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Theology => Prophecy - Current Events => Topic started by: Soldier4Christ on September 12, 2005, 03:02:11 PM



Title: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 12, 2005, 03:02:11 PM
RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES IN ISRAEL PERTAIN TO KING DAVID, JESUS

Aug 17, 05 | 4:55 pm


Working a short distance from each other near Jerusalem's Old City, archaeologists have made two major discoveries in recent months, one pertaining to King David and the other to Jesus.

Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazor has uncovered what may be the 3,000-year-old foundation walls of the palace of the biblical King David in the area known as the City of David.

The foundations for the monumental building are large boulders. Its walls are more than six feet thick and extend at least 98 feet. Also found at the site were a governmental seal of an official named Jehucal or Jucal, who is mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah, and numerous shards of Iron Age II pottery dating from the 10th to 9th centuries, corresponding to the time of David and Solomon.

The find has sparked a lively debate among archaeologists about whether the structure is actually the palace of the fabled Jewish king. If true, it "could turn out to be the archaeological find of the century," according to the Jerusalem Post. But in any case, all agree that it is a rare and important major public building from a period that has been under-represented in the archaeological record.
"This is a very significant discovery, given that Jerusalem as the capital of the united kingdom [Jewish] is very much unknown," said Gabriel Barkay, an archaeologist from Israel's Bar-Ilan University. "This is one of the first greetings we have from the Jerusalem of David and Solomon, a period which has played a kind of hide-and-seek with archaeologists for the last century."

Just down the hill from that excavation, near the Old City walls, workers repairing a sewage line last summer unearthed what appeared to be two steps. Three short stairways were eventually uncovered, leading down to a pool that may have been at least 225 feet wide.

Archaeologists using metal detectors found coins in the plaster that helped them date the pool to the Second Temple period between roughly 100 BCE and 70 CE. They hypothesize the structure is the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a man blind from birth, as told in the gospel of John.

In John 9, Jesus was asked whether the man or his parents were to blame for his blindness and he replied that the fault belonged to neither. He then spit on the ground, rubbed the mud on the man's eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man did so and was healed.

Another pool in Jerusalem, built in the Byzantine era, had been identified as the Pool of Siloam because it was assumed to occupy the site of the original pool used in Jesus's day. It seems now that assumption was incorrect.

As the Holy City yields more of its secrets, it seems to become ever more sacred for many of its residents and visitors.

ENORMOUS TRENCH UNCOVERED OUTSIDE ANCIENT PHILISTINE CITY

An enormous stone trench surrounded by towers was recently found at a dig on Israel's southern coastal plain near the ancient town of Gat, the largest and most important of five local Philistine cities in Biblical times.

The find reinforces the Biblical account of the fall of Gat as told in Kings II (12:18). In the Biblical story, the Aramean King Hazael conquered Gat and surrounded the Philistine city with an enormous stone moat flanked by guard towers to prevent besieged residents from escaping.
The moat is five meters deep, four meters wide, and stretches for 2.5 kilometers around the walls of the city at a radius of 300 meters.

Gat was Goliath's birthplace and had a population of 10,000 at its peak. Within the ancient city, ruins of houses and many Philistine artifacts, including writing implements, have been found.
The Philistines inhabited the coastal plain for almost 600 years and their battles with the ancient Israelites are related in the Biblical stories of Samson, Samuel, King Saul, and David and Goliath.

Although they have vanished from history, they left behind their name, which the Romans adapted as "Palestina," the Roman name for the Land of Israel.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Bronzesnake on September 12, 2005, 04:02:39 PM
Great stuff my brother!

The non believers will have an explanation as to why the Bible is historically correct when ever a find such as this one and loads of others are uncovered.

Here's how it will go..."well, the writers of the bible wrote a historically acurate fiction story" :D It won't matter to them that such a piece of work was not in existance until at least 1,500 years after the Bible was written. ;)

PS- it was really good to hear your voice my brother.
I am a serious fan of yours - a serviceman of the highest order, having served aboard the famous A.C.C. Enterprise!!!
as well as all your other tours of duty!

You and Tom, who served as a police officer for many years are my heroes.

God bless you boys and thank you for your service.

John


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 12, 2005, 06:19:03 PM
Quote
A.C.C. ??

 ???


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Bronzesnake on September 12, 2005, 08:40:20 PM
Quote
A.C.C. ??

 ???

Air-Craft-Carrier

I made it up myself... :-[


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 12, 2005, 09:05:03 PM
Quote
A.C.C. ??

 ???

Air-Craft-Carrier

I made it up myself... :-[

I should have figured that now it's me thats  :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[






Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 14, 2005, 12:58:37 AM
Down under the city of Jerusalem
In honor of Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty, new excavations began on the western edge of the Tyropean Valley, just opposite the Shiloah pool (Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man).

Architectural structures sculpted into the rock were found in several rooms on different floors, as well as on the walls of the mikveh (ritual immersion bath). The excavations dated to Second Temple times. Archaeologists also found a silver coin from the Second Jewish Revolt, led by Simon Bar-Kochba, as well as clay vessels from both the First and Second Temple periods.

Excavation director Tsvika Greenhut, of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), said that in spite of the less-than-ideal preservation of the structures uncovered at this site, it was obvious that the people who lived here were well off—members of the local population’s upper echelon. Researchers were able to glean more insight into what life may have been like in such a neighborhood in the lower areas of Jerusalem.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 14, 2005, 01:09:29 AM
King David's Palace Is Found, Archaeologist Says

By STEVEN ERLANGER

 JERUSALEM, Aug. 4 - An Israeli archaeologist says she has uncovered in East Jerusalem what may be the fabled palace of the biblical King David. Her work has been sponsored by a conservative Israeli research institute and financed by an American Jewish investment banker who would like to prove that Jerusalem was indeed the capital of the Jewish kingdom described in the Bible.

Other scholars are skeptical that the foundation walls discovered by the archaeologist, Eilat Mazar, are David's palace. But they acknowledge that what she has uncovered is rare and important: a major public building from around the 10th century B.C., with pottery shards that date to the time of David and Solomon and a government seal of an official mentioned in the book of Jeremiah.

The discovery is likely to be a new salvo in a major dispute in biblical archaeology: whether the kingdom of David was of some historical magnitude, or whether the kings were more like small tribal chieftains, reigning over another dusty hilltop.

The find will also be used in the broad political battle over Jerusalem - whether the Jews have their origins here and thus have some special hold on the place, or whether, as many Palestinians have said, including the late Yasir Arafat, the idea of a Jewish origin in Jerusalem is a myth used to justify conquest and occupation.

Hani Nur el-Din, a Palestinian professor of archaeology at Al Quds University, said he and his colleagues considered biblical archaeology an effort by Israelis "to fit historical evidence into a biblical context." He added: "The link between the historical evidence and the biblical narration, written much later, is largely missing. There's a kind of fiction about the 10th century. They try to link whatever they find to the biblical narration. They have a button, and they want to make a suit out of it."

Even Israeli archaeologists are not so sure that Ms. Mazar has found the palace - the house that Hiram, king of Tyre, built for the victorious king, at least as Samuel 2:5 describes it. It may also be the Fortress of Zion that David conquered from the Jebusites, who ruled Jerusalem before him, or some other structure about which the Bible is silent.

Either way, they are impressed by its likely importance. "This is a very significant discovery, given that Jerusalem as the capital of the united kingdom is very much unknown," said Gabriel Barkay, an archaeologist from Bar-Ilan University. "This is one of the first greetings we have from the Jerusalem of David and Solomon, a period which has played a kind of hide-and-seek with archaeologists for the last century."

Based on the Bible and a century of archaeology in this spot, Ms. Mazar, 48, speculated that a famous stepped-stone structure excavated previously was part of the fortress David conquered, and that his palace would have been built just outside the original walls of the cramped city, on the way to what his son, Solomon, built as the Temple Mount.

"When the Philistines came to fight, the Bible said that David went down from his house to the fortress," she said, her eyes bright. "I wondered, down from where? Presumably from where he lived, his palace."

"So I said, maybe there's something here," she added, referring to East Jerusalem.

David's palace was the topic of a last conversation Ms. Mazar had with her grandfather, Benjamin Mazar, a famous archaeologist who helped to train her and who died 10 years ago. Five months ago, with money and permission from the Ir David Foundation, which controls the site (and supports Jews moving into East Jerusalem), she finally began to dig.

Amihai Mazar, a professor of archaeology at Hebrew University, calls the find "something of a miracle." He says he believes that the building may be the Fortress of Zion that David is said to have conquered, which he renamed the City of David. "What she found is fascinating, whatever it is," he said.

Mr. Mazar is Ms. Mazar's second cousin, but he has his own reputation to protect.

Archaeologists debate "to what extent Jerusalem was an important city or even a city in the time of David and Samuel," he said. "Some believe it was tiny and the kingdom unimportant." The site of ancient Jerusalem, stuck between two valleys on a ridge south of the Temple Mount, is very small, less than 10 acres.

Israel Finkelstein, another renowned archaeologist, has suggested that without significant evidence, Jerusalem in this period was "perhaps not more than a typical hill-country village."

In his book, "The Bible Unearthed," Mr. Finkelstein writes with Neil Silberman, "Not only was any sign of monumental architecture missing, but so were even simple pottery shards."

Ms. Mazar believes she has found a riposte: a large public building, with at least some pottery of the time, and a bulla, or governmental seal, of an official - Jehucal (or Jucal), son of Shelemiah, son of Shevi - who is mentioned at least twice in the Book of Jeremiah.

The building can be reasonably dated by the pottery found above and below it. Ms. Mazar found on the bedrock a large floor of crushed limestone, indicating a large public space. The floor and fill above it contain pottery from Iron Age I of the 12th to 11th centuries B.C., just before David conquered Jerusalem.

Above that, Ms. Mazar found the foundations for this monumental building, with large boulders for walls that are about 2 yards thick and extend at least 30 yards. In one corner was pottery of Iron Age II, the 10th to 9th centuries, roughly the time of the united kingdom.

Unfortunately, Mr. Mazar said, she found no floor. It is clear the building was constructed after the pottery underneath it, but less clear exactly how much later.

The archaeological debate is also partly a debate over the roots of Zionism and the effort to find Jewish origins deep in the land. Ms. Mazar's latest dig, which has cost about $500,000, has been sponsored by Roger Hertog, a New York financier who is vice chairman of Alliance Capital Management. Mr. Hertog, who owns a piece of The New York Sun and The New Republic, is also chairman of the board of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, where Ms. Mazar is a senior fellow.

The Shalem Center was founded as Israel's first "neoconservative think-tank," said William Kristol, who is also on the board, in an effort to give the Israeli right a better foundation in history, economics, archaeology and other topics.

Mr. Hertog calls his investment in Ms. Mazar "venture philanthropy - you have the opportunity for intellectual speculation, to fund something that is a work of great consequence." He said he hoped to show "that the Bible reflects Jewish history."

Ms. Mazar continues to dig, but right now, three families are living in houses where she would most like to explore. One family is Muslim, one Christian and one Jewish.




Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 26, 2005, 12:30:12 PM
‘Ateret Cohanim’ Digging 80 Meters Away from Al-Aqsa

Palestinian Fatma: That Is Exactly How It Started with Al-Buraq Tunnel

24/09/2005

Palestine Media Center – PMC

Through the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the ultra-fundamentalist Jewish “Ateret Cohanim” organization “is at the moment conducting a dig” at a depth of 12 meters beneath a building, which is 80 meters away from the walls of Islam’s third holiest site of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem, with excavations that “have already advanced 20 meters eastward,” Israeli daily Haartez reported on Friday.

“Members of the organization are not satisfied with digging deep down, in one of the most sensitive places in the world. They are also digging along width-wise, to the east, in the direction of the (Al-Aqsa Mosque) Temple Mount, beneath the houses of Palestinian residents,” Meron Rapoport wrote in Haaretz.

“The excavators have already advanced 20 meters eastward, while ‘clearing away earth’ from subterranean spaces. Only 60 meters separate now them from the walls of the (Al-Aqsa) mount,” Jon Seligman, the IAA Jerusalem district director, who is supervising the dig, told Haaretz.

Haaretz quoted Seligman, which it described as “a cautious man, perhaps because of his British extraction,” as saying that “there is a ‘small chance’ that they (the Ateret Cohanim) will continue the dig and reach the actual (the Al-Aqsa) Temple Mount compound beneath what is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary, or the Dome of the Rock.”

Seligman said he cannot guarantee that they won't do it.

However Seligman said that the members of Ateret Cohanim cannot reach the Muslim compound at the present depth of the excavation, because that would necessitate passing through houses of the Muslim Waqf (the Muslim Trust).

Seligman estimates that in order to reach the “mother rock,” his people will have to dig down an additional 3 to 6 meters, so that ultimately, the excavation will reach a depth of about 18 meters. That is quite deep, by any criterion.

But Palestinian Fatma Asala, whose bedroom is above the dig, and who hears the noises, but cannot go down to see what is going on under her house said: “That is exactly how it started with the (Al-Buraq) Western Wall tunnel. That's what I'm afraid of that they'll reach the Western Wall.”

Israeli Archaeologist Meir Ben Dov, who is known as a mortal enemy of the IAA, says that digging to a depth of 15 meters inside a densely populated area like the heart of the Old City is very dangerous.

“The building under which the dig began is a 19th-century Ottoman structure on Hagai Street in the Muslim Quarter. Opposite it are two adjacent restaurants: Hakeshatot, operated by Ateret Cohanim, and Al-Buraq, operated by the Muslim Waqf. The average Israeli visitor is probably more familiar with Hummus Abu-Shukri, which is 100 meters north of there. The Western Wall compound is dozens of meters southeast, the walls of the Temple Mount 80 meters as the crow flies, to the east. The distance to the Dome of the Rock, or the Mosque of Omar, is 150 meters. It would be hard to find a more sensitive place,” Meron Rapoport indicated.

In the more distant past, a Mameluke bathhouse stood on the spot, afterward another building was constructed on top of it and Jews bought it and established the Ohel Yitzhak synagogue there, Rapoport added.

Ateret Cohanim is the most prominent and active Jewish group in the Israeli-occupied Old City of Jerusalem.

The head of the organization, Matti Dan, is a man with connections: The doors of the mayors of Jerusalem, of ministers and even of the president are open to him. Dan has also spent many hours with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has a house in the Old City. He has never actually lived in the building, which is still guarded to this very day and belongs to Ateret Cohanim, Haaretz said.

The Klugman Committee, which was established in 1992 to examine the way in which Jewish organizations took over property in the Old City and in Silwan, exposed the direct link between Matti Dan and the housing minister at the time and the incumbent prime minister: Ariel Sharon.

At least until the disengagement, Dan is considered to be the closest to Sharon of all the Jewish settlers in Jerusalem.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 28, 2005, 12:26:20 PM
 Israel to Open New Archaeological Site
Staff and agencies
27 September, 2005



Tue Sep 27,11:03 AM ET

JERUSALEM - Israel unveiled an underground archaeological site near a disputed Jerusalem holy shrine on Tuesday, nearly a decade after the opening of an exhibit in the same area sparked widespread Palestinian rioting.

The new tourist center snakes underground, adjacent to the path of the Western Wall, the last remaining retaining wall of the Jewish Temple. When the center is opened in a few weeks, visitors will be presented with a sound and light show of Jewish biblical history, highlighting recent discoveries of artifacts and infrastructure dating back thousands of years, including one of the world‘s oldest aqueducts.

Known to Jews as the Temple Mount, the site is considered so holy that many observant Jews won‘t go to the site for fear of defiling it. Known to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, the site is now home to the Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques and is revered as the place where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

In 1996, Israel opened an archaeological tunnel alongside the compound, triggering Palestinian riots in which 80 people were killed.

In September 2000, then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the mosque compound. The next day, violence erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip , evolving into a nearly five-year Palestinian uprising that killed more than 3,500 people on the Palestinian side and more than 1,000 people on the Israeli side.

"Anything they do in the place means deepening their attacks on the Islamic Waqf," Husseini said.

Jewish religious decrees forbid digging in the compound, for fear archaeologists would inadvertently enter the "holiest of holies," the most sacred site in the temple, he said.

"Any discovery brings great excitement," he said. "It‘s part of our Jewish heritage."



Title: First Temple-era seal discovered
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 28, 2005, 12:29:27 PM
First Temple-era seal discovered
Etgar Lefkovits, THE JERUSALEM POST    Sep. 27, 2005

A First-Temple period seal has been discovered amidst piles of rubble from Jerusalem's Temple Mount, an Israeli archaeologist said Tuesday, in what could prove to be an historic find.

The small - less than 1 cm - seal impression, or bulla, discovered Tuesday by Bar-Ilan University archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay amidst piles of rubble from the Temple Mount would mark the first time that an written artifact was found from the Temple Mount dating back to the First Temple period.

The 2,600 year old artifact, with three lines in ancient Hebrew, was discovered amidst piles of rubble discarded by the Islamic Wakf that Barkay and a team of young archaeologists and volunteers are sifting
through on the grounds of a Jerusalem national park.

The seal, which predates the destruction of the First Jewish temple in 586 BCE, was presented Tuesday night to the press at an archaeological conference at the City of David sponsored by the right-wing Elad organization.

Barkay said that the find was the first of its kind from the time of King David.

He has not yet determined what the writing is on the seal, although three Hebrew letters -- thought to be the name of its owner -- are visible on one of its line.

The seal was found amidst thousands of tons of rubble discarded by Wakf officials at city garbage dumps six years ago, following the Islamic Trust's unilateral construction of an mosque at an underground compound of the Temple Mount known as the Solomon's
Stables.

After the Antiquities Authority voiced disinterest in thoroughly sifting through the rubble discarded by the Wakf, Barkay applied -- and eventually received –a license from the Antiquities Authority to sort through the piles of earth thrown into the garbage dump in search of antiquities, and has since found scores of history-rich artifacts, from the First Temple Period until today amidst the rubble, including a large amount of pottery dating from the Bronze Ages through modern times, a large segment of a marble pillar's shaft, and over 100 ancient coins, among them several from the Hasmonean Dynasty.

While inexact, the ongoing sifting project, which is now being sponsored by Elad, has being called virtually unprecedented since archaeological excavation has never been permitted on the Temple Mount itself.

Meanwhile, in a separate major archaeological development in Jerusalem, a Jewish ritual bath, or mikva, dating back to the Second Temple period, and a First Temple Wall have been found in an underground chamber adjacent to the Western Wall tunnels, the Antiquities Authority's Jerusalem regional archaeologist Jon Seligman said during a tour.

The site is part of a new state-of-the-art tourist center at the Western Wall tunnels, which will be open to the public in two months' time.

The impressive site, which incorporates ancient and modern Jewish history in an attempt to reach out to Israeli youth, includes an elaborate audiovisual show, and nine magnificent glass sculptures, which serve to highlight both recent discoveries of artifacts and infrastructure dating back thousands of years, including one of the world's oldest aqueducts, as well as modern day Jewish history, such as the Holocaust and Israel's fallen soldiers.


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 02, 2005, 01:24:54 AM
Sixty years later, working to bring the boys home
Team recovers lost U.S. WWII-era bomber in Germany

By Kevin Dougherty, Stars and Stripes
Scene, Sunday, October 2, 2005



At the time, news accounts called it the most ferocious air battle ever fought over the German capital.

“The assault on Berlin was perhaps unequaled by any previous daylight blow of the war,” the Montgomery Advertiser reported in its April 30, 1944, edition, the day after the massive bombardment.

From Berlin to Bordeaux, the Allies had been hammering Adolf Hitler’s forces for weeks in what was a prelude to the D-Day landings in Normandy, France. On this day, U.S. bombers were joined by hundreds of fighter aircraft, friendly as well as foe.

“Roaring more than 500 miles across Europe through a gauntlet of German fighters and anti-aircraft bursts,” the Advertiser continued, “about 1,000 American Flying Fortresses and Liberators converged on the Nazi capital at the noon hour, bringing to Berliners once more the real and terrible preliminaries to invasion.”

With so many flying machines in the air, there were bound to be losses. That’s just how things were back then.

Piloting one of the 63 bombers that failed to return to England that afternoon was 2nd Lt. Robert R. Bishop of El Reno, Okla.

Now, after more than six decades, a team of Americans believes it has recovered the remains of that ill-fated, 10-member crew.

“Every little piece is important,” Army Staff Sgt. Rick Thomas said as he stood at the crash site. “It doesn’t matter how small or how burnt. Our job is to bring back all the remains we can of our fallen comrades.”

As members of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Thomas and his comrades say they have one of the noblest jobs in the U.S. military. That job is the recovery and repatriation of remains of servicemembers who took their last breath on foreign soil fighting for their country.

No other nation devotes more money and effort to this task than the United States. From preliminary site investigation to interment, the cost of just one dig could be as much as $1 million or more, depending on the location and conditions. Some JPAC teams will climb a mountain, traipse through a jungle or forge a stream, often multiple times, just to reach a potential crash site.

The spot where Bishop’s B-24J Liberator went down is more accessible than most. Located in a pastoral setting just north of Hanover, the crew’s next-to-last resting place is a family farm where crops grow and horses graze.

The site at the village of Mellendorf is one of five that JPAC worked during a 45-day mission to Europe in August and September. The others were in eastern Germany, central Hungary, Normandy and the French island of Corsica.

It’s hard, tedious and humbling work. It’s also a validation of sorts.

“The POW/MIA symbol now means something when I look at it,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Linda Miller, a still photographer and regular site hand. “I have a part in bringing some of them home.”

Added Marine Sgt. Thaddeus Land: “If I’m on foreign soil and get killed, I know my brothers will come back someday to get me.”

But for many of the surviving relatives of the 78,000 servicemembers still missing from World War II, the wait — now entering its seventh decade — will almost certainly pass to the next generation.

That’s because JPAC and its forerunner — the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii — has focused much of its time and resources on those missing in action from the Vietnam War.

Additionally, the majority of MIAs from World War II will never be recovered because they were lost at sea. Dr. Gregory Fox, the chief anthropologist at the Hanover site, estimates that only between 20,000 and 30,000 servicemembers from the war are recoverable.

The challenge is time and money and getting firm leads on possible sites.

“We would agree there is a sense of urgency” with respect to MIAs from World War II because many of the witnesses and first-person accounts are getting old and soon will no longer be available, said Army Maj. Rumi Nielson-Green, a JPAC spokeswoman in Hawaii.

As with a lot of digs, the Hanover site was brought to JPAC’s attention by a relic hunter. The U.S. military no longer has any legal claim to the remains of these World War II aircraft, and so for years enthusiasts (some would call them vultures) have been scouring files and fields for clues as to their whereabouts.

Anthropologists such as Fox determine where to dig and for how long. While backhoes are sometimes brought in, much of work is done by hand, using shovels, wheelbarrows and screen sieves, or sifters.

Music and occasional schoolyard antics help enliven the atmosphere, but the work remains monotonous, backbreaking, and yet incredibly rewarding.

“There’s no better feeling than walking off a plane holding a flag-draped casket and knowing that you brought home one of our missing comrades,” Thomas said. “It’s just a great feeling.”



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 14, 2005, 09:45:44 PM
Jerusalem ruins point to biblical palace

 

Eilat Mazar has found ruins of what may be palace built by David and used by Judean kings for more than four centuries. If she is right, it would deal deathblow to revisionist camp, whose theory is predicated on absence of evidence in Jerusalem from this period. But is she right?
David Hazony

The field of biblical archeology has been rocked, so to speak, by dramatic new finds in the heart of ancient Jerusalem.

 

For the last few years, a number of respected archaeologists have posited that the biblical accounts of Jerusalem as the seat of a powerful, unified monarchy under the rule of David and Solomon are essentially false.

 

The most prominent of these is Israel Finkelstein, chairman of Tel Aviv University’s archeology department, whose 2001 book, "The Bible Unearthed," written together with Neal Asher Silberman, became an international best seller. The lynchpin of his argument was the absence of clear evidence from the archeological excavations carried out in Jerusalem over the last century.

 

“Not only was any sign of monumental architecture missing,” he wrote, “but so were even simple pottery shards.” If David and Solomon existed at all, he concluded, they were no more than “hill-country chieftains,” and Jerusalem, as he told The New York Times, was “no more than a poor village at the time.”

 

But now comes word of a most unusual find: The remains of a massive structure, in the heart of biblical Jerusalem, dating to the time of King David.

 

Eilat Mazar, the archeologist leading the expedition, suggests it may be none other than the palace built by David and used by the Judaean kings for more than four centuries. If she is right, this would mean a reconsideration of the archeological record with regard to the early First Temple period. It would also deal a deathblow to the revisionist camp, whose entire theory is predicated on the absence of evidence in Jerusalem from this period. But is she right?
 David's Palace? New archeological find raises big questions

 David's Palace? New archeological find raises big questions
According to the book of Samuel, when David conquered the Jebusite city of Jerusalem around the year 1000 B.C.E., he did not destroy it, but instead left it standing, including its great citadel to defend the city along its northern approach.
 

In this city, today known as the City of David, a neighborhood just to the south of Jerusalem’s Old City, he added a few things as well - most notably a palace built by master craftsmen sent by the Phoenician king Hiram of Tyre, who had concluded an alliance with David against their mutual enemy, the Philistines.

 

According to archeological evidence, Jerusalem was already an ancient city, founded some 2,000 years before David arrived, and fortified with walls as much as 1,000 years before. Because of its unique topography - a high hill nestled between two deep valleys that converge at its southern point, graced with abundant water from the Gihon spring, and exposed to attack only along a ridge from the north - the location was ideal for the capital of David’s kingdom.

 

Based on this evidence, coupled with textual clues as to the topography - as described in the book of II Samuel (5:17), when the Philistines mustered in Emek Refaim, David “descended to the citadel,” implying that the palace was higher up on the mountain than the citadel itself - Mazar formulated her proposal as to the location of the palace in a 1997 article in Biblical Archaeology Review .

 

“If some regard as too speculative the hypothesis I shall put forth in this article,” she wrote, “my reply is simply this: Let us put it to the test in the way archeologists always try to test their theories - by excavation.”

 

Few living archeologists were better suited for this mission, as Mazar has extensive experience both in excavations at the City of David and at the Phoenician town of Achziv along the coast north of Haifa.

 

Indicators for the palace would include monumental structures dating to the late-11th or early-10th centuries B.C.E.; distinctive Phoenician-style building, which would have been out of place in the Judean mountains; and a new building created just to the north of the borders of the older Jebusite city, resting on new land, rather than on destruction layers.

 

Remarkable evidence

 

Of course, any additional archeological markers, such as inscriptions, pottery shards, or interior architecture, would further confirm such a find. In early 2005, after securing the necessary permits and the support of the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center (which also publishes Azure), the Hebrew University, and the City of David Foundation, Mazar began digging.

 cont'd on page two



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 14, 2005, 09:48:30 PM
page two

Evidence fits well with other archeological finds from the site. In new excavation, Mazar has discovered clay signet impression bearing name of Yehuchal Ben Shelemiah, noble of Judea from time of King Zedekiah mentioned by name in Jeremiah, evidence that four centuries after David, site was still important seat of Judean royalty
David Hazony

The evidence she found is remarkable. It includes a section of massive wall running about 100 feet (30 meters) from west to east along the length of the excavation, and ending with a right-angle corner that turns south and implies a very large building.

 

Within the dirt fill between the stones of the great wall were found pottery shards dating to the 11th Century B.C.E.; this is the earliest
possible date for the walls� construction.

 

Two additional walls, also large, running perpendicular to the first, contain pottery dating to the 10th Century B.C.E. - meaning that further additions were made after the time of David and Solomon or during their reign, suggesting that the building continued to be used and improved over a period of centuries.

 

The structure is built directly on bedrock along the city�s northern edge, with no archeological layers beneath it - a sign that this structure, built two millennia after the city�s founding, constituted a new, northward expansion of the city�s northern limit. And it is located at what was then the very summit of the mountain - a reasonable place indeed for the palace from which David �descended.�

 

This immediate evidence fits well with other archeological finds from the site, as well. In 1963, the renowned archeologist Kathleen Kenyon reported finding a Phoenician �proto-Aeolic capital,� or decorative stone column head dating to the same period, at the bottom of the cliff atop which the new excavation has taken place.

 

Kenyon wrote that this capital, along with other cut stones she found there, were �typical of the best period of Israelite building, during which the use of Phoenician craftsman was responsible for an exotic flowering of Palestinian architecture. It would seem, therefore, that during the period of monarchic Jerusalem, a building of some considerable pretensions stood on top of the scarp.�

 

Clay signet

 

In the early 1980s, Hebrew University�s Yigael Shiloh uncovered the enormous �stepped-stone� support structure which now appears to be part of the same complex of buildings.

 

And in the new excavation, Mazar has discovered a remarkable clay bulla, or signet impression, bearing the name of Yehuchal Ben Shelemiah, a noble of Judea from the time of King Zedekiah who is mentioned by name in Jeremiah 37:3, evidence suggesting that four centuries after David, the site was still an important seat of Judean royalty.

 

This matches the biblical account according to which the palace was in more or less continuous use from its construction until the destruction of Judea by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E.

 

So, is it David�s palace? It is extremely difficult to say with certainty; indeed, no plaque has been found that says on it, �David�s Palace�; nor is it likely that such definitive evidence will ever be found.

 

And yet, the evidence seems to fit surprisingly well with the claim, and there are no finds that suggest the contrary, such as the idolatrous statuettes or ritual crematoria found in contemporary Phoenician settlements.

 

The location, size, style, and dating are all right, and it appears in a part of the ancient world where such constructions were extremely rare and represented the greatest sort of public works.

 

Could it be something else? Of course. Has a better explanation been offered to match the data - data which includes not only archeological finds, but the text itself? No.

 

There will be no shortage of well-meaning skeptics, including serious archeologists, who, having been trained in a scholarly world weary of exuberant romantics and religious enthusiasts prone to making sensational, irresponsible claims about having found Noah�s Ark, will be extremely reluctant to identify any new archeological find with particulars found in the Bible.

 

Others, driven by a concatenation of interests, ideologies, or political agendas, will seize on any shred of uncertainty in the building�s identification to distract attention from the momentousness of the find. Both groups will invoke professionalism and objectivity to pooh-pooh the proposition that this is David�s palace.

 

Don't be swayed

 

They will raise the bar of what kind of proofs are required to say what it was to a standard that no archeological find could ever meet. Or they will simply dismiss it all as wishful thinking in the service of religious or Zionist motives.

 

There are two good reasons not to be swayed by such claims. The first is that even if this is not in fact David�s palace, there is no doubt that we are still talking about an archeological find of enormous moment. Whether it is a citadel, someone else�s palace, or a temple, it is the first-ever discovery of a major construction from the early Israelite period in Jerusalem to date.

 

This alone is enough to overturn the hypothesis of Finkelstein and others that Jerusalem at the time of David was a �poor village� incapable of being the capital of an Israelite kingdom.

 

No longer is it reasonable to claim, as did Tel Aviv University�s Ze�ev Herzog writing in Haaretz in 1999, basing his claim entirely on the absence of just this kind of evidence, that �the great unified monarchy was an imaginary historiosophic creation, invented at the end of the Judean period, at the very earliest.�

 

On the contrary: Now we have a major Israelite compound dating to the time of the unified monarchy, firmly establishing Jerusalem as a major city of its time.

 

For this reason, important voices in the archeological world have already begun declaring the find to be of great importance, even as they reserve judgment as to its identification as David�s palace.

 

�Due to all the possible historical implications, we need to look carefully at the pottery and to further excavate the area,� Seymour Gitin, director of archeology of W.F. Albright Institute in Jerusalem, told a nespaper. Yet he adds, �this is an extremely impressive find, and the first of its kind which can be associated with the 10th Century (B.C.E.).�

 

The normally reserved Amihai Mazar of Hebrew University, one of the most esteemed scholars in the field of biblical archaeology and author of the standard textbook, "Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 10,000�586 B.C.E., has described the discovery as �something of a miracle.�

 

Yet beyond this, there also are good reasons to identify this building, at least provisionally, as the very palace described in the book of Samuel. This is methodologically sound, so long as we are willing to admit that future evidence could emerge, or a better theory be proposed, that might prompt a different conclusion.

 

Burden of proof

 

Right now we have before us two things: We have a biblical text describing in detail the creation of a Phoenician-style palace by David high up on a particular mountain, around the end of the 11th or beginning of the 10 Century B.C.E. And we have a grand structure of the Phoenician style dating from the same time, on the summit of that very mountain, located with assistance from the text and previous archeological discoveries.

 

This was not stumbled upon, moreover, but carefully hypothesized, and the current dig was proposed as the test. The likelihood of this happening by chance is extremely small.

 

Is this absolute proof? No. But it is enough to shift the burden of proof.

 

�You can never be sure about this sort of thing,� Mazar says. �But it seems that the theory that suggests this to be the very palace described in the book of Samuel as having been built by David is thus far the best explanation for the data. Anyone who wants to say otherwise ought to come up with a better theory.�

 

This is neither wishful thinking nor an imagined past, but good science.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on October 15, 2005, 05:31:08 AM
Pastor Roger,

THANKS!! This thread is absolutely fascinating. There is a growing number of discoveries that prove the Holy Bible to be the most accurate history book in existence.

In short, the Holy Bible proves itself over and over from cover to cover. NOW, a massive number of external sources are also proving the Holy Bible to be accurate. AND, to the amazement of many, quite a few of those external sources are scientific!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Ephesians 1:11-14 NASB  also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 26, 2005, 09:57:17 PM
Raiders of the Lost Pool
New finds bolster the historicity of John's Gospel.
by Gordon Govier | posted 10/26/2005 09:00 a.m.

The Pool of Siloam, considered a metaphor in John's Gospel by some New Testament scholars, was in fact a huge basin at the lowest point in the city of Jerusalem. Recent excavations have uncovered two corners and one side of the pool that stretched for half the length of a football field.

"It's very exciting," James Charlesworth, a professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, told CT. "It's very important for the study of the New Testament."

Some Johannine experts have suggested the story in John 9 of the blind man whom Jesus healed and told to wash in the Pool of Siloam wasn't much more than a metaphor.

"To dismiss John as not historically important is absurd," Charlesworth said. "Now it becomes clear that the Gospel of John does have reliable historical information. We have found there is such a pool, precisely as John describes it."

Tradition has always located the Pool of Siloam near the end of Hezekiah's water tunnel, which dates to the eighth century B.C. The pool under excavation is just a few yards from a much smaller Byzantine-era pool that visitors to the area had been calling the Pool of Siloam.

Several digs have been going on in the City of David area, the oldest part of Jerusalem. The narrow 10-acre ridge of land stretches from the Temple Mount down to the junction of the Kidron and Hinnom valleys.

Elsewhere in Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar has discovered large foundation stones of a monumental building in an excavation that began earlier this year. Pottery shards found in one room date to the Iron Age II period, the 10th-9th century B.C., the time of David and Solomon. Underneath the building she found Iron Age I pottery, dating to just before the time of David.

Mazar believes she has uncovered David's palace in what The Jerusalem Post calls "the archaeological find of the century," if true.

One archaeologist calls Mazar's tentative conclusion about her discovery "wishful thinking." But others have called it "an extremely impressive find," "something of a miracle," and "a very significant discovery," even though there's no consensus yet that this could be the palace that was used by David and Solomon and possibly their Judahite monarchy descendants all the way to King Zedekiah.

Among the pottery shards and other finds, Mazar's team uncovered a bulla, or seal impression, with the name Jehudi, a palace officer. Jeremiah 36 reports that Jehudi read the scroll of Jeremiah's warnings to King Jehoiakim. The king, to show his contempt for the prophet, cut off the columns of the scroll with a knife as Jehudi read them and tossed them into the fire.

The excavation is currently off limits to visitors, even though it's located at what had been the visitor's center of the Ir David Foundation. Ir David is a conservative group that has been buying up land in the mostly Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood known as Silwan.

Last summer the Jerusalem City Council announced plans to raze 88 Arab homes in Silwan (from Siloam), in order to pursue plans for an archaeological park in the area. Officials claimed the homes were built illegally.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 30, 2005, 11:49:50 PM
Some of these locations were found some time ago but I thought it would be interesting to list them here anyway. (This is not a complete list.)

Old Testament locations:

  The palace at Jericho where Eglon, king of Moab, was assassinated by Ehud (Judges 3:15-30).

  The east gate of Shechem where Gaal and Zebul watched the forces of Abimelech approach the city (Judges 9:34-38).

  The Temple of Baal/El-Berith in Shechem, where funds were obtained to finance Abimelech's kingship and where the citizens of Shechem took refuge when Abimelech attacked the city (Judges 9:4, 46-49).

  The pool of Gibeon where the forces of David and Ishbosheth fought during the struggle for the kingship of Israel (2 Samuel 2:12-32).

  The Pool of Heshbon, likened to the eyes of the Shulammite woman (Song of Songs 7:4).

  The royal palace at Samaria where the kings of Israel lived (1 Kings 20:43; 21:1, 2; 22:39; 2 Kings 1:2; 15:25).

  The Pool of Samaria where King Ahab's chariot was washed after his death (1 Kings 22:29-38).

  The water tunnel beneath Jerusalem dug by King Hezekiah to provide water during the Assyrian siege (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30).

  The royal palace in Babylon where King Belshazzar held the feast and Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the wall (Daniel 5).

  The royal palace in Susa where Esther was queen of the Persian king Xerxes (Esther 1:2; 2:3, 5, 9, 16).

  The royal gate at Susa where Mordecai, Esther's cousin, sat (Esther 2:19, 21; 3:2, 3; 4:2; 5:9, 13; 6:10, 12).

  The Square in front of the royal gate at Susa where Mordecai met with Halthach, Xerxes' eunuch (Esther 4:6).


New Testament locations:

  The foundation of the synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus cured a man with an unclean spirit (Mark 1:21-28) and delivered the sermon on the bread of life (John 6:25-59).

  The house of Peter at Capernaum where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law and others (Matthew 8:14-16).

  Jacob's well where Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman (John 4).

  The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a crippled man (John 5:1-14).

  The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a blind man (John 9:1-4).

  The tribunal at Corinth where Paul was tried (Acts 18:12-17).

  The theater at Ephesus where the riot of silversmiths occurred (Acts 19:29).

  Herod's palace at Caesarea where Paul was kept under guard (Acts 23:33-35).





Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 06, 2005, 10:49:28 AM
 Dig uncovers 4th century church site
Aron Heller in Jerusalem
07nov05

ISRAELI archaeologists said yesterday they had discovered what might be the oldest Christian church in the Holy Land on the grounds of a jail near the biblical site of Armageddon.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority said the ruins were believed to date back to the third or fourth centuries, and include references to Jesus and images of fish, an ancient Christian symbol.

"This is a very ancient structure, maybe the oldest in our area," said Yotam Tepper, the head archaeologist on the dig.

The dig has taken place in the past 18 months at the Megiddo jail in Israel's northern Galilee region, with the most significant discoveries taking place in the past two weeks, Dr Tepper said.

Scholars believe Megiddo to be the New Testament's Armageddon, the site of a final war between good and evil.

Dr Tepper said the discovery could shed new light on an important period of Christianity, which was banned by the Romans until the fourth century.

"Normally we have from this period in our region historical evidence from literature, not archaeological evidence," he said. "There is no structure you can compare it to, it is a very unique find."

Channel Two television, which first broke the story, broadcast pictures of a detailed and well-preserved mosaic bearing the name of Jesus Christ in ancient Greek and images of fish.

Pietro Sambi, the Vatican's ambassador to Israel, praised the find as a "great discovery".

"Of course, all the Christians are convinced of the history of Jesus Christ," he said. "But is it extremely important to have archaeological proof of a church dedicated to him? Certainly."

Joe Zias, an anthropologist and a former curator with the Israeli Antiquities Authorities, said the discovery was significant but unlikely to be the world's oldest church. He said Christianity was outlawed until the time of Emperor Constantine in the fourth century and there were no churches before then.

"The earliest it could be is fourth century and we have other fourth century churches. I think what is important here is the size, the inscription and the mosaics," he said. "I think it is an important find as far as early Christianity but I wouldn't say it was the oldest church in the world."

The Antiquities Authority said more than 60 prison inmates took part in the dig in recent months. Channel Two said there is speculation that Israel may move the prison and open a tourist attraction in its place.

"If it's between a prison and a church, I would like a church," Mr Zias said.

"You can put a prison anywhere."

Israeli Tourism Minister Avraham Hirshzon said the discovery could greatly increase tourism to Israel.

"If we nurture this properly, then certainly there will be a large stream of tourists who could come to Israel."



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 09, 2005, 03:39:20 PM
Archaeologists decry Wakf 'renovation'
Etgar Lefkovits, THE JERUSALEM POST    Nov. 9, 2005

In a renewed dispute, a group of Israeli archaeologists has condemned the Wakf's planned renovation work of an ancient tower adjacent to the Temple Mount, warning that such a move is part of a long-running plan by the Islamic Trust to expand a recently-created mosque at the Jerusalem holy site.

The non-partisan 'Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount,' which has been leading the public campaign against Wakf construction at the site has sent a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Director of the Antiquities Authority Shuka Dorfman lambasting the proposed renovation work on the historic structure.

The site in question, known as Hatuniyah, lies adjacent to the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount just outside the ancient compound, and has served in the past as a tower approach to the Temple Mount by way of the Double Gate.

"As part of our follow-up on Wakf activities over the last years, it has become clear that these projects are part of an overall Wakf plan to turn the whole compound into one exclusive Muslim site...and we have firm basis to suppose that the Wakf's aim this time as well is to take over this structure as well and incorporate it into the mosque at the site," the November 7 letter read.

According to decades-old regulations in place at the Jerusalem holy site, Israel is in charge of overall security at the compound, while the Islamic Trust or Wakf are charged with day-to-day maintenance at the site.

The archaeologists' letter, which was made public on Wednesday, states that the prime minister's office and or the Antiquities Authority has approved or is planning to approve the Wakf's renovation plan.

The Prime Minister's Office had no immediate comment Wednesday.

Antiquities Authority spokeswoman Osnat Guez said Wednesday that she was not aware of any work at the site, noting that in any case the authority does not issue permits for repair work or construction at the site.

Wakf director gotcha98 Husseini said Wednesday that the work was part of "ongoing renovations" on the southern wall, including scaffolding.

But Israeli archaeologists charged that the renovation work was being used a guise by the Wakf to expand a mosque just inside the compound.

"In the name of so-called renovations, the Wakf will expand the recently-constructed mosque at the Temple Mount," said committee spokeswoman and Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, one of the signatories of the letter.

The latest controversy surrounding unsupervised Wakf work near Judaism's holiest site comes in the backdrop of the massive Wakf construction project carried out in the late 1990's at an underground architectural support of the Temple Mount known as the Solomon's Stables, which was illicitly converted into what is now the largest mosque in Israel.

Following the construction work, Wakf officials dumped more than 12,000 tons of earth, with history-rich artifacts, at a garbage dump outside the Old City, an action that the Antiquities Authority later called "an unprecedented archaeological crime."

The renewed dispute also brought back to the fore the lack of Israeli archaeological supervision at the site, nominally the job of the Antiquities Authority.

With violence flaring in the region, neither the government nor the antiquities authority have ever pressed for renewed archaeological inspection at the holy site, as required by law, and instead rely on police for reports of any unauthorized building at the bitterly contested site.




Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 10, 2005, 09:27:08 AM
Ancient writing found in Israel

Wednesday, November 9, 2005 Posted at 9:23 PM EST
Associated Press

Pittsburgh — Two lines of an alphabet have been found inscribed in a stone in Israel, offering what some scholars say is the most solid evidence yet that the ancient Israelites were literate as early as the 10th century B.C.

“This is very rare. This stone will be written about for many years to come,” archaeologist Ron Tappy, a professor at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who made the discovery, said Wednesday. “This makes it very historically probable there were people in the 10th century (B.C.) who could write.”

Christopher Rollston, a professor of Semitic studies at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tenn., who was not involved in the find, said the writing is probably Phoenician or a transitional language between Phoenician and Hebrew.

“We have little epigraphic material from the 10th century in Israel, and so this substantially augments the material we have,” he said.

The stone was found in July, on the final day of a five-week dig at Tel Zayit, about 50 kilometres south of Tel Aviv.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on November 10, 2005, 11:31:10 AM
Hello Pastor Roger,

Brother, the ancient finds in Israel are becoming more and more frequent. I enjoy reading about these fascinating finds, so I really appreciate you posting these. I'm really thinking that there is no coincidence about the frequency of these finds now. I honestly believe it is part of God's way in showing the world AGAIN that the Holy Bible is completely true. You and I already know this, but it appears to be getting the attention of the world now. THANKS!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Romans 1:17 NASB  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 10, 2005, 08:38:41 PM
This is another article on the finding of this alphabet. This explains more on the importance of the find. With this alphabet it will make it easier to translate some of the older writings that we already have.

The question that I have is are they sure that the alphabet was chiseled into the stone at the time the wall was built or was it already on the stone prior to that. This is important as they have the wall itself dated as the 10th century BC.

_______________________

Archeologists Discover the Hebrew Alphabet


IHC Abstract
When archaeologists started digging at Tel Zayit south of Jerusalem last July, little did they expect to discover what appears to be the earliest known specimen of the Hebrew alphabet and what constitutes an important benchmark in the history of writing. The inscribed stone in the wall of an ancient building that had been dated from the 10th century BCE bears the oldest example of an abecedary - the letters of the alphabet written out in their traditional sequence. The inscribed stone was found in the context of a substantial network of buildings. This led director of the dig Dr. Ron E. Tappy to propose that Tel Zayit was probably an important border town in ancient times established by an expanding Israelite kingdom based in Jerusalem. Such a border town of the size and culture as discovered in Tel Zayit would suggest a centralized bureaucracy, political leadership and literacy levels that support biblical writings of the unified kingdom of David and Solomon in the 10th-century BCE.




Title: Proof of Goliath
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 10, 2005, 08:52:52 PM
Thursday, November 10, 2005 · Last updated 5:36 p.m. PT

Finding said to boost proof of Goliath

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM -- Archaeologists digging at the purported biblical home of Goliath have unearthed a shard of pottery bearing an inscription of the Philistine's name, a find they claimed lends historical credence to the Bible's tale of David's battle with the giant.

While the discovery is not definitive evidence of Goliath's existence, it does support the Bible's depiction of life at the time the battle was supposed to have occurred, said Dr. Aren Maeir, a professor at Bar-Ilan University and director of the excavation.

"What this means is that at the time there were people there named Goliath," he said. "It shows us that David and Goliath's story reflects the cultural reality of the time." In the story, David slew Goliath with a slingshot.

Some scholars assert the story of David slaying the giant Goliath is a myth written down hundreds of years later. Maeir said finding the scraps lends historical credence to the biblical story.

The shard dates back to around 950 B.C., within 70 years of when biblical chronology asserts David squared off against Goliath, making it the oldest Philistine inscription ever found, the archaeologists said.

Scientists made the discovery at Tel es-Safi, a dig site in southern Israel thought to be to be the location of the Philistine city of Gath.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on November 10, 2005, 10:54:13 PM
Pastor Roger,

Brother, this is fascinating. So, I can only assume that nobody knows yet what these discoveries will reveal. If I understand this correctly, the ancient alphabet in order may help to translate some ancient manuscripts that nobody knew how to translate. I hope that I remember correctly that there are manuscripts or fragments of manuscripts that will finally give up some of the mysteries unknown for thousands of years. Even a partial translation of some manuscript fragments or stone writings might yield priceless information. It really might be like missing pieces to a jigsaw puzzle thousands of years old.

I really hope and pray that each discovery results in hosts of lost people finally believing the absolute TRUTH of the Holy Bible and accepting JESUS CHRIST as Lord and Saviour. It's becoming harder by the day to remain a skeptic.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Philippians 3:14 NASB  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 10, 2005, 11:20:05 PM
That's right brother. They have not been able to translate some older manuscripts and fragments using what they know of the Hebrew language today as it is different than the original Hebrew language due to the many influences of other languages being mixed in. This is the earliest known Hebrew language available and it was made easier by being in the correct alphabetic order.

I am anxiously waiting to see what all comes out of this.

The final result being that many more will come to the realization that the Bible is true and will accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour will definitely be the icing on the cake. I am sure that their are many "doubting Thomas" that will come to that understanding.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 13, 2005, 02:24:33 PM
Temple Mount desecration continues

By Ryan Jones

November 10th, 2005

Nearly 14 centuries after first occupying Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the Muslims are trying to complete their conquest of Israel’s holiest site by erasing the last traces of Jewish connection to the two temples built for the name of the Almighty, archeologists warned this week.

In a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount said new plans by Islamic authorities to “renovate” an ancient tower adjacent to the compound are part of long-running efforts to turn the holy site into a mega-mosque.

“As part of our follow-up on [these] activities over the last years, it has become clear that these projects are part of an overall...plan to turn the whole compound into an exclusively Muslim site,” the letter read.

The Islamic Trust or Waqf has for years carried out illegal construction atop and under the Temple Mount, unchecked by Israeli authorities fearful of sparking an even greater conflict with the Muslim world.

Waqf chief gotcha98 Husseini has repeatedly warned that this would indeed be the outcome if Israel dared to exert authority over the sacred site.

To date, 12,000 tons of earth and debris rich in Jewish artifacts has been removed from the Mount and dumped unceremoniously at garbage dumps outside Jerusalem's Old City.

Several historical treasures have been reclaimed from the dump sites. Untold others have been lost, possibly forever.




Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 13, 2005, 06:23:40 PM
Jehoash tablet said found near Muslim cemetery
By Nadav Shragai

The inscription attributed to King Jehoash whose discovery was announced earlier this week was reportedly found near Jerusalem's Muslim cemetery, outside the eastern wall of the Temple Mount, not far from Golden Gate, according to information obtained by Ha'aretz.

Jehoash ruled in Jerusalem at the end of the ninth century B.C.E. The inscription has been authenticated by the National Infrastructure Ministry's Geological Survey of Israel.

Three different people and institutions involved in examining the stone told Ha'aretz that representatives of the collector who owns the stone told them it was found near the Muslim cemetery. One added that he was told it had been found following a landslide or flood.

Prof. Yosef Naveh of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a well-known expert on the development of the alphabet, said agents of the collector brought it to him for inspection in 2001. He said he was asked to meet the agents in a Jerusalem hotel room, where he found two people: a man who introduced himself as Tzur and "an Arab youth who never opened his mouth the entire time, so I don't know his name. [Tzur] told me where the stone was found [near the Muslim cemetery] and even speculated that the stone had actually come from the inner sections of the Temple Mount, but that its finders - Palestinian Muslims - were afraid to say so, due to the religious-political sensibilities of the compound."

Tzur, Naveh continued, "made me promise not to mention [the stone] or talk about it with anyone, because the life of the Palestinian who found and sold it would be endangered," and he indeed refrained from mentioning the inscription until it was made public by the Geological Survey and reported in Ha'aretz, which he considered sufficient to release him from his promise. He said he soon plans to publish his conclusions about the inscription - which he believes is a forgery.

Another person who examined the inscription said he was also told it had been found near the Muslim cemetery, not far from Golden Gate. He said the "courier" who brought it to him seemed very nervous and was constantly checking to make sure that no representatives of the Antiquities Authority were present. "He was very afraid the artifact would be taken from him, and throughout the tests we conducted, he wandered around ceaselessly, in great tension."

Both Naveh and the other two people who inspected the inscription said the collector's representatives refused to leave the stone during the examinations, which lasted for a few hours each time, and also refused to leave it there for lengthier tests.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 13, 2005, 08:51:24 PM
Page One of Archeology Proves Bible History Accurate

Is the Bible religious myth or accurate history? Some highly educated people say the Bible’s history cannot be trusted. What do you think? Here is an important article to help you clarify your thoughts.

The Bible is the only ancient, well-organized and authentic framework in which to fit all the facts of history. The Bible does not record all history. In fact, there are huge gaps in the history contained in the Bible. Yet, without the Bible and what it reveals from prehistory, ancient history and prophecy—which is history written in advance—you cannot truly understand any history. No worldly source can help us as the Bible does!

But what do modern men say about the Bible? Most agree it is a book for the religious, but think its history cannot be trusted.

For centuries, until the so-called Age of Enlightenment—also known as the Age of Reason—the Western world accepted without question the historical accuracy of the account of the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the history of the patriarchs and the Exodus from Egypt. However, in the 17th and 18th centuries, European intellectuals began to claim that only through human reason could true knowledge be obtained. Rather than the Bible, scientific reasoning became the source of authority—the ultimate judge of all truth. The Bible came under direct attack.

Then in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the theory of evolution—the fable of a creation without a Creator—and higher Bible criticism spawned by anti-Semite German rationalists, came on the scene and succeeded in completely removing God and the Bible from the picture. German Bible critics argued that the Bible was unhistorical and had no reliable basis in fact. They stated that the Bible was merely Jewish fable and folklore fabricated in the 5th and 6th centuries b.c.—in other words, that most of the Old Testament books were not contemporary records, but rather had been written centuries after the events took place. Many scholars came to deny the existence of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David and Solomon.

So today, most theologians and ministers look askance at the Bible and its history. The real tragedy is that these men refuse to study into and teach the vital lessons taught by these histories.

Foolish Scoffers

The great men of the Bible prophesied accurately that highly educated men and women who scoff at God and His revealed Word would dominate our world. Although men have sneered at God in every generation beginning with Adam, ours was to be the worst. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:21-22, 28). Although Paul is speaking specifically about the earliest men, we have not changed for the better; we have grown worse.

Since the 17th and 18th centuries, men have produced an amazing fund of knowledge in the industrial and scientific areas. Yet pursuing knowledge about God has been left out. Our generation knows less about God and what God is doing than any prior generation. Modern leaders in education, science and industry have created a science-centric world. They have pushed religion into the outer fringes of our civilization. Ours is not a religious age—though some may think it to be so. Paul saw into our day and said that end-time religion has “a form of godliness,” but that men deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). Most of the world’s educated believe that mankind has outgrown the need for God. God has been made to seem powerless. This fact should alarm us. It is time we turn back to the all-powerful God.

Many believe that science will save us from our problems. Why can’t we recognize that science is about to destroy us? Soon the need for God will come crashing back upon us. Then all men will have to admit that only God can save us.

The Apostle Peter wrote, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts …. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:3, 5-6). Peter states clearly that one of the hallmarks of our day is a willing ignorance of God. The truth is, men could know much more about God but choose not to. What does this mean? Peter warns that willing ignorance of God, along with a great expansion in all other fields of knowledge, is the cause of the soon-coming, final global disaster (verse 7). Mankind, assuming self-rule without God, will bring itself to the brink of annihilation. Thankfully, God promises to intervene and stop our self-destruction.

Here are some perfect examples of what Paul and Peter are talking about. Bertrand Russell, the late British philosopher and avowed agnostic, wrote this in his History of Western Philosophy: “The early history of the Israelites cannot be confirmed from any source outside of the Old Testament, and it is impossible to know at what point it ceases to be purely legendary.” Mr. Russell dismisses the Bible as unreliable legend in just a few sentences. Even though first printed in 1945, his book is still widely read by university students and is considered one of the best books of its kind. Young, bright minds have been and still are being prejudiced against the Bible, the foundation of true knowledge. Historian R.G. Collingwood, in his book The Idea of History (printed posthumously in 1946), tagged the Bible as “theocratic history and myth.”

Most scholars lower the Bible to the level of Homer—mythology in poetic form. Unfortunately, many Bible scholars, ministers and theologians agree. Yet, there are mountains of evidence to prove otherwise.

The Bible is a book of accurate history. Contrary to what Mr. Russell had to say, there is evidence outside the Bible that proves the reality of its history. However, we hear very little about this evidence.


to be cont'd


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 13, 2005, 08:52:17 PM
Page Two of Archeology Proves Bible History Accurate

New Science: Archaeology

Most scholars have been ignoring pertinent facts. The willing (and sometimes willful) ignoring of the truth has been happening for decades. Even while Russell and Collingwood were writing their books, other scholars were unearthing spectacular discoveries that cast a bright light on the truth of the biblical record. Even prior to the mid-20th century, the new science of archaeology—the digging-up and study of the remains of man’s bygone years—caused an earthquake within the anti-God scholarship of the critics. The facts are amazing.

As a science, archaeology has expanded to include the study of all cultures. However, at its earliest stage of development, the infant science was concerned most with ancient civilizations. For centuries, robbers, religious pilgrims, even Napoleon had unearthed and carried away multiple thousands of ancient artifacts from sites throughout the Near East and Egypt. It was during Napoleon’s military expedition in Egypt in 1799 that the vitally important Rosetta stone was dug up.

Yet, it was not until the end of the 19th century that a systematic study and evaluation of the Near East began. This geographic region is known as the Fertile Crescent. Egyptologist James Henry Breasted first used the term “Fertile Crescent” to describe the lush, well-watered, crescent-shaped geographic region starting at the Persian Gulf moving up the Tigris-Euphrates valley, then westward over Syria and southward along the Mediterranean Sea through Palestine. The productive Nile valley is often included within the boundaries of the crescent. It is in this geographic region that the lands and peoples of the Old Testament history are located. For nearly two centuries, the Fertile Crescent has been the focus of intense archaeological scrutiny. Even Herbert W. Armstrong supported critically important digs in Jerusalem by sending Ambassador College students there as workers.

There should be strong public interest in the archaeological findings of this region. Although at one time archaeological findings did spark sharp interest by both secular and religious scholars, much is now forgotten or goes unnoticed.

Archaeology has confirmed without question the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Gainsaying Not Stopped

The scholars’ main attack on Bible history in the early 20th century was that no secular records existed to provide evidence of the Flood, the Exodus, or the lives of David and Solomon. Many claimed that Moses could never have written the first five books of the Bible, since writing had not been invented at that time. But when the curious, energetic men and women dug up the past, these commonly held ideas were proved to be without foundation.

Modern archaeology has challenged the world of education to admit that the Bible is factual. Solid, documented evidence outside the Bible record confirms events and persons that were at one time considered to be suspect or plain false.

Still, some people work tirelessly to discredit the Bible as a God-inspired record of critically important history. Some have stubbornly overlooked overwhelming evidence. Others have purposely misinterpreted the facts to hold on to pet theories. Are we surprised? Not really. Why?

The Bible has the answer. No man of himself can accept or submit to the authoritative Word of God. Paul wrote: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Men have been successful in getting rid of God and His great authority (though in reality, God is very much present). They don’t want Him back! To admit that the Bible is accurate historically would mean accepting that God does exist—and that His Word holds authority over the lives of all men. The brightest minds know that if the Bible is exact in its history, then its commands are in full force. You cannot separate Bible history from Bible law! The entire Bible is true, or it is false. It cannot be both.

Let’s be plain: You can rely on the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Behistun Rock Deciphered

Let’s look at several of the more important archaeological finds that confirm Bible history. Not all of these artifacts have been as publicized as some of the more spectacular ones like the Rosetta stone or the tomb of King Tut of ancient Egypt, yet they are momentous in regards to the evaluation of the Bible chronicle.

The deciphering of the Behistun inscription in the 19th century was one of the most remarkable archaeological advancements and the most vital to understanding ancient writings uncovered in the Fertile Crescent. The discovery opened the door for archeology to further confirm the Bible’s historical accuracy.

The inscription, like a billboard about the size of half a football field, is situated on a cliff about 300 feet above the base of a mountain in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. The site lies along the road that connected the ancient capitals of kingdoms of Babylonia and Media: Babylon and Ecbatana. The inscription dates back to 516 b.c. and is an account of Darius i’s assumption of the Persian throne (521-486 b.c.). This account was written in cuneiform in three languages (Babylonian, Elamite and Old Persian). In 1835, Sir Henry C. Rawlinson copied and began to decipher the text, finishing the Persian translation in 1846. He and other scholars were soon able to translate the Babylonian and Elamite portions.

Many ancient cultures in the Middle East used cuneiform, but these works were a mystery until the trilingual Behistun inscription was deciphered—the discovery made possible the translation of other cuneiform writings.

The Behistun breakthrough led to others, including the translation of 22,000 tablets at the ruins of Nineveh, Shalmaneser’s Black Obelisk, Shennacherib’s Prism, and the epic poems of Gilgamesh and Enuma Elish. (These poems contain accounts of the Flood, creation and the tower of Babel that closely parallel the Bible.)

To be cont'd on page three




Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 13, 2005, 08:53:07 PM
Page Three of Archeology Proves Bible History Accurate

The Fabled Hittites

Bible critics had long sneered at references in the Bible to a people called the Hittites (Genesis 15:20; Exodus 3:8, 17; Numbers 13:29; Joshua 1:4; Judges 1:26 and elsewhere). Their opinion was that the Hittites were simply one of the many mythical peoples made up by Bible writers. Some critics said they may have been a small and unimportant tribe. But the critics were off the beam!

Toward the end of the 19th century, Hittite monuments were uncovered at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in Syria, proving the Bible right. Later, in 1906, excavations at Boghazkoy (ancient Hattusas, capital of the Hittite Empire) in Turkey uncovered thousands of Hittite documents, revealing a wealth of information about Hittite history and culture. The centuries-old Hittite rubbish showed they were a real and formidable power. They were once one of the dominant peoples of Asia Minor and the Near East. They exercised considerable control south into Syria and Palestine.

The Bible was right all along! Today, no one questions the existence of the Hittites. Volumes of books exist on the history, art, culture and society of the Hittites. Yet an anti-Bible prejudice still exists. Scholarly people usually believe that if it’s in the Bible, it’s wrong. But the Bible is right and has always been right.

In 1974, Italian archaeologists found approximately 17,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments at the site of ancient Ebla in northern Syria. The inscriptions on these artifacts date them prior to the 24th century b.c. Noachian Flood. Similar finds were uncovered in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The tablets show that writing was common centuries before Moses. The critics can no longer claim that Moses and his contemporaries were illiterate or that the Pentateuch was written by Ezra in the 5th century b.c.

No Jewish Captivity?

One of the most ridiculous claims of the critics has been that the Babylonian captivity did not take place. This is on a par with those who believe the Holocaust of World War ii did not happen. The Bible gives specific details about the captivity of Judah by the armies of Babylon early in the 6th century b.c. (ii Kings 24-25). Scholars have said it’s all just another Jewish myth. However, between 1935 and 1938, important discoveries were made 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem at a site thought to be ancient Lachish. Lachish was one of the cities recorded in the Bible as being besieged by the king of Babylon at the same time as the siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 34:7).

Twenty-one pottery fragments inscribed in the ancient Hebrew script were unearthed in the latest pre-exilic levels of the site. Called the Lachish Ostraca, they were written during the very time of the Babylonian siege. Some of them are exchanges between the city’s military commander and an outlying observation post, vividly picturing the final days of Judah’s desperate struggle against Babylon! Since the 1930s, there has been more unearthing of Babylonian historical texts describing the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The historical fact of the Babylonian captivity is firmly established.

We could discuss literally hundreds of archaeological finds that corroborate Bible history. Noah’s Flood, the Exodus, David, Solomon and the kings of Israel and Jerusalem as described in the Bible are proven to be historical by non-biblical sources. If you desire to know more, go to your local library and do some self-study. You may be surprised to find how much information is actually available to you. Unfortunately, you will not find this information on your nightly news. Two books we can recommend are The Bible as History by Werner Keller and On the Reliability of the Old Testament by K.A. Kitchen.

There are numerous biblically related artifacts in the British Museum located in London. They are breathtaking to see. Even though you may never be able to go to London, it is possible to log on to the museum website (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk) and see pictures of the artifacts. Here is a short list of some of the more important treasures of antiquity:

    * The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (858-824 B.C.) shows Jehu, king of Israel, bowing before the Assyrian king. This is the only known picture of an Israelite king.
    * Tablets from the time of Tiglath-Pileser (744-727 B.C.) state that he received tribute from Jehoahaz of Judah. This is the full name of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:7).
    * A wonderfully detailed limestone relief from Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh shows the siege of Lachish.
    * One of the most important is the cylinder of Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.). He was the last ruler of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. This stele proves that his son Belshazzar was co-regent with him (Daniel 5; 7:1; 8:1). Scholars previously scoffed at Belshazzar’s existence.

In his book A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Gleason Archer Jr. quotes author John Elder as saying, “It is not too much to say that it was the rise of the science of archaeology that broke the deadlock between the historians and the … Christian. Little by little, one city after another, one civilization after another, one culture after another whose memories were enshrined only in the Bible, were restored to their proper places in ancient history by the studies of archaeologists …. Contemporary records of biblical events have been unearthed and the uniqueness of the biblical revelation has been emphasized by contrast and comparison to newly discovered religions of ancient peoples. Nowhere has archaeological discovery refuted the Bible as history” (emphasis mine). That last statement is the most important. Archaeology has proven that the Bible is accurate history!


cont'd on page four




Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 13, 2005, 08:53:44 PM
Page Four of Archeology Proves Bible History Accurate

A Recent Find

The contribution of archaeology to the Bible record is far from over. In August this year, an incredible find was unearthed in the Old City of Jerusalem. The event did not make national news. It should have!

Workers repairing a sewage-pipe break uncovered the Pool of Siloam in Old Jerusalem. This pool was a major gathering site for the Jews. The Pool of Siloam is central to the account of the miracle of Christ healing a man blind from birth (John 9:1-7). Christ put clay on the man’s eyes and then told him to wash at the Pool of Siloam. Obeying Christ by washing in the pool completed the miracle (verse 11). This created an incredible stir among the Jewish elite of Christ’s day (verses 14-41). Why? Jesus Christ had made the clay with His own spit on the Sabbath day. The Jews considered this act a breaking of the Sabbath command. Jealous and insecure, the Pharisees declared that Christ was not of God for healing the blind man on the Sabbath (verse 16). A study of the whole chapter makes plain that the entire incident was used by God to show the Pharisees how blind they were to God and what God was doing on this Earth. Of course, they failed to learn that lesson.

Why is all this important today? Here is what the Los Angeles Times reported about this incredible archaeological find: “‘Scholars have said that there wasn’t a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit’ to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. ‘Now, we have found the Pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was.’ A Gospel that was thought to be ‘pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history,’ he said” (August 9). Do we get it? The scholars are wrong—again. The Bible is accurate—always!

Unfortunately, this archaeological event received very little attention. What if it had? Think about what this find tells us. It not only establishes the historical accuracy of John’s Gospel, it reinforces the historicity of Jesus Christ.  God is very real and very powerful. Our modern scholars have their part in making many men, women and children as spiritually blind as the Pharisees of Christ’s day.

It’s time for all people to seriously question Bible critics. It is time for all Bible critics to stop pointing their finger at God—to quit casting doubt on the Bible record and start learning the true knowledge that will solve all humanity’s problems.




Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on November 14, 2005, 11:21:03 PM
Pastor Roger,

AMEN! This is GREAT!

Brother, thank you so much for sharing this. I always find information proving the Bible to be fascinating, and I give thanks for every scrap of evidence that ABSOLUTELY proves the Holy Bible to be accurate. It almost seems that GOD is giving the scoffers and doubters another chance to believe. This is also GOD giving the Jews who have not accepted JESUS some truth.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Romans 6:10-14 NASB  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 14, 2005, 11:29:39 PM
Brother Tom,

I am sure that this is exactly what God is doing. One Jesus' Apostles doubted that Jesus was in fact risen. He was chastised for his doubt but Jesus did in fact give him the evidence necessary to remove that doubt.

As the Bible tells us, Jesus isn't willing that any of us should perish. So I am sure that He is affording every opportunity for the doubting Thomas' of this world.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 18, 2005, 02:39:48 PM
New Dead Sea Scroll Fragments
There is only one place on earth where an unending stream of evidence substantiating the Bible is discovered year after year. Granted, it’s been 40 years since the major discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls thrilled biblical archaeologists and others who love the Word of God.

The latest discovery—two small fragments of animal skin, brown with age, with Leviticus 23:38-39 and 43-44 inscribed in ancient Hebrew—are now in the hands of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). How they got there is an intriguing story in itself. About a year ago, Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, was summoned to an abandoned police station near the Dead Sea for a clandestine meeting with a Bedouin Arab. After explaining that he’d been offered $20,000 on the black market, the man asked Eshel to evaluate the fragments. It would be hard to describe the emotions that surged through the professor’s heart as he examined the skins. “I was jealous that he had found them instead of me,” said Eshel, who has worked in the Judean Desert for nearly 20 years. “I was also very excited, though I didn’t believe I would ever see them again.” Months later, after learning that the fragments had not left the country, Eshel bought them with $3,000 provided by Bar Ilan. The skins were turned over to the IAA, which is now testing them for authenticity. They are the 15th find in this area and date to the Second Revolt against the Romans under Bar-Kochba.

The discovery sparked renewed hope among biblical archaeologists that the Judean Desert has much yet to yield. “No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert since 1965,” said Eshel. “This [find] encourages scholars to believe that if they bother to excavate, survey and climb, they will still find things in the Judean Desert. The common perception has been that there is nothing left to find there, but that is clearly wrong.”



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 19, 2005, 05:01:54 PM
Even though this is a different field of science it is more proof that the Bible is in fact true. Scientists unknowingly make this proof every day.

Job 40:15  Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.


Ancient Grazers: Find adds grass to dinosaur menu

Sid Perkins

Analyses of fossilized dinosaur feces in India reveal the remains of at least five types of grasses. The finding not only provides the first evidence of grass-eating dinosaurs but also shows that grasses evolved diverse forms much earlier than scientists had previously recognized.

Bits of silica called phytoliths indicate the grasses' presence. The tiny crystals, which form within cells of many plants, are especially plentiful in grasses, according to Caroline A.E. Strömberg, a paleobotanist at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. Because each type of grass produces distinctly shaped phytoliths, scientists use the readily preserved grit to identify the mix that once grew in an area.

(clip)


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 23, 2005, 09:53:59 AM
Rare seal bearing Jesus image found in Tiberias
By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondent

A rare seal bearing a picture of Jesus on one side was discovered at an archeological dig in the old city of Tiberias on Thursday.

The other side of the seal, which dates from the sixth century, depicts a cross and bears the inscription "Christos."

The seal was discovered by two volunteers, employees of the American and British embassies.


Prof. Yizhar Hirschfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is directing the dig, said the seal apparently belonged to a high-ranking church official, and indicated that the church in Tiberias "was stronger than we had thought."



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on November 27, 2005, 10:19:04 PM
Rare seal bearing Jesus image found in Tiberias
By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondent

A rare seal bearing a picture of Jesus on one side was discovered at an archeological dig in the old city of Tiberias on Thursday.

The other side of the seal, which dates from the sixth century, depicts a cross and bears the inscription "Christos."

The seal was discovered by two volunteers, employees of the American and British embassies.


Prof. Yizhar Hirschfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is directing the dig, said the seal apparently belonged to a high-ranking church official, and indicated that the church in Tiberias "was stronger than we had thought."



Hello Pastor Roger,

There was a time not too many years ago that many of the recent finds proving the Holy Bible would have been all over the newspapers and the televisions.

 ???   One really doesn't have to wonder too much why information like this has to be dug out of Christian publications now if we ever hear about it. I will have to give us some credit and say that Christian communications is getting better by the minute, BUT IT HAS TO! We should all know by now that the mainstream news media could care less about Christians. OR WORSE, we represent their enemy, just poor dumb folks that the minority left needs to think for.

If you haven't guessed, I've had one too many doses of anti-Christ and anti-Christian garbage lately. YES, I know that we should just let this stuff go in one ear, out the other, and press on! AND, that is exactly what we will do! The harvest awaits.

Love In Christ,
Tom

John 4:36-38 NASB  "Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.' "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor."


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 27, 2005, 10:37:34 PM
Amen Brother,

Of all the news that I look for on a daily basis this is the most difficult to find because it is not widely published.

I understand the feeling on seeing all the anti-Christ, ant-Christian garbage. It upsets me also. It is a driving force that propels me forward to do something about getting the truth out as far and as much as I can.

I am thinking of adding some pages to The Fifth Day on this very subject.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 17, 2005, 07:30:24 PM
This one is not so recent but I felt it was just as important to this subject.


BELL IN COAL
In 1944 Newton Anderson claimed to have found this bell inside a lump of coal that was mined near his house in West Virginia. When Newton dropped the lump it broke, revealing a bell encased inside. What is a brass bell with an iron clapper doing in coal that is supposed to be hundreds of millions of years old? According to Norm Sharbaugh's book Ammunition (which includes a compilation of many such "coal anecdotes") the bell was extensively analyzed at the University of Oklahoma and it was found to contain an unusual mixture of metals, different from any modern usage. Genesis 4:22 states that Tubal-Cain was "an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. . ." Perhaps when his civilization came to an end in the flood, this bell was buried with a mass of vegetation that became coal and ended up thousands of years later in Newton Anderson’s coal bin. Numerous other such accounts have even been recorded, including the intricate gold chain found in coal (Ivan Sanderson’s book Uninvited Visitors) and the cast iron pot found in a coal seam at the Municipal Electric Plant in Thomas, OK (archived at Creation Evidence Museum).



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 22, 2005, 10:45:15 AM
New Dead Sea Scroll Fragments
There is only one place on earth where an unending stream of evidence substantiating the Bible is discovered year after year. Granted, it’s been 40 years since the major discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls thrilled biblical archaeologists and others who love the Word of God.

The latest discovery—two small fragments of animal skin, brown with age, with Leviticus 23:38-39 and 43-44 inscribed in ancient Hebrew—are now in the hands of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). How they got there is an intriguing story in itself. About a year ago, Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, was summoned to an abandoned police station near the Dead Sea for a clandestine meeting with a Bedouin Arab. After explaining that he’d been offered $20,000 on the black market, the man asked Eshel to evaluate the fragments. It would be hard to describe the emotions that surged through the professor’s heart as he examined the skins. “I was jealous that he had found them instead of me,” said Eshel, who has worked in the Judean Desert for nearly 20 years. “I was also very excited, though I didn’t believe I would ever see them again.” Months later, after learning that the fragments had not left the country, Eshel bought them with $3,000 provided by Bar Ilan. The skins were turned over to the IAA, which is now testing them for authenticity. They are the 15th find in this area and date to the Second Revolt against the Romans under Bar-Kochba.

The discovery sparked renewed hope among biblical archaeologists that the Judean Desert has much yet to yield. “No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert since 1965,” said Eshel. “This [find] encourages scholars to believe that if they bother to excavate, survey and climb, they will still find things in the Judean Desert. The common perception has been that there is nothing left to find there, but that is clearly wrong.”




Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on December 23, 2005, 03:23:32 AM
Pastor Roger,

I really appreciate you and Dreamweaver posting this kind of news. The frequency of discoveries and events associated with the HOLY BIBLE are exciting.

I, for one, am wondering if GOD is giving the world a final message regarding the coming of the end of this age of Grace. Is HE really giving the world a message that JESUS is coming again soon?

Love In Christ,
Tom

Philippians 3:8-9 NASB  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 23, 2005, 05:19:22 AM
Amen Brother, that He is. God tells us through the Bible that He would have all to be saved so I am sure that He is giving a message to all especially so the doubting Thomas of this world.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 24, 2005, 11:41:49 AM
True size of Pool of Siloam discovered due to sewer blockage
By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

If the central sewage line for Jerusalem's Old City, which runs down the slope of the village of Silwan, had not gotten blocked a year ago, it would probably have been many years before we would have discovered the real dimensions of the historic Pool of Siloam from the Second Temple Period.

The pool, whose present small dimensions date from Byzantine times, is the outlet for the spring water coursing through the ancient Hezekiah's tunnel. It was once huge - three to four dunams.

And if the huge dimensions of the pool had not been discovered, it is doubtful that the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Elad association, which is working for the development of the area also known as the City of David, would not have come across the dramatic discovery now underway: the far end of a street dating from the Herodian period, which begins at the outer southwestern corner of the Temple Mount and is familiar to visitors to the Western Wall.

When the sewage main first backed up during the winter of 2004, the Israel Nature and Parks Protection Authority, responsible for the archaeological sites around the Old City's walls, called for a halt to the repair work and took advantage of the opportunity to dig a heretofore unexcavated part of the City of David.

Archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, who are directing the dig for the IAA and Elad, say that for the first time they are now able to trace the street that connected the Temple Mount in Second Temple times with the Pool of Siloam. Other portions of the road were revealed by the 19th-century Jerusalem explorers Bliss and Dickey and in 1963 by archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon. Now, the last piece of the puzzle has come to light near the pool.

Among the finds near the street are coins from the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans, from the years 67,68 and 69 C.E.

Dozens of workers are involved in the project - all are residents of Silwan who have been working on it for years.

The finds near the Pool of Siloam, which is mentioned in both ancient Jewish sources and the New Testament, have meant a major development push for the City of David neighborhood: the city is building and repairing sewage lines, water lines and streets, garbage is being collected on a regular basis and souvenir stores and snack bars are enjoying new business.

The Herodian street is not the only piece of ancient history in the area. In the excavations near Warren's Shaft, long believed to be part of Jerusalem's ancient water system and named after its 19th-century discoverer, Charles Warren, the first archaeological evidence of Jerusalem as an administrative center during the period of the Kingdom of Judah (the ninth century BCE) is now coming to light. A group of over 40 clay cylinder seals and stamps were recently unearthed by the IAA. Some of them bear human, animal and bird images, and one even shows the fingerprint of the person who used it in signing a letter written at the time. A number of ivory plaques also found are believed to have been used as calendars.

Reich and Shukron say this is the first time such a large assemblage of cylinder seals from the early period of the kings of Judah have been unearthed in one place in the city of David, attesting to its importance during the reigns of kings Jehoshaphat and Yehoram. According to Shukron, it shows the city was "an administrative center that conducted correspondence during the period between David and Solomon and the period of Hezekiah" and those who reigned around his time. "Until now, Shukron says, "all the cylinder seals found in Jerusalem are from the end of the First Temple period. This is the first time we find seals that can be dated earlier, to the beginning of the Kingdom of Judah."

Another interesting find is 1,700 bones of Mediterranean fish (so far), attesting to trade with the coastal area; the bones are being studied by Prof. Omri Lernau.

A number of finds in the IAA-Elad excavation have shed light on the study of Jerusalem over the past 140 years. For example, Charles Warren believed the shaft he discovered had been used by ancient Jerusalemites to draw water, an opinion that was widespread until recently. However the discovery of a pool and surrounding fortifications, now in the Elad's Spring House visitor center, have changed this idea. A ritual bath and water cistern from the Second Temple period were discovered in the excavation in the Givati parking lot across from the entrance to the City of David below the Dung Gate. Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Shalem Center has uncovered a palace or fortress covering an area of 300 meters and dated to the 10th century BCE. Next to this structure, the regal capital of a pillar was discovered, dating from the ninth century BCE (the period of David and Solomon).

Reich says the area of the City of David has become the most excavated area in the country. "We are the 12th expedition to work here, and in no small way it is thanks to the contributions that flow in to the project from the Elad association. They may be disagreed with politically, but without them we would not have been able to make the dramatic discoveries of recent years here, in the place where Jerusalem began, where the story began of the Jewish people in this land."



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 26, 2005, 01:03:31 PM
Home’s false wall hid holy ark
The Associated Press

PORTO, Portugal — A chance discovery during renovations of a building in this Atlantic port city has revealed a dark secret from Portugal’s past: a 16th-century synagogue.

Built at a time when Portugal’s Jews had been forced to convert to Catholicism or risk being burned at stake, the house of worship was hidden behind a false wall in a house that a priest was converting into a home for the elderly.

A scholar of Porto’s Jewish history, the Rev. Agostinho Jardim Moreira says that as soon as the workers told him of the wall, “I knew there had to be some kind of Jewish symbol behind it.”

His hunch was confirmed when the wall came down, revealing a 5-foot-tall carved granite repository, arched at the top and facing east toward Jerusalem. It was the ark where medieval Jews kept their Torah scrolls. Only two other arks from the period have been found in Portugal, and last month the Portuguese Institute of Architectural Heritage authenticated this one as the third.

The building of thick granite walls stands on cobbled Sao Miguel Street. At its rear, steep steps lead down to a warren of alleys ideal for conspiratorial comings and goings around an outlawed synagogue.

Moreira, 64, knew his parish had been an officially designated Jewish quarter in the 15th and 16th centuries. He also knew that after they were forced to convert to Catholicism in 1496, many Jews privately kept their faith and worshipped in secret, while behaving like Catholics in public.

“I suspected that false wall was hiding something,” the priest said.

The secret synagogue dates from a convulsive period of the Iberian peninsula.

In 1492, neighboring Spain had expelled all Jews who refused to convert to Catholicism, and some 60,000 poured into Portugal. They prospered, but they were forced to live in a Jewish quarter subject to a curfew.

Then came the harsher crackdown. Portugal’s King Manuel I, hoping to seal a royal alliance with Spain, forced the Jews to convert.

Some fled, but those who stayed were subjected to humiliating public baptisms. They were designated “New Christians” or Marranos, Iberian slang for “pigs.” Even then, they remained at risk from religious persecution. In 1506, some 3,000 Jews were massacred in Lisbon.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on January 01, 2006, 03:02:35 PM
Last update - 13:51 01/01/2006            
Remains of Second Temple era Jewish village discovered
By Itim

Archaeologists have recently uncovered what they believe to be a large Jewish settlement dating back from the time of the Second Temple near the Shweifat Refugee Camp north of Jerusalem.

The excavations are being conducted by the Antiquities Authority at the request of the Moriah development company on the route of where the Jerusalem light railway is supposed to be built.

Archaeologist Debbie Sakler-Parnas, who is in charge of the dig, said that the findings imply that an affluent population lived in the area and that it was probably the largest Jewish settlement uncovered in the vicinity of Jerusalem to date.

A large number of stone tools were discovered, the use of which was important to the religious practices of the inhabitants. Other artifacts uncovered included wine vases imported from Italy and Greece and Roman glass rings -the first of their kind discovered in ancient Judea.

Seker-Parnas added that the village had apparently continued to be inhabited under Roman military rule, leading to new theories about the outcome of the First Jewish Revolt.

