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Rare mark from biblical king's seal found in Jerusalem
Israeli archaeologists have discovered a mark from the seal of biblical King Hezekiah, who helped build Jerusalem into an ancient metropolis.

The circular inscription, on a piece of clay less than a centimeter (0.4 inches) long, may very well have been made by the king himself, said Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University who directed the excavation where it was uncovered.
Hezekiah ruled around 700 BC and was described in the Bible as a daring monarch - "There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him" (II Kings 18:5) - who was dedicated to eliminating idoltary in his kingdom.
"This is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever come to light in a scientific archaeological excavation," Mazar said.
[Image: AAfWPWB.img?h=429&w=644&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=491&y=182]© Reuters A projected image of a clay imprint, known as a bulla, which was unearthed from excavations near Jerusalem's Old City, and later discovered to be from the seal of the biblical King Hezekiah, is…The clay imprint, known as a bulla, was found at a dig at the foot of the southern part of the wall that surrounds Jerusalem's Old City, an area rich in relics from the period of the first of two ancient Jewish temples.
It had been buried in a refuse dump dated to the time of Hezekiah and was probably tossed from an adjacent royal building, Mazar said. It contains ancient Hebrew script and the symbol of a two-winged sun.
The bulla was initially cataloged and put in a closet, along with 33 others, after a first inspection that failed to establish its true identity.
Only five years later, when a team member scrutinized it under a magnifying glass and discerned dots in between some of the letters, did the meaning become clear.
The dots help separate the words: "Belonging to Hezekiah (son of) Ahaz king of Judah."
Mazar said the back side of the clay imprint of the seal had markings of thin cords that were used to tie a papyrus document.
"It's always a question, what are the real facts behind the biblical stories," Mazar said. "Here we have a chance to get as close as possible to the person himself, to the king himself." (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Gareth Jones
On a satellite I ride. Nothing down below can hide.
Those wings, and the ankh cross? Egyptian as fuck !
(12-03-2015, 02:25 AM)Bigfoot73 Wrote: Those wings, and the ankh cross? Egyptian as fuck !

Could be we the Martians were coming in typical flying orb with three pad landing.


Bob... Ninja Alien2
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Good call Bob.
 The biblical King Hezekiah Holycowsmile

That means the hittites are turkish???

Quote:The clay imprint, known as a bulla...
 This ain't no clay bulla but a real deal seal.

Rare Hittite seal seized by Turkish police 

Posted by TANNArchaeoHeritage, Archaeology, Breakingnews, Greater Middle East, Heritage, Near East, Turkey 8:00 PM A 3,600-year-old Hittite-era seal has been found in a box during a police operation held in the Central Turkish province of Çorum. The seal was one of two of its kind in the world.

[Image: Turkey_seal.jpg]
 The Hieroglyphic Hittite seal [Credit: AA]

 Teams from the anti-smuggling and organized crime branch were ordered to carry out an operation in pursuit of a man who would transport historical artifacts from Ankara to Çorum. The car was stopped at the entrance of the city and the teams found a semicircular seal in a box as well as two coins and a 10-centimeter-long iron object. The man was taken into custody and set free after his testimony. The seal and other artifacts were delivered to the Çorum Museum Directorate. Examinations revealed the seal was one of only two in the world. The other seal was reported to have been smuggled from Çorum to the U.S. and put on display at a museum. Source: Hurriyet Daily News [December 18, 2015]

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Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
smuggling antiquities is unfortunate,
but often these end up in museums that get plungered or savaged by Ghouls and such.

Museum curators conceal truth revealing artifacts under political / religious correctness.
In the western underground trade of these artifacts,
they often eventually surface into the legal world of trade, and pass that grade.
They then are well cared for as a collector item that gains value,
and handed off into the future. 
Sometimes a private buyer acquires that and donates it to a museum.

That seal however, was destined for big money movie buyers.
deep intrigue in a small package that is priceless

There somehow was an insider on the deal that had information. 
Quote:“Even now, we have new information that may well change the written history of some of the periods of the Temple Mount,” Barkay said of the project.

Byzantine-era potsherd from Temple Mount may contain engraving of holy site’s menorah

Relic discovered by archaeologists from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Sifting Project
[Image: ShowImage.ashx?id=320880&h=530&w=758]
An image of the unearthed potsherd. (photo credit:COURTESY OF TEMPLE MOUNT SIFTING PROJECT)

A 1,000-year-old potsherd from the Temple Mount bearing a symbol resembling a menorah may shed invaluable light on a centuries-old debate regarding the menorah’s original design, a noted archeologist said Thursday.

The relic was recently discovered at the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem, which sifts through the thousands of tons of ancient debris illegally discarded from the contested holy site by the Wakf Islamic trust in 1999.

Although archeologist Zachi Dvira, co-founder and director of the project, could not see the entire design of the broken sherd, he said it likely represented an attempt to draw the Temple’s menorah.

“Based on its clay type and texture, the potsherd dates to the period of Byzantine rule over Jerusalem, from 324 to 640 CE,” said Dvira.

“What makes this discovery significant is that it originated upon the Temple Mount itself. The design of the menorah inscribed on the potsherd may shed light on an age-old debate regarding the appearance of the menorah that stood in the Heikal [hall] of the First and Second Temples.”

According to Dvira, the origins for the design of the menorah can be found in the Book of Exodus (25:32-40), which states: “And you shall make a menorah of pure gold. The menorah shall be made of hammered work; its base and its stem, its goblets, its knobs, and its flowers shall all be one piece with it. And six branches coming out of its sides: three menorah branches from its one side and three menorah branches from its second side... so for the six branches that come out of the menorah... And you shall make its lamps seven…” Still, the Biblical passage does not provide any indication as to whether the branches of the menorah were meant to be round or straight, leading to a protracted debate among leading rabbinic scholars, including Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki – Rashi (1040-1105), Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra (1089- 1167) and Maimonides (1135- 1204).

“Upon the potsherd, the furthermost left branch of what appears to be a menorah cannot be fully seen due to the fracture at that side,” explained Dvira.

“The base of the menorah can be seen partly and was probably composed of three legs; two angular and one straight. At the top, one sees that the branches are polygonal depressions, which may represent the almond shaped cups that held the oil for the wicks.”

The branches on the engraving are straight, unlike other ancient representations of the menorah from antiquity, where they appear in a circular fashion, he said, which may be due to the fact that “it is very difficult to create circular lines when engraving a potsherd.”

“Since the potsherd dates to centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple, and the incision was done after firing the clay, it is difficult to deduce from it anything concrete regarding the original shape of the menorah,” Dvira said.

“But, we can learn about how Jews living in Jerusalem during the Byzantine period, or later, understood the design of the menorah.”

The Temple Mount Sifting Project – under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, and with the support of the City of David Foundation – was created by Dvira and internationally recognized archeologist Gabriel Barkay in an effort to reclaim, analyze and document the discarded debris.

“Even now, we have new information that may well change the written history of some of the periods of the Temple Mount,” Barkay said of the project.

“The sifting project has proven itself to be an inexhaustible source of knowledge for the research and study of the archeology and history of the Temple Mount,” he added.

Temple Mount in Jewish hands? The Egyptian intellectual who handed over al-Aksa

Egyptian philosopher, expert on Arabic and Islamic studies, says Muslim claims over al-Aksa mosque are baseless.

Dr. Youssef Ziedan was insistent on pronouncing the words "Beit Hamikdash," or, Temple in Jerusalem, clearly and in Hebrew. 

An Egyptian philosopher and expert on  Arabic and Islamic studies,  Ziedan sat in the Egyptian CBC studios and explained at length to his host why, in his opinion, Muslim claims over al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem are baseless. The CBC interviewer, Khairy Ramadan, challenged Zieden while taking in his words eagerly. 

At the end of a two-hour long session, the well-known Egyptian intellectual Ziedan stepped out of the studio into the fresh air and began his journey home to Alexandria. 

The storm broke out that night. 

"Ziedan is ignoring the tenets of Islam and is entering a dangerous circle," Dr. Abbad al-Fatah Hader, a lecturer on Koran studies at Al-Azhar University, warned. "Whoever questions the truthfulness of the Koran is a heretic."

"Beit Hamikdash is a Hebrew term," Ziedan insisted in his interview. "Hence, in my opinion, the al-Aksa mosque isn't legitimate. Al-Kuds, the temple, is an ancient Hebrew word, and Muslims adopted the word." He turned to his Muslim brethren and said: "You're annexing the city, annexing the word, and claiming that it is holy to you. But from where exactly? Can you tell a Jew that Jerusalem is not his?"

It is doubtful that an Israeli exists who is more eloquent than Youssef Ziedan, a Muslim from birth, who has never been to Israel or been a particular fan of the Jewish nation, and remains one of the most important researchers on religions in Egyptian academia.

Jerusalem is not explicitly referenced in the Koran. In their claims on the Temple Mount, Muslims reference the term "Al-Aksa Mosque," which does appear in the holy book, sans a geographic pinpoint. Ziedan claims that interpretation claiming that the mosque is situated precisely in Jerusalem, is baseless.

The Muslims base their claims on the first verse in chapter 17 of the Koran, titled, "The Night Journey," which reads: "Glory be to Him, who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque to the Further Mosque." Based on the Muslim faith, the verse speaks of a miracle bestowed on Muhammad by God, in which the messenger (Muhammad), was led in the middle of the night from the mosque in the city of Mecca (the "Holy mosque) to a mosque in another city (the "further mosque), further away, believed to be al-Aqsa mosque, which, for generations, was interpreted as having been located in Jerusalem. 

Ziedan however, has his own, alternative theory. He claims that the phrase "Al Aksa" refers to a mosque on the outskirts of the city of Ta'if, west of Mecca. He bases his hypothesis on the teachings of the ancient Muslim historian Al-Waqidi, born 100 years after the appearance of Muhammad, who made similar claims. 

"Al Aksa mosque didn't exist back then," said Ziedan, "there was no city named al-Quds and modern teachings claiming this are disastrous."

Khairy Ramadan challenged Ziedan, and asked him why he believes Muslims today insist on the holiness of Jerusalem. Ziedan attributed the stubbornness to politics. "The religious aspect in the Arab-Israeli conflict is intentionally political."

Ziedan claimed that Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem was built by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the 5th caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty in Damascus, 73 years after the founding of Islam. If this is true, then Al-Aksa could not have been in existence when Muhammad made the overnight journey in the Koran's 17th chapter. Ziedan said that Marwan built al-Aksa in order to infringe on the prestige of Mecca, which at the time was controlled by his political enemies. 

"Al-Aqsa mosque was a pawn in a political game, led by ibn Marwan," said Ziedan.

Ziedan's controversial interview surfaced at a sensitive time - a time when Palestinians and Israelis are engaging in violent confrontations in the West Bank, while the Muslim world is echoing cries of concern over Al-Aksa, claiming that it is in danger due to Jewish presence on site. 

In his CBC appearance, Ziedan went further, clearing the Israeli government of responsibility from Palestinian claims that it was at fault for the 1982 massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. Ziedan said that, since the massacre was carried out by the Kataeb Party, also known as Phalange - predominantly Christian Lebanese and right-wing - there is no reason to blame Ariel Sharon, Minister of Defense at the time.

The Egyptian newspaper, Al-Dustour, mocked Ziedan for these comments and coined him as the "occupation's defense attorney."

A Regular Critic

Dr. Youssef Ziedan, 57, a lecturer at the University of Alexandria, is a philosopher and expert in Arabic and Islamic studies. He is secular and outwardly opposes the Muslim Brotherhood. Ziedan has written a number of novels in the past decade, many of which have been best-sellers in the Arab world. His most known work, titled Azazeel, has been translated into 16 languages and has awarded Ziedan international recognition. 

His most recent CBC interview is not the first instance at which he speaks up against mainstream Islam. 

In a televised interview a year ago, Ziedan proposed that Egypt reevaluate its relationship with the Jewish nation. He explained that a historic rivalry with Judaism negatively influenced Muslims, and, in modern days, is used by politicians as a means of manipulation in order to seed provocation. "Whoever wants to win over the public, must curse Israelis" Ziedan said, "but after they rise to power, they treat them nicely."

"It's idiotic," he explained, "and exploits the ignorance of the public."

Reactions to Ziedan

The Egyptian public remained relatively calm and unmoved following Ziedan's claims. 

Yet some Muslim clerics and experts on Islam were outraged and defended the belief that al-Aksa was, indeed, the mosque referenced in Chapter 17 of the Koran. 

Dr. Abbed al-Munam Fuad, a university lecturer on theological thought, said that Ziedan "must be brought to trial." He said that with his statements, Ziedan is "trying to undermine the ideological security of Muslims." Dr. Muhammad Muhanna, of Al-Azhar University, insisted that to counter Ziedan's claim about al-Aksa, religious greats must prove the accuracy of the 17th chapter's first verse.

Dr. Abbad al-Fatah Hader, who called Ziedan a heretic for his claims, said that he must "express regret to Allah," in order to be cleared of shame, or blame.

Dr. Ali Gomaa, former Grand Mufti of Egypt, said that Ziedan wasn't qualified to express his opinions in a public forum.

"There is freedom of thinking - a man can think as he wishes - but when you speak, your words need to be accurate," he said. 

"The greatest learners of Islam agree that one must make pilgrimage to al-Aksa. The disagreement is over whether one should make the journey on an Israeli visa or not, under the 'occupation' or not," he said. 

Despite harsh criticism, no one demanded that Zeidan face extreme, harsh repercussions for his statements - such as revoking his position at the university, or inflicting physical punishment on him. No court complaint was filed against him, and should one be filed, it is likely that it will mysteriously disappear. 

Translated by Coral Braun.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote:Israeli archaeologists have discovered a mark from the seal of biblical King Hezekiah, who helped build Jerusalem into an ancient metropolis
I like this thread.

While centered on Jerusalem and this bulla Keith brought to our recent attention.

We can formulate a timeline.

Within the mind confined in each of our seperate skulls we should be able to get a timeline that matches 2016 and not 2015 about this city of David and the kings and their things before and since eve bit the quince.

I hope we finally find Alexander the great too!!! LilD

The Journey of Charlemagne to Jerusalem,

and His Adventure with Hu Gadarn

600-year-old Charlemagne insignia found in Zurich 
Posted by TANNArchaeoHeritage, Archaeology, Breakingnews, Europe, Switzerland, Western Europe 6:00 PM 
[Image: charlemagne_01.jpg]
Archaeologists working on an excavation near Zurich’s Fraumünster church have found a 600-year-old metal insignia depicting the emperor Charlemagne at the graves of the city’s patron saints. The insignia was one of the archaeological finds made by excavating near  Zurich's Fraumünster church [Credit: Martin Bachmann] 

A similar scene of Charlemagne discovering the graves of saints Felix and Regula can be seen in another church in Zurich, the Grossmünster. According to legend, Charlemagne was led to their graves by a stag, where his horse kneeled down before the saints. At that place, Charlemagne was said to have founded the Grossmünster church. Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor in Rome on Christmas Day in AD800, has been regarded as a holy figure in Zurich since the 13th century. This latest archaeological find strengthens theories that he was regarded as such by the general public many hundred years ago, according to the city of Zurich. Excavations have been taking place near the Fraumünster for several years, and archaeologists are now identifying and dating their findings. In addition to the 35mm-wide insignia, they uncovered a star-shaped spur believed to be at least 700 years old and believed to have been lost by a rider crossing the church courtyard. Source: Swissinfo [December 21, 2015] 

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Acra at Last? Site of Ancient Jewish Revolt Unearthed
by Elizabeth Palermo, Associate Editor   |   November 03, 2015 01:04pm ET

[Image: acra-jerusalem-1.jpg?1446566660]

[Image: PinExt.png]Credit: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
View full size image

Archaeologists in Jerusalem may have just solved one of the city's greatest geographical mysteries.
Excavators recently unearthed what they think are the ruins of the Acra, a fortress constructed more than 2,000 years ago by the Greek rulerAntiochus IV Epiphanes (215-164 B.C.). At one time mercenary soldiers and Hellenized Jews controlled the ancient fortress, enforcing a brutal rule over Jerusalem's residents.
The Acra's existence is recorded in historical documents, but archaeologists and historians have debated its location. [See Images of the Greek Citadel and Relics]

The religious "Book of Maccabees" and a work by historian Flavius Josephus seemed to point to the City of David.

Flavius Josephus, in his "Antiquities of the Jews" 12:252–253, wrote, "… and when he had overthrown the city walls, he built a citadel [Greek: Acra] in the lower part of the city, for the place was high and overlooked the temple, on which account he fortified it with high walls and towers, and put into it a garrison of Macedonians."

Even so, experts argued that Flavius' interpretation of the City of David may not be the modern City of David, which is considered the Eastern hill in Jerusalem where the Temple Mount sits. (Jerusalem's Western hill is the larger of the city's two main hills.)

And until now, archaeologists and historians had remained unsure about where in the ancient city they might unearth the massive citadel. In recent months, excavators working at the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem Walls National Park uncovered a huge section of wall, as well as a 65-foot-tall (20 meters) tower. They also excavated a sloping embankment at the base of the wall. Known as a glacis, the embankment was designed to keep attackers away from the base of the Acra. 

Relics from ancient battles surrounded the unearthed ruins. Lead slingshots, bronze arrowheads and ballista stones — all stamped with a trident, the symbol of Antiochus Epiphanes' reign — were dug up next to the massive wall. These small artifacts tell the story of the animosity between ancient Jerusalem's Jewish residents and the Greek-controlled citadel.

The archaeologists involved in the excavation, including Doron Ben-Ami of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), invited other archaeologists to visit the site and offer their comments. "We were very interested in their opinions, and once we had everything presented in front of all our colleagues and experts and we had many conversations," they feltconfident[img=0x0][/img] in presenting their discovery to the public, Ben-Ami said.

"I must admit that there was one historian that in 1989, Bezalel Bar Kochba, who, based on historical and linguistic and other documentation, suggested this location exactly where we found it today," he told Live Science.

The Acra was built specifically to control access to the Temple Mount, a Jewish holy site, said Ben-Ami, Yana Tchekhanovets and Salome Cohen, excavation directors with the IAA. The stronghold controlled "all means of approach to the temple atop the Temple Mount, and cut the temple off from the southern parts of the city," they said in a statement.

Coins found within the Acra's unearthed wall show that the citadel remained intact from the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes until the reign of Antiochus VII (139-129 B.C.). But the mercenaries and the Hellenized Jews who resided in the Acra were defeated in 141 B.C., after a prolonged siege, which left the Greek garrison without access to food. Simon Maccabeus, one of the brothers in the Hasmonean family[img=0x0][/img] who led the Maccabean revolt against the Greeks, spearheaded this celebrated siege.

The discovery of the Acra is "a dream come true" for archaeologists, who have been speculating on the citadel's location for 100 years, the IAA said. 

Not only have they found the elusive fortress, but the discovery also reveals what Jerusalem was like before the Hasmoneans took over after the revolt.

"Because we have located the Acra on the City of David, the implication is that the city was not larger than the City of David, and the Acra dominated the entire city, the entire Eastern hill," Ben-Ami said.
The archaeologists will continue to excavate and investigate the ruins. In addition, because the site is so large, Ben-Ami said they can also dig to deeper layers in other areas of the site. That way the archaeologists can look even further back in time in the same area.

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Researchers to uncover forensic secrets of Britain's historic wax seals
January 5, 2016 by Cerri Evans

[Image: researcherst.jpg]
Modern forensic analysis will be paired with detailed historical research to reveal new insights into medieval British society hidden within the wax seals of thousands of historic documents.

The unique research project, called Imprint, will examine fingerprints and palm prints left behind on the wax seals of documents dating from the 12th to the 14th centuries. These seals, attached to documents such as land transactions, business contracts, and financial exchanges were the medieval equivalents of modern-day signatures and credit cards.
The three-year study is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and led by Professor Philippa Hoskin from the University of Lincoln, UK, and co-investigator Dr Elizabeth New from Aberystwyth University. They will work with historical materials in the cathedrals of Exeter, Hereford and Lincoln, the National Library of Wales and Westminster Abbey.
The aim is to reveal more about medieval social structures, networks of authority, and the bureaucracies and protocols behind the authentication and security of documents in medieval England and Wales. The results will also help to answer questions about administrative and legal changes, including how the identification of the sealer with their seal changed over time – a practice known as the 'performative act of sealing'.

Fingerprints retrieved during the archival research will be compared with modern prints stored on automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) to see if close matches can be found across such distant periods. This will contribute to understanding of the uniqueness of prints, advancing the science of hand mark identification.
That same analysis will also cross-reference all the medieval prints recorded by the project. This has the potential to solve medieval crimes of fraud – for example, if prints found on suspected forgeries can be identified with prints on genuine documents. Imprint's forensic advisers, Forensic Focus, will present the data gathered at conferences and workshops for professional investigators.
Professor Hoskin, Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Lincoln, said: "By the 12th century almost all administrative documents were sealed with wax, impressing a seal matrix to leave a distinctive impression. Some were bespoke and some bought off the shelf – but all were necessary to validate any legal document with which the seal's owner was connected.

"These wax seals have the potential to give us so much information about medieval people, but they are often set aside as less important than the document itself. This will be the first time that the information the handprints found on those seals will be examined, and it could really offer historians new understanding of the period.
"The study will also contribute important information to current debates in forensics on the uniqueness of fingerprints, and not only that, but potentially uncover medieval crime."
The prints will be collated into an online archive alongside detailed information about the seal impressions and documents. This resource will be made available to researchers, archivists, and the general public.
As the study progresses there will also be workshops for heritage professionals and specialist classes for students, to share knowledge with current curators and the next generation of those caring for sealed documents.
Example stories from the project's work will be showcased through the website being developed by the Humanities Research Institute at University of Sheffield. There will also be workshops for members of the public, offering a vivid insight into medieval life.
Dr Elizabeth New, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Aberystwyth University, comments that: "Hand prints on wax seals bring us close to medieval people in a very tangible way. It is important to remember that seals were not just the preserve of kings and great nobles: men and women from all levels of society also set their seals on documents.
"Medieval seals contained a variety of images and words, providing strong statements of identity and very valuable sources of information about people, culture and society. The images can tell us what things actually looked like, and provide glimpses of humour, piety and family pride. They also enabled otherwise illiterate men and women the means to 'write' their name.
"These small objects have always had great significance, and are rich time-capsules that can open exciting windows into past lives. Examining the hand prints left – both accidentally and deliberately – in the wax along with impressions of seal matrices provides further important opportunities to deepen our understanding of our medieval ancestors."
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Analysis of skull fractures in medieval Denmark reveals increased risk of death later on in life
Provided by: University of Lincoln

Read more at:[/url][url=]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Hiker finds 3,500-year-old Egyptian seal in Israel

 Posted by TANNArchaeoHeritage, Archaeology, Breakingnews, Greater Middle East, Israel, Near East 7:00 PM

 During an excursion with his small children in the Horns of Hattin National Park in the Lower Galilee, Amit Haklai, a local resident, picked up a tiny white object from among the black basalt stones which caught his eye. Amit noticed that the object is carved in the shape of a beetle and has designs engraved in it, and he immediately recognized that it is an ancient Egyptian seal. 

He quickly called the Israel Antiquities Authority and turned the seal over to them. In return, he only asked to know what was engraved on the seal, and what can be learned about the site from it. 

[Image: Israel_01.jpg]
Egyptian scarab discovered in the Horns of Hattin National Park  [Credit: Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority] 

The seal was identified by Dr. Daphna Ben-Tor, curator of ancient Egyptian culture at the Israel Museum, as a scarab, that is an amulet, from the time of the New Kingdom in Egypt. According to Dr. Ben-Tor, "The scarab portrays the pharaoh Thutmose III seated on a throne and in front of him is a cartouche - an oval enclosing symbols that represent his name written in hieroglyphics. 

Thutmose ruled for many years throughout the fifteenth century BCE, and during his reign Egypt established a series of administrative-governmental centers in Canaan. It was here that he conducted numerous military campaigns, the most famous of which was the Battle of Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley - a victory that is commemorated in the enormous reliefs on the walls of the Karnak temple in Egypt." 

"Scarabs", says Dr. Ben-Tor, "were carved in the shape of a dung beetle - a creature of cosmological significance in ancient Egypt. Numerous scarabs have been found in archaeological excavations in Israel, and together with other artifacts of Egyptian origin, they are a testimony to the cultural, economic and political influence of Egypt in Canaan in the Late Bronze Age."

 The Horns of Hattin is an extinct volcano with two peaks that resemble horns, hence the name. The site is located on the Gospel Trail, a modular walking trail from Nazareth to Capernaum that follows the trail Jesus may have walked. The site is famous because of the Battle of Hattin, which was waged there in 1187 between Saladin, ruler of the Ayyubid dynasty of Damascus, and the armies of the Christian Franks whom he defeated and thus brought to an end the first Crusader kingdom. 

Many years prior to this, in the Late Bronze Age, a citadel stood on the mountain that was probably destroyed in the thirteenth century CE. According to archaeologist Yardena Alexandre of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "Even thought the scarab was found on the surface rather than in an archaeological excavation, it seems to be associated with the period when the citadel existed." Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs [February 04, 2016]

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Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
2,500-year-old seal belonging to a woman unearthed in Jerusalem
[/url][Image: 141009150640-henry-hanks-use-this-profil...all-11.jpg]
By Henry Hanks, CNN

Updated 0305 GMT (1105 HKT) March 8, 2016

The Israel Antiquities Authority says finding ancient seals belonging to women is very rare.

Story highlights
  • Ancient seal found in Jerusalem, and it goes back at least 2,500 years
  • It's rare find because it belonged to a woman, indicating her high social status

(CNN)An ancient seal from Israel's "First Temple era" was recently uncovered, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The "First Temple," also known as Solomon's Temple, goes back to Biblical times.
It's believed this seal is more than 2,500 years old and belonged to a woman described as "exceptional" or quite well-off in society at the time.
"Finding seals that bear names from the time of the First Temple is hardly a commonplace occurrence, and finding a seal that belonged to a woman is an even rarer phenomenon," the Antiquities Authority said in a news release.
"She had legal status which allowed her to conduct business and possess property," it went on.

It was one of a pair of seals that were located bearing the Hebrew names Elihana bat Gael and Sa'aryahu ben Shabenyahu.
"Personal seals, such as those of Elihana and Sa'aryahu, were used for signing documents, and were frequently inlaid as part of a ring that was worn by the owner," said archaeologist and excavation directors Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, Yana Tchekhanovets and Salome Cohen.
"In antiquity, they designated the identity, genealogy and status of the owner of the seal."
Dr. Hagai Misgav of Hebrew University in Jerusalem added, "Seals that belonged to women represent just a very small proportion of all the seals that have been discovered to date. This is because of the generally inferior economic status of women, apart from extraordinary instances such as this.
"Indeed, the name Elihana does not appear in the Bible, and there is no other information regarding the identity of the woman, but the fact that she possessed a seal demonstrates her high social status."
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
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1,900-Year-Old Roman Gold Coin Found in Eastern Galilee
Mar 15, 2016 by Editors

Laurie Rimon, from Kibbutz Kefar Blum in northern Israel, has found an extremely rare gold coin with the face of a Roman emperor.
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Obverse and reverse of the 1,900-year-old gold coin. Image credit: Samuel Magal / Shai Halevy / Israel Antiquities Authority.

“Laurie demonstrated exemplary civic behavior by handing this important coin over to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA),” said Dr. Nir Distelfeld, an inspector with the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery.
“This is an extraordinarily remarkable and surprising discovery. I believe that soon, thanks to Laurie, the public will be able to enjoy this rare find.”
According to archaeologists at the IAA, the find is so rare that only one other such coin is known to exist.
“This coin, minted in Rome in 107 CE, is rare on a global level,” explained IAA numismatist Dr. Danny Syon.
“On the reverse we have the symbols of the Roman legions next to the name of the Roman emperor Trajan, and on the obverse — instead of an image of Trajan, as was usually the case — there is the portrait of the emperor ‘Augustus Deified’ (Divus Augustus).”
This coin is part of a series of coins minted by the emperor Trajan (reigned 98 – 117 CE) as a tribute to the emperors that preceded him.
“The coin may reflect the presence of the Roman army in the region some 2,000 years ago – possibly in the context of activity against Bar Kokhba supporters in the Galilee – but it is very difficult to determine that on the basis of a single coin,” added Dr. Donald T. Ariel, head curator of the IAA Coin Department.

“Historical sources describing the period note that some Roman soldiers were paid a high salary of three gold coins, the equivalent of 75 silver coins, each payday. Because of their high monetary value soldiers were unable to purchase goods in the market with gold coins, as the merchants could not provide change for them.”
“Whilst the bronze and silver coins of Trajan are common in the country, his gold coins are extremely rare,” Dr. Ariel said.
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Found: Fresh Clues to Mystery of King Solomon's Mines

Analysis of 3,000-year-old animal waste confirms that an ancient mining complex in Israel dates to the golden age of the biblical monarch.

By Michelle Z. Donahue

Manure preserved for millennia by the arid climate of Israel’s Timna Valley is adding fresh fuel to a long-simmering debate about the biblical king Solomon and the source of his legendary wealth.

Archaeologists discovered the 3,000-year-old dung in an ancient mining camp atop a sandstone mesa known as Slaves’ Hill. The area is dotted with copper mines and smelting camps—sites where the ore was heated and turned into metal.

University of Tel Aviv archaeologist Erez Ben-Yosef began excavating the site in 2013. Last year he and his team were uncovering the remains of several walled structures, including a fortified gate, when they discovered what appeared to be animal excrement of relatively recent origin.

“We thought maybe some nomads had camped there with their goats a few decades ago,” Ben-Yosef said, noting that the dung still contained undecayed plant matter. “But the [radiocarbon] dates came back from the lab, and they confirmed we were talking about donkeys and other livestock from the 10th century B.C. It was hard to believe.”

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Archaeologists found 3,000-year-old dung in an ancient mining camp atop a mesa known as Slaves' Hill in Israel's Timna Valley.
An artist's reconstruction of the mining camp is based on archaeological evidence.


While the dung’s extreme age and extraordinary condition were stunning, the implications of the radiocarbon results were even more jarring.

“Until we started the project in 2013, this was considered to be a late Bronze Age site related to the New Kingdom of Egypt in the 13th and early 12th centuries B.C.,” Ben-Yosef says. There’s clear evidence of an Egyptian presence during those centuries, and modern-day visitors to nearbyTimna Valley Park are greeted by signs depicting ancient Egyptians.

But high-precision radiocarbon dating of the dung, as well as textiles and other organic material, showed that the mining camp’s heyday was the 10th century B.C.—the era of the biblical kings David and Solomon. (Read"Kings of Controversy".)

According to the Hebrew Bible, King Solomon was renowned for his great wisdom and wealth, and his many building projects included a temple in Jerusalem lavishly appointed with gold and bronze objects. Such a structure would have required large amounts of metal from industrial-scale mining operations somewhere in the Middle East, but the scriptures are silent as to their location.

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The Queen of Sheba visits the opulent court of King Solomon in an imagined scene by British painter Edward Poynter.

In the 1930s American archaeologist Nelson Glueck (pronounced Glick) announced that he had found the famous mines while exploring the copper-rich Arabah Valley, a geological rift that stretches from the Dead Sea south to the Red Sea and straddles the border of modern Israel and Jordan.

“It is now known that along the entire length of the Wadi ‘Araba there are deposits of copper and iron,” Glueck wrote in an article entitled “On the Trail of King Solomon’s Mines” in the February 1944 issue of National Geographic. “These were intensely worked in ancient times, particularly during the time of King Solomon.”

[Image: Solomons_Mines_Map-Artboard_1.ngsversion...601441.png]Searching for Solomon’s Mines
Awash in riches from trade and tribute, King Solomon embarked on a building campaign that included his famous temple in Jerusalem. Many of the implements used in worship were made of bronze, requiring much copper to form the alloy.






Kingdom of Solomon
circa 950 B.C.
Copper-mining center
Sea of Galilee

Tel Aviv-Yafo

Nation subject to Solomon



Khirbat en-Nahas

Timna Valley

40 mi
40 km
are shown.

Gulf of Aqaba


Many archaeologists who followed in Glueck’s footsteps, however, argued that David and Solomon weren’t the powerful kings depicted in the Bible. Instead they were small-scale chieftains incapable of organizing a major mining operation and orchestrating long-distance trade.

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Archaeologist Nelson Glueck (second from left) believed he had found Solomon's mines in the copper-rich Arabah Valley of southern Israel and Jordan.

Critics also took issue with the traditional biblical chronology, which places the reigns of David and Solomon in the 10th century B.C. As a result, “Glueck became a laughingstock in the scholarly world,” saysThomas Levy, professor of archaeology at the University of California, San Diego, and a National Geographic Explorer.

But discoveries made in recent decades may turn the tables and vindicate Glueck’s faith in the Bible’s record of events.

In 1997 Levy began a multi-year excavation at Khirbat en-Nahas, a site in southern Jordan that Glueck suggested was an ancient center of copper production. Levy and his team dug through more than 20 feet of copper slag waste to reach virgin soil, indicating that metal had been produced there on a massive scale. “Our excavations are providing support for many of Glueck’s insights,” Levy wrote in 2006.

The recent find in Israel’s Timna Valley may score more points for Glueck, who discovered and named the Slaves’ Hill site in 1934. The mining operation there is not yet linked to Solomon himself, but it does suggest that the region was home to a complex society—most likely the Edomites, the ancient Israelites' antagonists.

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Chunks of copper ore come easily to hand in a remote region of Jordan, where archaeologist Thomas Levy excavated an ancient mining center.

The accuracy of biblical passages claiming that King David marched his armies deep into the desert to engage the Edomites has long been debated. But Ben-Yosef says the fortified walls he’s found around the smelting camp indicate it was very likely a military target.

If the Bible’s claim that David brought the Edomites to heel is accurate, he may have been in a position to demand tribute, Ben-Yosef says. “There’s a serious possibility that Jerusalem got its wealth from taxing these mining operations.”


The dung samples included seeds and pollen spores so intact that Ben-Yosef’s team was able to determine the animals’ diet, which yielded another surprise: The feed was imported from an area more than 100 miles to the north, close to the Mediterranean coast. The distance to Jerusalem is about 190 miles (300 kilometers), a two week trip by donkey in ancient times.

Long distance trade was key to survival at this remote site surrounded by barren desert. Every necessity had to be hauled in on donkeys—even the nearest water source was 12 miles away—making this a complex and costly undertaking.

“Metal in this period was an essential product, similar to the oil of today,” Ben-Yosef says. “So it was worth these peoples’ while to invest so much in this operation in the middle of the desert.”

More than 1,000 tons of smelting debris have been uncovered on Slaves’ Hill, Ben-Yosef says, indicating industrial-scale production worthy of an ancient state or kingdom. Whether the Israelites or Edomites achieved such a level of development during the 10th century B.C. remains a hotly debated question, but Ben-Yosef is encouraged by the new finds, which were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
“Until recently we had almost nothing from this period in this area,” he says. “But now we not only know that this was a source of copper, but also that it’s from the days of King David and his son Solomon.”
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They Were Here on Tisha B’Av: New Evidence of Babylonian Destruction Discovered in City of David


 3 Av 5777 – July 26, 2017

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Shattered jugs, attesting to the destruction.                                         Photo Credit: Eliyahu Yanai, Courtesy of the City of David Archive

Evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians has recently been unearthed in the City of David, in excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the Jerusalem Walls National Park, funded by the City of David Foundation (Elad).
In the excavations – concentrated on the eastern slope of the City of David – structures dating back more than 2,600 years have been unearthed, having been covered over by collapsed layers of stone. Many findings have surfaced: charred wood, grape seeds, pottery, fish scales and bones, and unique, rare artifacts. These findings depict the affluence and character of Jerusalem, capital of the Judean Kingdom, and are mesmerizing proof of the city’s demise at the hands of the Babylonians.

Among the excavation’s salient findings were dozens of storage jars which served to store both grain and liquids, several of which had stamped handles. Several of the seals discovered depict a rosette – a petalled rose.

According to Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, IAI excavation directors, “these seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty. Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields. The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system.”

The wealth of the Judaean kingdom’s capital is also manifest in the ornamental artifacts. One distinct and rare finding is a small ivory statue of a woman. The figure is naked, and her haircut or wig is Egyptian in style. The quality of its carving is high, and it attests to the high-caliber of the artifacts’ artistic level and the skill par excellence of the artists during this era.

According to Chalaf and Uziel, “The excavation’s findings show that Jerusalem had extended beyond the line of the city wall before its destruction. The row of structures exposed in the excavations is located outside beyond the city wall that would have constituted the eastern border of the city during this period. Throughout the Iron Age, Jerusalem underwent constant growth, expressed both in the construction of numerous city walls and the fact that the city later spread beyond them.”

Excavations carried out in the past in the area of the Jewish Quarter have shown how the growth of the population at the end of the 8th Century BCE led the annexation of the western area of Jerusalem. In the current excavation, we may suggest that following the westward expansion of the city, structures were built outside of the wall’s border on the east as well.

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The structure in which shattered jugs were found, attesting to the destruction. Photo credit: Eliyahu Yanai, Courtesy of the City of David Archive

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Ivory statue in the image of a woman. Photo credit: Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority

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Jug handles with the rosette seal used by the administrative system at the end of the Judean Kingdom. Photo credit: Eliyahu Yanai, Courtesy of the City of David Archive

New finds suggest Second Temple priests who fled the Romans kept up holy rituals in the Galilee

After seven years of excavations at Magdala, four rare ritual baths and a unique carved stone point to importance of ancient fishing town to priestly class
BY AMANDA BORSCHEL-DAN July 26, 2017, 1:15 pm

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Modern-day Lebanese descend from the Canaanites, suggests genetic study
Thu, Jul 27, 2017

Scientists sequenced the genomes of 4,000-year-old Canaanite individuals and compared them to present-day populations.
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Cell Press and Wellcome Trust Sanger InstituteThousands of years ago, the Canaanite people lived in a part of the world we now recognize as Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, establishing a culture that became influential in the Middle East and beyond. The Canaanites created the first alphabet, established colonies throughout the Mediterranean, and were mentioned many times in the Bible.
However, historical records of the Canaanites are limited. They were mentioned in ancient Greek and Egyptian texts, and the Bible which reports widespread destruction of Canaanite settlements and annihilation of the communities. Experts have long debated who the Canaanites were genetically. Who were they and what ultimately happened to them? 
Now, researchers who've sequenced the first ancient Canaanite genomes along with genomes representing people from modern-day Lebanon have new information to help answer those questions. DNA evidence reported in the American Journal of Human Genetics on July 27* shows that the Canaanites did not just disappear. Instead, they survived and are the ancestors of the people now living in modern-day Lebanon.
"We found that the Canaanites were a mixture of local people who settled in farming villages during the Neolithic period and eastern migrants who arrived in the region about 5,000 years ago," said Marc Haber (@MarcHaber) of The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom. "The present-day Lebanese are likely to be direct descendants of the Canaanites, but they have in addition a small proportion of Eurasian ancestry that may have arrived via conquests by distant populations such as the Assyrians, Persians, or Macedonians."
Marc Haber, Chris Tyler-Smith, and colleagues came to that conclusion after sequencing the complete genomes of five Canaanite individuals who lived almost 4,000 years ago in what's now the modern-day Lebanese city of Sidon. They also sequenced the genomes of 99 present-day Lebanese. Those sequences enabled the researchers to analyze the Canaanites' ancestry and assess their relationship to the people living in Lebanon today. Dr Marc Haber, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: "It was a pleasant surprise to be able to extract and analyse DNA from 4,000-year-old human remains found in a hot environment, which is not known for preserving DNA well. We overcame this challenge by taking samples from the petrous bone in the skull, which is a very tough bone with a high density of ancient DNA. This method of extraction combined with the lowering costs of whole genome sequencing made this study possible."
The researchers estimate that new Eurasian people mixed with the Canaanite population about 3,800 to 2,200 years ago at a time when there were many conquests of the region from outside. Despite all that moving around, the Lebanese derive most of their ancestry from a Canaanite-related population, they report, suggesting that there's been substantial genetic continuity in the region since at least the Bronze Age--a conclusion that agrees with the archaeological record.
"In light of the enormously complex history of this region in the last few millennia, it was quite surprising that over 90 percent of the genetic ancestry of present-day Lebanese was derived from the Canaanites," Tyler-Smith said.
The findings highlight the utility of genetic studies for elucidating the history of people like the Canaanites, who left few written records themselves. The researchers say they would now like to understand the earlier and later genetic history of Lebanon and how it relates to the surrounding regions.
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 A large jar burial containing the remains of one of the individuals sequenced in the study.Credit: Dr. Claude Doumet-Serhal - The Sidon excavation
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 The burial of a single sub adult individual sequenced in the study. Credit: Dr. Claude Doumet-Serhal - The Sidon excavation
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The Sidon excavation site which included the burials of the studied individuals. Credit: Dr. Claude Doumet-Serhal - The Sidon excavation
Artice Sources: Adapted from Cell Press and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute news releases.

The researchers were supported by The Wellcome Trust.
*American Journal of Human Genetics, Haber et al.: "Continuity and Admixture in the Last Five Millennia of Levantine History from Ancient Canaanite and Present-Day Lebanese Genome Sequences"[/size]
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Holy Jews News with a Palestinian Ruse! Holycowsmile

New Archaeology Find Reveals Truth Palestinians Don’t Want to See
By V Saxena
January 2, 2018 at 7:52am
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A recent archaeological find in Israel appears to validate a reference in the Bible to a governor of Jerusalem who lived roughly 2,700 years ago, thus offering further evidence that the ancient city and, in fact, all of Israel are the the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, not the Muslim Palestinians.
The find is a 2,700-year-old seal made of clay, stamped and pre-fired, whose upper portion “depicts two figures facing each other,” while its lower portion “holds an inscription in ancient Hebrew script,” according to Arutz Sheva.
It’s the inscription in particular that holds the key to biblical history, according to Hebrew University professor Tallay Ornan and Tel Aviv University professor Benjamin Sass.

hey reportedly said that “(t)he inscription denotes ‘lesar ha’air,’ or ‘belonging to the governor of the city.'”

This is relevant because “(t)he title ‘governor of the city’ is known from the Bible and from extra-Biblical documents, and refers to an official appointed by the king,” they said.

“Governors of Jerusalem are mentioned twice in the Bible: in 2 Kings, Joshua is the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles, Maaseiah is the governor of the city in the days of Josiah,” they added.

It therefore stands to reason this astounding seal was originally owned by either Joshua or Maaseiah.

“(T)he Bible mentions two governors of Jerusalem, and this finding reveals that such a position was actually held by someone in the city some 2700 years ago,” explained Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, an excavator and member of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The IAA and Western Wall Heritage Foundation unearthed the seal during a joint dig in the northwestern section of the Western Wall Plaza, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.
Weksler-Bdolah further noted that this find shows this portion of Jerusalem “was inhabited by highly ranked officials during the First Temple period.”
Listen to more of her analysis in the video below:

Quite ecstatic about this amazing find was the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, who rightly pointed out that not only is Jerusalem “one of the most ancient capitals of the world,” but it’s been “continually populated by the Jewish people” for thousands of years.

Here’s the kicker: According to a timeline of Jerusalem’s history published by USA Today earlier this year, it was not until 632 that “Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, died and was said to ascend to heaven from a rock in” Jerusalem.

Yet if you subtract 2700 years from the current year, 2018, you get 682 B.C., hundreds of years before Muhammad got anywhere even close to the ancient city.

What does that tell you? It ought to tell you everything.

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Trump said set to halt funding for UN agencies, other groups that give ...
Federal law already requires the US to withdraw US funding from UN agencies that “accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.” That statute, enacted in 1990, is what required former president Barack Obama to defund UNESCO, in 2011, after it accepted a Palestinian bid for full ...

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1 day ago - It is not obvious whether the U.S. will seek to defund UNRWA in its entirety or just withdraw contributions from Washington until, as Nikki Haley has said, the Palestinians "return to the negotiating table" with Israel. Simultaneously Trump implied Israel would have to pick up the slack since the U.S. had ...

Seal  Sheep Deal
[Image: trump-netan-e1512606113634.jpg?fit=700%2...=350%2C200]
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[Image: presidents-seal-298x300.jpg]
                 Palestine  Sheep Pal of mine
                    Palestine's Fate is Sealed.

Archaeologists find 2,700-year-old 'governor of Jerusalem' seal impression

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Beneath Biblical Prophet's Tomb, An Archaeological Surprise
By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | February 18, 2018 11:49am ET

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Seven inscriptions were found in looters' tunnels dug beneath the destroyed tomb of Jonah (one of the tunnels is shown here).
Credit: Eleanor Robson
Deep inside looters' tunnels dug beneath the Tomb of Jonah in the ancient Iraq city of Nineveh, archaeologists have uncovered 2,700-year-old inscriptions that describe the rule of an Assyrian king named Esarhaddon.
The seven inscriptions were discovered in four tunnels beneath the biblical prophet's tomb, which is a shrine that's sacred to both Christians and Muslims. The shrine was blown up by the Islamic State group (also called ISIS or Daesh) during its occupation of Nineveh from June 2014 until January 2017.
ISIS or ISIS-backed looters apparently dug the tunnels to look for archaeological treasures from the Assyrian kings in what is today Iraq, Ali Y. Al-Juboori, director of the Assyrian Studies Centre at the University of Mosul, wrote in a recent issue of the journal Iraq. [In Photos: Ancient City Discovered in Iraq]
Deciphering inscriptions
One inscription, in translation, reads: "The palace of Esarhaddon, strong king, king of the world, king of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the kings of lower Egypt, upper Egypt and Kush [an ancient kingdom located south of Egypt in Nubia]."
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This inscription was found during excavations at Nineveh on the back of a fallen "lamassu," a deity with a human's head and the body of a lion or bull. It reads (in translation): "The palace of Ashurbanipal, great king, mighty king, king of the world, king of Assyria, son of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, descendant of Sennacherib, king of Assyria."
Credit: Stevan Beverly
Kush leaders at one point ruled Egypt, according to ancient inscriptions found at other archaeological sites. Those inscriptions also say that Esarhaddon defeated the Kush rulers and chose new rulers to govern Egypt. 
Another inscription found under the Tomb of Jonah says that Esarhaddon "reconstructed the temple of the god Aššur [the chief god of the Assyrians]," rebuilt the ancient cities of Babylon and Esagil, and "renewed the statues of the great gods."
The inscriptions also tell of Esarhaddon's family history, saying that he is the son of Sennacherib [reign 704–681 B.C.] and a descendent of Sargon II (reign 721–705 B.C.), who was also "king of the world, king of Assyria."
More inscriptions
Al-Juboori also translated four other inscriptions found at Nineveh, near the Nergal Gate (Nergal was the Assyrian god of war), between 1987 and 1992 by an archaeological team from Iraq's Inspectorate of Antiquities. Conflicts in the area made it difficult for the team to publish their discoveries at the time. 
The inscriptions date to the reign of King Sennacherib, and they all say this king "had the inner wall and outer wall of Nineveh built anew and raised as high as mountains." 
Archaeologists found several inscriptions near the Tomb of Jonah during the 1987-1992 excavations. One of them was written on a prism-shaped clay object and discusses Esarhaddon's many military conquests, including Cilicia (located on the southern coast of what is now Turkey). The transcribed inscription calls Esarhaddon "the one who treads on the necks of the people of Cilicia."
Esarhaddon claims in the inscription that "I surrounded, conquered, plundered, demolished, destroyed and burned with fire twenty-one of their cities together with small cities in their environs. …" The inscription also discusses his conquest of Sidon (located in modern-day Lebanon), claiming that Esarhaddon's army tore down the city's walls and threw them into the Mediterranean Sea.
The remains of ancient inscriptions from other sites that ISIS tried to loot and destroy have also been found. After the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud was recaptured in November 2017, the surviving inscriptions include one describing a monkey colony that once flourished at Nimrud.
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Clay print from seal may be first ever extra-biblical reference to the prophet Isaiah

February 23, 2018 by Bob Yirka, report

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Credit: Biblical Archaeology Review 44:2, March/April May/June 2018
Author and archaeologist Eilat Mazar has published an article in Biblical Archaeology Review suggesting that a small piece of clay with a seal imprint on it (called a bulla) might be the first-ever extra-biblical reference to the prophet Isaiah. In her article, she gives a historical overview of both King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, followed by an overview of the locations in which both people were believed to have lived and worked—specifically temples in Jerusalem that have been under excavation for many years. Researchers found a bulla believed to have been created using one of King Hezekiah's seals in one of these temples just three years ago. Another bulla has been the object of scrutiny ever since, and now, Mazar is suggesting the possibility that it came about from a seal belonging to the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah was a Jewish prophet who lived approximately 2,700 years ago, and who has long been linked with King Hezekiah. It was Isaiah, according to the Hebrew Bible, who encouraged the King to fight the Assyrians who had attacked Jerusalem in 701 BC, rather than allow them to surrender—he promised that God would not let Jerusalem be captured. The second bulla under study was found close to (just 3 meters away) the one believed to be created by the King's seal, offering some bit of hint at its source. But more important is a word found on the imprint, "Yesha'yahu," which is Hebrew for Isaiah.
Unfortunately, another important part of the print has been lost. It starts with "nvy." Nobody knows what it means, but Mazar notes that if the letters were followed by "aleph," the whole thing would form the Hebrew word for prophet. Thus, the seal would have been used to make bullas as a form of receipt from the prophet Isaiah. Mazar does not know if the remaining parts of the bulla will be found, but notes that nvy by itself could be part or all of a personal name, one that did not belong to the prophet. On the other hand, she further notes, there are places in the Hebrew Bible where nvy is used as an apparent abbreviation for prophet.
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: First seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king ever exposed in situ in a scientific archaeological excavation
More information: Is This the Prophet Isaiah's Signature? Biblical Archaeology Review 44:2, March/April May/June 2018. … eology-review/44/2/7

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Archaeologists find ancient necropolis in Egypt

February 24, 2018 by Mohamed Wagdy

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced on Saturday the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo, the latest discovery in an area known to house ancient catacombs from the Pharaonic Late Period and the Ptolemaic dynasty.

The large cemetery is located north of Tuna al-Gabal area, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert. It hosts a range of family tombs and graves.
"We will need at least five years to work on the necropolis," Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said, "This is only the beginning of a new discovery."
Archaeologists started excavation work in the area started late last year on a quest to find the remainder of the cemetery of Upper Egypt's 15th nome during ancient times. They found tombs belonging to priests of Thoth, the ancient god of the moon and wisdom.
One tomb includes more than 1,000 statues and four well preserved alabaster canopic jars inscribed with hieroglyphics and designed to hold the mummified internal organs of their owner who was a high priest of the god Thoth. The priest's mummy was also found decorated with blue and red beads and bronze gilded sheets.

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If they can find a high priest of Thoth maybe they can find:

August 12, 2014 By Howard Kramer Leave a Comment
Jerusalem, Israel
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Rock Tombs from the Era of Isaiah (
Isaiah was the great Prophet of the City of Jerusalem.  He lived there, worked there and, according to both Jewish and Christian tradition, was martyred there.  The sites of both his martyrdom and his tomb are located on the Silwan side of the Kidron Valley south of the City of David.  However, both of these locations are based on Christian tradition, and were apparently much more revered in centuries past than they are today.  Nevertheless, both Christian and Jewish visitors make pilgrimages to these places, though not in such numbers as would be expected at the shrine of so important a Biblical figure.
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Coins from destruction of Second Temple found in time for Passover

“A discovery like this—ancient coins bearing the words ‘Freedom’ and ‘Redemption’—found right before the Jewish Festival of Freedom—Passover—begins is incredibly moving.”

By Lidar Gravé-Lazi
March 26, 2018 16:37

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Coins discovered in old city cave March 26, 2018. (photo credit: COURTESY OF DR. EILAT MAZAR AND OURIA TADMOR)

Coins dating from the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire (66 CE-70 CE) were discovered by archeologists during excavations near the southern wall of the Temple Mount on Monday, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

The archeological dig, run by Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, uncovered dozens of bronze coins measuring approximately 1.5 cm., as well as numerous fragments of pottery vessels.

The vessels, mainly jars and cooking pots, were left behind by Jewish residents who hid in a large cave that measured seven meters by 14 m.

The discovery of the coins, which were dated from the time of the Roman siege of Jerusalem until the destruction of the Second Temple, was given particular significance as they were found just before Passover, a celebration of Jewish freedom and self-determination.

While several of the coins date to the early years of the revolt, the majority are from its final year (69 CE-70 CE).
Mazar explained that there is a significant difference among the bronze coins, as in the first year when the rebels had hope and faith in their success, the inscription on the coins in ancient Hebrew script read: “For the Freedom of Zion.

However, during the fourth year and before the destruction of the Temple, the rebels conveyed their despair by inscribing on the coins the inscription LeGeulat Tzion, meaning “For the Redemption of Zion.”

“A discovery like this – ancient coins bearing the words ‘Freedom’ and ‘Redemption’ found right before the Jewish Festival of Freedom, Passover, begins – is incredibly moving,” said Mazar.

In addition to Hebrew inscriptions, the coins were decorated with Jewish symbols, such as the four biblical plant species: Palm, myrtle, citron and willow as well as a picture of the goblet that was used in the Temple service.

According to Mazar, it is remarkable that the cave was never discovered by subsequent residents of Jerusalem nor used again after the Second Temple period.

She added that this allowed the cave to serve as a “veritable time capsule” of life in Jerusalem under the siege and during the four-year revolt against the Roman Empire.

Mazar said the coins were well preserved, probably because they were in use for such a short time.

A similar number of “Year Four” coins were found near Robinson’s Arch, near the Western Wall, by Prof. Benjamin Mazar, Eilat Mazar’s grandfather. He conducted the Temple Mount excavations right after the 1967 Six Day War on behalf of Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

Quote:3 posts back  -- last two lines

The remains of ancient inscriptions from other sites,
that ISIS tried to loot and destroy have also been found. 
After the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud was recaptured in November 2017, 
the surviving inscriptions 
include one
describing a monkey colony that once flourished at Nimrud. 

You never see this image anywhere on the net .. from the British Museum.
A friend of mine took it for me when she was there.

Not seen published ... probably because the monkeys look a bit ... humanesque ... Damned
that monkey at the bottom ... has a little stiffie peckerwood ... 
[Image: 68rprqf.jpg]

interesting wall carving from Nimrud
magnificent art
[Image: 3fa27c4e54b66e0beb6ff8ce8acf35d0.jpg]
EA & Vianova Many Thank Yous for the articles and especially great Eye Candy   Worship Worship

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Sculpted head of mystery biblical king found in Israel
June 9, 2018 by Ilan Ben Zion

[Image: sculptedhead.jpg]
This Monday, June 4, 2018 photo shows a detailed figurine of a king's head on display at the Israel Museum, dating to biblical times, and found last year near Israel's northern border with Lebanon, in Jerusalem. A palm-sized enigmatic …more
An enigmatic sculpture of a king's head dating back nearly 3,000 years has set off a modern-day mystery caper as scholars try to figure out whose face it depicts.

The 5-centimeter (2-inch) sculpture is an exceedingly rare example of figurative art from the Holy Land during the 9th century B.C.—a period associated with biblical kings. Exquisitely preserved but for a bit of missing beard, nothing quite like it has been found before.

While scholars are certain the stern bearded figure donning a golden crown represents royalty, they are less sure which king it symbolizes, or which kingdom he may have ruled.

Archaeologists unearthed the diminutive figurine in 2017 during excavations at a site called Abel Beth Maacah, located just south of Israel's border with Lebanon, near the modern-day town of Metula.

Nineteenth-century archaeologists identified the site, then home to a village called Abil al-Qamh, with the similarly named city mentioned in the Book of Kings.

During the 9th century B.C., the ancient town was situated in a liminal zone between three regional powers: the Aramean kingdom based in Damascus to the east, the Phoenician city of Tyre to the west, and the Israelite kingdom, with its capital in Samaria to the south.

Kings 1 15:20 mentions Abel Beth Maacah in a list of cities attacked by the Aramean King Ben Hadad in a campaign against the Israelite kingdom.

"This location is very important because it suggests that the site may have shifted hands between these polities, more likely between Aram-Damascus and Israel," said Hebrew University archaeologist Naama Yahalom-Mack, who has headed the joint dig with California's Azusa Pacific University since 2013.

Yahalom-Mack's team was digging through the floor of a massive Iron Age structure in the summer of 2017 when a volunteer who arrived for the day struck pay dirt. The layer where the head was found dates to the 9th century B.C., the epoch associated with the rival biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

In a rare move, archaeologists and curators at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem rushed to put the piece on public display. A detailed report is set for publication in the June edition of the journal Near Eastern Archaeology.

Eran Arie, the Israel Museum's curator of Iron Age and Persian archaeology, said the discovery was one of a kind. "In the Iron Age, if there's any figurative art, and there largely isn't, it's of very low quality. And this is of exquisite quality."

The royal figurine is made of faience, a glass-like material that was popular in jewelry and small human and animal figurines in ancient Egypt and the Near East.

"The color of the face is greenish because of this copper tint that we have in the silicate paste," Yahalom-Mack said. But a crucial clue for identifying it as a Near Eastern monarch was its "very interesting hairdo," she said.

The bearded figure's hair is pulled back in thick locks that cover the ears, and is held in place by a striped diadem of gold. Its hairstyle looks similar to the way ancient Egyptians depicted neighboring Near Eastern peoples in art.

"The guy kind of represents the generic way Semitic people are described," she said.

Because Carbon-14 dating cannot give a more exact date for the statue's creation other than sometime in the 9th century, the field of potential candidates is large. Yahalom-Mack posited it could be kings Ben Hadad or Hazael of Damascus, Ahab or Jehu of Israel, or Ithobaal of Tyre, all characters appearing in the biblical narrative.

"We're only guessing here, it's like a game," she said. "It's like a hello from the past, but we don't know anything else about it."

As scholars debate whether the head was a stand-alone piece or part of a larger statue, the Hebrew University team is set to restart digging this month at the spot where the mystery king's head was found.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Archaeologists uncover entrance gate and fortification of Biblical city

Read more at:
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote:Vianova posted this (with a picture):
You never see this image anywhere on the net .. from the British Museum.

A friend of mine took it for me when she was there.

Since the creature at the top of the picture does look like some kind of monkey without any particular alterations, it could be surmised that the creature at the bottom was (somehow) the result of some genetic experimentation (or possibly something that is simply extinct instead -- but I don't favor this explanation).  Interesting . . .
RE: Rare mark from biblical king's seal found in Jerusalem

Quote:"It can therefore be concluded that the artist who engraved the inscription on the weight specialized in engraving seals..."

First Temple Beka Weight Unearthed in Jerusalem Sifting Project
 David Israel

 13 Kislev 5779 – November 21, 2018 

iyahu Yanai, City of David
[Image: Beka-weight-from-the-First-Temple-period-1-696x464.jpg]'Beka' weight from the First Temple period

During the sifting of archaeological soil in the Emek Tzurim National Park, under the auspices of the City of David Foundation, a tiny stone weight engraved with ancient Hebrew letters spelling the word Beka was unearthed.
The weight, which dates back to the First Temple period, was found in archaeological soil originating from the foot of Robinson’s Arch at the Western Wall, just north of the City of David. The soil was transferred from the excavation area to the sifting site in the Emek Tzurim National Park for careful sorting, during which the weight was uncovered.

The Beka weight was used to evaluate the half-shekel donation brought by the Jewish people for both the maintenance of the Temple and as a census, as described in the book of Exodus 38:26: “One Beka per head; [that is,] half a shekel, according to the holy shekel, for each one who goes through the counting, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand, five hundred and fifty [people].”

‘Beka’ weight from the First Temple period / Eliyahu Yanai, City of David

Archaeologist Eli Shukron, who directed the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, explained: “When the half-shekel tax was brought to the Temple during the First Temple period, there were no coins, so they used silver ingots. In order to calculate the weight of these silver pieces they would put them on one side of the scales and on the other side they placed the Beka weight. The Beka was equivalent to the half-shekel, which every person from the age of twenty years and up was required to bring to the Temple.”
It should be noted that the biblical shekel weighed 11.33 grams. According to Shukron, “Beka weights from the First Temple period are rare; however this weight is even rarer, because the inscription on it is written in mirror script and the letters are engraved from left to right instead of right to left. It can therefore be concluded that the artist who engraved the inscription on the weight specialized in engraving seals, since seals were always written in mirror script so that once stamped the inscription would appear in regular legible script. “Apparently, the seal craftsman got confused when he engraved the inscription on the weight and mistakenly used mirror script as he was used to doing. From this mistake we can learn about the general rule: The artists who engraved weights during the First Temple period were the same artists who specialized in creating seals.”

“This three thousand-year-old Beka weight, inscribed with ancient Hebrew was likely used in the First Temple, anchoring once again, the deep historical connection of the Jewish People to Jerusalem. It is a reminder from our ancestors in First Temple times telling us that the State of Israel of today does not rest only on a 70-year-old United Nation’s vote, but rather, rests upon a foundation that began more than three millennia ago. Every single day, archeologists in the City of David are uncovering our past and preserving our future.” Said Doron Spielman, Vice President of the City of David Foundation.

The sifting project in Emek Tzurim National Park, under the auspices of the City of David Foundation, together with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, is a large-scale archaeological project that offers the public an opportunity to have an archaeological experience without the need for prior knowledge. The project, earning the name “The Archaeological Experience,” is closely guided by archaeologists and allows participants to become an “archaeologists for a day” when they sift through the soil and find treasures from the past. Among the artifacts discovered so far in this project: King Hezekiah’s seal, coins from various periods of Jerusalem, arrowheads, jewelry and more.
The artifact will be on display to the general public during Hanukkah in Emek Tzurim National Park.[/size]


Beka then and Kilogram now.  Arrow May 20 Via 2019  Bd1 
The kilogram or kilogramme (symbol: kg) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI). Until 20 May 2019, it remains defined by a platinum alloy cylinder, the International Prototype Kilogram (informally Le Grand K or IPK), manufactured in 1889, and carefully stored in Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris. After 20 May, it will be defined in terms of fundamental physical constants.

The kilogram was originally defined as the mass of a litre (cubic decimetre) of water. 

That was an inconvenient quantity to precisely replicate,(Water is an Anomaly-EA)  Doh  so in 1799 a platinum artefact was fashioned to define the kilogram. That artefact, and the later IPK, have been the standard of the unit of mass for the metric system ever since. Tp

Water is worth more than itz weight in platinum if you are dying of thirst in the quantum desert.
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With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Student Discovers Rare 2000-Year Old Coin near Shiloh
 David Israel

 21 Shevat 5779 – January 27, 2019 
 [Image: Shiloh-coin.jpg]

Photo Credit: Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories
[img=599x0][/img]A royal canopy surrounded by the inscription 'King Agrippa' on the ancient Shiloh coin.

An ancient and rare coin from the time of King Agrippa I and the last days of the Second Temple was discovered by a student at Nachal Shiloh (Shiloh stream) in Samaria.
The student was on a school trip at Nachal Shiloh last week, when he found the ancient coin in the eastern part of the stream. The student approached the group’s tour guide, who in turn contacted the IDF’s Archeology unit at the Civil Administration, which dispatched an inspector to the site.

Herod Agrippa, a.k.a. Herod or Agrippa I, was a King of Judea from 11 BCE to 44 CE, father of Herod Agrippa II, the last King from the Herodian dynasty.
After the assassination of Caligula in 41, Agrippa was involved in the struggle over the accession between Claudius, the Praetorian Guard, and the Senate. After becoming Emperor, Claudius gave Agrippa dominion over Judea and Samaria and granted him the ornamenta consularia (consular insignia), and at his request gave the kingdom of Chalcis in Lebanon to Agrippa’s brother Herod of Chalcis. Thus Agrippa became one of the most powerful kings of the east. His domain more or less equaled that which was held by his grandfather Herod the Great.
Agrippa built a theater and amphitheater, baths, and porticoes in the city of Berytus (modern Beirut). He was equally generous in Sebaste, Heliopolis and Caesarea. He also began the construction of the third and outer wall of Jerusalem, but did not complete the fortifications. His friendship was courted by many of the neighboring kings and rulers, some of whom he hosted in Tiberias, which made Emperor Claudius suspicious of his intentions.
One side of the discovered coin shows three sheaves of wheat, the other a royal canopy surrounded by the inscription “King Agrippa.”
“This is a moving find,” said Hanania Hezmi, the IDF officer in charge of Archeology at the Civil Administration.
“Every archaeological find has a story behind it that sheds more light on the history of the Land of Israel and the people of Israel,” he added. “These finds complete another part of the puzzle of the history of our people.”
The coin was transferred to the Archaeological Staff Officer in the Civil Administration and will be preserved as part of the state’s treasures.
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With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
MAY 2, 2019
New reading of Mesha Stele could have far-reaching consequences for biblical history
by Taylor & Francis
[Image: newreadingof.jpg]Photography of Mesha Stele. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
The biblical King Balak may have been a historical figure, according to a new reading of the Mesha Stele, an inscribed stone dating from the second half of the 9th century BCE.

