Posts Tagged ‘IAA’
In a festive ceremony attended by Israel Defense Force chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot, the director of the Israel Antiquities Authority and a representative of the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, the largest archaeological garden ever built in Israel was inaugurated Tuesday at the IDF Kirya base in Tel Aviv.
The exhibition – A Tumultuous City – is situated in the heart of “The City that Never Sleeps” and presents dozens of impressive items from major cities in the ancient world.
Among the most unique exhibitions are a stone that weighs six tons from the Western Wall.
In addition to the IDF chief of staff, IAA irector Israel Hasson, a representative of the Heritage Project in the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, the Camp Rabin base commander Colonel Yigal Ben-Ami and senior officials of the IDF and the IAA were on hand for the festivities.
Hasson told those gathered, “The IAA seeks to expose soldiers – our future generation – to their past. The exhibition, which we organized in the epicenter of the army, brings a reminder that spans thousands of years of history to the daily life of tens of thousands of soldiers and visitors, that we are part of a chain of magnificent life. The exhibition was established as part of the IAA’s outreach policy of sharing our heritage with the public, whether in setting up exhibitions in public places or encouraging soldiers, pupils in military preparatory programs and youth to participate in archaeological excavations”.
According to the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, Ze’ev Elkin, “The importance of the presence of our heritage in the heart of the Kirya base in Tel Aviv, where all of the army’s senior officers pass, constitutes another tier in our national strength, resulting from the recognition of our heritage and the deep understanding of each soldier and officer that our future depends on our past and our heritage here in Israel”.
Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev said, “The decision to inaugurate an archaeological garden here in the base of the IDF general staff conveys first and foremost an important moral message – recognition of Israel’s history is essential in building the image of the soldier who knows his past, understands the challenges of the present and is always ready to ensure the future of his people for the sake of future generations”.
Camp Rabin Commander Colonel Yigal Ben-Ami, added, “A people needs to be aware of its past. About 25,000 people pass by here every day and they will now have direct contact with their heritage. The new garden is an amazing connection between what we went through and our revival”.
According to Ayelet Grover, curator of the exhibition on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The Hebrew word kirya first appears in the Book of Isaiah (22:2), meaning “town”, where it is written: ‘a tumultuous city, exultant town.’
“In a bustling place like the Kirya base, which is in the heart of The City that Never Sleeps – the economic, cultural and arts center of Israel, it was appropriate that we organize an archaeological exhibition in the city, which deals with human culture and the development of urban space.
“The exhibition tells the story of the oldest cities in Israel, the most ancient of which were established 5,000 years ago, and some of them still exist today.
“The presentation of stones that come from the earth and hold within them memory, history and culture, especially in a place where the full-force of contemporary architecture is present, creates, in my opinion, a thought-provoking dialogue between past, present and future,” she said.Hana Levi Julian
Israel unlocked its temporary ban on incoming flights from Europe at about 12 noon on Tuesday following a massive terror attack at the departure hall of Zaventem Airport in Brussels a few hours earlier.
However, it is not clear whether the incoming flights will be allowed by the local airports to depart, depending on the various security restrictions currently in place. In addition, there may be restrictions on which air space may be used in flights out of Europe due to the security situation.
Israel had issued a temporary ban on all incoming flights from Europe in the wake of a massive explosion shortly after 8 am near the American Airlines desk at the departure hall of Belgium’s Zaventem Airport in Brussels.
The ban had been scheduled for 10:30 am until midnight (Tues. Mar. 22), at least until the security situation was clear.
Outgoing flights from Israel to Europe were not affected by the security measure.
The Israel Aviation Authority (IAA) opened a situation room at Ben Gurion International Airport to manage the ongoing crisis and help keep airline passengers updated.
Passengers were asked to have patience with the extra security measures and to check the schedule board at the airport for updates.
Three flights were set to arrive in Israel today from Brussels. According to the IAA, a total of 24 flights were affected by the ban.Hana Levi Julian
Three 1,700-year-old burial inscriptions in Aramaic and Greek have been uncovered in the northern Israeli community of Tzipori.
The discovery came after residents of the moshav found pieces of the stone and called the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret Academic College.
Researchers from the college excavated the site together with archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The two Aramaic inscriptions mention individuals referred to as “rabbis” who were buried in the western cemetery of Tzipori; their names have not yet been deciphered.
According to Dr. Motti Aviam of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology, “The importance of the epitaphs lies in the fact that these reflect the everyday life of the Jews of Tzipori and their cultural world.