Remains of Second Temple era Jewish village discovered (http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/664845.html)


Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 02, 2006, 07:08:05 AM
Artifacts with links to Bible unearthed
By Jay Bushinsky
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published January 2, 2006

JERUSALEM -- Israeli archaeologists, screening tons of rubble scooped out of this ancient city's sacred Temple Mount, have discovered hundreds of artifacts and coins, as well as jewelry, some with biblical links dating back more than three millennia.
    Most of the stones and earth originally were taken to an organic garbage dump in nearby Bethany, the New Testament town known in Arabic as Al-Azariya, and could not be retrieved. But a substantial portion was diverted to the Valley of Kidron, mentioned in the Old Testament and located just outside the Old City's massive walls.
    This ambitious archaeological project, known as the Temple Mount Antiquities Operation, was started in November 2004, when Muslims excavated the sector north of Solomon's Stables to build the massive underground Marwani Mosque. Its second season, now under way, will last until February.
    The Waqf, or Muslim officials who administer the site -- known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary -- helped the Israelis arrange the transfer.
    Among the unusual finds extracted by Bar-Ilan University's Gabriel Barkai and his team of students and volunteers is a "bulla," or seal impression, thought to be used to close cloth sacks of silver.
    "It bears the name Gedalyahu Ben Immer Ha-Cohen, suggesting that the owner may have been a brother of Pashur Ben Immer, described in the Bible [Jeremiah 20:1] as a priest and temple official," Mr. Barkai said.
    That verse says: "Pashur, the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the House of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things."
    The team's discoveries span 10,000 years "and belong to all the historical periods that transpired in Jerusalem," Mr. Barkai said.
    One of the finds is a stone weight equivalent to four shekels (an ancient Hebrew measure, about 2 ounces), marked with words written in the ancient Hebrew alphabet.
    The site is not considered an archaeological dig. The workers use a technique called "wet sifting," similar to the way prospectors pan for gold.
    Mr. Barkai's team examines every particle, using large wire filters to rinse each one with cold water while looking for valuable objects.
    Some finds reflect the Temple Mount's unique and dramatic history. An example of this is an iron arrowhead with a shaft used by the Roman legions during the siege of the Second Hebrew Temple 2,000 years ago.
    Presumably belonging to the 10th Legion, Mr. Barkai said, "it was launched from catapults exclusive to the Roman army." He told of "scores of coins, many of them Jewish and minted by the Hasmonean and Herodian dynasty." This find might help explain why Jesus Christ drove the money-changers out of the Temple, as described in the New Testament.
    "There also are beautiful objects that belong to the Crusader period," Mr. Barkai said, noting the many Byzantine coins, which testify to large attendance at the Temple Mount during the Christian conquest and rule during the 11th to 15th centuries.
    Many of the more-recent coins date from the 17th century, and the research team even found a gold coin issued by the French Empire under Napoleon III.
    A bronze pendant several hundred years old depicts the Holy Grail.
    The team works in a large plastic tent pitched on a spur of the Mount of Olives. It overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, which is highlighted by the golden Dome of the Rock, a mosque built between 687 and 691 by the ninth Muslim caliph, Abd al-Malik.
    Because of the quantity, time and patience required to rinse the objects, this archaeological project likely will take several years to complete.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 05, 2006, 09:28:59 PM
Find raises questions about biblical history
Did Jews stay behind after temple destruction in A.D. 70?

JERUSALEM - Discovery of an ancient village just outside Jerusalem has brought into question one of the strongest images of biblical times — the wholesale flight of Jews running for their lives after the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Just beneath the main road leading north from Jerusalem, archaeologists have found the walls of houses in a well-planned community that existed after the temple's destruction. It might lead to rewriting the history books if it was really Jewish. But at least one expert isn't sure it was.

The discovery of stone vessels indicate Jews in the village continued to live by religious purity laws after A.D. 70, said Debbie Sklar-Parnes of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who is overseeing the dig.

This is the first evidence that Jews lived so close to Jerusalem — about a mile away — after the destruction of the Second Temple, Sklar-Parnes said.

Archaeologists used pottery and coins found at the site to estimate that people lived there from around A.D. 70 to 132, when the Romans crushed a second Jewish revolt.

‘Massive settlement’
About 30 Palestinian workers for the Israel Antiquities Authority  — some of them sent to dig here by the government instead of collecting unemployment — uncovered and brushed dust off 2,000-year-old glass jewelry, bronze coins and stone vases in the hole carved out in the middle of the road as cars whizzed by.

"We were surprised to find such a massive settlement," Sklar-Parnes said. She estimated the village covered between 3 and 4 acres (1.5 hectares). She said it is impossible to tell if the settlement was built before or after the destruction of the temple, though life continued there after the year 70.

But Hebrew University historian Lee Levine questioned whether the village was actually Jewish.

"The evidence is a little mixed," Levine said. The presence of wine amphorae from Italy and the absence of ritual baths cast some doubt on the Jewishness of the village, he said.

During the years of the settlement, most historians believe observant Jews no longer used wine made by non-Jews, Levine said. And assuming the settlement existed before the destruction of the temple, it is unusual there were no ritual baths, which were tied directly to temple rituals, he said.

But he noted they might still be found. Only a fraction of the settlement has been excavated, Sklar-Parnes said.

Jewish flight?
It is a widely held belief that Jews fled north from the Jerusalem area in 70 A.D. because Romans persecuted them and confiscated their property, Levine said. There are tales of Jews being led away in chains and sacked treasures from the temple on display in Rome, where the Arch of Titus, built to celebrate the triumph, still stands.

But it is "perfectly reasonable" that Jews continued to live around Jerusalem after the temple's destruction, said Daniel Schwartz, also a historian at Hebrew University. The Jews just would have had to pay higher taxes and do road work, farming or other labor for the Romans, he said. It is possible they operated two public bath houses for Roman soldiers that were found at the site, he said.

Sklar-Parnes, Schwartz and Levine said the settlement appeared to have been abandoned around 132, in the time of the second Jewish uprising against the Romans, called the Bar Kokhba Revolt. That time frame provided strong evidence it was a Jewish settlement, they said. It is likely that the villagers fled upon hearing of an impending Roman attack, Levine said.

"The Romans were pretty heavy-handed in putting down the second revolt," Levine said. From the jewelry, small stone vessels and other items found in the site, it appears the inhabitants fled in a hurry, Sklar-Parnes said.

The stone vessels left behind provide the best evidence the settlement was Jewish, Sklar-Parnes said. Jews used stone vessels because they didn't absorb liquids, allowing different materials to be stored while satisfying religious purity laws, she and Schwartz said.

It also appears that the settlement was not inhabited by anyone else after its original residents left, something rather unusual, Sklar-Parnes said.

Preparing for a rail line
The excavations began in 2003 ahead of the construction of a light rail line, because Israeli law requires archaeological exploration before any building project, said Itsho Gur, spokesman for the Moriah Co., which is building the train route.

According to historical records, the settlement was on the main Roman road between Jerusalem and Nazareth. Later, the Turks built a road in the same place and Jordan constructed a road on top of that early in the 20th century. Finally, Israel paved it after its capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 war.



Title: Re:Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 07, 2006, 12:11:55 PM
Muslim leader urges halt to archeological project

JERUSALEM -- The Holy Land's top Muslim cleric demanded that Israel halt an archaeological project near a central holy site for Muslims and Jews.
   
Israeli authorities recently unveiled an underground location that strengthens Jewish ties to the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). The site of ancient Jewish Temples now contains Islam's Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock and is revered as the place where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
In September, Israel opened a tourist center at an underground site near the compound that showcases a ritual bath from the period of the second Temple (destroyed in A.D. 70) and a wall dating to the first Temple (destroyed in 586 B.C.).
The top Muslim clergyman of Jerusalem, Ikrema Sabri, on Tuesday called the archaeological project aggression that threatens the mosque compound.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 11, 2006, 04:11:31 PM
 Hundred of Artifacts Found in Temple Mount Rubble
19:58 Jan 04, '06 / 4 Tevet 5766

(IsraelNN.com) Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of coins and artifacts in Temple Mount rubble removed by Arabs who are building a huge underground mosque. Among the finds are a seal that was used to close sacks of silver at the time of the prophet Jeremiah, shortly before the destruction of the First Temple. The seal bears a name that suggest the owner may have been a brother of a priest named in Jeremiah's writings, according to Bar Ilan University Prof. Gabriel Barkai.

Also found was an iron arrowhead with a shaft used by the Romans in their attack on the Second Temple almost 2,000 years ago. Other finds date back to the Middle Ages and "testify to large attendance at the Temple Mount during the Christian conquest and rule during the 11th to 15th centuries," Prof. Barkai added.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 13, 2006, 12:16:50 PM
The Search for Noah’s Ark Carbon Dating Supports Evidence Moving Us Closer to History’s Most Important Spiritual Relic

Results of a recent archeological exploration for the greatest spiritual relic.

(PRWEB) January 13, 2006 -- International explorer, author and lecturer Bob Cornuke has followed the Exodus route of Moses, dived the Red Sea in search of Pharaoh's chariots, searched for the lost Ark of the Covenant in Israel and Ethiopia, and traveled through Eastern Turkey with Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin. His research and amazing findings regarding Mt. Sinai have earned Cornuke worldwide acclaim from scientists and media, and his expeditions are frequently chronicled by Discovery & the History Channel, and National Geographic Television.

This past summer Cornuke, a former crime scene investigator turned relic hunter, culminated more than 20-years of painstaking research and reconnaissance by climbing Iran’s Mt. Soleiman in search of Noah’s Ark. Decades of previous expeditions by noted historians, scientists, and explorers have centered the focus of the search on Mt. Ararat in Turkey which, to-date, has been widely-believed, but never proven, to be the landing site of the Ark. But anthro-investigator Cornuke has always been focused on the mountainous regions of Iran as the likely landing place for he Ark; retracing the steps and accounts of Ed Davis, an army officer stationed in Iran in 1943. Davis, who passed a lie detector test, claims to have been taken to the Ark's resting place, and was able to offer both a detailed verbal account, and drawings of what he had seen. Relying on instincts honed from years in law enforcement, the fact that Biblical point toward the Ark's ultimate destinations being further east than traditionally thought, and the disappointing lack of progress in finding any evidence of boats that other alleged eyewitnesses claimed to see on Mount Ararat, which Cornuke has climbed several times, led him to believe that Davis' story was worth investigating.

Braving treacherous climbing conditions, and a hostile political environment, Cornuke discovered evidence of an altar site, and a structure that geological experts theorize could have been “hand-hewed.” He returned from Mt. Soleiman with numerous samples, photos, and video footage, and has chronicled the journey in a new book, Ark Fever (Tyndale House Publishers). Testing of rock and shell samples were conducted by the world renowned BETA Analytic Inc., the largest professional radiocarbon dating laboratory in the world, which routinely services world governments and major academic and historical institutions such as the Smithsonian Institute. Results of this carbon dating, which is still on-going, indicate the presence of abundant organic material consistent with coming from a quiescent deep-water environment – in layman’s terms, possibly from a world once immersed in water. Evidence of petrified wood was also brought back, and a world-wide team of experts is studying all materials.

As for Cornuke, he awaits a break in the harsh Iranian winter so that he and a team can return to Mt. Soleiman for further investigation. Experts are optimistic that Cornuke may finally have lifted the veil on a centuries-long quest for the greatest Bible legend ever chronicled. The discovery of the ark would rock the archaeological world, and cause many skeptics to take a renewed look at the historical authenticity of the bible. As Dr. Mellville Bell Grovesnor, the late editor of National Geographic once said, “If the ark of Noah is discovered, it will be the greatest archaeological find in human history, the greatest event since the resurrection of Christ, and it would alter the currents of scientific thought.”



Title: Archaeologists advise moving prison after Christian relics found on site
Post by: Shammu on January 24, 2006, 09:37:13 PM
I'm suprised you didn't post this Pastor Roger. :-\

Last update - 23:24 24/01/2006            
Archaeologists advise moving prison after Christian relics found on site
By Eli Ashkenazi

The Antiquities Authority on Tuesday recommended the Meggido Prison be transferred to a new location, after the remains of an ancient church were discovered on the facility's grounds four months ago.

The Antiquities Authority made the recommendation on Tuesday at a meeting with President Moshe Katzav and Christian leaders at the excavation site.

An excavation team last year discovered a mosaic floor on the prison grounds adorned with three inscriptions indicating religious activity from the early Christian period. Some 60 prisoners from Meggido and Tzalmon Prison particpated in the excavation, which was carried out as part of the prison's decision to build new incarceration units on the grounds.

The Prisons Service responded to the Antiquities Authority's recommendation by saying, "we will carry out whatever decision is reached. If it is decided to protect the site as an important place, we will act accordingly."

The Meggido Prison last year was transferred from the Israel Defense Forces' jurisdiction to the Prison Services, which has since invested tens of million of shekels in renovations and expansions.

Meggido is considered an important Christian theological site where, according to tradition, the day of judgment will take place. It is located west of Afula.

Archaeologists advise moving prison after Christian relics found on site (http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/674306.html)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 24, 2006, 10:50:35 PM
Quote
I'm suprised you didn't post this Pastor Roger.


That is old news and was posted quite some time ago. I think that news agency is behind the times in printing that story. It should be in this thread somewhere.





Title: Ancient Synagogue Discovered in Ramallah Area
Post by: Shammu on February 07, 2006, 11:09:18 AM
 Ancient Synagogue Discovered in Ramallah Area
16:47 Feb 07, '06 / 9 Shevat 5766
By Scott Shiloh

(http://www.israelnn.com/data/images/2006/02/07/shal-al-yisrael.jpg)

Three weeks ago, Israeli police found a mosaic floor in an Arab car. The Antiquities Authority has confirmed that the floor belongs to a previously undiscovered synagogue in the Ramallah area.


Researchers from the Israeli Antiquities Authority believe that the mosaic formed part of an ancient synagogue floor because it contained depictions of Jewish symbols, such as the base of a menorah (a seven branched candelabrum), a lulav (palm branch), and dates.

Another, no less interesting feature of the mosaic, are the words “Shalom (peace) on Israel” which are inscribed on it. At first, researchers thought the thieves had stolen the mosaic floor of an ancient Jericho synagogue, known as the “Shalom on Israel” synagogue, because if has the same inscription.

But after some checking, the researchers learned that the Jericho synagogue, located in an area subject to the jurisdiction of the PA, was intact and in place. The inevitable conclusion was that the newly discovered mosaic was from an as yet undiscovered ancient synagogue.

Researchers surmise that the synagogue is located somewhere in the Ramallah area, because the two suspects in the car where the mosaic was found, are from Shuafat, a north Jerusalem neighborhood bordering Ramallah.

The precise location of the synagogue can only be guessed at, because areas, such as Ramallah, which are controlled by Palestinian Authority security forces, are off-limits to Jews. Jews who attempt to visit or do research in those areas are at risk of being kidnapped or killed.

Ironically, the “Shalom on Israel” synagogue in Jericho is also off-limits to Jews, despite a specific provision of the Oslo accords that guarantees Jewish access to the site.

During the First and Second Temple periods, the Ramallah area was at the heart of the Jewish commonwealth, so the possibility of an undiscovered synagogue in the area came as no surprise to antiquities researchers.

Like many archeological discoveries, this one was revealed entirely by accident, when border police stopped and searched a suspicious vehicle. When they saw the mosaic, police knew they were on to something unusual, and immediately called in a special unit, whose job is to investigate the theft of antiquities. That unit turned the mosaic over to the Antiquities Authority.

Despite the security obstacles, the Antiquities Authority said it will attempt to use undercover means to discover the exact location of the synagogue.

 Ancient Synagogue Discovered in Ramallah Area  (http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=98111)


Title: Ramallah its Jewish too!
Post by: Shammu on February 08, 2006, 01:20:01 PM
Ramallah its Jewish too!

Remains of synagogue in PA capital turn up in J'lem


By Ryan Jones

February 7th, 2006

The archaeological record providing evidence of Israel's historical right to all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea was bolstered last month with the reported discovery of artifacts from an ancient synagogue believed to be in the Palestinian Authority's de facto capital of Ramallah.

Several well preserved pieces of a mosaic floor were confiscated by police during the arrest of "Palestinian" archeology thieves three weeks ago in the Jerusalem-area village of Shuafat, the Ma'ariv Hebrew daily reported.

Israel's Antiquities Authority at first believed the mosaic had been stolen from a well-known ancient synagogue in Jericho that has a similar floor with an identical inscription. (The recovered mosaic had the words "Peace on Israel" written on it.)

But after finding the Jericho floor intact, officials began to search for the location of what they now realize is a previously undiscovered ancient synagogue.

After some deliberation, researchers surmised that, based on the location from which the thieves were trying to smuggle the mosaic out, the synagogue must be located in the Ramallah area, just north of the Israeli capital.

Israeli archaeologists told Ma'ariv they are unsure where in Ramallah the synagogue is located, and are certain to not be allowed to examine the site by the "Palestinians," who reject the notion that this land has for nearly four thousand years been the national home of the Jews.

Those who accept the Bible's historical accuracy will be unsurprised by the discovery, since today's largely Muslim town of Ramallah occupies the spot of the prominent ancient Israelite town of Ramah, home to the Prophet Samuel and capital of Israel during his time as ruling judge.

I Samuel 7:15-17:  "And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. He went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah... But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there. There he judged Israel, and there he built an alter to the LORD."

Ramallah its Jewish too! (http://www.worthynews.com/news/jnewswire-com-library-article-php-articleid-982/)


Title: Archaeologists unearth Alexander the Great era wall
Post by: Shammu on February 18, 2006, 01:16:23 AM
Archaeologists unearth Alexander the Great era wall

Thu Feb 16, 2:13 PM ET

ATHENS (AFP) - Greek archaeologists excavating an ancient Macedonian city in the foothills of Mount Olympus have uncovered a 2,600-metre defensive wall whose design was "inspired by the glories of Alexander the Great," the site supervisor said Thursday.

Built into the wall were dozens of fragments from statues honouring ancient Greek gods, including Zeus, Hephaestus and possibly Dionysus, archaeologist Dimitrios Pantermalis told a conference in the northern port city of Salonika, according to the Athens News Agency.

Early work on the fortification is believed to have begun under Cassander, the fourth-century BC king of Macedon who succeeded Alexander the Great. Cassander is believed to have ordered the murders of Alexander's mother, wife and infant son, Pantermalis said.

The wall's design suggests that it was "inspired by the glory of Alexander the Great in the East," as the young king sought to emulate grandiose structures encountered during his campaigns, Pantermalis told the conference.

Bronze coins from the period of Theodosius, the 4th-century AD Byzantine Emperor who abolished the ancient
Olympic Games, were also found hidden inside the wall.

The discovery was made in the archaeological site of Dion, an ancient fortified city and key religious sanctuary of the Macedonian civilisation, which ruled much of Greece until Roman times.

Prior excavations at Dion have already revealed two theatres, a stadium, and shrines to a variety of gods, including Egyptian deities Sarapis, Isis and Anubis, whose influence in the Greek world grew in the wake of Alexander's conquest of Egypt.

Archaeologists unearth Alexander the Great era wall (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060216/sc_afp/greecearchaeology;_ylt=Al3X21j7yFWhlZ0U_23eqkms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ-)


Title: 1,400-year-old moccasin found in Canadian glacier
Post by: Shammu on February 18, 2006, 01:20:09 AM
1,400-year-old moccasin found in Canadian glacier

Thu Feb 16, 6:41 PM ET

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Archeologists studying melting alpine ice for clues on early life in Canada's North have uncovered a 1,400-year-old moccasin, officials said on Thursday.

Researchers at first thought the artifact found in the southwest Yukon in 2003 was a hunter's bag, but after cleaning and reassembling the hide they realized it was the oldest aboriginal moccasin ever found in Canada.

The discovery is considered especially important because it far predates any European trade contact with the region, and it likely belonged to the early Athapaskan people who lived in the boreal forests.

"It is a significant addition to the wealth of archeological artifacts that have been found at Yukon ice patches," Yukon Culture Minister Elaine Taylor said in a news release.

Researchers studying melting ice patches under a joint program between the territory and local aboriginal groups have uncovered more than 180 hunting-related artifacts since the effort began in 1997.

1,400-year-old moccasin found in Canadian glacier (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060216/sc_nm/life_canada_moccasin_dc_1;_ylt=AkFxjalICPGFf7Lx3_5vOazQOrgF;_ylu=X3oDMTA2ZGZwam4yBHNlYwNmYw--)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on February 26, 2006, 06:49:30 PM
Ancient Sun Temple Uncovered in Cairo

By OMAR SINAN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 37 minutes ago

CAIRO, Egypt - Archaeologists discovered a pharaonic sun temple with large statues believed to be of King Ramses II under an outdoor marketplace in Cairo, Egypt's antiquities chief said Sunday.

The partially uncovered site is the largest sun temple ever found in the capital's Aim Shams and Matariya districts, where the ancient city of Heliopolis — the center of pharaonic sun worship — was located, Zahi Hawass told The Associated Press.

Among the artifacts was a pink granite statue weighing 4 to 5 tons whose features "resemble those of Ramses II," said Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Also found was a 5-foot-high statue of a seated figure with hieroglyphics that include three cartouches with the name of Ramses II, and a 3-ton head of royal statue, the council said in a statement.

The green pavement stones of the temple's floor were also uncovered.

An Egyptian team working in cooperation with the German Archaeological Mission in Egypt discovered the site under the Souq al-Khamis, a popular market in eastern Cairo, Hawass said.

"The market has to be removed" as archeologists excavate the entire site, Hawass said. "Other significant discoveries might be waiting to be excavated now, and compensation will be paid to the shop owners."

"We are planning to make the whole area as a tourists and archaeological site, maybe after two years," he said.

King Ramses II, who ruled Egypt for 66 years from 1270 to 1213 B.C., had erected monuments up and down the Nile with records of his achievements, as well as building temples — including Abu Simbel, erected near what is now Egypt's southern border.

Numerous temples to Egypt's sun gods — particularly the chief god Ra — were built in ancient Heliopolis. But little remains of what was once the ancient Egyptians' most sacred cities, since much of the stone used in the temples was later plundered.

The area is now covered with residential neighborhoods, close to a modern district called Heliopolis, in Egypt's packed capital.

Ancient Sun Temple Uncovered in Cairo (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060226/ap_on_sc/egypt_sun_temple;_ylt=AodZybJ8_mx7Lu.jgYceUn.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MzV0MTdmBHNlYwM3NTM-)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on February 26, 2006, 06:50:39 PM
Egypt announces discovery of Ramses II statues

Sun Feb 26, 11:34 AM ET

CAIRO (Reuters) - Statues weighing up to five tonnes and thought to be of one of ancient Egypt's greatest pharaohs, Ramses II, have been found northeast of Cairo, Egypt's Supreme Antiquities Council said in a statement on Sunday.

Ramses II ruled Egypt from 1304 to 1237 BC, and presided over an era of great military expansion, erecting statues and temples to himself all over Egypt. He is traditionally believed to be the pharaoh mentioned in the biblical story of Moses.

"Many parts of red granite statues were found, the most important of which had features close to Ramses II ... The statue needs some restoration and weighs between four and five tonnes," the statement quoted the Council's Zahi Hawass as saying.

A royal head weighing two to three tonnes and a seated 5.1 meter (16.7 foot) statue were also found, with cartouches, or royal name signs, of Ramses II on the side of the seated statue.

The discoveries were made at a sun temple northeast of Cairo in ancient Heliopolis, a region known in ancient times for sun worship and where the Council says a calendar based on the solar year was invented.

Egypt announces discovery of Ramses II statues  (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060226/sc_nm/egypt_archaeology_dc;_ylt=AlGSRek9O25qDzEChBqOq1ys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ-)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 04, 2006, 08:32:59 PM
Expert Doubts 'Gospel of Judas' Revelation

Expert Predicts Mysterious 'Gospel of Judas' Won't Reveal Anything About Jesus' Infamous Disciple

An expert on ancient Egyptian texts is predicting that the "Gospel of Judas" a manuscript from early Christian times that's nearing release amid widespread interest from scholars will be a dud in terms of learning anything new about Judas.

James M. Robinson, America's leading expert on such ancient religious texts from Egypt, predicts in a new book that the text won't offer any insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus. His reason: While it's old, it's not old enough.

"Does it go back to Judas? No," Robinson told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The text, in Egypt's Coptic language, dates from the third or fourth century and is a copy of an earlier document. The National Geographic Society, along with other groups, has been studying the "Judas" text.

The society said Thursday it will release its report on the document "within the next few weeks" but didn't specify whether that would come via a book, magazine article or telecast.

Robinson has not seen the text that National Geographic is working on, but assumes it is the same work assailed by Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons around A.D. 180.

Irenaeus said the writings came from a "Cainite" Gnostic sect that jousted against orthodox Christianity. He also accused the Cainites of lauding the biblical murderer Cain, the Sodomites and Judas, whom they regarded as the keeper of secret mysteries.

National Geographic's collaborators on the translation and interpretation of the text include its current owner Mario Roberti's Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art in Basel, Switzerland and the Waitt Institute for Historical Discovery in La Jolla, Calif. Rodolphe Kasser, formerly of the University of Geneva, is the editor.

Robinson writes that the journey of the text to Switzerland was "replete with smugglers, black-market antiquities dealers, religious scholars, backstabbing partners and greedy entrepreneurs." In the process, Robinson fears, the fragile text may have been mishandled and parts of it lost forever.

Robinson is an emeritus professor at Claremont (Calif.) Graduate University, chief editor of religious documents found in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, and an international leader among scholars of Coptic manuscripts.

He says the text is valuable to scholars of the second century but dismissed the notion that it'll reveal unknown biblical secrets. He speculated the timing of the release is aimed at capitalizing on interest in the film version of "The Da Vinci Code" a fictional tale that centers on a Christian conspiracy to cover up a marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

"There are a lot of second-, third- and fourth-century gospels attributed to various apostles," Robinson said. "We don't really assume they give us any first century information."

A National Geographic response said "it's ironic" for Robinson to raise such questions since for years "he tried unsuccessfully to acquire this codex himself, and is publishing his own book in April, despite having no direct access to the materials."

National Geographic said it practiced "due diligence" with scholars "to save the manuscript before it turns to dust and is lost forever" and that everyone involved is committed to returning the materials to Egypt.

In "The Secrets of Judas," a HarperSanFrancisco book on sale April 1, Robinson will describe secretive maneuvers in the United States, Switzerland, Greece and elsewhere over two decades to sell the "Judas" manuscript.

He writes that he was approached about purchasing a group of manuscripts in 1983 and arranged for colleague Stephen Emmel, now at the University of Muenster, Germany, to meet in Geneva with go-betweens for the owner.

Emmel got a glimpse of the text but didn't know it was the "Gospel of Judas" till years later. He was told the original asking price was $10 million but it could be obtained for $3 million, an impossibly high figure for the interested Americans.

From there, Robinson traces a twisted sales trail through years and continents to this year's impending release.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 13, 2006, 03:48:56 PM
Ancient Jewish Town Discovered Beneath Arab Village in Galilee

An ancient Jewish town from the time of King Solomon has been uncovered beneath the Arab village of Kafr Kana, north of Nazareth, in the Galilee.



The discovery, unearthed by Israel’s Antiquities Authority, also includes remnants of Jewish settlement during the Roman period. Among the findings are underground tunnels excavated by Jews who defended the city against Roman legions during the Great Revolt of the year 66 CE.

During the course of the excavations, a section of the city wall and remains of buildings were exposed. Archaeologists date the remains to the period of the United Kingdom of King Solomon and the Kingdom of Israel (following the split between Israel and Judah, from the 10-9th centuries BCE). The director of the excavation on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, Yardena Alexandre, reported that evidence was found there indicating the place was ransacked during the 9th century BCE.

In addition, pottery vessels, large quantities of animal bones, a scarab depicting a man surrounded by two crocodiles, and a ceramic seal bearing the image of a lion were discovered at the site.

Following the destruction, the excavation area was abandoned until its ruins were re-inhabited by Jewish settlers during the Early Roman period (1st century CE). The identity of these residents as Galilean Jews is already known from previous excavations that were carried out at the site and from historic information that identifies the settlement as “Kana of the Galilee” – referred to in the Christian bible.

Some of the walls that were destroyed were reused in the new construction and new floors were laid down. The Jewish settlers built igloo-shaped pits on the ruins of the previous settlement, whereby the bedrock served as the floor of the pit and the walls were built. A rock-hewn pit was discovered in one of the tunnels and in it were 11 complete storage jars characteristic of the second half of the 1st century CE. Alexandre noted that “the pits are connected to each other by short tunnels and it seems that they were used as hiding refuges – a kind of concealed subterranean home – that were built prior to the Great Revolt against the Romans in the year 66 CE."



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 13, 2006, 04:04:01 PM
Most Important Biblical Artifacts Ever Found -- Coming from Jerusalem to the U.S. for the 1st Time -- In Exhibition on Shared Roots of Christianity and Judaism
Exhibition Will Showcase Jewish and Christian Treasures from the Israel Museum; Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to See the First and Only Presentation Outside of Israel of One of the Most Important Dead Sea Scrolls—the Temple Scroll

CLEVELAND, Mar. 13 /Christian Wire Service/ -- The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage will premiere a major exhibition on April 1, 2006 tracing the shared roots of Judaism and Christianity, bringing to the U.S. for the first time the most significant biblical artifacts ever found, including the Temple Scroll, one of the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which is newly restored and has never before been displayed outside of Israel. Excavated in Israel over the last century, these one-of-a-kind Christian and Jewish archeological treasures come together for the first time to reveal a story of intertwined roots and shared heritage in a world premiere exhibition, "Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land."