A name in Line 31 of the stele, previously thought to read 'House of David', could instead read 'Balak', a king of Moab mentioned in the biblical story of Balaam (Numbers 22-24), say archaeologist Prof. Israel Finkelstein and historians and biblical scholars Prof. Nadav Na'aman and Prof. Thomas Römer, in an article published in Tel Aviv: The Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University.
The Mesha Stele was found in the 19th century in the ruins of the biblical town of Dibon in Moab (present day Jordan), and is now in the Louvre. The stone's inscription tells the story of the territorial expansion and construction endeavours of King Mesha of Moab, who is mentioned in the Bible. The stele was cracked in the 19th century and parts of it are missing, but portions of the missing parts are preserved in a reverse copy of the inscription, known as a 'squeeze', made before the stele cracked.
The authors studied new high-resolution photographs of the squeeze, and of the stele itself. These new images made it clear that there are three consonants in the name of the monarch mentioned in Line 31, and that the first is the Hebrew letter beth (a 'b' sound).
While the other letters are eroded, the most likely candidate for the monarch's name is 'Balak', the authors say. The seat of the king referred to in Line 31 was at Horonaim, a place mentioned four times in the Bible in relation to the Moabite territory south of the Arnon River. "Thus, Balak may be a historical personality like Balaam, who, before the discovery of the Deir Alla inscription, was considered to be an 'invented' figure," they suggest.
"The new photographs of the Mesha Stele and the squeeze indicate that the reading, 'House of David' - accepted by many scholars for more than two decades—is no longer an option," the authors conclude. "With due caution we suggest the name of the Moabite king Balak, who, according to the Balaam story of Numbers 22-24, sought to bring a divine curse on the people of Israel.
"This story was written down later than the time of the Moabite king referred to in the Mesha Stele. Yet, to give a sense of authenticity to his story, its author must have integrated into the plot certain elements borrowed from the ancient reality, including two personal names: Balaam and Balak."


Explore further
Israeli archaeologists find inscription of name from Bible[/size]

More information: Israel Finkelstein et al, Restoring Line 31 in the Mesha Stele: The 'House of David' or Biblical Balak?, Tel Aviv (2019). DOI: 10.1080/03344355.2019.1586378
Provided by Taylor & Francis[/size]

[Image: 1.7112931.2394146881.jpg][/url]
[size=undefined]A mosaic depicting roosters fighting, found in Pompeii Carole Raddato

2,600-year-old Jerusalem Discovery Leaves Archaeologists Shell-shocked
Until now archaeologists had believed that chickens were domesticated for the sake of watching them fight, which the ancients found marvelously entertaining

[url=]Ruth Schuster

 Apr 14, 2019
[size=undefined]Are eggs good for you, or are they not good for you? That depends on your medical history and your god, but the fact is – from soft-boiled to shirred, eggs are a fairly new addition to the regular human diet....

1,600-year-old gold coin of emperor who abolished Sanhedrin discovered by pupils Times of Israel

Israeli Kids Discover 1,600 Year-Old Gold Coin in Galilee Jewish Press
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With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
DNA Shows Ancient Philistines Migrated Across Mediterranean, Not Indigenous to Israel
 Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

Excavation of the Philistine Cemetery at Ashkelon.
[Image: Philistine-Cemetery-at-Ashkelon.jpg]
DNA testing of ancient genomes suggests that the ancestors of the Philistines migrated across the Mediterranean and reached Ashkelon by the early Iron Age, a comprehensive study on the subject published Wednesday shows.
An international team from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the Leon Levy Expedition Ashkelon announced in Science Advances the findings of a study to determine the provenance of the Philistines, utilizing state-of-the-art technologies on ancient bone samples unearthed during a three-decade excavation in Ashkelon. Analyzing genome-wide data retrieved for the first time from people who lived in Ashkelon during the Bronze and Iron Age, around 3,600-2,800 years ago, the team found that a substantial proportion of their ancestry was derived from a European population.
These genetic results are a critical step toward understanding the long-disputed origins of the Philistines, the research underscored.
This European-derived ancestry was introduced in Ashkelon around the time of the Philistines’ estimated arrival in the twelfth century BCE.
“This genetic distinction is due to European-related gene flow introduced in Ashkelon during either the end of the Bronze Age or the beginning of the Iron Age. This timing is in accord with estimates of the Philistines’ arrival to the coast of the Levant, based on archaeological and textual records,” explained Michal Feldman of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, leading author of the study.
Daniel Master, director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon and head of the archaeological team, said that the new genetic input from the direction of Southern Europe was found in bone samples taken from infants buried under the floors of their homes, as was the custom at the time.
“These infants were not travelers, they are the result of immigration and family building, thereby indicating that their parents did indeed come to the region from overseas in the 12th century BCE.”
Master noted that all the Ashkelon samples used in the research, taken from the Middle Bronze Age, the early Philistines, and the later Philistines found in the Philistine Cemetery, were excavated by teams of professionals who looked at every aspect of their context.
“Not only do we have radio-carbon dating that demonstrates the antiquity of the samples, but we also have stratigraphic evidence. These samples come from carefully-excavated contexts, connected to artifacts that can be precisely dated,” he explained.
The Philistines are famous for their appearance in the Bible as the arch-enemies of the Israelites. However, the ancient texts tell little about Philistine origins other than a later memory that the Philistines came from “Caphtor,” a Bronze Age name for Crete.
More than a century ago, Egyptologists proposed that a group called the Peleset in texts of the late twelfth century BCE were the same as the Biblical Philistines. The Egyptians claimed that the Peleset traveled from the “the islands,” attacking what is today Cyprus and the Turkish and Syrian coasts, finally attempting to invade Egypt. These hieroglyphic inscriptions were the first indication that the search for the origins of the Philistines should be focused in the late second millennium BCE.
From 1985-2016, the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, a project of the Harvard Semitic Museum and under license from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), took up the search for the origin of the Philistines at Ashkelon, one of the five “Philistine” cities according to the Bible.
The excavations culminated in 2013 with the discovery of the first Philistine cemetery ever to be found.
The team found substantial changes in ways of life during the 12th century BCE which they connected to the arrival of the Philistines. Many scholars attempted to argue that these cultural changes were merely the result of trade or a local imitation of foreign styles and not the result of a substantial movement of people.
The researchers successfully recovered genomic data from the remains of ten individuals who lived in Ashkelon during the Bronze and Iron Age. This data allowed the team to compare the DNA of the Bronze and Iron Age people of Ashkelon to determine how they were related. Each individual produced tens of thousands of data points, allowing for powerful statistical comparisons with other populations. The researchers found that individuals across all time periods derived most of their ancestry from the local Levantine gene pool, but that individuals who lived in early Iron Age Ashkelon had a European-derived ancestral component that was not present in their Bronze Age predecessors.
“This data begins to fill a temporal gap in the genetic map of the southern Levant,” explains Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, senior author of the study.  “At the same time, by the zoomed-in comparative analysis of the Ashkelon genetic time transect, we find that the unique cultural features in the early Iron Age are mirrored by a distinct genetic composition of the early Iron Age people.”
However, by analyzing later Iron Age individuals from Ashkelon, the researchers found that the European-related component could no longer be traced. “Within no more than two centuries, this genetic footprint introduced during the early Iron Age is no longer detectable and seems to be diluted by a local Levantine related gene pool,” states Choongwon Jeong of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, one of the corresponding authors of the study.
This indicates that ancestors of the Philistines migrated across the Mediterranean, reaching Ashkelon by the early Iron Age, but this European-related genetic component was subsequently diluted by the local Levantine gene pool over the succeeding centuries, suggesting intensive admixture between local and foreign populations.
Interestingly, while there was a change in the Philistines’ genetic profile over time, there was continuity in their ethnicity.
“DNA can be a powerful tool to record history and answer historical questions”, notes archaeogeneticist Michal Feldman. “On the other hand, it reminds us that culture or ethnicity do not necessarily equal the genetic make-up of the same groups.”
The Philistine over time have ceased to exist, but their historic footprint was revived by the Roman occupiers who renamed the Land of Israel “Palestine” in the 2nd century in order to humiliate and punish the Jews living there and minimize Jewish identification with the land. Similarly, they renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina.
Until 1948, when the State of Israel was established, Arabs in the region rejected the term “Palestinian,” which at the time referred to both Jews and Arabs, preferring instead to call the Holy Land “Southern Syria,” a backwater province of the Ottoman Empire.
While the name Palestine does not appear in the Koran even once, it’s Hebrew equivalent appears in the Jewish Bible no fewer than 250 times.
In recent decades, the Arabs in Israel who have adopted the Palestinian nationality and supporting historians have attempted to generate a history for them.
“Palestinian” archaeological findings have yet to be found, while the Jews’ close bonds with the Land of Israel turn up on an almost a weekly basis.

Researchers: ‘We Have Found Biblical Ziklag’
 David Israel 

Excavation of Khirbet a-Ra‘i – Biblical Ziklag
[Image: Excavation-of-Khirbet-a-Ra%E2%80%98i-%E2...Ziklag.jpg]
According to Wikipedia, Ziklag (pronounced Tsiklag) is the biblical name of a town that was located in the Negev region in the south-west of the Kingdom of Judah; and a provincial town within the Philistine kingdom of Gath when Achish was king (and David ran away there for shelter from a furious King Saul). Here’s the zinger, though: according to Wiki, Ziklag’s exact location has not been identified with any certainty.
Not any more.

Excavation of Khirbet a-Ra‘i – Biblical Ziklag / Emil Aljem, Israel Antiquities Authority

[size=undefined][Image: Excavation-of-Khirbet-a-Ra%E2%80%98i-%E2...klag-5.jpg]
The name Ziklag is unusual in the lexicon of names in the Land of Israel, since it is not local Canaanite-Semitic. It is presumed to be a Philistine name, given to the town by the alien invaders from the Aegean sea.
Researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, believe they have discovered the Philistine town near Kiryat Gat, 35 miles south of Tel Aviv. The city’s name was a blooper: Kiryat Gat was named for Gath, one of the five Philistine city-states. In the 1950s, archaeologists found ruins at the nearby Tel Erani, which they mistakenly identified as the Philistine city of Gath. The location for Gath is thought to be Tel es-Safi, 8.1 miles to the northeast.

Excavation of Khirbet a-Ra‘i – Biblical Ziklag / Israel Antiquities Authority

[size=undefined][Image: Excavation-of-Khirbet-a-Ra%E2%80%98i-%E2...klag-3.jpg]
Ziklag is mentioned multiple times in the Bible. The runaway David episode was one; Ziklag was also the scene of an Amalekite raid that featured burning and taking local women and children captive, including two of David’s wife. The future king chased after the raiders, killed everyone except 400 boys who tended the camels, and saved both his wives.
The excavation, which began in 2015 at the site of Khirbet a-Ra‘i in the Judaean foothills – between Kiryat Gat and Lachish – has led to the new identification of Ziklag. There have been twelve different suggestions regarding thr location of Ziklag, such as Tel Halif near Kibbutz Lahav, Tel Sera in the Western Negev, and Tel Sheva. However, according to the researchers, none of the suggested sites produced a continuous settlement which included both a Philistine settlement and a settlement from the era of King David. At Khirbet a-Ra‘i, however, features from both the Philistine and Israelite populations have been discovered.

Excavation of Khirbet a-Ra‘i – Biblical Ziklag / Israel Antiquities Authority

[size=undefined][Image: Excavation-of-Khirbet-a-Ra%E2%80%98i-%E2...klag-2.jpg]
Evidence of a settlement from the Philistine era has been found there, from the 12-11th centuries BCE. Spacious, massive stone structures have been uncovered containing finds typical of the Philistine civilization. Additional finds are foundation deposits, including bowls and an oil lamp – offerings laid beneath the floors of the buildings out of a belief that these would bring good fortune in the construction. Stone and metal tools were also found. Similar finds from this era were discovered in the past in excavations in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath—the cities of the Lords of the Philistines.
Above the remains of the Philistine settlement was a rural settlement from the time of King David, from the early 10th century BCE. This settlement came to an end in an intense fire that destroyed the buildings. Nearly one hundred complete pottery vessels were found in the various rooms. These vessels are identical to those found in the contemporary fortified Judaean city of Khirbet Qeiyafa—identified as biblical Sha‘arayim—in the Judaean foothills. Carbon 14 tests date the site at Khirbet a-Ra‘i to the time of King David.