“Researchers are uncertain as to the meaning of the term ‘rabbi’ at the time when Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Nasi resided in Tzipori together with the Tannaim and after him by the Amoraim – the large groups of sages that studied in the city’s houses of learning.
“One of the surprises in the newly discovered inscriptions is that one of the deceased was called ‘the Tiberian’. This is already the second instance of someone from Tiberias being buried in the cemetery at Tzipori.
“It is quite possible that Jews from various parts of Galilee were brought to Tzipori to be buried in the wake of the important activity carried out there by Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Nasi.
“Another possibility is that the man moved to Tzipori and died there, but wanted to be remembered as someone who originally came from Tiberias,” he explained.
In the second Aramaic epitaph the word ‘le-olam’ (forever) appears for the first time in inscriptions found at Tzipori. The term le-olam is known from burial inscriptions in Beit She‘arim and elsewhere. “It means that the deceased’s burial place will remain his forever and that no one will take it from him. Both inscriptions end with the Hebrew blessing ‘shalom,’” Aviam explained.
“The Greek inscription mentions the name Jose, which was very common amongst Jews living in Israel and abroad.”
So far, 17 epitaphs were documented in the Tzipori study, most of them written in Aramaic, which was the everyday language of Jews in Israel at that time.
Contrasting this are the funerary inscriptions found in Tiberias – the second capital of the Galilee – which were mainly written in Greek.
Several of the ancient inhabitants from Tzipori are mentioned in these inscriptions, which include the names of rabbis and often have the names of the professions they were engaged in. Aramaic was the everyday language used by the Jews in the period of the Mishnah and Talmud, but some of them also spoke and read Greek, and thus there are also burial inscriptions in that language.
Tzipori was the first capital of the Galilee from the time of the Hasmonean dynasty until the establishment of Tiberias in the first century CE. The city continued to be central and important later on and was where Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Nasi resided and compiled the Mishnah.
Jewish life in the city was rich and diverse, as indicated by the numerous ritual pools (mikvahs) discovered in the excavation.
At the same time the influence of Roman culture was also quite evident as reflected in the design of the town with its paved streets, colonnaded main roads, theater and bathhouses.
The wealth of inscriptions from the cemeteries attests to the strong Jewish presence and the city’s social elite in the Late Roman period.Hana Levi Julian
Second Impressive Mosaic Uncovered in Lod
A second impressive mosaic discovered by archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority is ready to be publicly displayed this week for the first time ever.
In June–November 2014 a team of IAA archaeologists directed a large excavation in the Neve Yerek neighborhood of Lod. It is an area where a breathtaking mosaic that served as the living room floor in a villa some 1,700 years ago was previously exposed.
The aim of the excavation was to prepare the ground for construction of a visitor center, to which the beautiful mosaic will be returned when it completes a series of exhibitions in museums around the world.
Important artifacts were discovered in the new excavation, the most notable of which is another colorful mosaic (11 × 13 m) that was the courtyard pavement of the magnificent villa that had the famous mosaic in its living room.
According to Dr. Amir Gorzalczany, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The villa we found was part of a neighborhood of affluent houses that stood here during the Roman and Byzantine periods. At that time Lod was called Diospolis and was the district capital, until it was replaced by Ramlaafter the Muslim conquest. The building was used for a very long time.”
The northern part of the complex, where the “Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center” will be constructed, was exposed when the Israel Antiquities Authority was inspecting development work being carried out in the early 1990s prior to the construction of Highway 90.The mosaic, which was discovered and excavated at that time by the late Miriam Avissar, is among the most beautiful in the country, and has been exhibited in recent years in some of the world’s leading museums, including the Metropolitan, the Louvre and the State Hermitage etc. It is currently on display at the Cini Gallery in Venice, Italy, and in the future it will be housed in the main building to be erected in Lod.
The southern part of the complex was exposed in the current excavations. Among other things, it includes a large magnificent courtyard that is paved with a mosaic and surrounded by porticos (stoas–covered galleries open to the courtyard) whose ceiling was supported by columns. According to Dr. Gorzalczany, “The eastern part of the complex could not be completely exposed because it extends beneath modern buildings in the neighborhood.”
The scenes in this mosaic depict hunting and hunted animals, fish, flowers in baskets, vases and birds. Dr. Gorzalczany added, “The quality of the images portrayed in the mosaic indicates a highly developed artistic ability.”
Numerous fragments of frescoes (wall paintings prepared on wet plaster) reflect the decoration and the meticulous and luxurious design, which are in the best tradition of the well-born of the period. In light of the new discoveries, this part of the villa will also be incorporated in the visitor center.