Unique archaeological finds excavated in Israel portray the world in which Jesus lived, as described by the scriptures and writings of Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. Highlights include:

    * The Temple Scroll (Dead Sea Scroll) Its scale and subject—calling for a new legal interpretation of the Torah—make the Temple Scroll one of the most historically important of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
    * The burial ossuary of Caiaphas the High Priest, who, according to the New Testament, delivered Jesus to the Romans
    * A commemorative inscription bearing the name of Pontius Pilate, representing the only surviving physical testimony of these two prominent figures from the story of the trial of Jesus
    * Heel bone of Yehohanan son of Hagkol punctured by an iron nail (replication) – the only tangible evidence of the practice of crucifixion to have been discovered in archaeological excavations
    * A stone inscription from the Temple Mount reading “To the place of trumpeting . . .”
    * Artifacts characteristic of the period in which the Last Supper, trial, and crucifixion are believed to have taken place which provide a new perspective on these events from the New Testament

Cradle of Christianity explores aspects of early Jewish life and the concurrent birth of Christianity by powerfully presenting artifacts drawn from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, which houses the foremost collection of Biblical Archeology in the world. The exhibition will be on view at the Maltz Museum from April 1 – October 22, 2006.

In telling the story of early Christianity and its emergence as a religion, artifacts will illustrate the Jewish and Christian religious activities during the 4th through the 7th centuries CE of the Byzantine period. Highlights include:

    * Souvenirs and mementos from early Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land, including vessels for oil and water from holy sites and amulets and tokens bearing religious motifs.
    * A full-scale reconstruction of the Chancel of a Byzantine Era church comprised of an original altar, chancel screens, Baptisterium, reliquary, and pulpit, and adorned by mosaics.
    * The remains of excavated Synagogues, including capitals, mosaics, and marble furnishings.
    * The two largest three-dimensional Menorahs ever found in excavation (116cm x 87cm x 10cm and 44 cm x 61 cm x 14 cm)




Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 13, 2006, 11:36:17 PM
Ancient Church at Armageddon
The Christian world is buzzing with news of a major find. Israeli archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of a third or fourth century church in northern Israel, which they believe could be the oldest ever found in the Holy Land. The church contains a well-preserved mosaic with references to Jesus Christ and images of fish—an ancient Christian symbol. “This find is once in a lifetime,” chief archaeologist Yotam Tefer told israel today.

“It’s very, very exciting. It’s a very dramatic discovery because an old building of this type has never been found in the Land of Israel.” The church was found during renovations at a prison in Megiddo—what the New Testament calls Armageddon— the site where all the armies of the world will meet for the final showdown between good and evil.
“Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16).

The word Armageddon is derived from the Hebrew Har Meggido— Mount Meggido. It overlooks the Jezreel Valley, a vast area where the armies of the nations will gather for the last battle. “Multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision” (Joel 3:14).

“This is the place, the site of the last battle, Armageddon,” Tefer said. “Of course, this is the place. So this is why it’s so important to the Christian world.” Word of the find has electrified Christian believers across the denominational spectrum.




Title: Archaeologists Find Ancient Israel Tunnels
Post by: Shammu on March 14, 2006, 12:53:17 AM
Archaeologists Find Ancient Israel Tunnels

By LAURA RESNICK, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 2 minutes ago

JERUSALEM - Underground chambers and tunnels used during a Jewish revolt against the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago have been uncovered in northern Israel, archaeologists said Monday.

The Jews laid in supplies and were preparing to hide from the Romans during their revolt in A.D. 66-70, the experts said. The pits, which are linked by short tunnels, would have served as a concealed subterranean home.

Yardenna Alexandre of the Israel Antiquities Authority said the find shows the ancient Jews planned and prepared for the uprising, contrary to the common perception that the revolt began spontaneously.

"It definitely was not spontaneous," Alexandre said. "The Jews of that time certainly did prepare for it, with underground hideaways here and in other sites we have found."

The underground chambers at the Israeli Arab village of Kfar Kana, north of Nazareth, were built from housing materials common at the time and hidden directly beneath the floors of aboveground homes — giving families direct access to the hideouts. Other refuges found from the time of the revolt are hewn out of rock.

"This construction was very well camouflaged inside one of the houses," Alexandre said. "There are three pits under this house and one tunnel leading to another pit. There are 11 storage jars in that pit."

Built like igloos, the chambers are wide at the base and small at the top. The tunnels between them are short and the ceilings are too low for standing upright.

Zeev Weiss, a professor of archaeology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem not connected to the discovery, said the find "can give us more information about life in the Galilee in the first century and the preparations Jews were making on the eve of the revolt." Weiss is director of excavations at Sepphoris, which was the largest city in the Galilee at the time of the revolt.

The Jewish revolt against Roman rule ended in A.D. 70, when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple.

The ancient Jews at the Kfar site built their houses over the ruins of a fortified Iron Age city, reusing some of the stones from the original settlement. Then they dug through 5 feet of debris from the ruins to build their hideaway complex. "It was quite a lot of work," Alexandre said.

The original settlement, which dates from the 10th and 9th centuries B.C., is also a new discovery.

Alexandre attributes current dating of the original city as an Iron Age settlement to pottery remains, which are plentiful. The excavators have also found large quantities of animal bones, a scarab depicting a man surrounded by two crocodiles and a ceramic seal bearing the image of a lion.

The excavation of the city's architecture has uncovered fortified walls which still stand 5 feet tall in some places. "It's magnificent," said Alexandre. "You can walk among them."

Archaeologists Find Ancient Israel Tunnels (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060314/ap_on_sc/israel_ancient_hideaways;_ylt=AvaGRc1JBDilw0cpa_tuZ.Ks0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MzV0MTdmBHNlYwM3NTM-)


Title: Culture Destroyed by 1815 Volcano Rediscovered
Post by: Shammu on March 14, 2006, 12:58:16 AM
Culture Destroyed by 1815 Volcano Rediscovered

Listen to this story... by Christopher Joyce

February 28, 2006 · It's not often someone stumbles over a "lost kingdom." But that's what a volcano scientist has done on a remote island in Indonesia. The kingdom, called Tambora, disappeared in a matter of minutes in 1815, under billions of tons of rock and ash during a violent volcanic eruption.

University of Rhode Island volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson has spent 20 years roaming the islands of Indonesia, a place known for apocalyptic eruptions. He was especially drawn to a huge volcano on the island of Sumbawa.

"I knew that it was the largest and most important volcanic eruption on the Earth because it caused the year without a summer, a big global climate change, and it also led to the death of about 117,000 people just on this island and on neighboring islands," Sigurdsson said.

Mount Tambora launched 100 cubic kilometers of rock into the air -- 10 times more than Italy's Vesuvius, which buried Pompeii in 79 A.D., and 150 times more than Mount St. Helen's. So much ash and dust filled the air that crops failed and people starved on the other side of the planet.

On one of his expeditions to the island, Sigurdsson's mountain guide told him about a gully where people had found bones and ceramics. They had named it "museum gully."

Sigurdsson visited the site on the last day of his expedition. He didn't have much time there -- night was falling and he had to catch a boat home. "But I saw enough to know this was a very interesting place."

He came back years later with ground-penetrating radar. Under the loose pumice and ash, he located more artifacts. Then he found several burned wooden beams sticking up out of the ground. With Indonesian scientists, he uncovered a collapsed building. Inside were the remains of a woman.

"She was knocked over on her back by the force of the pyroclastic flow, and she appeared to be holding a machete or long knife in one hand. Over her arm was a cloth, and we think it was a sarong, totally carbonized, and her body was extensively carbonized, too," said Sigurdsson.

There was the body of a man, too, and glass bottles that had melted. All had been buried in a white-hot cloud that barreled down the mountain faster than a locomotive.

"Pyroclastic flow is rather like a snow avalanche," said Sigurdsson. "It's composed of particles of ash and pumice and gas -- but at a thousand degrees -- that moves at a high velocity, perhaps up to 100 miles per hour," said Sigurdsson.

Few written records of the lost civilization exist. Colonial British officials visited Tambora shortly before it was buried. About 10,000 people lived there. The officials recorded 48 words of their language. It wasn't Malay, like other Indonesian dialects, but more like the Khmer language of Cambodia.

Sigurdsson will return to the site next year. In the meantime, Indonesian archeologists plan to excavate more of what some hope could be the "Eastern Pompeii."

Culture Destroyed by 1815 Volcano Rediscovered (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5237808)


Title: Ancient Jewish Town Discovered Under Arab Village
Post by: Shammu on March 14, 2006, 01:13:00 AM
 Ancient Jewish Town Discovered Under Arab Village
10:42 Mar 13, '06 / 13 Adar 5766

(IsraelNN.com) An ancient Jewish town from the time of King Solomon has been uncovered beneath the Arab village of Kfar Kana, north of Nazareth in the Galilee.

The discovery, unearthed by Israel’s Antiquities Authority, also includes remnants of Jewish settlement during the Roman period. Among the findings, are underground tunnels excavated by Jews who defended the city against Roman legions during the Great Revolt (66 C.E.).

 Ancient Jewish Town Discovered Under Arab Village  (http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=100115)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on March 14, 2006, 11:57:42 PM
Brothers,

This is a fascinating thread that I really enjoy reading. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it. I especially enjoy the posts that prove the HOLY BIBLE to be true. I know that we already believe that, but there is still hope for hosts of lost people.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Psalms 104:33-34 NASB  I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 15, 2006, 12:06:10 AM
there is still hope for hosts of lost people.




Amen brother, that is the reason that I first started this thread ..... in the hopes that just one more Doubting Thomas will come to the realization that the Bible is in fact true.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2006, 12:29:21 PM
More on Underground Tunnels Found in Israel Used In Ancient Jewish Revolt

Underground Tunnels Found in Israel Used In Ancient Jewish Revolt


A series of underground chambers and tunnels recently found in Israel were likely used as refuges during the First Jewish Revolt, archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority announced.

Storage jars found in one pit were an apparent stockpile of foodstuffs for the uprising against Roman rule that began in A.D. 66.

Archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre directed excavations at the Israeli Arab village of Kfar Kana—a Galilee-region site near the city of Nazareth in Israel (see map).

"The pits are connected to each other by short tunnels, and it seems that they were used as hiding refuges—a kind of concealed subterranean home—that were built prior to the Great Revolt against the Romans," Alexandre said in a statement.

The complex was located underneath homes and was probably accessed through the floors.

In the entire first century A.D. the Galilean community sat atop the ruins of a still-older Iron Age city.

Galilean Jews had to dig through some 5 feet (1.5 meters) of debris from that older settlement to excavate their underground passages. They reused stone from the destroyed city to build the igloo-shaped pits.

The ruins of the Iron Age settlement are also a new discovery. Sections of the city wall and buildings, which date to the tenth and ninth century B.C., have been exposed.

Alexandre suggested that this settlement, too, was likely sacked by some enemy force and only reinhabited during the first century A.D.

So far Alexandre's team has found pottery, animal bones, and other artifacts at the Iron Age site.

A ceramic seal was unearthed bearing the image of a lion, as well as a scarab beetle ornament featuring a man flanked by two crocodiles.

The pit and tunnel complex may offer new evidence about how the First Jewish Revolt was conducted.

"I think it's important and fascinating, because it shows deliberate preparation," said Andrea Berlin, an archaeologist at the University of Minnesota.

"This evidences a kind of organization, planning, and subversiveness that we didn't have any idea was going on."

When Roman armies reached the Middle East to stamp out the revolt, they turned first to the Galilee region, because it was a hotbed of civil unrest.

While southern communities had time to prepare for the oncoming legions, those in the northern region of Kfar Kana probably did not.

The timing suggests that the underground dwellings were prepared prior to the arrival of the Romans in A.D. 67 and therefore might have been used to conduct the revolt.

"When the Romans came from the coast, it was just a matter of weeks before they got to the first siege site," Berlin said. "And I don't think these sort of tunnels could have been constructed that quickly."

But Andrew Overman, an archaeologist at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, said that the carefully prepared complex might not have had a military purpose.

"[It's] proof of the unrest and the conflict that happened, but it's not necessarily a place where rebels were," he said.

"I think it also may have been a place where people prepared to take cover when they were aware that this grand presence, in the form of the Roman army, was about to be visited on them."

The chronicles of Josephus, a Jewish scholar and priest, are the only literary sources that describe the revolt. Josephus initially led troops against the Romans but later became a favorite at imperial court.

"Josephus describes what it was like at Jotapata [the site of one of the revolt's definitive engagements]," Overman said.

"He claims to have watched the whole battle and the massacre of the village. It's so apocalyptic. So people hid, they got ready for the war to end all wars."

Archaeological research confirms a history of savage fighting and massacres in the region. Some evidence has been found to closely match descriptions given by Josephus to events at the same locales.

Jotapata, the Golan Heights city of Gamla, and several Jerusalem sites have yielded Roman arrowheads, boots, weapons, and other remnants of battle dating to the second half of the first century.

Conquest Boosted Roman Dynasty

The First Jewish Revolt began during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, who placed a military official named Vespasian in charge of the war against the Jews.

But Nero died in A.D. 68 while Vespasian was in Egypt gathering troops to quell the uprising.

Vespasian became the new emperor at this opportune time. The revolt was essentially crushed two years later when Vespasian's son Titus sacked Jerusalem and left the city in ruins.

Their conquest of the revolt became an important symbol of their family's strength. The victory was heavily exploited on subsequent triumphal arches and coinage.

Overman suggests that the story of the revolt has endured largely because it served the needs of the Flavians—the emperor Vespasian and his son Titus.

"What the Flavian house did was use this relatively minor event on the eastern outskirts of the empire to prop up their image as suitable rulers of the whole empire."

"Vespasian and especially Titus had never really won battles on their own," Overman explained, "and that was one of the main ways that you could prove that the gods were with you.

"So they promoted the hell out of it."




Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2006, 12:38:20 PM
Investigating canals across time, from space
Ur takes a step back to see ancient networks
By Alvin Powell


The view from space of an ancient canal network is recasting archaeologists' understanding of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh and of the farming economy that supported it at its height of power almost 3,000 years ago.

The work of Assistant Anthropology Professor Jason Ur, detailed in the November/December issue of the archaeology journal Iraq, is casting doubt on the long-held belief that canals that brought water from springs and rivers far to Nineveh's north were mainly constructed to support the city's elaborate gardens.

Using declassified satellite photographs taken decades ago, Ur found what he believes is evidence of branches in the canals that indicate extensive agricultural irrigation in the lands north of Nineveh that scholars had thought dependent on rainfall for their annual production.

With irrigation, those fields would have been potentially far more productive than if they had been reliant on the vagaries of natural rain. Ur said the canals indicate that the farming system underlying what was then the Middle East's dominant empire was more complex and organized than previously thought.

There were likely smaller satellite cities in the areas where the canals branched, Ur said, some of which remain undiscovered or buried under modern villages.

"What I would guess is that there are undiscovered population centers there," Ur said. "The irrigation infrastructure is there to support larger settlements. We have to go and find them."

Satellite photographs can be powerful tools for archaeologists in detecting broader patterns of settlement and networks that accompany ancient civilizations, such as roads and canals, Ur said.

An archaeologist trying to piece together these great works can walk the ground, digging to examine a promising mound here or an outcropping there. It helps, however, to step back from the landscape and look for patterns and structures that may be difficult or impossible to detect from the ground, where thousands of years of farming, road building, and urban development obscure all but bits and pieces.

"If you press your nose against a Monet, all you see is a blur. If you take a few steps back, you see lilies, you see bridges," said Ur. "For this reason, remote sensing data is really irreplaceable."

Low-level aerial photographs can serve a similar purpose as satellite photos, Ur said, but some nations don't allow archaeologists in, never mind flying over their countryside with a camera.

Further, he said, Cold War-era photographs allow researchers to look back in time at a landscape that may have been lost in the intervening years through urban development, military action, or other human activities.

Urban sprawl from the nearby Iraqi city of Mosul is a concern around Nineveh, which lies across the Tigris River. Already, Ur said, expansion of Mosul has obscured many features around Nineveh's clearly defined walls that were visible in satellite photos from the 1960s.

In addition to his work on Nineveh, Ur is examining the road system around the Bronze Age city of Tell Brak in northeastern Syria. The roads into the city, about 2,000 years older than Nineveh, probably arose spontaneously, Ur said, as people and goods flowed into and out of Tell Brak. Ur said he's detected a progression from the main city, to smaller satellite settlements, out to farms, to fields, and to pastures beyond.

"I'm interested in urban settlements and in how they were maintained and sustained," Ur said. "Irrigation, agriculture, networks of roads to satellite cities were probably very important to these early settlements because they were too large to sustain themselves."

In contrast to the natural growth of Tell Brak's road system, Nineveh's canals were public works, instigated and controlled by the central government, which at the same time was importing conquered people to act as labor. Ur said the Assyrians brought in not just men from the conquered lands, but whole families and villages, what he called entire "productive units."

"I see this as part of an overall demographic program, not only creating a new landscape, but also importing the labor to work it," Ur said.

Ur is a year into a new project in northwestern Iran, examining a new system of canals there thought to have been built by the Sasanian Empire, which battled Rome and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle East.

The researchers found the Sasanian canals from the satellite photographs, but also noticed small, brightly colored rings of what looked like stones dotting the landscape. On their first field expedition, in January 2005, Ur said they discovered the rings were circles of large holes - each hole about 6 feet wide - dug into the ground with earth mounded around them.

Researchers believe the holes were winter quarters for livestock, and the rings of holes represented winter campgrounds for pastoral people who spent summers in the nearby mountains.

Many of these ancient campsites have been destroyed by farming and development in the years since the photographs were taken, Ur said, making the satellites a valuable resource to understand how the land was used by ancient people. Without evidence from the photographs and a visit to investigate remaining campsites, the visible canals would have left evidence of the landscape's agricultural past, but remained silent on the land's use by ancient herding people.

"This is what I find interesting," Ur said, "how structures emerged."



Title: Ancient Sarcophagus Unearthed in Cyprus
Post by: Shammu on March 21, 2006, 01:39:39 AM
Ancient Sarcophagus Unearthed in Cyprus

By GEORGE PSYLLIDES, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 51 minutes ago

NICOSIA, Cyprus - A 2,500-year-old sarcophagus with vivid color illustrations from Homer's epics has been discovered in western Cyprus, archaeologists said Monday.

Construction workers found the limestone sarcophagus last week in a tomb near the village of Kouklia, in the coastal Paphos area. The tomb, which probably belonged to an ancient warrior, had been looted during antiquity.

"The style of the decoration is unique, not so much from an artistic point of view, but for the subject and the colors used," said Pavlos Flourentzos, director of the island's antiquities department.

Only two similar sarcophagi have ever been discovered in Cyprus before. One is housed in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other in the British Museum in London, but their colors are more faded, Flourentzos said.

Flourentzos said the coffin — painted in red, black and blue on a white background — dated to 500 B.C., when Greek cultural influence was gaining a firm hold on the eastern Mediterranean island. Pottery discovered in the tomb is expected to provide a precise date.

Experts believe the ornate decoration features the hero Ulysses in scenes from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey — both hugely popular throughout the Greek world.

In one large painting, Ulysses and his comrades escape from the blind Cyclops Polyphemos' cave, hidden under a flock of sheep. Another depicts a battle between Greeks and Trojans from the Iliad.

Archeologists think the scenes hint at the status of the coffin's occupant.

"Why else take these two pieces from Homer and why deal with Ulysses? Maybe this represents the dead person's character — who possibly was a warrior," Flourentzos said.

Other drawings depict a figure carrying a seriously injured or dead man and a lion fighting a wild boar under a tree. These are not believed to be linked with Homer's poems.

Reflecting a long oral tradition loosely based on historic events, Homer's epics were probably composed around 800 B.C. and written down in the 6th century B.C.

The tomb was found in an area containing several ancient cemeteries which belonged to the nearby town of Palaepaphos, 11 miles inland from modern Paphos.

First settled around 2800 B.C., Palaepaphos was the site of a temple of Aphrodite — the ancient goddess of beauty who, according to mythology, was born in the sea off Paphos.

Ancient Sarcophagus Unearthed in Cyprus  (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060321/ap_on_sc/cyprus_sarcophagus;_ylt=As5Exp5PnYj6aiGq2r9wv3.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on March 21, 2006, 01:44:04 AM
Bangladesh discovers ancient fort city

By Nizam Ahmed Wed Mar 15, 5:59 AM ET

WARI, Bangladesh (Reuters) - Archaeologists in Bangladesh say they have uncovered part of a fortified citadel dating back to 450 B.C. that could have been a stopping off point along an ancient trade route.

So far, a moat round the citadel has been uncovered along with parts of an ancient road at Wari, 85 km (53 miles) northeast of the capital Dhaka.

"The citadel and a raft of artifacts may help redefine history of India," said Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, head of the department of archaeology at Jahangirnagar University, near Dhaka.

"The well-planned road with even manholes proves that the citadel was managed by a very efficient administration," Mostafizur added.

"I am confident further excavation will lead us to residue of a palace," he said.

Archaeologists have been excavating the ancient roads and unearthing artifacts for several years. Tests by a Dutch university revealed the objects dated to around 450 B.C.

Artefacts found in the 600 x 600 meter (1,800 x 1,800 ft) include metal coins, metallic chisels, terracotta missiles, rouletted and knobbed pottery, stone hammers and bangles. Ornaments suggested Buddhism dominated life in the urban centers. Mostafizur said the citadel was believed to be a part of Harappan civilization and a prime trade center might have flourished there, possibly serving as a link between contemporary South Asian and Roman civilizations.

The Harappan civilization flourished in the Indus and Ganges valleys between 2,700 B.C. to 700 B.C.

Archaeologists hope the citadel and surrounding area yield many more surprises.

In Wari and the nearby Batteswar village there are 47 raised areas and archaeologists are planning to excavate all of these as well.

Bangladesh discovers ancient fort city (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060315/sc_nm/bangladesh_citadel_dc_1;_ylt=AtNP0BeC7mXZIEIpUg6Nn29xieAA;_ylu=X3oDMTA2ZGZwam4yBHNlYwNmYw--)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 23, 2006, 08:59:22 PM
Rare Crusader Coin

A treasure trove of archaeological relics, the ancient city of Jaffa has yielded another rare find. An archaeological team from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), headed up by Martin Peilstöcker and Amit Re’em, unearthed an extremely rare coin in Jaffa’s flea market. It dates to the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291), the feudal state created by the first Crusaders.

Staff from the IAA Coin Department identified the artifact as a Frankish silver half drachma, minted during a brief six-year period between 1251 and 1257. It was found in the remains of a 13th century house, along with ceramics from the same period.

Etched on the coin are a cross and various other symbols, including a half-moon and a bird. An Arabic inscription describes the Trinity: al Ab (the Father), al Bin (the Son) we-al Rukh al Kuds (and the Holy Spirit). Barely discernible on the perimeter of the coin are the words, “Thine is the glory forever and ever.”

During the 12th and 13th centuries, coins copied from the gold dinars and silver dirhems of the Islamic Fatimid and Ayyubid rulers were minted in Antioch and Tripoli. On a visit to the area in 1250, the official emissary from Rome, Bishop Eudes de Chateauroux, ordered an end to coins inscribed with the name of Mohammed, the Moslem prophet, reporting the practice to Pope Innocentius IV. The Pope responded with threats to excommunicate anyone minting coins with the name of the Moslem prophet on them. Historians believe that the Christian inscriptions and symbols were added to allow minters to continue producing the coins, but now with a Christian message.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 23, 2006, 09:01:48 PM
New Dead Sea Scroll Fragments
There is only one place on earth where an unending stream of evidence substantiating the Bible is discovered year after year. Granted, it’s been 40 years since the major discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls thrilled biblical archaeologists and others who love the Word of God.

The latest discovery—two small fragments of animal skin, brown with age, with Leviticus 23:38-39 and 43-44 inscribed in ancient Hebrew—are now in the hands of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). How they got there is an intriguing story in itself. About a year ago, Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, was summoned to an abandoned police station near the Dead Sea for a clandestine meeting with a Bedouin Arab. After explaining that he’d been offered $20,000 on the black market, the man asked Eshel to evaluate the fragments. It would be hard to describe the emotions that surged through the professor’s heart as he examined the skins. “I was jealous that he had found them instead of me,” said Eshel, who has worked in the Judean Desert for nearly 20 years. “I was also very excited, though I didn’t believe I would ever see them again.” Months later, after learning that the fragments had not left the country, Eshel bought them with $3,000 provided by Bar Ilan. The skins were turned over to the IAA, which is now testing them for authenticity. They are the 15th find in this area and date to the Second Revolt against the Romans under Bar-Kochba.

The discovery sparked renewed hope among biblical archaeologists that the Judean Desert has much yet to yield. “No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert since 1965,” said Eshel. “This [find] encourages scholars to believe that if they bother to excavate, survey and climb, they will still find things in the Judean Desert. The common perception has been that there is nothing left to find there, but that is clearly wrong.”




Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 23, 2006, 09:03:56 PM
Down under the city of Jerusalem
In honor of Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty, new excavations began on the western edge of the Tyropean Valley, just opposite the Shiloah pool (Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man).

Architectural structures sculpted into the rock were found in several rooms on different floors, as well as on the walls of the mikveh (ritual immersion bath). The excavations dated to Second Temple times. Archaeologists also found a silver coin from the Second Jewish Revolt, led by Simon Bar-Kochba, as well as clay vessels from both the First and Second Temple periods.

Excavation director Tsvika Greenhut, of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), said that in spite of the less-than-ideal preservation of the structures uncovered at this site, it was obvious that the people who lived here were well off—members of the local population’s upper echelon. Researchers were able to glean more insight into what life may have been like in such a neighborhood in the lower areas of Jerusalem.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 23, 2006, 09:05:10 PM
A Just Weight
The IAA, the Customs Authority and the Postal Authority worked together to prevent a precious artifact, a lead weight, from being smuggled out of the country. The weight dates back to the time of Bar Kochba (the second century AD) and is decorated with traditional Jewish symbols, including a palm tree and menorah.

Ancient Hebrew letters are engraved on the weight, which was a common practice during the first and second Jewish revolts against the Romans. The IAA believes that Palestinian  antiquities thieves found this weight in Judea. It is one of only four known weights that use the maneh, the measure for weighing gold and silver in Second Temple times. All of them have the following Hebrew inscription: “Shimon Bar Kochba – Ruler of Israel – Freedom.”

Smugglers wanted to ship the weight in a hollowed-out book to the US. It’s the first time that this method of smuggling was uncovered. The IAA was able to locate the sender, a former antiquities salesman, who wanted to send the valuable artifact to his colleagues in America. More antiquities were revealed in his apartment. Police say there have been other smuggling attempts, and the investigation has expanded to the US.

Hidden Treasure: Smugglers tried to hide the ancient weight in a book There are only four such weights from Second Temple times



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on March 24, 2006, 02:16:58 AM
Navy Uncovers Centuries-Old Spanish Ship

By MELISSA NELSON, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 18 minutes ago

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Navy construction crews have unearthed a rare Spanish ship that was buried for centuries under sand on Pensacola's Naval Air Station, archaeologist confirmed Thursday.
ADVERTISEMENT

The vessel could date to the mid-1500s, when the first Spanish settlement in what is now the United States was founded here, the archaeologists said.

But the exposed portion looks more like ships from a later period because of its iron bolts, said Elizabeth Benchley, director of the Archaeology Institute at the University of West Florida.

"There are Spanish shipwrecks in Pensacola Bay," Benchley said. "We have worked on two — one from 1559 and another from 1705. But no one has found one buried on land. This was quite a surprise to everybody."