Excavation of Khirbet a-Ra‘i – Biblical Ziklag / Israel Antiquities Authority
[size=undefined][Image: Excavation-of-Khirbet-a-Ra%E2%80%98i-%E2...klag-4.jpg]
The great range of complete vessels is testimony to everyday life during the reign of King David. Large quantities of storage jars were found in the excavation—medium and large in sizes—which were used for storing oil and wine. Jugs and bowls decorated in the style known as “red slipped and hand burnished” were also found, typical for the period of King David.
Following a regional archaeological study in the Judaean foothills managed by Professors Garfinkel and Ganor, a picture of the region’s settlement in the early Monarchic era is emerging: the two sites—Ziklag and Sha‘arayim—are located on the western frontier of the kingdom. They are both perched atop prominent hills, overlooking main routes passing between the Land of the Philistines and Judea: Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Elah Valley sits opposite Philistine Gath, and Khirbet a-Ra‘i, sits opposite Ashkelon.
These geographic choices are echoed in King David’s Lament, in which he mourns the death of King Saul and Jonathan in their battle against the Philistines: “Tell it not in Gath, announce it not in the streets of Ashkelon.”
The excavation involved Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, Head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Dr. Kyle Keimer and Dr. Gil Davis of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. It was funded by Joey Silver of Jerusalem, Aron Levy of New Jersey, and the Roth Family and Isaac Wakil, both of Sydney.[/size]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
AUGUST 11, 2019
Evidence of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem found in Mount Zion excavation
by University of North Carolina at Charlotte
[Image: evidenceofth.jpg]Earring or tassle ornament made of gold and silver from the destruction layer of 587/586 BCE. Credit: Mt Zion Archaeological Expedition/Rafi Lewis
Researchers digging at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's ongoing archaeological excavation on Mount Zion in Jerusalem have announced a second significant discovery from the 2019 season—clear evidence of the Babylonian conquest of the city from 587/586 BCE.

The discovery is of a deposit including layers of ash, arrowheads dating from the period, as well as Iron Age potsherds, lamps and a significant piece of period jewelry—a gold and silver tassel or earring. There are also signs of a significant Iron Age structure in the associated area, but the building, beneath layers from later periods, has yet to be excavated.
The Mount Zion Archaeological Project, co-directed by UNC Charlotte professor of history Shimon Gibson, Rafi Lewis, a senior lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College and a fellow of Haifa University, and James Tabor, UNC Charlotte professor of religious studies, has been in operation for over a decade and has made numerous significant finds relating to the ancient city's many historical periods, including the announcement made in July, 2019 on evidence concerning the sack of the city during the First Crusade. The current find is one of the oldest and perhaps the most prominent in its historical significance, as the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem is a major moment in Jewish history.
The team believes that the newly-found deposit can be dated to the specific event of the conquest because of the unique mix of artifacts and materials found—pottery and lamps, side-by-side with evidence of the Babylonian siege represented by burnt wood and ashes, and a number of Scythian-type bronze and iron arrowheads which are typical of that period.
Because of the site's location, various alternative explanations for the artifacts can be eliminated, the researchers argue. "We know where the ancient fortification line ran," noted Gibson, "so we know we are within the city. We know that this is not some dumping area, but the south-western neighborhood of the Iron Age city—during the 8th century BCE the urban area extended from the "City of David" area to the south-east and as far as the Western Hill where we are digging."
The ash deposits, similarly, are not conclusive evidence of the Babylonian attack in themselves, but are much more so in the context of other materials.
"For archaeologists, an ashen layer can mean a number of different things," Gibson said. "It could be ashy deposits removed from ovens; or it could be localized burning of garbage. However, in this case, the combination of an ashy layer full of artifacts, mixed with arrowheads, and a very special ornament indicates some kind of devastation and destruction. Nobody abandons golden jewelry and nobody has arrowheads in their domestic refuse."

"The arrowheads are known as 'Scythian arrowheads' and have been found at other archaeological conflict sites from the 7th and 6th centuries BCE. They are known at sites outside of Israel as well. They were fairly commonplace in this period and are known to be used by the Babylonian warriors. Together, this evidence points to the historical conquest of the city by Babylon because the only major destruction we have in Jerusalem for this period is the conquest of 587/586 BCE," he said.
[Image: 1-evidenceofth.jpg]

One of the Scythian type arrowheads found in the destruction layer from 587/586 BCE. Credit: Mt Zion Archaeological Expedition/Virginia Withers
The clay artifacts also help date the discovery. The lamps, Gibson notes, are the typical high-based pinched lamps of the period.
"It's the kind of jumble that you would expect to find in a ruined household following a raid or battle," Gibson said. "Household objects, lamps, broken bits from pottery which had been overturned and shattered... and arrowheads and a piece of jewelry which might have been lost and buried in the destruction."
"Frankly, jewelry is a rare find at conflict sites, because this is exactly the sort of thing that attackers will loot and later melt down."
"I like to think that we are excavating inside one of the 'Great Man's houses' mentioned in the second book of Kings 25:9," Gibson speculated. "This spot would have been at an ideal location, situated as it is close to the western summit of the city with a good view overlooking Solomon's Temple and Mount Moriah to the north-east. We have high expectations of finding much more of the Iron Age city in future seasons of work. "
The building that is apparently part of the layer remains unexcavated. "One might ask why haven't we excavated the whole building?" Gibson said. "The reason is that we are slowly taking the site down, level by level, period by period, and at the end of this last digging season two meters of domestic structures from later Byzantine and Roman periods have still to be dug above the Iron Age level below. We plan to get down to it in the 2020 season."
The unexpected and rare piece of jewelry found is apparently a tassel or earring, with a bell-shaped gold upper part. Clasped beneath is a silver part made in the shape of a cluster of grapes. Gibson noted that this discovery of jewelry "is a unique find and it is a clear indication of the wealth of the inhabitants of the city at the time of the siege." The only other discovery of jewelry in Jerusalem from this period was made many years ago in 1979 in an Iron Age tomb at Ketef Hinnom outside the city.
The researchers say that finding evidence of a critical historical event is what makes the discovery particularly exciting. Lewis, another co-director of the project, explained that "It is very exciting to be able to excavate the material signature of any given historical event, and even more so regarding an important historical event such as the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem."
By all accounts the Babylonian conquest of the city by the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was ferocious and resulted in a great loss of life, with the razing of the city and the burning of houses, and the plundering and dismantling of King Solomon's Temple to God. The local ruler of the Kingdom of Judah, King Zedekiah, made an attempt to flee the city with his retinue, but was eventually caught and taken captive to Babylon.
[Image: 2-evidenceofth.jpg][/size]

One of the students of UNC Charlotte's Levine Program, Miles Shen, holding in his hands a lamp dating from the Iron Age. Credit: Mt Zion Archaeological Expedition/James Tabor
The Hebrew Bible relates the famine and suffering that the inhabitants of Jerusalem suffered during the lengthy Babylonian siege of the city: "So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the [fourth] month the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war [fled] by night by the way of the gate between the two walls.... And he [Nebuzaradan, the Babylonian captain of the guard] burnt the house of the Lord, and the King's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great man's house, burnt he with fire." (2 Kings 25: 1-9).
The Babylonian siege of Jerusalem lasted for quite a while even though many of the inhabitants wanted to give up. "King Zedekiah simply was not willing to pay tribute to Nebuchadnezzar and the direct result of this was the destruction of the city and the Temple", said Gibson.
Every year religious Jews in Jerusalem and across the world pray and fast in remembrance of the destruction of the Jewish Temple to God in Jerusalem, first by the Babylonians in 587/586 BCE, resulting in the exile of the inhabitants of the city to Babylon, and yet again in 70 CE at the hands of the Roman legions led by Titus. To remember the devastating destruction of the Temple, Jews gather in synagogues around the world and at the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem, to pray and mourn on Tisha B' Av (the ninth day in the Hebrew month of Av) according to the Jewish calendar, which falls this year on August 11th.
The Mount Zion archaeological project is directed by Shimon Gibson and James Tabor from the College of Liberal and Arts Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in conjunction with Rafi Lewis of Ashkelon Academic College and Haifa University, and with sponsorship from Aron Levy, John Hoffmann, Cherylee and Ron Vanderham, and Patty and David Tyler and others, and facilitated by Sheila Bishop for The Foundation for Biblical Archaeology.
The dig is also staffed by a host of volunteers, including UNC Charlotte students. The project has been a favorite summer activity of for many of UNC Charlotte's Levine Scholars Program, the university's highly selective national program for undergraduate scholars.
"Participating in the Mount Zion dig has been an amazing opportunity for the Levine Scholars," said Diane Zablotsky, director of UNC Charlotte's Levine Scholars Program. "Although they are from different backgrounds and study in different majors, they shared a unique experience that left them with a deep appreciation of archaeology, the history of Jerusalem, and broadened worldview."
The site is within the "Sovev Homot" park administered by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Other substantial remains of the multi-period ancient city were uncovered during the 2019 season, including vaulted basements from the time of Herod the Great, a Byzantine street which was the south-westerly continuation of the main city street known as the Cardo Maximus, and a sunken defense ditch that ran in front of the fortifications which greeted the Crusader's when they attacked Jerusalem in 1099 and hindered their assault on the city.
The complex architectural sequence of superimposed structures dating back 3000 years or so is being carefully mapped by a team of recorders and draftsmen headed by Steve Patterson. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has been conducting archaeological excavations in Jerusalem since 2006 and much vital historical and archaeological information has been steadily extracted from the digging operations.[/size]


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Archaeological evidence verifies long-doubted medieval accounts of First Crusade[/size]

Provided by University of North Carolina at Charlotte[/size]

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Biblical War Revealed on 2,800-Year-Old Stone Altar
By Owen Jarus 10 hours ago History 
The altar reveals new details about a rebellion against the Kingdom of Israel.

[Image: tTq3CLpHFK7KPJXEeupUMK-320-80.jpg]This 2,800 year-old cylindrical stone altar was recently discovered in a sanctuary within the ancient city of Ataroth in Jordan. It has two inscriptions inscribed on it. The inscriptions appear to refer to events that happened during a biblical war.
(Image: © Photo courtesy Adam Bean)

A 2,800-year-old inscribed stone altar, found within a Moabite sanctuary in the ancient city of Ataroth in Jordan, may shed light on an ancient biblical war. 
[url=]The altar bears two inscriptions. The words are in the Moabite language and script, while the numerals in the inscriptions are in Hieratic (an Egyptian writing system). The altar appears to date to a time after Mesha, king of Moab, successfully rebelled against the Kingdom of Israel and conquered Ataroth (sometimes spelled Atarot), a city that the Kingdom of Israel had controlled. By this time, Israel had broke in two with a northern kingdom that retained the name Israel and a southern kingdom called Judah. 
The Hebrew Bible mentions the rebellion, saying that before Mesha rebelled, Moab had to give Israel a yearly tribute of thousands of lambs and a vast amount of ram wool. The rebellion is also described in the so-called Mesha stele discovered in 1868 in Dhiban, Jordan, which claims that Mesha conquered Ataroth and killed many of the city's inhabitants. 
Related: Biblical Battles: 12 Ancient Wars Lifted from the Bible

The altar was discovered while the sanctuary was being excavated, in 2010. The altar and sanctuary were recently described in the journal Levant
One of the two inscriptions written on the altar appears to describe bronze that was plundered after the capture of Ataroth. "One might speculate that quantities of bronze looted from the conquered city of [Ataroth] at some later date were presented as an offering at the shrine and recorded on this altar," the researchers wrote in the journal article.
The second inscription on the altar is fragmentary and harder to understand. Part of it appears to say (in translation) that "4,000 foreign men were scattered and abandoned in great number," while another part of the inscription mentions "the desolate city." 
"Much remains unclear about this inscription," the researchers wrote, noting that this inscription may discuss events that occurred during Mesha's rebellion against Israel and capture of Ataroth. 
Fragrant substances like incense, aromatic woods and oils would have been burned on the altar, said lead author Adam Bean, a doctoral student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. 
Biblical clues

The inscribed altar provides confirmation that the Moabites succeeded in taking over Ataroth, said study co-author Christopher Rollston, a professor of northwest Semitic languages and literatures at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 
The altar also shows that, 2,800 years ago, the Moabites had skilled scribes who used their own script. The inscriptions on the altar "are the earliest evidence we have so far for a distinctive Moabite script," Rollston told Live Science, noting that the inscription discovered in 1868 used the Hebrew script to write the Moabite language. 
"We often talk about the sophistication of the scribal education of ancient Israel, and rightfully so, [but the inscriptions on the altar show] that ancient Moab had some gifted scribes as well," Rollston said. 
Today, Ataroth is called Khirbat Ataruz. Excavations at the site are led by Chang-Ho Ji, who is dean of education at La Sierra University in Riverside, California.
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Biblical bombshell as archaeologists discover origins of David and Goliath battle
A monumental discovery in the Holy Land may hold the key to the biblical mystery of David and Goliath
Sofie JacksonNews Reporter

  • 08:31, 4 SEP 2019
  • UPDATED10:58, 4 SEP 2019

Israel: Biblical site linked to David and Goliath excavated
Archeologists work on the site of Tel Tzafit in Israel which was once the ancient Biblical city of Gath which had strong links to the story of David and Goliath.



David, an Israelite, defeated Goliath, a Philistine giant, in single combat in one of the most famous episodes of the Bible.
With little evidence to support the legend, its origins have proved mysterious – yet now a new discovery could shed light on the tale.

