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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘dig’

New Dig in Hebron Aimed at Uncovering King David’s Palace

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has started digging for evidence of the Kingdom of David in Hebron, but leftists have charged it is just an excuse for another outpost.

The archaeological site is located in the Jewish neighborhood at Tel Rumeida, although the Haaretz English version headlined it was “Palestinian Hebron,” which is par for the course for the newspaper that is relied on by most foreign journalists for information to belittle Israel as a Jewish country.

Peace Now’s director Yariv Oppenheimer chimed in, “This is settlement expansion under the guise of archaeology. He told Haaretz , “Under US Secretary of State John Kerry’s nose, Defense Minister [Moshe Ya’alon] is enabling the settlers to expand and change the status quo in the most sensitive part of the West Bank.”

The Jewish Press decided not to embarrass Oppenheimer by interviewing him about what would be the significance if archeologists find the remains of the palace of King David during his reign 3,000 years ago.

Tel Rumeida is on one of the higher hills in Hebron, a site where it is logical that a king would build his palace.

The two lots of ground where the dig is taking place are owned by Jews. It is next to a site that already has been dug and has revealed ancient artifacts, including walls from the Biblical period.

Hebron Jewish community spokesman David Wilder told The Jewish Press Thursday that the Jewish community in the city has been trying for years to convince government authorities to provide the money and archaeologists to dig there. He said one wall has been identified as dating back to the time of the forefather Avraham.

Wilder dismissed as nonsense the claim that the site will be for a new outpost but added that plans for building for Jews elsewhere in Hebron are on the table, awaiting the approval of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Don’t hold your breath, at least not until U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry goes back to the U.S. State Dept. to find another area in the world to make worse.

The importance of Hebron for finding the roots of monotheism and Jewish history was expressed years ago by an archaeologist, who also was a key member of Peace Now. Wilder said the archaeologist, whom he did not want to name, told him, “Hebron is the most archeological site in Israel, after Jerusalem – and it all belongs to Arafat.”

Of course, Yasser Arafat is long gone, but the uncovered history of Hebron remains underground.

Wilder admitted that no one ever knows what will be found until after digging is completed, but given the location of Tel Rumeida, it is hoped that remnants of King David’s palace will be found.

If that happens, the whole Muslim lie that the kingdoms never existed crumbles, which might be one reason why Peace Now and Haaretz are so aghast at the new dig.

Many Israeli archaeologists have turned down the opportunity to supervise digging at Tel Rumeida, despite its probable rich historical treasure.

Finally, with  financial and political help from Likud Minister of Sport and Culture Limor Livnat and from the Antiquities Authority,  Ariel University and IAA archaeologists will take on the task.

The Palestinian Authority’s interest in the dig can been assumed from its destruction of history on the Temple Mount, where Israeli authorities four years have closed their eyes to Muslim authorities hauling away tons of debris that might include evidence of the First and Second Holy Temples.

Report: NBC Bows to Arabs, Cancels Filming of ‘Dig’ in Jerusalem

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

NBC reportedly has bowed to Palestinian Authority pressure and has cancelled plans to short part of its new “DIG” television series near the Old City in areas of Jerusalem claimed by the PA.

“There was no plan made to film the series in the City of David National Park or in the village of Silwan, furthermore, location scouting and planning will not begin until February 2014, and any decisions regarding possible production sites will be made with respect for all concerned parties,” according to an NBC official quoted by Haaretz.

The statement totally contradicts a previous NBC press release that stated that “the project would be shot in the City of David and present the exciting history of the Old City.”

It appears that NBC is taking lessons from the U.S. State Dept. on how to react to Palestinian Authority pressure.

 

Assyrian Period Fortifications Unearthed in Ashdod

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

An archeological team headed by Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv university has announced the discovery of one of the largest construction projects in the entire Mediterranean basin: a system of fortifications from the 8th century BCE, as well as coins, weights and parts of buildings from the Hellenistic period, have all been found in the archeological dig Tel Ashdod Yam – where the harbor of the philistine city of Ashdod used to be. The site is about 3 miles south of today’s thriving Israeli city of Ashdod.

This has been the first deep and well organized dig at the site, following the only previous dig there, carried out by the late archeologist Dr. Ya’akov Caplan in 1965-68.

The more recent dig has brought to light the remains of an 8th century BCE fortification system – a mud brick wall comprised of internal and external dykes circling a wharf. The dig has also unearthed ruins of buildings from the Hellenistic period (late 4th to early 2nd centuries BCE), as well as coins and weights.

“We knew there was an important archeological site there that hasn’t been dug until now,” Dr. Fantalkin told Walla. “We concluded the pioneer year of this project, and it’s being planned for many years to come. This is the ancient harbor of the Philistine city of Ashdod, We found there a very impressive fortification system comprised of 18 ft. tall mud brick walls. This brick wall is the core of a system of dykes that are combined into a huge, horseshoe shaped fortification, protecting a man-made pier.”

A three dimensional photograph of the ruins from the Hellenistic period, 2nd century BCE. Photo credit: Philip Sapirstein / TAU

A three dimensional photograph of the ruins from the Hellenistic period, 2nd century BCE. Photo credit: Philip Sapirstein / TAU

Dr. Fantalkin said his team was surprised by the degree of preservation of these structures, from some 2,750 years ago. They’re only now beginning to come to terms with the magnitude of what they’ve discovered.