Construction crews came upon the ship this month while rebuilding the base's swim rescue school, destroyed during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

The exposed keel of the ship juts upward from the sandy bottom of the pit and gives some guess of the vessel's form. Archaeologists estimated the rest of the ship is buried by about 75 feet of sand.

During initial work to determine the ship's origin, archaeologists found ceramic tiles, ropes and pieces of olive jars. The settlement was founded in 1559; its exact location is a mystery. The Spanish did not return until more than a century later in 1698 at Presidio Santa Maria de Galve, now the naval station.

The French captured and burned the settlement in 1719 but handed Pensacola back to Spain three years later. Hurricanes forced the Spanish to repeatedly rebuild.

The Navy plans to enclose the uncovered portion of the ship, mark the site and move construction over to accommodate archaeological work, officials said.

"We don't have plans to excavate the entire ship," Benchley said. "It's going to be very expensive because it's so deeply buried and we would have to have grant money," she said.

Navy Uncovers Centuries-Old Spanish Ship (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060324/ap_on_sc/hidden_ship;_ylt=AgQNIR_YKIGIIq0t0u6dRiys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MzV0MTdmBHNlYwM3NTM-)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 24, 2006, 04:36:24 PM
Eilat Mazar: Uncovering King David's Palace

Eilat Mazar is not at her dig just south of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, where she has been exhuming the massive stone walls of what she believes to be the 10th-century remains of King David’s palace. Instead the 49-year-old widowed mother of four is at her office at the Shalem Center, a conservative social policy think tank in Jerusalem’s German Colony. Her short blonde hair bobs up and down as talks about the palace, possibly the most stunning archaeological discovery in Israel in decades. “It’s a huge structure built on the most important place that controls everything around it,” she says with excitement. “It must have been an important structure. We need to reveal more of it.”

Her office is filled with the kinds of items you might expect: 3000-year-old pots from her excavations of the ancient Phoenician settlements of Achziv on the northern coast of Israel and treasures from the Mazar family’s archaeological “dynasty.” Books by her late grandfather, the highly respected archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, are displayed prominently, as is a five-volume work that her father published highlighting the connections between archaeological finds and biblical verses.

Alongside her laptop on a paper-strewn desk sits the most telling object: a heavily marked Bible. Like her grandfather and father before her, Mazar is a believer in the Bible’s historical reliability. “One of the many things I learned from my grandfather was how to relate to the biblical text,” she says. “Pore over it again and again, for it contains within it descriptions of genuine historical reality.” She adds, “I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other. That’s what biblical archaeologists do. The Bible is the most important historical source and therefore deserves special attention.”

This approach led Mazar to the site she now believes is the northern edge of King David’s palace in an area known as the City of David. When she set out on her quest in search of the palace in 1997, she turned to her Bible. She found what she was looking for in chapter five, verse 17 of the Second Book of Samuel. “When the Philistines came to fight, the Bible says David went down from his palace to the fortress,” Mazar says. “I wondered down from where? It’s very reasonable to assume that when the Bible describes David going down he came from a higher place. The only higher place is from the north.”

It was a crucial observation. Mazar reasoned the only direction where the topography is higher would be just north of the City of David, outside the walls of the Old City. She began excavating in February of 2005. The finds came quickly. Surprisingly intact, just two yards beneath ground level, were Byzantine-era artifacts, including a fully-preserved room with mosaic floors dating to the 4th to 6th centuries C.E. When Mazar peeled back the room, she uncovered water cisterns, pools and a mikvah from the Second Temple period. But it was what was under these that would prove to be the most startling. The Second Temple remains were directly on top of thick foundation walls that protruded in all directions—and even beyond—the length and width of her 30-by-10 meter excavation site.

“We saw that this was clearly something monumental, and was obviously not any private construction,” Mazar says.

The pottery found under the building—that is, from before the building’s construction—dated back to the 12th to 11th centuries B.C.E.—just before David conquered Jerusalem. But inside one of the rooms, Mazar’s team found pottery from the 10th to 9th century B.C.E., indicating that the building was in use during the period of David’s reign in Jerusalem. In addition, Mazar found a seal impression, called a bulla, of a late 7th-century royal official named Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, son of Shevi, who is mentioned twice in the Book of Jeremiah (37:3 and 38:1). “The bulla find—it’s an amazing find,” she says, adding that it proves “that the site was an important center in the ancient Israelite monarchy for four centuries.”

cont'd on page two



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 24, 2006, 04:38:23 PM
Page two

Mazar’s excavation, funded by the Shalem Center and its chairman, American financier Roger Hertog, has powerful political implications. When news of the find broke, Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, were ecstatic. If confirmed, the palace would counteract recent claims by the Palestinians, who dismiss King David’s reign as useful political fiction.

“For years, there have been those who contended that there was no evidence of public construction in 10th century B.C.E. Jerusalem,” Mazar, an ardent Zionist, says. “Based on this, they claim that David and Solomon were not important rulers as described in the Bible. Now there is evidence of such construction, and those who minimize the importance of David and Solomon have to deal with the facts. Because in an out-of-the-way and remote settlement you would not have a structure like this. To build such a major structure, you needed strong central rule in Jerusalem at that time. It’s nothing like what is described by the minimalists.”
The discovery has drawn Mazar into the center of a heated archaeological debate. Gabriel Barkai, professor at Bar-Ilan University, was emphatic, calling Mazar’s findings unprecedented. “She has for the first time after more than 150 years of archaeology in Jerusalem discovered a massive public building dating back to the 10th century B.C.E.,” Barkai said. But other archaeologists are dubious. “I am not at all certain that this is what has been found,” said University of Haifa archaeologist Professor Ronny Reich. He noted that in order to determine that the site was indeed David’s palace, the pottery and the walls had to be found “in the same context” and “living together.” “Whether this is the case here is still an open question,” he said.
Even more critical is Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University and the leading proponent of, “low chronology,” which claims that many of the grand buildings dated to the 10th century B.C.E. and attributed to King Solomon are actually a century younger. Finkelstein characterizes the hoopla over Mazar’s discovery as “Messianic eruptions in biblical archaeology.”

In fact, Finkelstein challenges Mazar’s entire approach of linking the Bible with archaeological research. “That David took two steps down and four steps up and saw Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop does not prove that you have found King David’s palace,” Finkelstein told The Jerusalem Post. “Biblical archaeology is the only discipline I know in which time stopped four centuries ago and no progress has been made since then.”
Palestinian archaeologists have also weighed in. Hani Nure el-Din, an archaeologist at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem told The New York Times that he and his colleagues consider the kind of biblical archaeology practiced by Mazar and others to be an effort by Israelis “to fit historical evidence into a biblical context. “They try to link whatever they find to the biblical narration. They have a button, and they want to make a suit out of it.”

One of Mazar’s earliest memories is of her grandfather driving off in a jeep with the Israeli archaeologist Yigal Shiloh. In those days, archaeology was closely intertwined with the larger project of building the Jewish state and there was a never-ending hum of excitement about archaeological discoveries. “It was into such a world that I grew up,” Mazar recalls. Her whole family participated in one way or another, including her mother, who, even after divorcing Mazar’s father, remained close with Benjamin Mazar. At the age of 11, Eilat took part in her first dig, helping out at her grandfather’s excavation south of the Temple Mount just a few dozen yards from where she is excavating now.

Despite these early experiences, Mazar didn’t decide to become an archaeologist until after her army service, when she enrolled in courses at Hebrew University. She calls her years in university an “immense delight,” a time when she and her fellow students would run to any place in the country where an excavation, no matter how modest, was underway. Later, she served as a field supervisor for the City of David excavations, directed by Shiloh, the longtime friend and associate of her grandfather. The excavations were conducted on the ridge just south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—again very near to where Mazar is excavating.

Balancing a career in archaeology with family has not been easy. She married right out of the army, had a child, and then divorced. Later she found new love with Israeli archaeologist Yair Shoham and the couple had three children. Tragically, Shoham died suddenly of a heart attack in 1997 at the age of 44, two years after Mazar lost her grandfather.

This winter, in the midst of the excitement stirred by her finds, Mazar took time out to plan her son’s bar mitzvah. “Family life is very important to me,” she explains. “My family life gives me the strength to do what I do. Work is part of my life—I love my work. I see it as a complete life.”

The ambitious Mazar is no stranger to controversy. In 2000, she was one of the most vocal critics of the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust that administers the Temple Mount, for carting thousands of tons of earth off the Mount without archaeological supervision in an effort to expand an underground mosque. Indeed, she was just as critical of the Israel Antiquities Authority, which by law is responsible for any archaeological activity on the Mount: The Authority didn’t pursue the matter, largely because the second intifada broke out and it had little stomach for enflaming Muslim sensitivities.

Despite the controversy whirling around her, Mazar remains focused on her goal: establishing the authenticity of her find. Back at her office at the Shalem Center, she and her team are processing the finds, dating, recording and properly storing the shards and other artifacts. Once finished, she’ll head back to the dig to uncover more of the palace.

Mazar doesn’t seem at all surprised that she has found King David’s palace. In her view, it’s always been there, awaiting an archaeologist who could decipher the clues in the Bible. She’s pleased that she’s the Fortunate one. “It’s nice to touch your history,” she says.




Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on March 25, 2006, 01:10:16 AM
Quote
Pastor Roger Said:

Mazar doesn’t seem at all surprised that she has found King David’s palace. In her view, it’s always been there, awaiting an archaeologist who could decipher the clues in the Bible. She’s pleased that she’s the Fortunate one. “It’s nice to touch your history,” she says.


Brother, all I can say is WOW! and WOW! again. More and more discoveries are PROOF that the Holy Bible is and always was nothing but the TRUTH! I hope and pray that hosts of the lost start picking up the BIBLE and treating it in the manner that it deserves, the HOLY WORD OF GOD!


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 28, 2006, 04:54:20 PM
Italians find ancient Ur tablets

 Writings could lead to buried library  (ANSA) - Rome, March 28 - Italian archeologists working in Iraq have found a trove of ancient stone tablets from the fabled civilisation of Ur .

The tablets bear around 500 engravings of a literary and historical nature, according to team leader Silvia Chiodi .

"This is an an exceptional find," she said, noting that the area in question had previously only yielded prehistoric artefacts .

She said the tablets, made of clay and bitumen, were discovered by chance at an archaeological site not far from the location of the ancient city .

"I was looking for a wall structure spotted by an airborne photo when I spotted a small inscription on bitumen and then realised it wasn't the only one" .

An expert on Sumerian civilisation, Giovanni Pettinato, said the finds probably dated back to one of Ur's most prosperous periods .

"The most surprising thing is the time span the tablets cover, ranging from 2,700 BCE, the First Dynasty of Ur, to 2,100 BCE, the Third Dynasty," Pettinato said .

"The place where the tablets were found, not far from the surface, leads one to suppose they contain information from a library," he said .

"There could be thousands of them down there" .

Chiodi said the tablets would probably occupy a prominent place in a new Virtual Museum of Iraq which Italy is building to show people what Baghdad's celebrated museum of antiquities looked like before it was looted in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq .

About a half of 40 star attractions of the museum have yet to be retrieved .

Of the 15,000 items taken from storeooms, 8,000 have not been returned despite an amnesty .

Ur, near the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya, is cited in the Bible as the birthplace of the prophet Abraham .

It was the religious hub of Sumerian civilisation at the start of a series of dynasties that ruled Mesopotamia from around 4000 BCE .

Long before the Egyptians, the Sumerians invented the wheel and developed the first mathematical system .

The most famous classic of ancient literature, Gilgamesh, was written at Ur .

The most prominent monument at the site is the best preserved ziggurat, or stepped pyramid, in the Arab world .

It was built by the Sumerians around 4000 BCE and restored by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BCE .


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on March 28, 2006, 10:06:01 PM
Palace of Homer's hero rises out of the myths
From John Carr in Athens
   
   
ARCHAEOLOGISTS claim to have unearthed the remains of the 3,500-year-old palace of Ajax, the warrior-king who according to Homer’s Iliad was one of the most revered fighters in the Trojan War.

Classicists hailed the discovery, made on a small Greek island, as evidence that the myths recounted by Homer in his epic poem were based on historical fact.

The ruins include a large palace, measuring about 750sq m (8,000sq ft), and believed to have been at least four storeys high with more than thirty rooms.

Yannos Lolos, the Greek archaeologist who made the discovery, said he was certain that he had come across the home of the Aiacid dynasty, a legendary line of kings mentioned in the Iliad and the Classical Greek tragedies. One of the kings, Ajax (or Aias), was described by Homer as a formidable fighter who, at one point in the Trojan campaign, held off the Trojans almost singlehandedly while his fellow Greek Achilles sulked in his tent because his slave-girl had been taken away from him.

The city of Troy is believed to have fallen about 1180BC — at about the same time, according to Mr Lolos, that the palace he has discovered was abandoned and left to crumble. Ajax, therefore, would have been the last king to have lived there before setting off on the ten-year Trojan expedition.

“This is one of the few cases in which a Mycenaean-era palace can be almost certainly attributed to a Homeric hero,” Mr Lolos said.

Fellow archaeologists said that they believed that the ruins were indeed those of a Mycenaean palace. Curtis Runnels, Professor of Archaeology at Boston University, said: “Mr Lolos has really delivered the goods.”

The Mycenaean ruins appear to be at the site where Homer records a fleet of ships setting out to take part in the war on Troy. The Iliad is believed to portray conditions at the close of the dominance of Mycenae, the prime Greek power of the second millennium BC.

The ruins have been excavated over the past five years at a site near the village of Kanakia on the island of Salamis, a few miles off the coast of Athens.

The palace was built in the style of those of the period, including the vast acropolis at Mycenae.

“The complex was found beneath a virgin tract of pine woods on two heights by the coast,” Mr Lolos said. “All the finds so far corroborate what we see in the Homeric epics.”

Homer compares Ajax to a wall and describes him carrying a shield made of seven layers of thick oxhide. Unlike other heroes, he fights without the aid of deities or the supernatural. According to Sophocles, who wrote 800 years after the Trojan War, Ajax committed suicide after the fall of Troy without seeing his homeland again.

Several relics of oriental and Cypriot origin were found at the site at Kanakia, such as bronze armour strips stamped with the emblem of Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt, indicating trade or possible war in the 13th century BC.

Salamis became famous as the site of a sea battle in 480BC in which the Greek navies destroyed the invasion fleet of the Persian king Xerxes and put paid to the Persian threat.

The other main site where archaeologists claim to have discovered relics of places recounted in the Iliad is at the castle of Pylos in southeastern Greece, believed to be the home of King Nestor.

Palace of Homer's hero rises out of the myths (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2106548,00.html)


Title: Road to Temple Mount uncovered
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 31, 2006, 09:22:57 AM
Road to Temple Mount uncovered


The main road that ran from Jerusalem's City of David to the Temple Mount during the time of the Second Temple has been uncovered by Israeli archeologists, those involved in the dig said Thursday. The road connected the Shiloah pool in the City of David to the Temple Mount compound.

The 2,000-year-old road was discovered adjacent to the Shiloah pool during ongoing excavations at the site, said Israeli Antiquities Authority archeologist Eli Shukrun. He is directing the dig together with University of Haifa archeologist Prof. Ronny Reich.

The road was used by the tens of thousands of people who came to Jerusalem for the Jewish pilgrimage holidays during the Second Temple Period, who immersed themselves in the Shiloah pool before entering the Temple Mount, Shukrun said. He said the road showed the centrality of both the Temple and the pool for life in the city at the time.

Archeologists had previously discovered the other end of the 600-meter road near the Temple Mount, he said.

The archeologists have not learned when the road was built, but they have determined that it was in use between the first half of the first century BCE and the destruction of the second Jewish Temple by the Romans in 70 CE.

"This was the main road of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period," Shukrun said.

The archeologists also found large stones and boulders from the destruction of the Second Temple, burnt ashes, and an assortment of coins from the failed Jewish rebellion against the Romans.

The excavations at the site are being sponsored by the right-wing Ir David Foundation, which supports the reestablishment of Jewish communities in east Jerusalem.

The latest finds in the City of David, located just outside the walls of the Old City, came two years after Israeli archeologists stumbled upon the 2,000-year-old pool while the city was carrying out infrastructure work for a new sewage line.

The waters of the Shiloah pool, which come from the nearby Gihon spring, were used in Jewish purification rituals carried out, among other times, before visits to the Temple.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on March 31, 2006, 11:35:46 PM
Quote
Road to Temple Mount uncovered


The main road that ran from Jerusalem's City of David to the Temple Mount during the time of the Second Temple has been uncovered by Israeli archeologists, those involved in the dig said Thursday. The road connected the Shiloah pool in the City of David to the Temple Mount compound.

Pastor Roger,

Brother, these earth-shaking finds are happening with greater frequency now. I'm really beginning to wonder if these finds represent a message from GOD to mankind. If not, they should still serve to show mankind the absolute truth and accuracy of the Holy Bible. I'm hoping and praying that hosts of people start picking up the Holy Bible and KNOW that it isn't just a book, rather it is the WORD OF GOD! Christians already know this, but one would think that those always hollering for proof should start paying attention.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Philippians 1:21-22 NASB  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 31, 2006, 11:54:16 PM
Brother, I hate to sound negative but unfortunately most of those that yell about wanting proof will not accept the proof given them even if it were laid right in front of them. I have already heard many of these sceptics claiming that there is no defiitive proof that the palace found was in fact David's palace. It was said about the coins that were found with the name of Jesus Christ on them that there is no proof it is the same Jesus Christ of the Bible. It is the true meaning of "because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand".






Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on April 01, 2006, 04:40:18 PM
Hello Pastor Roger,

It's sad, but I know that you're right. After all, there were hosts of CHRIST'S own who saw HIM, talked to HIM, and watched the signs and wonders. However, I do know that there will be some who will investigate the Holy Bible again and might be led to the LORD. It can also serve as additional strength for those who are already in CHRIST.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Hebrews 11:6 NASB  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 02, 2006, 01:10:00 PM
New discoveries point to 'cave of John the Baptist' as important site in the time of Isaiah

New Discoveries Point to "Cave of John the Baptist" as Important Site in the Time of Isaiah Recently completed digging at Israel's Suba Cave, an archaeological site that is possibly connected with John the Baptist, or Jewish groups of his time has revealed features that deepen the mystery of the site's ancient origins, according to University of North Carolina at Charlotte archaeologist James D. Tabor, associate director of the excavation.

The site was brought to international attention in 2004 with the publication of The Cave of John the Baptist, a controversial book by Israeli archaeologist Shimon Gibson, the site's director. The initial connection with John the Baptist was based on some of the earliest Christian drawings related to John on the cave walls as well as the location of the cave near Ein Kerem, John's birthplace. In particular, the most recent excavations point to the possible existence of a second, still unexcavated cave at the site, suggesting that the location may have been a major complex of uncertain function during the Iron Age

In the 2004 book, Gibson discussed discoveries from the cave and underground reservoir at Suba, 15 miles west of Jerusalem, focusing on the finding that it had seen particularly heavy use during the early Roman period, around the time of John the Baptist and Jesus. In particular, the discovery in 1st. Century AD stratigraphic levels of thousands of small pottery vessels, all apparently ritually broken, led Gibson to theorize that the cave had been a site for baptismal rituals, possibly performed by John the Baptist or Jesus, or other Jewish groups of a similar nature who practices ritual water purification rites. Towards the end of the cave excavation, Gibson also found evidence that the cave's large (24 meters long, 4 meters wide and 5 meters high) plastered reservoir had originally been constructed in the 7th Century BC, near the time of Isaiah. Because the massive cave had been professionally cut from solid rock, Gibson concluded that it must have been a project of the Kingdom of Judah. Because it was not conveniently located in an urban area (the nearest town was Suba, which was more than a kilometer away) and because it contained features that were inconsistent with a storage reservoir or cistern (its unusual shape and broad stairs descending to the water), Gibson theorized that part of its original function might have included ritual rites of water purification.

In the most recent excavations in March, 2006, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte student team, supervised by Gibson and Tabor, uncovered an outside corridor leading to what appears to be another cave. The corridor was filled with deposits that date to the Iron Age (within 100 years of the site's original construction) and leads directly into the steep hillside.

"Just last summer we found new pools outside up above the cave and a corridor, which our most recent dig shows is leading into what we now think is another chamber," said Tabor. "We're almost afraid to continue because it now looks like this is some huge complex, but now that we are into it, we can't stop."

"We're following the corridor on back and taken it up to a wall of fill – it is leading to something – maybe another cave. The corridor narrows as it approaches the cliff face and up above you can see bedrock, maybe a roof, but in front you can just see fill. It could just be a little enclave, but it just keeps going… it's going somewhere."

Tabor notes that if the corridor is leading to a cave, the site was even more extensive during the time of Isaiah than it was during the time of John the Baptist and Jesus. "The entrance, if that's what it is, is blocked with Iron Age fill, so this went out of use quickly after it was built, which is another mystery," Tabor noted. "Why do you build this huge thing and then it goes out of use within a hundred years? You have to wonder."

In the recent excavations, the team also uncovered seven rough stone pillars in the middle of the corridor.

"We have no idea what purpose these pillars served," said Tabor. "They could be quarry stones, but they left them standing in the corridor for some reason."

Tabor sees the new discoveries as further evidence for the past significance and historical importance of the Suba Cave site. If the cave was used for baptismal rituals at the time of John the Baptist, as Gibson has argued, it is a possibility that the site was used because it had ancient significance to John and his followers. Gibson and Tabor have also explored more practical theories, namely that the complex was quarried for some kind of industrial use--perhaps as a clay production facility.

In his 2004 book, Gibson argues that "evidence showed that the cave at Suba was already more than 700 years old at the time of John the Baptist. It was a place, I believe, that must have possessed a hoary Israelite tradition of ritualistic bathing going back into the mists of time." As more evidence has been uncovered Gibson has broadened his theorizing and currently is uncertain of the original function of the facility. There are no precise parallels to this kind of complex from the Iron Age, however, a roughly similar reservoir, but without the external pools and corridor, exists at nearby Bet Shemesh.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2006, 12:06:25 AM
Quote
New discoveries point to 'cave of John the Baptist' as important site in the time of Isaiah

New Discoveries Point to "Cave of John the Baptist" as Important Site in the Time of Isaiah Recently completed digging at Israel's Suba Cave, an archaeological site that is possibly connected with John the Baptist, or Jewish groups of his time has revealed features that deepen the mystery of the site's ancient origins, according to University of North Carolina at Charlotte archaeologist James D. Tabor, associate director of the excavation.

Brother Roger,

This would be like a great mystery novel that you just couldn't put down, except this would be the truth of ages past. I would hope that they get whatever resources are needed and the work continues quickly but carefully. Massive amounts of time, money, and other resources have been spent on Egyptian history. I am now wondering if there will be similar interest in Judeo-Christian history. I'm afraid that the answer will be "No".

Love In Christ,
Tom

Psalms 139:4 NASB  Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2006, 12:30:59 AM
I doubt that we will see the documentaries on the History Channel ( at least truthful ones) about Judeo-Christian history to the extent that we see on Egyptian history. I am attempting to do my part though in promoting it. I have one teen here that can't seem to get enough.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2006, 01:57:08 AM
Pastor Roger,

I'm slightly past my teen years.  ;D

However, please count me among those who are absolutely fascinated by Judeo-Christian history. The Old Testament of the Holy Bible is wonderful, but I've always wanted to learn more. I do have some ancient writings, but most of them are difficult to read.

I have seen several shows on the History Channel, but it seems that they lean more toward stuff like DaVinci and other twisted material that doesn't come close to the truth. I did watch a few shows related to archeology sites that were excellent, but they were small things in comparison to the news that has been posted here.

I want to thank you again for sharing with us.

Love in Christ,
Tom

Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2006, 07:14:47 PM
Excavations in Ephesus see their 111th year

Excavation and restoration efforts in the ancient city of Ephesus are entering their 111th year.

  Conducted by the Austrian Archaeology Institute for the past 110 years, work on the site will continue this year as well, carried out by the same organization.

  Austrian excavation leader Professor Fritz Krinzinger said, �We are pleased to have been able excavate for 100 years in such a place, one of Turkey's richest archaeological sites,� and thanked the Culture and Tourism Ministry for giving them this opportunity. 

  He said they had spent approximately YTL 1.5 million on work in 2005, with the bulk of expenses met by the Austrian ministry responsible for culture as well as Austrian sponsors.

  Noting that they had already begun work for 2006 on the site's 24,000-seat theater, Krinzinger said, �Our work this year will also include the street leading to the port, the Traian fountain and the Belevi mausoleum.� 

  He said in addition to work in the ancient city of Ephesus, excavation would proceed in the Turkish baths in Selçuk and its environs, work that has been under way for the past 10 years. 

  �We will continue to publish our findings and plan to release seven or eight publications by the end of the year,�

  �Work at Ephesus in 2006 will be conducted by 243 archeologists and 80 laborers, with plans to finish up in November for the year,� he said. 



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 04, 2006, 03:47:36 PM
These unbelieveing scientists just won't give up and admit they don't have all the answers and what few they think they have are wrong.

________________________________


Jesus walked on ice, says study led by FSU scientist
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The New Testament story describes Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee but according to a study led by Florida State University Professor of Oceanography Doron Nof, it's more likely that he walked on an isolated patch of floating ice.

The study points to a rare combination of optimal water and atmospheric conditions for development of a unique, localized freezing phenomenon that Nof and his co-authors call "springs ice."

In what is now northern Israel, such ice could have formed on the cold freshwater surface of the Sea of Galilee –– known as Lake Kinneret by modern-day Israelis –– when already chilly temperatures briefly plummeted during one of the two protracted cold periods between 2,500 and 1,500 years ago.

A frozen patch floating on the surface of the small lake would have been difficult to distinguish from the unfrozen water surrounding it. The unfrozen water was comprised of the plumes resulting from salty springs situated along the lake's western shore in Tabgha –– an area where many archeological findings related to Jesus have been documented.

"As natural scientists, we simply explain that unique freezing processes probably happened in that region only a handful of times during the last 12,000 years," Nof said. "We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."

It isn't the first time the FSU researcher has offered scientific explanations of watery miracles. As a recognized expert in the field of oceanography and limnology –– the study of freshwater, saline and brackish environments –– Nof made waves worldwide in 1992 with his oceanographic perspective on the parting of the Red Sea.

His latest research appears in the April 2006 Journal of Paleolimnology, a scientific publication that addresses the reconstruction of lake history.

Using paleoceanographic records of the Mediterranean Sea's surface temperatures along with analytical ice and statistical models, Nof and his colleagues focused on the dynamics of a small section of Lake Kinneret comprising about 10,000 square feet near the salty springs that empty into it. Their analysis supports the likelihood that a brief blast of frigid air descended over the lake and dropped to 25 F (-4 C) for at least two days, coinciding with the chill that had already settled in for a century or more and quite possibly encompassed the decades in which Jesus lived.

If these atmospheric conditions existed simultaneously over a lake such as Kinneret, a floating ice patch could develop above the plumes generated by the salty springs.

Such a perfect combination of conditions on the low-latitude Kinneret might well seem miraculous. In the last 120 centuries, Nof calculates the odds as roughly once in 1,000 years. However, during the life of Jesus the prevailing climate may have favored the more frequent formation of springs ice –– about once in 30 to 160 years.

Floating springs ice partially or entirely surrounded by unfrozen water could be virtually impossible for distant observers to discern, particularly if subsequent rains had smoothed its surface; and 2,000 years ago, even those with a better view might not have recognized a natural phenomenon so rare in their corner of the world.

"In today's climate, the chance of springs ice forming in northern Israel is effectively zero, or about on ce in more than 10,000 years," Nof added.

Among numerous honors throughout his career, Nof won the prestigious Nansen Medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2005. He is FSU's Distinguished Fridtjof Nansen Professor of Physical Oceanography and a member of its Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute.




Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on April 05, 2006, 07:41:56 AM
Quote
Jesus walked on ice, says study led by FSU scientist
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The New Testament story describes Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee but according to a study led by Florida State University Professor of Oceanography Doron Nof, it's more likely that he walked on an isolated patch of floating ice.

Pastor Roger,

:D  WOW! - I never cease to be amazed by some professors. They actually want to find natural answers for super-natural things of GOD. Here's another perfect opportunity for me to use a favorite word:  I'm flabbergasted!


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 05, 2006, 07:58:50 AM
That's because they cannot believe in what they can't see and they cannot see beyond their noses. If they could see beyond their noses then they would see the wondrous and beautiful work of God for what it is.

I thank God that He has given me the sight to see.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2006, 10:16:31 AM
The oldest religious writings in the world that contain historical data is also the only one that has been proven to be historically accurate through archaeology is the Bible.  There are many proofs available by archaeologists that support the Bible in detail and many more being discovered every day.

Following are just a few.

Archaeological discoveries verify the historical reliability of the Old and New Testaments.

When compared to other religious books, the Bible is unique in that it is the oldest, as testified by the places, people, titles, and events mentioned in the Bible; and the language and literary formats used to compose the Bible.

Many scholars today question the validity of Biblical accounts, supposedly based on the findings of archaeology. When the "discrepancies" are examined in detail, however it is found that the problems lie with the archaeology (i.e. misinterpretation of evidence, lack of evidence, or poor scholarship) and not with the Bible.

How can archaeology prove helpful to someone seeking for truth to the basic questions about life?

The discoveries of archaeology can be helpful in removing doubts that a person might have about the historical trustworthiness of the Bible. The miracles described, as well as the spiritual message, must be accepted on faith, which is the basis of our relationship with God. When the truth of Scripture is challenged by skeptics, archaeology can be used to demonstrate that the people, places, and events of the Bible are real.

What archaeological discovery would you point to as the most convincing evidence for the Bible being God's Word?

Any one discovery can be explained away as coincidence, or an alternative interpretation can be given to disassociate it from the Bible. It is the weight of a myriad of discoveries that demonstrates the Bible to be the Word of God.

These discoveries fall into three categories:

   1.

      Archaeological evidence demonstrates the historical and cultural accuracy of the Bible.
   2.

      The Bible's message of a loving Creator God who interacts in the affairs of mankind and has provided a means of salvation stands in sharp contrast to the pagan fertility religions of the ancient world as, revealed by archaeology.
   3.

      Archaeological findings demonstrate that the Biblical prophets accurately predicted events hundreds of years before they occurred -- something that lies beyond the capability of mere men.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2006, 10:17:57 AM
Over the years there have been many criticisms leveled against the Bible concerning its historical reliability. These criticisms are usually based on a lack of evidence from outside sources to confirm the Biblical record. Since the Bible is a religious book, many scholars take the position that it is biased and cannot be trusted unless we have corroborating evidence from extra-Biblical sources. In other words, the Bible is guilty until proven innocent, and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in doubt.

This standard is far different from that applied to other ancient documents, even though many, if not most, have a religious element. They are considered to be accurate, unless there is evidence to show that they are not. Although it is not possible to verify every incident in the Bible, the discoveries of archaeology since the mid 1800s have demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Bible narrative. Here are some examples.

# The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name "Canaan" was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word "tehom" ("the deep") in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. "Tehom" was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.

# The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey. Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon's wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon's prosperity was entirely feasible. It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.

# Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel "third highest ruler in the kingdom" (Dan. 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position. Here we see the "eye-witness" nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2006, 10:19:22 AM
The most documented Biblical event is the world-wide flood described in Genesis 6-9. A number of Babylonian documents have been discovered which describe the same flood.

The Sumerian King List (pictured here), for example, lists kings who reigned for long periods of time. Then a great flood came. Following the flood, Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time. This is the same pattern found in the Bible. Men had long life spans before the flood and shorter life spans after the flood. The 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.

The Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). There was a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and "scattered them abroad and made strange their speech."

Other examples of extra-Biblical confirmation of Biblical events:

    * Campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak (1 Kings 14:25-26), recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.

    * Revolt of Moab against Israel (2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27), recorded on the Mesha Inscription.

    * Fall of Samaria (2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, as recorded on his palace walls.

    * Defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II (Isaiah 20:1), as recorded on his palace walls.

    * Campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah (2 Kings 18:13-16), as recorded on the Taylor Prism.

    * Siege of Lachish by Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14, 17), as recorded on the Lachish reliefs.

    * Assassination of Sennacherib by his own sons (2 Kings 19:37), as recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.

    * Fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah (2:13-15), recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.

    * Fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Kings 24:10-14), as recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.

    * Captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon (2 Kings 24:15-16), as recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.

    * Fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:30-31), as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

    * Freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great (Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4), as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

    * The existence of Jesus Christ as recorded by Josephus, Suetonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, the Talmud, and Lucian.

    * Forcing Jews to leave Rome during the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54) (Acts 18:2), as recorded by Suetonius.


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUMERIAN KING LIST (photo shown above) -- There are more than 16 fragments and one nearly complete copy of the Sumerian King List found at different places at different times. The first fragment was discovered in the temple library at Nippur, Iraq, at the turn of the century and was published in 1906. The most complete copy, the Weld-Blundell prism, was purchased on the antiquities market shortly after World War I and is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. For a thorough discussion of the Sumerian King List and its Biblical implications, see "The Antediluvian Patriarchs and the Sumerian King List," by Raul Lopez, in the CEN Technical Journal 12 (3) 1998, pp. 347-57.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2006, 10:23:54 AM
Throughout Bible lands there are numerous "traditional" tombs of various Biblical personages, sometimes several for one individual! In many cases, there is no historical or archaeological evidence to back up the identification. There are various instances where there is strong, if not certain, evidence for locating the burial site of a person, or persons, named in the Bible.


Jesus Christ

In Jerusalem today, there are two sites claiming to be the location of the tomb of Jesus: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb. The Garden Tomb was identified as the tomb of Jesus only in the late 1800s and lacks historical credibility. A long tradition going back to the first century, however, maintains that Jesus' tomb is at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. In the 4th century, Constantine supposedly located the tomb site beneath a second century Roman temple. He constructed a church over it. This church has been restored and maintained over the centuries ever since. It is today shared by six faiths: Latin Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Syrian, Copts and Ethiopians.

Caiaphas the High Priest

Caiaphas was high priest for 18 years, A.D. 18-36. He most likely gained the position by marrying the daughter of Annas, head of a powerful high-priestly clan (John 18:13). Caiaphas is infamous as the leader of the conspiracy to crucify Jesus.

At a meeting of the religious leaders, Caiaphas said, "It is better for you that one man die for the people than the whole nation perish" (John 11:50). He was referring to the possible intervention of the Roman authorities, if Jesus' teaching should cause unrest. His words were prophetic in that Jesus did die for the people, all the people of the earth, as a sacrifice for sin.


After He was arrested, Jesus was taken to Caiaphas' house and detained overnight. The guards mocked and beat Him (Luke 22:63-65). In the morning He was interrogated and further beaten. Caiaphas asked Him, "Are you the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," Jesus replied (Mark 14:61-62). Caiaphas then handed Jesus over to Pilate to be tried.

Following Jesus' crucifixion, Caiaphas continued to persecute the early church. He brought the apostles before the religious leaders and said to them, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this Name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's (Jesus') blood." Peter and the other apostles replied, "We must obey God rather then men" (Acts 5:28-29).

The Caiaphas family tomb was accidentally discovered by workers constructing a road in a park just south of the Old City of Jerusalem. Archaeologists were hastily called to the scene. When they examined the tomb they found 12 ossuaries (limestone bone boxes) containing the remains of 63 individuals. The most beautifully decorated of the ossuaries was inscribed with the name "Joseph son of (or, of the family of) Caiaphas." That was the full name of the high priest who arrested Jesus, as documented by Josephus (Antiquities 18: 2, 2; 4, 3). Inside were the remains of a 60-year-old male, almost certainly those of the Caiaphas of the New Testament. This remarkable discovery has, for the first time, provided us with the physical remains of an individual named in the Bible.

Caiaphas the name of the Jewish high priest (A.D. 27-36) at the beginning of our Lord's public ministry, in the reign of Tiberius (Luke 3:2), and also at the time of his condemnation and crucifixion ( Matt. 26:3, 57; John 11:49; 18:13,14)

He held this office during the whole of Pilate's administration. His wife was the daughter of Annas, who had formerly been high priest, and was probably the vicar or deputy (Hebrew: sagan) of Caiaphas.

He was of the sect of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), and was a member of the council when he gave his opinion that Jesus should be put to death "for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50). In these words he unconsciously uttered a prophecy. "Like Saul, he was a prophet in spite of himself."

Caiaphas had no power to inflict the punishment of death, and therefore Jesus was sent to Pilate, the Roman governor, that he might duly pronounce the sentence against him ( Matt. 27:2; John 18:28). At a later period his hostility to the gospel is still manifest ( Acts 4:6).


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2006, 10:25:32 AM
Many of the people mentioned in the Bible are confirmed in sources outside the Bible. In the case of royalty, many times a likeness of the individual has been recovered. Over 50 persons named in the Old Testament are known outside the Bible, and we have likenesses of 12 of them. Some 27 people named in the New Testament are known from other records, with six likenesses surviving (four of them Roman emperors).

Based on current knowledge of Biblical and Egyptian chronology, the best candidate for the pharaoh of the Exodus is Tuthmosis III, who ruled 1504-1450 B.C. We have many records from his reign, as well as this statuary (see photo) of the pharaoh himself.

Likenesses have also been found of these Biblical figures:

    * Shishak, the Egyptian king who plundered the Temple during the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25-26).

    * Jehu, king of Israel, who took power in a bloody coup; the only surviving likeness of a king of Israel or Judah (2 Kings 9:1-10:36).

    * Hazael, king of Aram, enemy of Israel (1 Kings 19:15, 17; 2 Kings 8:7-15, 28-29; 9:14-15; 10:32-33; 12:17-18; 13:3, 22, 24,25; Amos 1:4).

    * Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria, who invaded Israel (2 Kings 18:19, 29; 16:7, 10; 1 Chronicles 5:6, 26; 2 Chronicles 28:20).

    * Sargon II, king of Assyria, who defeated Ashdod and completed the siege of Samaria and took Israelites into captivity (Isaiah 20:1).

    * Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who attacked Judah but was unable to capture Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:13-19:37).

    * Tirhakah, king of Egypt, who opposed Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:9).

    * Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, who succeeded his father Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:37).

    * Merodach-baladan, king of Babylon, whose messengers Hezekiah showed the royal treasury, much to the indignation of Isaiah (2 Kings 20:12-19).

    * Xerxes I, king of Persia, who made Esther his queen (Esther; Ezra 4:6).

    * Darius I, king of Persia, who allowed the returning exiles to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 4:24-6:15; Haggai 1:1, 15). Also see: Have archaeologists found the tomb of Darius? [answer]

    * Augustus, Roman emperor, 27 B.C.-A.D. 14, when Jesus was born (Luke 2:1).

    * Tiberius, Roman emperor, A.D. 14-37, during Jesus' adulthood and crucifixion (Matthew 22:17, 21; Mark 12:14-17; Luke 3:1; 20:22-25; 23:2; John 19:12,15).

    * Claudius, Roman emperor, A.D. 41-54, who ordered the Jews to leave Rome (Acts 11:28; 17:7; 18:2).

    * Herod Agrippa I, ruler of Judea, A.D. 37-44, who persecuted the early church (Acts 12:1-23; 23:35).

    * Aretas IV, king of the Nabateans, 9 B.C.-A.D. 40, whose governor in Damascus attempted to arrest Paul (2 Corinthians 11:32).

    * Nero (referred to as Caesar in the New Testament), Roman emperor, A.D. 54-68, who Paul appealed to (Acts 25:11,12,21; 26:32; 28:19; Philippians 4:22).



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2006, 10:28:00 AM
Quite a number of Biblical structures have been excavated. Some of the most interesting are the following:

# The palace at Jericho where Eglon, king of Moab, was assassinated by Ehud (Judges 3:15-30).

# The east gate of Shechem where Gaal and Zebul watched the forces of Abimelech approach the city (Judges 9:34-38).

# The Temple of Baal/El-Berith in Shechem, where funds were obtained to finance Abimelech's kingship and where the citizens of Shechem took refuge when Abimelech attacked the city (Judges 9:4, 46-49).

# The pool of Gibeon where the forces of David and Ishbosheth fought during the struggle for the kingship of Israel (2 Samuel 2:12-32).

# The Pool of Heshbon, likened to the eyes of the Shulammite woman (Song of Songs 7:4).

# The royal palace at Samaria where the kings of Israel lived (1 Kings 20:43; 21:1, 2; 22:39; 2 Kings 1:2; 15:25).

# The Pool of Samaria where King Ahab's chariot was washed after his death (1 Kings 22:29-38).

# The water tunnel beneath Jerusalem dug by King Hezekiah to provide water during the Assyrian siege (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30).

# The royal palace in Babylon where King Belshazzar held the feast and Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the wall (Daniel 5).

# The royal palace in Susa where Esther was queen of the Persian king Xerxes (Esther 1:2; 2:3, 5, 9, 16).

# The royal gate at Susa where Mordecai, Esther's cousin, sat (Esther 2:19, 21; 3:2, 3; 4:2; 5:9, 13; 6:10, 12).

# The Square in front of the royal gate at Susa where Mordecai met with Halthach, Xerxes' eunuch (Esther 4:6).

# The foundation of the synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus cured a man with an unclean spirit (Mark 1:21-28) and delivered the sermon on the bread of life (John 6:25-59).

# The house of Peter at Capernaum where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law and others (Matthew 8:14-16).

# Jacob's well where Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman (John 4).

# The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a crippled man (John 5:1-14).

# The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a blind man (John 9:1-4).

# The tribunal at Corinth where Paul was tried (Acts 18:12-17).

# The theater at Ephesus where the riot of silversmiths occurred (Acts 19:29). - See picture at top

# Herod's palace at Caesarea where Paul was kept under guard (Acts 23:33-35).


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2006, 10:29:30 AM
Did the high priest enter the Holy of Holies with a rope around his ankle?

You may have heard this story before. It has been said that that because the high priest could be killed by God in Holy of Holies if not properly prepared according to Divine instructions, a rope was routinely tied around his ankle. Then, if he dropped dead, his body could be dragged out. Various versions of this claim have been repeated in Christian and Jewish circles.

As yet, we have not located the original source, but apparently it originated long after the last Jewish Temple was gone. The biblical and historical evidence indicates that there was no rope, at least not in any common use.



Dr. W.E. Nunnally, a professor of Hebrew and early Judaism, has reported:

    "The rope on the high priest legend is just that: a legend. It has obscure beginnings in the Middle Ages and keeps getting repeated. It cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, the Talmud, Mishna, or any other Jewish source. It just is not there." [2]

The Biblical Studies Foundation (loosely associated with Dallas Theological Seminary), similarly reports that their research has put the "the rope around the ankle-or-waist-or-maybe-the-leg" legend "to rest." They also point out that Aaron was to wear a blue ephod with bells on its hem (Exodus 28:31-35), when he entered the Holy Place (not the Holy of Holies) (Leviticus 16:2-4). When he enters the Holy of Holies, he washes and wears special linen garments, not the ephod with bells. "If there are no bells to jingle, there is no need for the rope either." [3]

A Messianic Jewish Fellowship points out the potential difficulty of dragging a dead priest out of the Holy of Holies:

    "You could only drag out the priest if he died in the Holy place. The way the curtains of the temple were designed, the priest could not have been dragged out of the HOLY of HOLIES. The veil was made using many layers of cloth. The thickness was over three feet. The curtains overlapped and made a small maze through which the priest walked..." [4]


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2006, 03:57:19 AM
Pastor Roger,

AMEN AND AMEN!!

Brother, thank you! I really enjoyed these articles. PROOF that the Holy Bible is real and 100% accurate makes me optimistic that hosts of lost people will take another look at the Holy Bible.

I do hope and pray that information like this gets to the lost and the babes in Christ. I mentioned the babes in Christ because I know that faith can become STRONGER and make that babe in Christ more likely to become STRONG and a mighty witness for JESUS. In my heart, I believe that GOD is giving mankind this information to open their eyes and encourage them to listen carefully to the GOOD NEWS. I've also thought many times that information like this might be "last chance" NEWS that the end of this age of Grace might be approaching.

Regardless, I hope and pray that every Christian feels an urgent desire to share the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of God's Grace. May GOD give us strength and guidance to go forth as an Army of Witnesses for CHRIST!


Love In Christ,
Tom

Psalms 31:3 NASB  For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 11, 2006, 06:55:17 AM
Meggido is in the news again so I thought a little about the history of Meggido is in order. It is first mentioned in Jos 12:21 as the place of the king of Taanach. It has been the center and the final deciding place of many wars. It is mentioned last in the Bible in Revelations as the place of the battle of Armageddon. There are many names that Meggido is known as, it is also known as Armageddon, el-Lejjun, Tel el-Mutesellium, Tell el-Mutesellim, Tel Megiddo, Campus Legionis, Har Megiddo, Har-Megeddon, Harmagedon, Isar-Megiddo, Legio, Lejjun, Megiddon.

It is the center of many archaeological digs that have turned up a lot of information that supports Biblical history. The following posts will be just some of the history and information turned up on this great city fortress.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 11, 2006, 07:01:10 AM
History of Megiddo

 

Megiddo is widely regarded as the most important biblical period site in Israel. Surrounded by mighty fortifications, outfitted with sophisticated water installations, and adorned with impressive palaces and temples, Megiddo was the queen of cities of Canaan and Israel.
Megiddo began to dominate the surrounding countryside in the 4th millennium B.C.E. (ca. 3500) – at the dawn of urbanization in the Levant. Today its monumental architecture provides the most impressive evidence of the rise of the first cities in the region.

In the late 4th, 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C.E. Megiddo was probably the most powerful city-state in the north of Canaan. When the Canaanite city-states revolted against Pharaonic attempts at hegemony, it was at Megiddo that they assembled to do battle. The Egyptian army, led by Pharaoh Thutmose III, surprised the rebels by choosing the most dangerous route of attack – through the narrow ‘Aruna Pass. After routing the Canaanite forces and capturing rich booty, Thutmose III laid siege to the city for seven months. His decisive victory enabled him to incorporate Canaan as a province in the empire of the New Kingdom. The description of the battle of Megiddo is the earliest account of a major war in antiquity.

Six letters sent by Biridiya, King of Megiddo, to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten in the 14th century B.C.E. were discovered in the archive of el-Amarna in Egypt. The letters indicate that Megiddo was one of the mightiest city-states in Canaan. The magnificent ivories found in the Late Bronze Age palace at the site also attest to the city’s wealth and grandeur and its varied cultural contacts in this era.

The Bible lists the king of Megiddo among the Canaanite rulers defeated by Joshua in his conquest of the land (Josh. 12:21). According to I Kings (9:15), King Solomon built Megiddo together with Hazor and Gezer. At that time the city had become the center of a royal province of the United Monarchy. The Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak took Megiddo in the second half of the 10th century. His conquest of the city is affirmed both in his inscriptions at the Temple at Karnak and in a stele erected at the site. In the 9th and 8th centuries B.C.E., the rulers of the Northern Kingdom refitted the fortress even more elaborately than before. The palaces, water systems and fortifications of Israelite Megiddo are among the most elaborate Iron Age architectural remains unearthed in the Levant.

In 732 B.C.E., the Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III took the region from the Northern Kingdom. In the following years Megiddo served as the capital of an Assyrian province. With the fall of the Assyrian empire the great religious reformer, King Josiah of Judah, was called to Megiddo to report to Pharaoh Necho of Egypt, who was on his way to assist the crumbling Assyrian army in its last-ditch efforts against the Babylonians. Josiah was slaughtered by Necho (II Kings 23:29). Recollection of this event, along with the memories of the great battles fought here, were probably the bases for the idea in the Book of Revelations (16:16) that Armageddon (the mound of Megiddo) would at the end of days be the site of the last battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.

In the modern era Megiddo has also played a decisive role in battles for the control over the Jezreel Valley. In World War I, British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby, leading an Australian cavalry division and the Tenth Indian infantry, dislodged from the advantageous heights of the mound a group of about 100 Turkish fighters defending the last vestiges of the Ottoman Empire. Allenby used tactics similar to those of Thutmose III (over 3000 years earlier), by cutting through the 'Aruna Pass and catching the Turks unaware. The historical significance of the site prompted Allenby to include the name of Megiddo in his family’s hereditary title.

Because of Megiddo’s great significance for both Christians and Jews, the site was chosen as the historic meeting place for the 1964 visit of Pope Paul VI with Israel’s president, Zalman Shazar, and prime minister, Levi Eshkol. It was the first visit ever of a pope to the Holy Land.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 11, 2006, 07:02:52 AM
Megiddo is the jewel in the crown of biblical archaeology. Strategically perched above the most important land route in the ancient Near East, the city dominated international traffic for over 6,000 years – from ca. 7,000 B.C.E. through to biblical times. As civilizations came and went, succeeding settlements at ancient Megiddo were built on the ruins of their predecessors, creating a multi-layered archaeological legacy that abounds in unparalleled treasures that include monumental temples, lavish palaces, mighty fortifications, and remarkably-engineered water systems.

Megiddo was the site of epic battles that decided the fate of western Asia. It was here that the Egyptians took their first steps toward empire building when Pharaoh Thutmose III, in the 15th century B.C.E., conquered Canaan; it was from here that Assyria staged its deportation of the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel; and it was here that Josiah—the last righteous king of the lineage of David—was killed by Pharaoh Necho II, opening the way for centuries of messianic yearning.

Megiddo is the only site in Israel mentioned by every great power in the ancient Near East. In the New Testament it appears as Armageddon (a Greek corruption of the Hebrew Har [=Mount] Megiddo), location of the millennial battle between the forces of good and evil. Megiddo is an archetypal historical site whose cast of characters includes Canaanites, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, and Persians in the biblical period and Ottoman Turks and Englishmen in the modern era. No wonder that it was the inspiration for James Michener’s bestseller, The Source.

Megiddo's importance was undoubtedly due to its role as a way station and control point for international trade. Its strategic location on the Via Maris (the major international military and trade route of antiquity that linked Egypt in the south with Syria, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia in the north and east), gave it control of a bottleneck where the road emerges from the narrow 'Aruna Pass into the fertile Jezreel Valley.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 11, 2006, 07:06:31 AM
There is an archaeological dig in progress and expected to continue through this year (2006). I will be watching this and will try to post more information on it as news comes out on any significant finds are uncovered.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 16, 2006, 06:39:36 PM
Templar bodies found!

For the first time, archeologists have found the actual bodies of Knights Templar killed in battle.

The amazing discovery took place at Jacob's Ford, a long-lost crusaders' castle along the River Jordan in Israel's north.

"Never before has it been possible to trace their remains to such an exact time in history," medieval historian Dr. Tom Asbridge told London's Daily Mail on Sunday.

"This discovery is the equivalent of the Holy Grail to archaeologists and historians. It is unparalleled."

The knights were killed in a famous battle against Saladin's forces on August 29, 1179 -- the day the legendary Muslim general won the castle.

Saladin soon took Jerusalem itself, ending the crusaders' off-and-on control of the Holy City and sending the Knights Templar on to other pursuits, such as inventing the banking industry, taking over much of Europe, and allegedly worshipping a bearded head called the Baphomet.

The slain knights found in Israel are not the first bodies of Templars known to historians.

The crypt of Temple Church in London, for example, is reportedly the final resting place of many knights.

Rev. Robin Griffith-Jones, current Master of the Temple, has made a new career for himself writing books about the Temple Church and various controversies brought up by best-selling books like "The Da Vinci Code."



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 17, 2006, 01:27:04 PM
Cana excavation aims to unearth miracle of Jesus


KAFR CANA, Israel -- Cana, the village in Galilee where the Bible says Jesus changed water into wine, has been excavated by archaeologists in a crash effort to uncover its ruins before they are pulverized by local building contractors.
   
    The site is situated at Karm-a-Ras, a picturesque slope dotted by olive trees planted in the 14th and 15th centuries. It overlooks a lush agricultural expanse, part of which may eventually become an archaeological park.

Many of Cana's houses contained ritual baths and stone vessels indicating its inhabitants were Galilean Jews at the time of the miracle described in the Gospel of John. No imported or glass vessels were found, a factor that attests to its Jewish identity and economically modest circumstances.
   
    That may explain why the wine ran short there after the first three days of a weeklong Jewish wedding mentioned in the biblical narrative.
   
    Jesus' first miracle is described in John 2:1-10.
   
    "When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, 'They have no more wine.' Nearby, stood six stone jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing," it says.
   
    The servants were told to fill the jars with water "to the brim," the text goes on. "Then he told them, 'Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.' They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine."
   
    Yardenna Alexandre, a British-trained Israeli archaeologist, has been excavating a site she associates with the Roman-era village in which the miracle is said to have occurred.
   
    A graduate of the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London, she led a monthlong "rescue dig," in the course of which 11 large clay storage jars were found. They had been stashed in underground hide-outs hewn out of the bedrock by the village's Jewish inhabitants, apparently to evade the Roman legions of the future emperor Vespasian. The jars, in perfect condition, contained mainly grain and other staples.
   
    The igloo-shaped hide-outs were connected to a tunnel that opened on a large pit, with a hidden opening at one end permitting escape.
   
    Miss Alexandre emphasized that her scientific work was not inspired or motivated by the miracle associated with Cana.
   
    "Archaeology cannot prove or disprove miracles," she said. "But it can provide a realistic background of the biblical narrative. ...
   
    "My vision is that the rest of the site will be excavated and become visible and accessible to pilgrims and tourists from all over the world who are interested in seeing Cana as it was at the time of Jesus," Miss Alexandre said.
   
    While the jars she found had not been used to store water, she said she found it plausible that Jesus would have visited a poor town like Cana while avoiding the more prosperous city of Sepphoris nearby. "Sepphoris opened its gates to the Romans," she said.
   
    The Roman-era village of Cana was built atop the ruins of an Iron Age settlement that dated from about 1,000 B.C., Miss Alexandre said. Most of its structures were built when the realm ruled by Kings David and Solomon was divided into the southern Kingdom of Judea and the northern kingdom of Israel.
   
    That earlier town was destroyed in the ninth century B.C., probably by the Arameans who then ruled Damascus, Syria, Miss Alexandre said. Ancient Cana was rebuilt before the ninth century ended.
   
    By the first century A.D., its economy was based on agriculture and it had Christians living alongside Jews, said Miss Alexandre, who has used pottery, coins and carbon dating to establish a timeline. But in the fourth century, the two religious communities "split."
   
    The original site was abandoned in the fifth century, but the village of Kafr Cana -- which today is a small city -- developed nearby.
   
    The modern town was predominantly Christian throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, a period during which several Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches were built to commemorate Jesus' first miracle. By the 20th century, it was attracting an increasing number of Muslim Arab residents who now outnumber its Christians.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 26, 2006, 02:06:47 PM

Jerusalem's volatile archaeology


One of the most visited archaeological sites in Jerusalem is also charged with emotion that has erupted in riot and bloodshed.

Known as the Western Wall Tunnel it runs under the old walled city and along the length of the western wall of what was once the Temple of Jerusalem.

Built by Herod the Great in 20 BC, the Temple itself was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70.

All that survived was the rock platform - the Temple Mount - on which the Temple was built and the massive retaining wall that supported the foundations of the building.

The Temple Mount, or the Haram al-Sharif as it is called by Muslims, meaning noble sanctuary, is holy to both Jews and Muslims.

For most of the time since the 7th Century it has been in the possession of Muslims, who believe it marks the point where the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven.

Archaeological embargo

Jews believe it is the site of the original Temple of Solomon, and where - in the story of Genesis - God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son Isaac, before telling him to stay his hand.

Today, a beautiful Muslim shrine built in the 7th Century, the Dome of the Rock, covers the outcrop of stone where these events are supposed to have taken place.

To add to this eventful history, the building was turned into a church during the time of the Crusaders in the 11th and 12th Centuries.