Archaeologists excavating Goliath’s hometown, Gath, have unearthed a new layer of ruins dating back to the time of the biblical battle – and they’re unusually large.
Excavation director Aren Maeir, of Bar Ilan University in Israel, said the discovery came as a surprise after 23 years.
He said: “We now know the size and impressive nature of the early Iron Age city is quite different than previously thought.

[Image: 4_PNGOLIATH07.jpg]
Lithograph of David and Goliath's famous battle by Osmar Schindler (Image: Pen News)
"It was assumed the city reached its large size during the 10th and 9th century BC.

"It now appears that the early Iron Age city – 11th century BC and perhaps before – may have been even bigger and more impressive.

[*][*]"This is a surprise of sort after 23 years of excavations at the site.”
He added: “Perhaps, the legends of giants among the Philistines, and in particular from Gath – Goliath and others – might have arisen, among other reasons, from seeing the impressive monumental remains of the city in the centuries after its destruction.”

[Image: 2_PNGOLIATH02.jpg]
Early fortifications in the Iron Age city (Image: Pen News/Tell es-Safi and Gath Archaeological Project)
The newly-found fortifications are reportedly four metres (13ft) wide, whereas walls from later periods are up to two-and-a-half metres (8ft) wide.
The building blocks themselves are also bigger, measuring up to two metres (6.5ft) in the ‘Goliath’ layer and only half a metre (1.6ft) in later layers.

[Image: 2_PNGOLIATH05.jpg]
The water gate at Goliath's ancient hometown of Gath (Image: Pen News/Tell es-Safi and Gath Archaeological Project)

[Image: 2_PNGOLIATH01.jpg]
Archeologists were stunned to discover a new hidden layer of ruins in Gath (Image: Pen News/Tell es-Safi and Gath Archaeological Project)
And Gath covered a large space too, reportedly stretching across 123.5 acres, more than twice the area of most comparable cities in the region at that time.

“This changes our understanding of the development of the site, and its relationship and primacy in regard to other Philistines sites,” said Dr Maier.
In terms of direct evidence for a historical Goliath, the closest thing that archaeologists have is a shard unearthed in 2005 which featured two names with a similar root to Goliath.
The city was eventually destroyed in 830 BC by Hazael of Aram Damascus.
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Quote:Unfortunately, it appears that much of the damage seen in the scrolls today arose not from their 2,000-plus years in the caves, but from efforts to soften the scrolls in order to unroll and read them immediately after their initial discovery Doh , Masic says.

Study of Dead Sea Scroll sheds light on a lost ancient parchment-making technology
[Image: 5d725b493f390.jpg]Light microscopy of the TS, showing its layered structure from the macroscale to the microscale. (A) Photographs of the TS showing damage to the upper part of the scroll (left). The reverse side of the preserved section (right) shows the follicle pattern of the hairs removed from the skin, which indicated that the text is written on the flesh side of the treated skin. [(A): Courtesy of the Estate of Yigael Yadin.] (B) Column 54 of the unrolled TS. The enlarged inclusion (inset) shows that some parts of the bright, text-carrying inorganic layer have been detached. [(B): Photo credit: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.] © Fragment of TS showing inorganic layer on text side (left) and reverse side (right). The organic layer has partially detached, revealing the inner surface of the inorganic layer. (D) The same fragment in light transmittance from the back differentiating the thinner lower part, where the detachment has occurred from the thicker upper part. (E) Enlarged optical micrograph of the boxed region in ©. Credit: Science Advances (2019).
First discovered in 1947 by Bedouin shepherds looking for a lost sheep, the ancient Hebrew texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls are some of the most well-preserved ancient written materials ever found. Now, a study by researchers at MIT and elsewhere elucidates a unique ancient technology of parchment making and provides potentially new insights into methods to better preserve these precious historical documents.

The study focused on one scroll in particular, known as the Temple Scroll, among the roughly 900 full or partial scrolls found in the years since that first discovery. The scrolls were, in general, placed in jars and hidden in 11 caves on the steep hillsides just north of the Dead Sea, in the region around the ancient settlement of Qumran, which was destroyed by the Romans about 2,000 years ago. To protect their religious and cultural heritage from the invaders, members of a sect called the Essenes hid their precious documents in the caves, often buried under a few feet of debris and bat guano to help foil looters.
The Temple Scroll is one of the largest (almost 25 feet long) and best-preserved of all the scrolls, even though its material is the thinnest of all of them (one-tenth of a millimeter, or roughly 1/250th of an inch thick). It also has the clearest, whitest writing surface of all the scrolls. These properties led MIT assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering faculty fellow in archaeological materials, Admir Masic, to wonder how the parchment was made.
The results of that study, carried out with former graduate student Roman Schuetz (now at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science), MIT graduate student Janille Maragh, and two others, were published today in the journal Science Advances. They found that the parchment was processed in an unusual way, using a mixture of salts found in evaporites—the material left from the evaporation of brines—but one that was different from the typical composition found on other parchments.
"The Temple Scroll is probably the most beautiful and best preserved scroll," Masic says. "We had the privilege of studying fragments from the Israeli museum in Jerusalem called the Shrine of the Book," which was built specifically to house the Dead Sea Scrolls. One relatively large fragment from that scroll was the main subject of the new paper. The fragment, measuring about 2.5 cm (1 inch) across was investigated using a variety of specialized tools developed by researchers to map, in high resolution, the detailed chemical composition of relatively large objects under a microscope.

"We were able to perform large-area, submicron-scale, non-invasive characterization of the fragment," Masic says—an integrated approach that he and co-author of this paper James Weaver, from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, have developed for the characterization of both biological and non-biological materials. "These methods allow us to maintain the materials of interest under more environmentally friendly conditions, while we collect hundreds of thousands of different elemental and chemical spectra across the surface of the sample, mapping out its compositional variability in extreme detail," Weaver says.
That fragment, which has escaped any treatment since its discovery that might have altered its properties, "allowed us to look deeply into its original composition, revealing the presence of some elements at completely unexpectedly high concentrations" Masic says.
The elements they discovered included sulfur, sodium, and calcium in different proportions, spread across the surface of the parchment.
Parchment is made from animal skins that have had all hair and fatty residues removed by soaking them in a lime solution (from the middle ages onwards) or through enzymatic and other treatments (in antiquity), scraping them clean, and then stretching them tight in a frame to dry. When dried, sometimes the surface was further prepared by rubbing with salts, as was apparently the case with the Temple Scroll.
The team has not yet been able to assess where the unusual combination of salts on the Temple Scroll's surface came from, Masic says. But it's clear that this unusual coating, laced with these salts, on which the text was written, helped to give this parchment its unusually bright white surface, and perhaps contributed to its state of preservation, he says. And the coating's elemental composition does not match that of the Dead Sea water itself, so it must have been from an evaporite deposit found somewhere else—whether nearby or far away, the researchers can't yet say.
The unique composition of that surface layer demonstrates that the production process for that parchment was significantly different from that of other scrolls in the region, Masic says: "This work exemplifies exactly what my lab is trying to do—to use modern analytical tools to uncover secrets of the ancient world".
Understanding the details of this ancient technology could help provide insights into the culture and society of that time and place, which played a central role in the history of both Judaism and Christianity. Among other things, an understanding of the parchment production and its chemistry could also help to identify forgeries of supposedly ancient writings.
According to Ira Rabin, one of the paper's co-authors from Hamburg University in Germany, "this study has far-reaching implications beyond the Dead Sea Scrolls. For example, it shows that at the dawn of parchment making in the Middle East, several techniques were in use, which is in stark contrast to the single technique used in the Middle Ages. The study also shows how to identify the initial treatments, thus providing historians and conservators with a new set of analytical tools for classification of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient parchments."
This information could indeed be crucial in guiding the development of new preservation strategies for these ancient manuscripts. Unfortunately, it appears that much of the damage seen in the scrolls today arose not from their 2,000-plus years in the caves, but from efforts to soften the scrolls in order to unroll and read them immediately after their initial discovery, Masic says.
Adding to these existing concerns, the new data now clearly demonstrate that these unique mineral coatings are also highly hygroscopic—they readily absorb any moisture in the air, and then might quickly begin to degrade the underlying material. These new results thus further emphasize the need to store the parchments in a controlled humidity environment at all times. "There could be an unanticipated sensitivity to even small-scale changes in humidity," he says. "The point is that we now have evidence for the presence of salts that might accelerate their degradation. ... These are aspects of preservation that must be taken into account."

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21st century technology deciphers ancient Hebrew scroll

[b]More information:[/b] "The Temple Scroll: Reconstructing an ancient manufacturing practice" Science Advances (2019).
[b]Journal information:[/b] Science Advances [/url]

Provided by [url=]Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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According to the City of David Foundation, there are three people with the name Adoniyahu in the Bible, the most famous being King David’s son.
 SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 03:00
1 minute read.



[Image: 445975]

The “Adonayahu Asher Al Habayit” bulla (seal). Photo. (photo credit: ELIYAHU YANAI CITY OF DAVID ARCHIVES)

A 2,600-year-old seal bearing a Hebrew name was uncovered in dirt excavated in 2013 near the Western Wall, archaeologist Eli Shukron said on Monday.

The seal is inscribed with the name of “Adoniyahu Asher Al HaBayit,” meaning “Adoniyahu by Appointment of the House,” the most prominent role in the king’s court in the Kingdom of Judea that appears for the first time on the list of ministries of Solomon.

The one-centimeter-wide bulla, which dates to the seventh century BCE – the period of the Kingdom of Judea – and was used to sign documents, bears a term widely used throughout the Bible to describe the most senior minister serving under kings of Judea or Israel.

“This is the first time this kind of archaeological discovery has been made in Jerusalem,” said Shukron, who conducted the initial excavations at the foundation stones of the [url=]Western Wall
 on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “The biblical term ‘Asher Al HaBayit’ was the highest ranking ministerial position beneath the king during reigns of the kings of Judea and Israel, it is undoubtedly of great significance.”

“This tiny bulla has immense meaning to billions of people worldwide,” said Doron Spielman, vice president of the City of David Foundation, which operates the site where the bulla was discovered. “The personal signet of a senior official to a biblical king from the First Temple period. This is another link to a long chain of Jewish history in Jerusalem that is being uncovered and preserved at the City of David on a daily basis.”

According to the City of David Foundation, there are three people with the name Adoniyahu in the Bible, the most famous being King David’s son, as mentioned in the Book of Kings. The bulla was uncovered three weeks ago as part of the City of David’s volunteer Archaeological Experience by Israeli teenager Batya Howen.

“I began shifting through the bucket of dirt by washing it under a stream of water, and suddenly I recognized a small black-colored piece of metal,” Howen recalled. “To hold such a significant find from 2,600 years ago, from the time of the Kingdom of Judah, is an amazing thing.”
Quote:Among the most unique structures uncovered, was a temple where religious rituals were performed. A seal imprint featuring the figure of a stylized man raising his hands in prayer and a head figurine were found at the site.

The find will change everything scholars know about the urbanization process in the Land of Israel.
 OCTOBER 6, 2019 17:31
2 minute read.



[Image: 447414]

Aerial photograph of the excavation site, Ein Assur, northern Israel. (photo credit: ASSAF PEREZ/ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)

The ruins of a 5,000-year-old megalopolis were uncovered in northern Israel, the [url=]Antiquities Authority 
announced on Sunday, in one of the most significant archaeological findings in recent history.

The ruins were discovered in a major excavation project in the Ein Assur site near Harish. According to the IAA, the city was the largest and most central one in the area during the Bronze Age. According to the archaeologists, about 6,000 people lived there, a huge number at the time.


 “About the same time that the first pharaoh established his rule over Egypt, this city was founded,” IAA official Yitzhak Paz, explained in a video, calling the city “the New York of that era.”

Paz explained that the location offered exceptionally good conditions to settle, such as sources of water and strategic proximity to ancient commercial routes.

[Image: 447415]The icon of a 5,000 year ago human head (Photo Credit: Clara Amit/ Israel Antiquities Authority)

The city was fortified and its urban design is clearly visible, he added.

The ruins clearly show a web of roads and alleys, as well as the design of the buildings. Among the most unique structures uncovered, was a temple where religious rituals were performed. A seal imprint featuring the figure of a stylized man raising his hands in prayer and a head figurine were found at the site.

An even earlier settlement, dating to the Chalcolithic period from 7,000 years ago, was uncovered in deeper excavations made beneath this city's houses. It seems that two abundant springs originating in the area in antiquity were a site of attraction throughout the period.

According to the authority, the finding will change everything scholars know about the urbanization process in the Land of Israel in ancient times. 
"These surprising findings allow us, for the first time, to define the cultural characteristics of the inhabitants of this area in ancient times," the IAA said. "The inhabitants earned a living from agriculture thanks to the nearby springs, and the land used for crops." 

Thousands of Israeli youth have been worked at the site along with the archaeologists, thanks to an IAA program that sends school students to work on archaeological sites for a week.

[Image: 447417]Seal impression of a man hands lifted and next to him the figure of an animal (Photo Credit: Yoli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority)

[Image: 447419]Figurine found at the excavation site (Photo Credit: Clara Amit/ Israel Antiquities Authority)
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