An Assyrian governor ruled the southern Mediterranean basin in a time that was mired in power struggles and wars. Assyrian texts do describe a Philistine rebellion against Assyrian rule at the end of that period. Dr. Fantalkin believes the fortifications he discovered are related, one way or another, to the events on record.

“The Assyrians ruled firmly here from the middle of the 8th Century BCE,” he said. “It’s not clear if the fortifications were built by the Assyrians themselves or by the local who were commanded by the Assyrians.”

“Following the Philistine rebellion, the Assyrians sent down an army in 712 BCE, and the rebelling king fled to Egypt,” he continued. “The Assyrians demanded the Egyption extradite him, which they did. The entire affair is mentioned both in the Bible and in Assyrian sources. (For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted. Zephaniah 2:4) The rebellion was put down forcefully by the Assyrians and the city of Ashdod was destroyed.”

Rare Discovery of 3,500-Year-Old Donkey in Israel

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Archaeologists north of Be’er Sheva have discovered the skeleton of a  3,500-year-old donkey, complete with a copper bridle in its mouth and saddle bags on its back.

The rare find led Israeli researchers to conclude that the donkey, estimated to be only four years at the time of its death, was sacrificed as part of a Bronze Age ritual at a time when donkeys enjoyed a respected status.

Donkeys are frequently mentioned in the Bible, with the most famous one being the “talking mule” of the non-Jew Balaam, who was paid by King Balak to curse Israel but ended up blessing the People of Israel as they stood on the edge of the desert before entering the Promised Land.

Donkeys were the beast of burden, were used on trade routes and were so important during the founding of ancient Egypt that skeletons of donkeys have been found in graves of pharaohs.

The skeleton that was found at an archaeological site near Kiryat Gat, located approximately 15 miles north of Be’er Sheva and 50 miles or so southeast of Tel Aviv, indicates that the young donkey was spared hard labor.

Guy Bar-Oz of the University of Haifa, who headed the research team at the Tel Haror site, said that donkey was laid on its left side, with its limbs neatly bent. It probably was sacrificed, and the copper bridle bit probably was symbolic because the animal’s teeth showed that the bit was not used.

“The absence of any sign of bit wear on the lower premolars indicates that the animal was not ridden or driven with a bit for prolonged periods of time,” the researchers write in a paper published online this week in the online journal PLoS ONE. “Moreover, the young donkey was still in the process of shedding its teeth and permanent teeth were just erupting. Based on its age, the Haror donkey would probably have been too young to be a trained draught animal.”

The bit is  the only one from the Bronze Age to have been found in the mouth of hoofed mammals.

A sign that the donkey had been sacrificed in a rite was a pile of bones from sheep and goats that were found near the donkey’s carcass.

“The Tel Haror interment represents the only known example of a donkey within a ritual context that was symbolically harnessed with a horse bit and bearing saddlebags, and, thus, sheds important light on both the functional and symbolic role of equids in the Ancient Near East,” the research team wrote on PLosOne.

“The location, grouping, dimensions and symmetrical placement of the fittings, leads us to suggest that they represent the remains of fasteners for saddlebags that was composed of decayed organic material, such as leather,” they added.

Ancient Liquid Extraction Installation Uncovered in Tel Aviv-Yafo

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) exposed the remains of a liquid extraction installation – most likely used for pressing wine from grapes – dating to the Byzantine period.

It is also possible that the installation was used to produce wine or alcoholic beverage from other types of fruit that grew in the region.

The find was made as part of an excavation being conducted in preparation for municipal infrastructure work for the Tel Aviv municipality.

IAA’s excavation director Dr. Yoav Arbel said, “This is the first important building from the Byzantine period to be uncovered in this part of the city, and it adds a significant dimension to our knowledge about the impressive agricultural distribution in the region in this period.”

Yaffo’s rich and diverse agricultural tradition has a history thousands of years old beginning with references to the city and its fertile fields in ancient Egyptian documents up until Yaffo’s orchards in the Ottoman period.

“The installation, which probably dates to the second half of the Byzantine period (6th century – early 7th century CE), is divided into surfaces paved with a white industrial mosaic,” Dr. Arbel explained. “Due to the mosaic’s impermeability, such surfaces are commonly found in the press installations of the period which were used to extract liquid.”

“Each unit was connected to a plastered collecting vat. The pressing was performed on the mosaic surfaces whereupon the liquid drained into the vats. It is possible that the section that was discovered represents a relatively small part of the overall installation, and other elements of it are likely to be revealed in archaeological excavations along adjacent streets which are expected to take place later this year.”

Following the find, the installation was covered as new infrastructures were laid in place above it without damaging it, enabling the continued work on the city’s infrastructure without compromising the preservation of the antiquities for future generations.

The Tel Aviv municipality is modernizing the underground infrastructure, roads and sidewalks. Overhead electrical and telephone wires are being lowered, and street furniture and landscaping are being added.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/ancient-liquid-eztraction-installation-uncoverd-in-tel-aviv-yafo/2013/02/20/

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