Archaeologists Hagit Torgë, Uzi ‘Ad, Eriola Jakoel and Yossi Elisha of the Israel Antiquities Authority participated in the excavation.Hana Levi Julian
A unique and extremely impressive stone sarcophagus approximately 1,800 years old has been exposed at a building site in a new neighborhood being built in Ashkelon.
This occurred during an overnight operation between Tuesday and Wednesday carried out by inspectors of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, the Southern District of the IAA, and patrol officers and detectives from the Ashkelon police station.
The find is among the rarest sarcophagi ever discovered in Israel. The coffin, made of hard limestone, weighs approximately two tons, is 2.5 meters long, and is sculpted on all sides. A life-size figure of a person is carved on the lid of the sarcophagus.
The unique artifact was repeatedly struck by a tractor in different places, scarring the stone and damaging the decorations sculpted by an artist on its sides. The irreparable damage was caused by the contractors who encountered the impressive sarcophagus during the course of their work.
They decided to hide it, pulling it out of the ground with a tractor while aggressively damaging it, and then concealing it beneath a stack of sheet metal and boards. They poured a concrete floor in the lot so as to conceal any evidence of the existence of the antiquities site.
Information received by the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery about unlawful activities at the construction site led to a nighttime search being conducted in the area. A close examination of the area revealed the sarcophagus and the lid concealed there.
Five Palestinian Arab construction workers from the Hebron area were detained who were sleeping at the building site. During investigation of the laborers at the Ashkelon police station, it became clear that the sarcophagus was excavated last week. When questioned, they showed the investigators photos and videos taken at the time of the sarcophagus’ discovery and while removing it from the ground.
Later that night, two building contractors were detained who are residents of the city and were responsible for the construction work at the site. The contractors were questioned under caution on suspicion of not reporting an ancient discovery and on suspicion of damaging an antiquities site and its artifacts – an offense punishable by five years imprisonment.
“This is an extremely serious case of damage to a rare antiquity of unprecedented artistic, historical and cultural importance,” said Amir Ganor, head of the Inspection Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
“The IAA is attentive to development needs and the needs of the public, but will strictly enforce the law against those who knowingly damage antiquities, which are assets belonging to us all.
“Out of consideration for the owners of the lots, we permitted building in the new neighborhood of villas, on condition they would report any discovery of antiquities in the area right away and immediately halt work until the arrival of our representative.Hana Levi Julian
The Dead Sea Scrolls are now available on iPhone and iPad, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Thursday with the launch of its first App featuring archaeology games and puzzles for kids.
Genesis 1:1 (the account of creation), the Ten Commandments, Psalms, and 11 other 2,000 year old manuscripts are featured in the ”Dig Quest” App that introduces kids ages 7-11 to archaeology with a suite of unique games, featuring beautiful artifacts from the National Treasures of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The App transforms a kid’s iPhone or iPad into an archaeological tool and lets them play games to hone their skills, discover secret meanings, solve puzzles, and piece the past together like true archaeologists. Along the way, they unlock ancient artifacts and create their own personal collection.
The games were developed in collaboration with the IAA’s team of archaeologists and researchers. As the children play, they get a feel for what archaeologists do as they experience the excitement of discovery and the creativity and skills involved in solving mysteries from the distant past.
Players select between two dig sites, each of which has a unique game that puts the player in the driver’s seat and requires using different archaeological skills.
At Lod, you clear the dirt to uncover an ancient Roman period mosaic and then play a fast-paced quiz-style game using your smarts and powers of observation to identify and classify the animals and objects on the mosaic.
In the Qumran caves, you discover fragments of the 2,000 year-old Dead Sea Scrolls that you piece together in a puzzle game. Then you scan the scrolls to reveal their text more clearly, mirroring the advanced spectral imaging process performed by the IAA team in the laboratories.
Each site features Discoveries for the user to uncover that tell more about the story of the excavation and the artifacts that are found. Artifacts and discoveries can be collected in a “Collection box.”
The game features:
- More than 30 levels in two unique games based on two world-famous archaeological discoveries;
- More than 50 images of historical treasures;
- Historical and archaeological facts and artifacts;
- Translated and spoken excerpts from the Dead Sea Scrolls;
- A Collection box where players store artifacts and discoveries;
- An archaeologist character host, Gabe, inspired by real IAA archaeologists;
The App is launching with two games, and additional games are planned as well as an Android release.
It can be downloaded the from the App Store .Jewish Press Staff