web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Archaeologists’

2700 Year-Old Inscription in City of David Excavations

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Archaeological excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the area of the Gihon Spring in the City of David, in the Walls around Jerusalem National Park, have unearthed a layer of rich finds including thousands of broken pottery shards, clay lamps and figurines. Most intriguing is the recent discovery of a ceramic bowl with a partially preserved inscription in ancient Hebrew. While not complete, the inscription presents us with the name of a seventh century BCE figure, which resembles other names known to us from both the Biblical and archaeological record (see examples below) and providing us with a connection to the people living in Jerusalem at the end of the First Temple period.

This fascinating find will be presented at Megalim’s Annual Archaeological Conference which will take place on Thursday, August 29th in the City of David.

The most similar name to our inscription is Zechariah the son of Benaiah, the father of the Prophet Jahaziel. The name Zechariah the son of Benaiah appears in 2 Chronicles 20:14 where it states that Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, prophesized before the Biblical King Jehoshaphat before the nation went off to war against the ancient kingdoms of Ammon and Moab.

 

Pottery Sherd of a Bowl from the end of the First Temple Period, bearing the inscription "ryhu bn bnh". Photo: Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority

Pottery Sherd of a Bowl from the end of the First Temple Period, bearing the inscription “ryhu bn bnh”. Photo: Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority

 

Israel Antiquity Authority archaeologists Dr. Joe Uziel and Nahshon Zanton, who discovered the bowl while excavating remains associated with the First Temple period destruction, explained that the letters inscribed on the shard likely date to the 8-7th centuries BCE, placing the production of the bowl sometime between the reign of Hezekiah and the destruction of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah. The archaeologists also explained that the inscription was engraved on the bowl prior to firing, indicating that the inscription originally adorned the rim of the bowl in its entirety, and was not written on a shard after the vessel was broken.

While the purpose of the inscription on the bowl is unclear, archaeologists have posited that the bowl may have contained an offering, likely given by the individual whose name was inscribed on the bowl, or alternatively given to him. Inscription Analysis

The first letter of the ceramic bowl’s partially preserved inscription in ancient Hebrew script is broken and is therefore difficult to read, but appears to be the letter ר. The next three letters יהו constitute the theophoric suffix (the component in which the name of the deity appears as part of the first name, such as Yirme-yahu and Eli-yahu, etc). These letters are followed by בנ (the son of) after which appears the patronymic name composed of the three letters בנה. According to archaeologists Uziel and Zanton, “If we consider the possibility that we are dealing with an unvowelized or ‘defective’ spelling of the name בניה (Benaiah), then what we have before us is the name “…ריהו בן בניה”

Many of the first names mentioned in the Bible contained the theophoric component יהו, as is the case of this inscription from the City of David. Besides the biblical references, other examples of this have also been found in archaeological excavations, written on a variety of objects such as seals, bullae, pottery vessels or even carved on rock. Noteworthy among the many names that end with the theophoric suffix יהו are several prominent examples that were previously discovered in City of David by Professor Yigal Shiloh, such as Gemar-yahu the son of Shaphan, Bena-yahu the son of Hoshayahu, etc. which were also found in the destruction layer and the ruins of the Babylonian conquest.

 

Archeologist Discover ‘Gates of Hell’ in Turkey

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Archaeologists say they have discovered the Greek and Roman mythical entry into the underworld, popularly known as the “Gates of Hell,” Discovery News reports.

Legends from both ancient Greece and Rome record stories of mortals who entered or were abducted into the netherworld through such gates. The god Hades kidnapped the Goddess Persephone led her to the underworld through a crack in the earth’s surface. The musician Orpheus traveled to the Greek underworld in search of Eurydice by entering a cave at Taenarum or Cape Tenaron on the southern tip of the Peloponnese. Hercules entered Hades at that same spot. Aeneas entered the region through a cave at the edge of Lake Avernus on the Bay of Naples, and Odysseus through Lake Acheron in northwest Greece.

The newly proposed site of Pluto’s Gate—Ploutonion in Greek, in the ancient city of Hierapolis, now Pamukkale, in southwestern Turkey, is reported to be a close match to historical descriptions of the Greek and Roman “gates.” Describing the site, the Greek geographer Strabo said 2000 years ago: ‘This space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell.”

Sounds dangerous.

The site excavation.

The site excavation.

Italian Archaeologist Francesco D’Andria from the University of Salento claims his team has discovered what they believe to be the ruins of the actual site.

Prof. D’Andria told a conference on Italian archaeology in Istanbul that he and his team had pinpointed the location by reconstructing the route of a thermal springs.

Among the ruins the archaeologists found a cave with Ionic semi columns with inscriptions of dedications to the gods of the underworld Pluto and Kore.

D’Andria also found the remains of a temple, a pool and a series of steps placed above the cave — all matching the descriptions of the site in ancient sources.

“We found the Plutonium by reconstructing the route of a thermal spring, Pamukkale’ springs, which … originate from this cave,” D’Andria told Discovery News.

“People could watch the sacred rites from these steps, but they could not get to the area near the opening. Only the priests could stand in front of the portal,” D’Andria said.

According to the archaeologist, the place was popular with the tourists of the ancient world, the pilgrims. Pilgrims took the waters in the pool near the temple, slept not too far from the cave. Small birds were given to visitors to test the deadly effect of the cave, while hallucinated priests sacrificed bulls to Pluto. The fumes coming from the depths of Hierapoli’s phreatic groundwater produced hallucinations, and the pilgrims would swear they received visions and prophecies..

The ceremony included leading the animals into the cave, and dragging them out dead.

About as entertaining as Sunday Football, but a tad more lethal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/archeologist-discover-gates-of-hell-in-turkey/2013/04/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: