sources regarding the holiness of the Temple Mount compound and the Jewish temple that once stood at the spot where today stands the Dome of the Rock shrine.

"In the name of Allah, the merciful God This territory, Nuba, and all its boundaries and its entire area, is an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque, as it was dedicated by the Commander of the Faithful, ̒Umar iben al-Khattab for the sake of Allah the Almighty"

“In the name of Allah, the merciful God
This territory, Nuba, and all its boundaries
and its entire area, is an endowment to the Rock
of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque,
as it was dedicated by the Commander of the Faithful, ̒Umar iben al-Khattab for the sake of Allah the Almighty”
Photo by: Assaf Avraham

Participants in the Jerusalem conference were particularly excited by this revelation in light of two recent UNESCO resolutions which disavowed any connection between Jewish history and the Temple Mount. One participant reminded the forum that the Mufti of Jerusalem already admitted that the Dome of the Rock stands on the same spot as Solomon’s Temple, “but here we have an archaeological find that proves it,” he said.

According to both researchers, in the early Muslim era the Dome of the Rock was the site of worship services that were influenced by the ceremonies of the Jerusalem Temple: cleansing, incense, anointing the Foundation Stone with oil and surrounding it with curtains inspired by the divine parochet. The shrine, built around the Foundation Stone, just like the two Jewish Temples, was completed in 691 CE, by an architect named Yazid Ibn Salam, who was either Jewish himself or had Jewish aides.

There is a theory that Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik originally had the Dome of the Rock built as a shrine for the Jews, while Al Aqsa, the mosque on the southern end of the Temple Mount, was built for Muslims.

There is a trend where Muslims have recently begun referring to the entire Temple Mount compound, which they also call al-Haram ash-Sharif (“The Noble Compound”), as Al Aqsa.

David Israel

Holding Up Ancient ‘Jerusalem’ Papyrus, Netanyahu Condemns UNESCO’s ‘Scandalous’ Resolution

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Speaking Wednesday at the dedication of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at IDC Herzliya, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu connected the announcement of a rare, First Temple era Hebrew language papyrus that mentions the name Jerusalem, with the second UNESCO resolution this month that contradicted the Jewish history of the eternal city as well as the fact that two Jewish temples had stood on the compound now taken up by the Al Aqsa mosque.

As we reported earlier, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Carmel Shama Hacohen, was recalled to Jerusalem “for consultations.”

The following are the PM’s comments at the Wednesday event.

“Today, the UNESCO Heritage Committee passed a decision which caused disappointment among the Palestinians and several Arab countries. It was supposed to be passed unanimously, by consensus, because the UNESCO Secretary General said that if it was not passed unanimously, then the decision would not be implemented. I would like to thank the leaders of Tanzania and Croatia for demanding a vote. I spoke with them and I very much appreciate their willingness to take a stand there. Because it reached a vote, it will not be implemented, because it was not unanimous.

“Eleven out of the 21 countries that are members of the Heritage Committee, as they call it, did not support the vote. For Israel, this is a significant result because one year ago, with a membership that was much more comfortable for us, we received a result that was not as good. Countries such as Germany, Japan, India and Colombia left and all kinds of other countries, which are familiar to you entered: Lebanon, more Arab countries, Angola, Zimbabwe, etc., etc., and with a membership that was not as good we came out with a better result. This advances what I have been telling you, and what I told the UN, is happening, that Israel’s bilateral relations will also – in the end – be reflected in international forums even though this will take time. It takes time and a little help from above. I said that it would take ten years, in my mind less than ten years, to break the automatic majority in UN institutions, especially of the bloc of African countries, 54 countries. The decisive majority will go from opposing Israel to supporting Israel. This process is happening and it is also expressed in today’s vote. The change that is taking place is finding expression here. I would like to thank the personnel at the Foreign Ministry, the National Security Council and our UNESCO embassy, who assisted me in my talks with the various leaders.

“Of course, we are trying to change the reality but, even so, the fact that even if this decision will not be implemented, it was raised at UNESCO. This absurdity that we, pay attention, Israel in the Middle East, that it is we who are violating the rights of the various religions, that it is we who are not safeguarding the holy places. Is it possible to conceive of anything more absurd? We are not safeguarding? We are the only ones who are scrupulously, carefully and zealously safeguarding. Who would do so if not us? We all know that is happening here in the Middle East as radical Islam blows up mosques, blows up churches, blows up historic sites, slaughters Yazidis, slaughters Muslims who do not agree with them, slaughters Christians, slaughters whoever it can. Who is deserving of condemnation? Certainly not Israel. Israel deserves all possible praise on this issue, as a beacon of light and progress, tolerance and rights.

“It is UNESCO that deserves condemnation not only for its present blindness but for its past blindness as well. That scandalous decision, the scandal that they decided upon two weeks ago, to the effect that the Jewish People have no connection to the Temple Mount, or to Jerusalem at all, is contradicted by the Bible and the entire historical record. Did you know that Titus was a Zionist propagandist? On the Arch they are carrying, 2,000 years ago, after they destroyed the Temple, it was not a mosque. Islam had not yet been founded; that would take several hundred good years. They are carrying the seven-branched menorah, that you know. And the member states of UNESCO also know it.

“But this distortion, that plasters over the whole notion of historical truth, of history in general, this distortion was covered over by another historical find that was made public today by the Israel Antiquities Authority. This was a document or receipt that was sent over 2,700 years ago from Na’arah [see Joshua 16:7], near Jerusalem, and it says in ancient Hebrew, and this is the critical word, but you can see it in Hebrew, ‘[me-a]mat. ha-melekh. me-Na’artah. nevelim. yi’in. Yerushalima’. ‘From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem‘. Here is a letter from the past to UNESCO. It is written Yerushalima. It explains – in Hebrew – our connection to Jerusalem and the centrality of Jerusalem. A servant of the king, certainly a King of Judah. It is from over 2,700 years ago – Jerusalem. In neither Arabic, Aramaic, Greek nor Latin – in Hebrew.

“And indeed this absurdity in the theater of the absurd continues, even if with reduced force. Therefore, I have decided to summon home for consultations our Ambassador to UNESCO and we will decide what to do, what our future steps will be vis-à-vis this organization. But it must be understood that in the end, and it will take time, this absurdity that hurts not only historical truth and present truth, but also – in my view – hurts the UN itself, this absurdity will end as Israel’s strength grows and expands.”

David Israel

Ancient Acco [photos]

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Acco (Acre), located at the northern end of Haifa Bay is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, for some 4000 years. It has a very rare (in Israel) natural harbor, making it a key port on the ancient Mediterranean Sea. Photos by: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Acre / Acco

Acre / Acco

Acre / Acco

Acre / Acco

Acre / Acco

Photo of the Day

All About the Ancient ‘Jerusalem’ Papyrus [video]

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Read the article here.

Video of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/video-picks/all-about-the-ancient-jerusalem-papyrus-video/2016/10/26/

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