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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Canaan’

Archaeologists Find Largest, Oldest Near East Wine Cellar in Israel

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest — and largest — ancient wine cellar in the Near East, containing forty jars, each of which would have held fifty liters of strong, sweet wine, archaeologists from George Washington, Brandeis and Haifa universities announced late Friday,

The amount of wine estimated to have been stored in the cellar would fill approximately 3,000 modern bottles, and there probably are other wine cellars waiting to be unearthed.

The cellar was discovered in Tel Kabri, located near the northwestern coastal city of Nahariya and the site of a ruined palace of a sprawling Canaanite city in northern Israel and dating back to about 1,700 B.C.

The archaeological site is located near many of Israel’s modern-day wineries, such as Carmel Mizrachi in Zichron Yaakov, near Haifa.

“This is a hugely significant discovery — it’s a wine cellar that, to our knowledge, is largely unmatched in age and size,” said Eric Cline, chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of at The George Washington University.

He teamed up with excavation co-director Assaf Yasur-Landau, chair of the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa, co-directed the excavation. Andrew Koh, assistant professor of classical studies at Brandeis University, was an associate director.

Koh, an archaeological scientist, analyzed the jar fragments using organic residue analysis. He found molecular traces of tartaric and syringic acid, both key components in wine, as well as compounds suggesting ingredients popular in ancient wine-making, including honey, mint, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and resins. The recipe is similar to medicinal wines used in ancient Egypt for two thousand years.

Koh also analyzed the proportions of each diagnostic compound and discovered remarkable consistency between jars.

“This wasn’t moonshine that someone was brewing in their basement, eyeballing the measurements,” Koh noted. “This wine’s recipe was strictly followed in each and every jar.”

Yasur-Landau said, “The wine cellar was located near a hall where banquets took place, a place where the Kabri elite and possibly foreign guests consumed goat meat and wine.” The team discovered two doors leading out of the wine cellar—one to the south, and one to the west, and pending more digging in two years, it is assumed that  both doors probably lead to additional storage rooms.

A large part of the palace was destroyed approximately 3,600 years ago as a result of an earthquake or some other disaster, according to the archaeologists.

Dr. Koh told reporters that the presence of tartaric acid  means it was used for grape juice or wine, and several ingredients are the same as those found in winemaking recipes that previously have been found in ancient texts from ruins in what is now Syria,

Luscious grapes grown in Israel are recorded in the Biblical narrative of the “12 spies” who traveled from the Sinai Desert after the Exodus to the area of Hevron to report back to Moses what the People of Israel could expect when entering. The grapes and pomegranates that the spies brought back from the Hevron area supported the promise that Israel indeed is a land of “milk and honey,” but 10 of the spies also said that the local Canaanites were giants living in fortified cities. The report sent fear into the Children of Israel who rebelled against their mission, for they were punished to remain in the desert and die by the end of 40 years after leaving Egypt, except who were under the ago of 20 at the time of the Exodus and except for the two spies who tried to persuade the people that they could overcome Canaan with God’s help.

Fine wines have been become a booming industry in recent years, with the grapes of the southern Hevron Hills and the Golan Heights being used for dry wines considered some of the best in the world.

Oldest Alphabetical Written Text Found near Temple Mount

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Hebrew University archaeologists have found the oldest known alphabetical inscription from Jerusalem, dating back to the period of Kings David or Solomon, 250 years before the previously oldest known written text.

The inscription was found near the Temple Mount but is not in Hebrew and was from the pre-Temple period, in the language of one of the peoples who occupied Israel at the time, according to the archaeologists.

Reading from left to right, the text contains a combination of letters approximately 2.5 cm tall, which translate to m, q, p, h, n, (possibly) l, and n. Since this combination of letters has no meaning in known west-Semitic languages, the inscription’s meaning is unknown.

The archaeologists suspect the inscription specifies the jar’s contents or the name of its owner. Because the inscription is not in Hebrew, it is likely to have been written by one of the non-Israeli residents of Jerusalem, perhaps Jebusites, who were part of the city population in the time of Kings David and Solomon.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar unearthed the artifact, in the Canaanite language and engraved on a large pithos, a neckless ceramic jar found with six others at the Ophel excavation site. He said it is the only one of its kind discovered in Jerusalem and is an important addition to the city’s history.

The previously oldest known script, in Hebrew, was from the period of King Hezekiah at the end of the 8th century BCE.

The inscription was engraved near the edge of the jar before it was fired, and only a fragment of it has been found, along with fragments of six large jars of the same type. The fragments were used to stabilize the earth fill under the second floor of the building they were discovered in.

An analysis of the jars’ clay composition indicates that they are all of a similar make, and probably originate in the central hill country near Jerusalem.

According to Prof. Ahituv, the inscription is not complete and probably wound around the jar’s shoulder, while the remaining portion is just the end of the inscription and one letter from the beginning.

This jar fragment from the time of Kings David and Solomon is the earliest alphabetical written text ever discovered in Jerusalem.

This jar fragment from the time of Kings David and Solomon is the earliest alphabetical written text ever discovered in Jerusalem.

IDF Evacuates Rioting Arabs from South Hebron Illegal Outpost

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

For the fifth Saturday in recent weeks, Arab and foreign agitators set up a new, illegal outpost in the south Hebron hills, which Israeli forces eventually moved to dismantle.

The IDF says it has driven out some 100 Arabs and foreigners from the site.

Early Saturday, Arabs set up steel-framed tents near the village of al-Tuwani, calling this encampment “Canaan.”

Younis Arar, coordinator of the popular committees in southern Judea and Samaria, told the Ma’an news agency that soldiers moved in on the 30 Arabs in the outpost.

“We began building the tents and were surprised when a large force of the Israeli army began attacking us and destroying tents and hitting us … We will try and build Canaan village again,” Arar said.

An IDF spokeswoman said soldiers evacuated illegal structures, and responded with riot dispersal means when around 100 Arabs started rioting.

A Ma’an reporter said three journalists were detained, and the IDF spokeswoman said five Arabs and five Israelis were arrested for entering the area after it had been declared a closed military zone.

Yatta popular committee spokesman Ibrahim Rabee told Ma’an the protest camp was a stand against Israeli policies in the region.

“We are establishing Canaan on our land after our homes and water wells were demolished, and our people displaced,” he said.

The south Hebron hills area is under full Israeli military control, and its Arab residents have been complaining that Israel does not issue building permits and demolishes illegal homes and infrastructure—while supporting Israeli settlement construction in the area.

That could be news to local Israeli residents…

According to Ma’an, the IDF has established a closed military zone Just south of al-Tuwani, where the plan calls for the eviction of the residents of eight Arab villages, to make way for a new army training area.

The Canaan outpost is the fifth Arab outpost built and dismantled in recent weeks.

In January, the Bab al-Shams tent village was set up in an area where Israel plans to build the “E1″ houses, connecting Maale Adumim to Jerusalem.

A week later, the al-Karamah (Dignity) village in Beit Iksa, northwest of Jerusalem, which is about to be encircled by Israel’s separation wall.

Another week later, Arabs set up the Al-Asra, or prisoners, protest village in the village of Anin, northwest of Jenin.

Finally, last Saturday, Arabs established the “Al-Manatir neighborhood” in an area of Burin village, which they say is slated for confiscation by a neighboring Jewish village.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-evacuates-rioting-arabs-from-south-hebron-illegal-outpost/2013/02/09/

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