The crescent on the top of the dome was replaced with a cross, and when the city was reconquered by Saladin in 1187, the first thing he did was to send people on to the roof to remove the offending symbol of the vanquished Christian kings of Jerusalem.

Despite the outcome of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, in which Israeli occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, the enclosure and the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and a superb range of Muslim Medieval buildings, remain under the jurisdiction of the Muslim religious authorities who control its day-to-day activities.

Both sides observe an embargo on archaeological work on the site.

Riot

But archaeological work in the Old City and around the Temple Mount is another matter.

Large areas of the city have been explored by Israeli archaeologists since 1967, including some tunnels dug in the 19th century by British archaeologists.

These tunnels were opened up again when Israelis took control of Jerusalem. In 1996, the digging provoked a riot in which 80 Palestinians and 14 Israeli soldiers were killed.

When digging began again, Israeli archaeologists traced the lower courses of the masonry of the wall along its full length of several hundred metres.

Deep underground they excavated beneath the massive foundation of medieval buildings and along the wall where they found ancient water cisterns, a Roman road and much of the detail of the construction of the 2,000-year-old Temple wall.

Unique find

In one part of the tunnel system, they uncovered a three-storey house built in the Crusader period - a unique find for the history of the city of Jerusalem.

Large numbers queue up to walk through this tunnel and at points along the way shrines have been set up for religious Jews to pray for the day that the Temple is rebuilt.

Evangelical Christians also look forward to the rebuilding of the Temple believing, that the Second Coming of the Messiah will not take place until the Temple is up and running again.

The Muslims are intensely aware of these aspirations and are suspicious about any archaeological work beneath the Old City.

Cracks have appeared in medieval building giving rise to Muslim concerns that the Israelis have explored under the Temple Mount.

Not so insist the archaeologists. They maintain that they have only explored along the edge of the wall in an attempt to understand more about the missing Temple.

But rumours persist, however unlikely.

Fear and rumour

Many Muslims believe that extreme religious Jews are passionate enough about reclaiming the Temple to believe that they are tunnelling underneath the Haram to undermine the foundations of the ancient Muslim buildings on the site.

Indeed, there is a Jewish religious group which has prepared plans and building materials in readiness for the day they believe will come when God gives the go-ahead for the rebuilding of the Temple.

The Temple Mount is a crucible for fear, rumour and religious prejudice.

It is therefore not surprising to hear archaeologists describe it as the most politically volatile archaeological site in the Middle East.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 28, 2006, 12:24:58 PM
If this corroborates exactly what is written in that part of the Bible, it means that probably other parts are historically correct. The impact is tremendous.



Shifting Ground in the Holy Land
Archaeology is casting new light on the Old Testament


Clutching a Bible and a bag of oranges he picked at the kibbutz where he lives, Haifa University archaeologist Adam Zertal climbs into an armored van beside me. A vehicle full of soldiers is in front of us; two Israeli Army vans are behind us. The convoy sets off through the heavily guarded gates of the settlement of Karnei Shomron and onto a dusty mountain road in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Through bulletproof windows six inches thick, we soon see the Palestinian city of Nablus in the valley below.  After ten minutes the convoy stops, and an officer from the lead vehicle, an Uzi automatic weapon slung over his shoulder, runs back to consult with Zertal’s driver in Hebrew. “We are waiting for clearance for this section of the road,” Zertal tells me. “There has been trouble here in the past.”

After 20 minutes the convoy moves on. The track peters out onto a plateau, and we can see the mountains of Gerizim and Kebir on the other side of the valley. Ahead lies Zertal’s destination: a heap of stones he chanced upon in 1980 and excavated for nine years. It doesn’t look like much at first, but closer inspection reveals a rectangular structure, about 30 feet by 23 feet, with thick walls and a ramp leading up to a platform ten feet high. Zertal believes the structure was the altar that the Bible says the prophet Joshua built on Mount Ebal—the altar he  built on instructions from Moses, after the Israelites had crossed into the promised land of Canaan. This, Zertal says, is where Joshua allotted the new land among the 12 tribes, and where the Israelites “became a people,” as the Old Testament puts it.

“The altar was supposed to be nonexistent, a legend,” says Zertal, leaning on crutches, a legacy of wounds he suffered in combat during the 1973 Yom Kippur War against Egypt and Syria. “At first we didn’t know what we were excavating.”

We sit on a rock, looking at the ramp and walls, and open up a Bible. The Book of Joshua describes the building of the altar, but Moses’ instructions come earlier, in Deuteronomy 27:4: “So when you have crossed over the Jordan you shall set up these stones, about which I am commanding you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall cover them with plaster.” Meanwhile, four soldiers circle around us, guns at the ready, scouring the hillside for snipers.

Nearly every friday for the past 28 years, Zertal has gathered friends and students to map the hills and desert on the Jordan River’s west bank, seeking evidence that would illuminate how the ancient Israelites entered Canaan, or modern-day Israel and Palestine, in the late 13th century b.c. In this search, the Old Testament has quite literally been his guide. This approach was once common for archaeologists in Israel, but in recent years it has come to define an extreme position in a debate over whether the Bible should be read as historical fact or metaphorical fiction.

Those in Zertal’s camp say that all, or nearly all, the events in the early books of the Old Testament not only actually happened but are supported by material evidence on the ground. On the other side are the so-called biblical minimalists, who argue that the Old Testament is literary rather than historical—the work of ideologues who wrote it between the fifth and second centuries b.c.—and that Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon never even existed. A third group accepts the Bible as folk memory transmuted into myth—a mixture of fact and fiction. They argue over the balance between the two.

The various points of view have focused on a few fundamental questions: Did the Israelites, under Moses and then Joshua, leave Egypt, conquer Canaan and establish settlements in the 13th century b.c.? And did David and then Solomon preside over a great united kingdom, with its capital in Jerusalem and its temple on the Temple Mount, 200 years later?

In Israel, these questions reach beyond academe to the nation’s very sense of itself. In the Israeli collective consciousness, the kingdom of David and Solomon is the model for the nation-state. Under Ariel Sharon, the government invoked the Bible to support the Israeli presence in the occupied territories on the West Bank, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits civilian settlements on occupied territory. The Jewish struggle for sovereignty over all Jerusalem is also traced to biblical accounts of David’s kingdom and Solomon’s temple.

Yet most archaeologists in Israel insist their work has nothing to do with politics. Their debates, they say, focus on what is in the Bible, and what is in the ground.

For the literalists, the stones at Mount Ebal are crucial. “If this corroborates exactly what is written in that very old part of the Bible,” says Zertal, “it means that probably other parts are historically correct. The impact is tremendous.”


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 28, 2006, 12:25:36 PM
By 1985, Zertal had concluded that the stone structure was Joshua’s altar. It fit the Bible’s description of the site, he says, and its ramp and other features are consistent with ancient accounts of the altar at the Second Temple in Jerusalem—another example of such a structure in ancient Israel. In addition, Zertal says he found charred animal bones at the site, which he interpreted as sacrificial offerings. To Zertal, the “altar” proves that the Israelites crossed the Jordan and entered Canaan, just as the Old Testament says they did.

Zertal, 60, has a poetic affinity for the land he has spent so much time surveying. Talking to local Bedouin shepherds in Arabic about place names and checking them against biblical references, he has found what he says are more than 300 Israelite sites from the early Iron Age (or Iron Age I, as the years 1200 to 1000 b.c. are known), moving gradually westward into Israel.

But he has yet to submit his Ebal finds to radiocarbon dating. And he professes a dislike for the common archaeological practice of establishing chronologies by radiocarbon dating potsherds, or pieces of broken pottery. “Others see things through the narrow keyhole of pottery,” he tells me as I join him on one of his Friday walkabouts. “I prefer to see things in a wider perspective: history, Bible, literature, poetry.”

While Zertal’s findings on Mount Ebal have given comfort to those in Israel and elsewhere who take the Bible literally, few of his fellow archaeologists have accepted his conclusions. In an article in the Biblical Archaeology Review in 1986, Aharon Kempinski of Tel Aviv University contended that the stones were actually part of a watchtower from the first part of the Iron Age, and that there is “no basis whatever for interpreting this structure as an altar.” Most archaeologists have ignored the find. “Adam Zertal is the lone wolf,” says Uzi Dahari, deputy director of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “He’s working alone.”

“There’s definitely an Iron I site there, and there may even be evidence for cultic activity,” says Israel Finkelstein, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University. “But I don’t think that you can take the Book of Joshua and use it as a guidebook to the architectural landscape. Joshua was put in writing much later than the events it describes and is full of ideologies related to the needs of the writers.”

Though Finkelstein occupies the middle ground between the literalists and the minimalists, he has led the challenge to traditional biblical archaeology in Israel for the past decade. He offers a markedly different picture of Israel’s early history.

Finkelstein and co-author Neil Asher Silberman rocked the world of biblical archaeology with the publication, five years ago, of The Bible Unearthed. The book argues that the biblical accounts of early Israelite history reveal more about the time they were written—the seventh century b.c.—than the events they describe, which would have taken place centuries earlier. The book also maintains that Israeli archaeologists have indulged in a kind of circular reasoning, drawing on biblical references to date a potsherd, for example, and then using it to identify places described in the Bible. The Bible, Finkelstein believes, should be used far more cautiously in interpreting archaeological sites.

Last year, Finkelstein received the $1 million Dan David Prize for innovative research, awarded by an international venture based at Tel Aviv University. But his work has proved controversial. Several archaeologists have challenged his finding that some ruins related to Solomon are too recent to fit into the biblical account of his reign (“a huge distortion,” says Amihai Mazar of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem). David Hazony, editor of a journal sponsored by a conservative Israeli think tank, wrote that “the urge to smash myths has overtaken sound judgment” in Finkelstein’s work. In an essay in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, likened Finkelstein to the minimalists, who, he said, were “anti-Israel” and “anti-Semitic” for their “faddish lack of pride in Israel’s history.” 

Over lunch on the Tel Aviv University campus, Finkelstein, 57, jokes that his more conservative colleagues “are the guardians of the true faith. We are the simple apostates.” More seriously, he adds: “I was surprised that some scholars are completely deaf and blind, in my opinion, and they don’t accept the inevitable and very clear evidence.”
 

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 28, 2006, 12:28:12 PM
He cites the fact—now accepted by most archaeologists—that many of the cities Joshua is supposed to have sacked in the late 13th century b.c. had ceased to exist by that time. Hazor was destroyed in the middle of that century, and Ai was abandoned before 2000 b.c. Even Jericho, where Joshua is said to have brought the walls tumbling down by circling the city seven times with blaring trumpets, was destroyed in 1500 b.c. Now controlled by the Palestinian Authority, the Jericho site consists of crumbling pits and trenches that testify to a century of fruitless digging.

Finkelstein says that rather than following Joshua out of the desert into Canaan and conquering the indigenous population, the early Israelites were actually Canaanites—that is, they were the indigenous population. Yes, he acknowledges, there was a wave of new settlements on the hills to the east and west of the Jordan River around 1200 b.c. But Finkelstein says such settlements are not necessarily a sign of conquest—archaeological evidence instead suggests a waxing and waning of the population both before and after that time. Instead of marching armies and massive slaughter, he sees a slow and gradual evolution of Israelite culture. “The emergence of the different ethnic identities was a very long process,” he insists.

More and more archaeologists have accepted the idea that “the Joshua invasion as it is described in the Bible was never really a historical event,” as Amihai Mazar puts it. But they disagree about the exact nature and origins of those who built the ancient hilltop settlements on the West Bank.

Even more vexing is the question of a united kingdom under David and then Solomon. Trying to answer it has taken Finkelstein to the ruin of Megiddo, which most archaeologists once believed was the site of a palace King Solomon built sometime between 970 and 930 b.c.

An hour’s drive northeast of Tel Aviv, Megiddo is a huge archaeological tell, or mound, the result of centuries of city-building in the same confined space. The tell is complicated, featuring stone walls from 30 layers of habitation spanning six millennia. Date palms have sprouted from seeds that previous excavators spit on the ground. A magnificent view sweeps from Mount Carmel in the northwest to Nazareth to Mount Gilboa in the northeast.

Many Christians believe this will be the site of Armageddon, where, according to the New Testament’s Book of Revelations, the final battle between good and evil will be waged, followed by the second coming of Christ. Evangelical Christians regularly gather at Megiddo to pray. But the site is also the focus of the debate over whether the biblical story of Solomon can be supported archaeologically.

The second Book of Samuel declares that King David “reigned over all Israel and Judah” at Jerusalem. After David, according to the first Book of Kings, Solomon was “sovereign over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines, even to the border of Egypt.” To many Jews, the era of David and Solomon represents their homeland’s zenith, the age of a Greater Israel. In I Kings, it is a time of great prosperity—“Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea; they ate and drank and were happy”—during which Solomon built a great temple in Jerusalem, as well as the cities of Hazor, Gezer and Megiddo. Over the past century, four archaeological excavations have searched for  Solomonic artifacts in Megiddo, concentrating in recent decades on a few stone blocks some say are the remains of a great palace and stables.

Archaeologist Yigael Yadin, who excavated Megiddo in the early 1960s, believed that the stables belonged to King Ahab, who ruled in the ninth century b.c.; a ninth-century Assyrian inscription on a stone monument at Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq, described Ahab’s great chariot force. Yadin reasoned that the palace, which lies below the stables and so must be earlier, is part of a great building from the time of Solomon. But Finkelstein, who has been excavating at Megiddo for more than ten years, argues that this chronology is wrong—that both layers are several decades later than Yadin posited.

The palace layer beneath the stables, Finkelstein notes, bears masonry marks like those found at a ninth-century b.c. palace site nearby. In addition, pottery found at the palace is almost identical to pottery found at Jezreel, about six miles away, which has also been dated to the mid-ninth century b.c. through independently dated potsherds and biblical references. Finkelstein says that Yadin’s claim, which lacks any confirmation by independent potsherd dating, rests on the I Kings reference only—“This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon conscripted to build the house of the Lord and his own house, the Millo and the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer.”

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 28, 2006, 12:30:25 PM
Finkelstein also says that masonry marks and potsherds from the palace layer suggest that it must have been built around 850 b.c., in the time of Ahab—who “did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him,” according to I Kings. The so-called golden age of Solomon, Finkelstein goes on, is not supported by archaeological evidence. Rather, he says, it’s a myth concocted in the seventh century b.c. by the authors of Kings and Samuel to validate Judah’s expansion into the northern territory of Israel. Finally, Finkelstein says David never united the country; rather, Judah and Israel remained neighboring states. (The only non-biblical reference to David is found in a ninth-century b.c. inscription from Tel Dan, a biblical site in northern Israel that mentions “the House of David.” Finkelstein says the inscription proves only that David existed, not that he united the kingdom.)

Finkelstein believes that pottery that the literalists date to the mid-tenth century b.c. should actually be dated to the first half of the ninth century b.c. But not everyone agrees. Hebrew University’s Mazar, one of Finkelstein’s main critics, insists with equal conviction that “it’s impossible to condense all these strata of pottery to such a short time span.”

In the fall of 2004, Mazar and Finkelstein each presented their contradictory theses at a conference at Oxford, England, and each brought in a physicist to analyze the radiocarbon dating of the objects from Megiddo. But since the margin of error for radiocarbon dating is about 50 years—within the difference between the competing chronologies—both could claim validation for their theories. The discrepancy of 50 years might seem like splitting hairs, but the implications reverberate into the present day.

Biblical archaeology has been popular in Israel since the nation’s founding in 1948. As Jews poured into Israel from all over Europe following the Holocaust, the “national hobby” helped newcomers build a sense of belonging. “There was a need to give something to the immigrants, to the melting pot,” says Finkelstein. “Something to connect them to the ground, to history, to some sort of legacy.”

In the 1950s, Yigael Yadin and his archaeological rival, Yohanan Aharoni, battled over whether the Israelites conquered Canaan by force, as described in the Book of Joshua, or whether they came peacefully, as described in the Book of Judges. In 1955, Yadin began excavating the ancient city of Hazor in the hope of finding proof of an Israelite conquest. After the Six-Day War in 1967, during which Israelis gained control of the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists began surveying those areas as well, in many cases displacing Palestinian residents to do so. The archaeologists sought out Old Testament sites and renamed places according to biblical tradition, in effect “recasting the landscape of the West Bank” in biblical terms, says Columbia University anthropologist Nadia Abu el-Haj, author of Facts on the Ground, a history of Israeli archaeology. Those terms, she says, “the [West Bank] settlers now pick up.”

Many Palestinians are understandably skeptical of any research that links biblical events to land they feel is rightfully theirs. “In Israel, biblical archaeology was used to justify illegal settlement policy,” says Hamdan Taha, director general of the Palestinian Authority’s department for antiquities and cultural heritage. “Land was confiscated in the name of God and archaeology. It’s still going on with the construction of bypass roads and the building of the separation wall inside the Palestinian land.”

In Hebron, on the West Bank, where 130,000 Palestinians live close to 6,500 Jews in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, the political implications of biblical archaeology are obvious: the tomb of Abraham, sacred to Jews and Muslims alike, has been effectively split in half since 1994, when a Jewish settler shot 29 Muslims at prayer; now, grilled windows that look out onto opposite sides of the sepulcher separate the members of the two faiths. In 2005, Ariel Sharon said the tomb justified the Israeli presence in the West Bank. “No other people has a monument like the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where Abraham and Sarah are buried,” he told the Israeli journalist Ari Shavit. “Therefore, under any agreement [on the West Bank], Jews will live in Hebron.”

However, most archaeologists who have studied the sites say there is not enough evidence to support assertions that the Hebron site is really Abraham’s tomb. Other contested sites include Joseph’s tomb in Nablus and Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem. “It’s not real archaeology,” Finkelstein says. “It’s based on later traditions.”

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 28, 2006, 12:31:24 PM
More recently, a find in Jerusalem itself has stirred hope—and skepticism. Until last summer, archaeologists seeking evidence of the city David supposedly built there pointed to the few stone blocks they called the “stepped stone structure” in what is now called the City of David, south of the Temple Mount; they dated the structure to the tenth century b.c.

Last August, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar (a cousin of Amihai Mazar) reported that she had found new evidence of a palace, also supposedly built by David, near the site of the stepped stone structure. Using potsherds and the traditional chronology, Mazar dated huge stones she believes made up part of the palace, to the tenth century b.c. also. The find made headlines around the world.

But detractors note that the conservative Israeli research institute sponsoring her dig, the Shalem Center, is funded by American investment banker Roger Hertog, who is on record as saying he hoped to show “that the Bible reflects Jewish history.” For her part, Mazar says her research is scientific but adds that it is “unwise to dismiss the value of the Bible as a source of history altogether.”

Finkelstein says Mazar’s stones should be dated to the ninth century, or even later. Her find, he says, only “supports what I and others have been saying for the last five years, that Jerusalem took the first step to becoming a meaningful town” a century after the time of David and Solomon.

In 1999, Ze’ev Herzog, a Tel Aviv University colleague of Finkelstein’s, convulsed the Israeli public with an article in the weekend magazine of the newspaper Ha’aretz asserting that archaeologists had shown definitively that the biblical narrative of the Israelites’ origins was not factual. Outraged letters poured into the newspaper; politicians weighed in; conferences were organized so the distressed public could quiz the archaeologists. But once the issues were addressed, feelings cooled.

Throughout most of Israel, they’re still cooling. “The idea of the Old Testament as a historical document prevails,” says sociologist Michael Feige of Ben-Gurion University, “but people don’t give it that much thought.” He adds that Israel’s shifting priorities may account for the less impassioned view. “In the 1950s, there was a collective anxiety: What are we doing here? How do we justify it? The very essence of Israeli identity depended on the biblical, historical narrative. Now, with increased fears of terrorism, the anxiety is more a personal one: What will happen to me tomorrow?” The recent election to the Palestinian leadership of Hamas, which Israel, along with the United States and the European Union, considers a terrorist organization, has hardly calmed this anxiety.

But if the general population appears less invested in a literal biblical narrative, Israel’s religious right—and particularly Israeli settlers on the West Bank—remain steadfast. “The attack on the Bible,” says Rabbi Yoel Ben-Nun, a leader in the settlers’ political movement, Gush Emunim, “is part and parcel of the general attack on Zionist values that is exemplified by the current Israeli government’s willingness, in the framework of the peace process, to hand over parts of the biblical land of Israel to the Palestinians.”

Ben-Nun and others in the settlers’ movement emphatically agree with the views of Adam Zertal and other biblical literalists. At the settlement of Elon Moreh, on a hill above Nablus, a sign quotes Jeremiah 31:5: “Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria.” Menachem Brody, who emigrated from Maine to Israel 28 years ago and raised a family there, runs archaeology tours supporting the literal interpretation of the Old Testament. On one such tour, passing through numerous army checkpoints in the occupied West Bank, he traced the Way of the Patriarchs, the road traveled by Abraham according to Genesis. Later, Brody stood in his own vineyard, which he planted to fulfill the Jeremiah prophecy, and said of Zertal’s discovery: “It’s the find of the century. Before, it was just a pile of stones, and it was only when we came to live here that somebody found it.”



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 29, 2006, 06:41:46 AM
Herod's harbour turns itself into bit of a dive

Our correspondent is swept away by Caesarea's latest attraction
FLOAT out beyond the Crusader city walls, Roman aqueduct and 19th-century mosque. Then descend through a cloud of quicksilver bubbles 20ft and 2,000 years to Herod The Great’s sunken harbour.

Here, just off Caesarea port, a unique underwater archaeological park opened yesterday, showcasing 80,000sq m of a sunken harbour built by the biblical king of the Jews for Caesar Augustus.

It is no ordinary “museum” — no chattering schoolchildren, no queues, no headphones, and the only sound that of boat propellers passing above your head as you swim around the “exhibits”.

“I am excited. I think anyone in the field of maritime archaeology would be,” said Dr Nadav Kashtan, a lecturer on ancient marine civilisations at Haifa University and one of the team who has brought the idea to life, with £60,000 from the Caesarea Development Corporation.

“If a museum is only dead showcases, then you do not attract the young audience, which is the main type of person you want to come.

“Bringing people into the real, wet experience is something very special.”

The brainchild of his former colleague Avner Raban, who died before seeing it realised, the park’s aim is to make available to amateur and professional divers the construction techniques used by Herod’s workers and Roman engineers to build the ancient port. In a dim green light beneath the waves, guides with waterproof maps lead divers along a marked route around the harbour foundations and sunken ships left on the seabed from 2,000 years of Phoenician, Roman, Jewish, Crusader, Byzantine, Mameluke and British history.

Forty miles (64km) north of Tel Aviv, the park is divided into four diving complexes with 36 stops. One of the four routes can be viewed from the surface by anyone with a snorkel. The other three can be reached only with diving equipment.

Anyone expecting the bright coral or abundant fish of the Red Sea would be disappointed amid the huge blocks of grey-green Herodian foundations.

But for archaeologists, historians or anyone with a passing interest in Levantine history it is a rewarding and technically simple dive.

During a 53-minute tour down to 20ft (6m) The Times saw exhibit 10, metal sheets of a steamer sunk in 1950 as a breakwater for the modern quay; exhibit 11, an Herodian quay of ashlar slabs; exhibit 12, a later Roman shipwreck; exhibit 13, six anchors; and 14, the Prokumatia, the narrow wall of an Ancient Roman breakwater.

The structures have been colonised by glassworms, molluscs and brick-red sponges matching the colour of the ancient shards of pottery.

Farther out divers inspected remains of a lighthouse, promenade, loading piers and statue pedestals. The park’s founders insist that the remains confirm historical accounts of Flavius Josephus, the 1st-century Jewish historian.

He hailed the magnificence of Herod, who also built Jerusalem’s second Jewish Temple of biblical antiquity. “The king ordered the building of many structures of white stone. He glorified the city with palaces pleasing to the eye,” Josephus wrote. Caesarea, built by Herod between 22BC and 10BC, was the Roman capital of Judea for 600 years. It was named after Caesar Augustus, who provided the money and engineering expertise.

But the decades of hard work, importing special volcanic rock from Vesuvius for the foundations, was destroyed after only a century when an earthquake damaged the harbour in AD130. It fell into disuse from the 4th century.

The first modern survey of the ruins was by the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1873 using a Royal Engineers team. It included a young Lieutenant Horatio Kitchener, later Lord Kitchener. He was nearly killed in an ambush near Safed during a Western Palestine survey.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on May 02, 2006, 09:28:58 PM
Amen Pastor Roger!

The archaeological work is getting more exciting by the day. There is a body of work emerging that is PROOF that the Holy Bible is completely true. If one were to put all of the evidence together, I don't know how anyone could ignore it. I still can't help but thinking and asking myself if this is GOD giving mankind a last chance to believe and accept JESUS CHRIST as their Lord and Saviour. I will pray that hosts of people are exposed to this material for that very purpose.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Isaiah 48:17 NASB  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 11, 2006, 08:17:11 AM
Jordan site may be biblical city of Sodom

Archaeologist has committed to seven years excavating Tall el-Hammom



A New Mexico archeologist told an audience at First Baptist Church on Sunday night that he believes he has found the biblical city of Sodom. According to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, God destroyed the city with fire and brimstone because of the inhabitants' evil behavior.

Steven Collins, dean of the College of Archaeology and Biblical History at Albuquerque's Trinity Southwest University, and his group spent several weeks last winter excavating Tall el-Hammam, a site in Jordan he believes fits the profile of Sodom. He has committed to working there for seven seasons.

Collins said most historians and archaeologists believe the stories of the early followers of Judaism, including the tale of Sodom's destruction, are myths.

"If that's true, they're basically saying our Bible is wrong," he said.

Operating on the belief that the Bible is true, he searched the Book of Genesis for clues to the city's location.

Genesis Chapter 13 says Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, and his nephew, Lot, were in the area of the cities of Bethel and Ai, 10 miles north of Jerusalem, when Lot moved east on the Plain of the Jordan and pitched his tent as far as Sodom.

In 2001, Collins visited a library in Jordan and learned of at least 14 major archaeological sites in the vicinity.

Collins was looking for a city destroyed in the Middle Bronze Age, about 2,000 years B.C. It would have existed earlier, probably in the Early Bronze Age, about 3,000 years B.C.

Also, the ruins Collins wanted would show evidence of no occupation for several centuries after its destruction, he said.

The Bible tells of Moses, who led Israel centuries after Abraham, bringing the nation to the area after they left enslavement in Egypt. It describes the place as a wasteland and records no encounters with other people.

He said research, now a few weeks old, indicates that Sodom would be the southernmost city in a group of two cities and at least three villages because of the order the Bible lists them. Collins said it would also be the largest city because the Bible sometimes mentions it without naming other towns at the same time.

Collins visited sites and used potsherds to date them.

Five ruins on the plain's east side match the locations, artifacts and time of occupation for Sodom and towns the Bible mentions in relation to it.

"It is so good archaeologically and geographically, it's almost unbelievable," he said of the match.

Also, Sodom was fortified, since Genesis Chapter 19 mentions Lot sitting in the city gate. Collins and his excavation crew found a mound of packed earth typical of Bronze Age city walls. An Iron Age wall was built around or through the older structure, indicating no one lived in the city for at least five centuries after its Bronze Age destruction.

While excavating around the wall, Collins and his group discovered a huge mud-brick structure. He doesn't know what it is, but suspects they found the city gate all or mostly intact.

If so, it will be the first time in archaeology someone has found and excavated intact a specific structure mentioned in the Old Testament.

In a probe plot 3 meters deep, Collins found a piece of a clay storage jar with a glaze-like substance. However, Middle Eastern potters couldn't fire their work at high enough temperatures for glazing until ninth or 10th century, he said.

He said a flash event heated the pottery so much, so fast after it broke that the surface turned to glass and began flowing over the edge of the break.

Prolonged exposure to such heat causes the whole clay piece to lose its shape, but only the surface of this potsherd changed. Collins believes this indicates a flash event.

He is having a number of people, including New Mexico Tech scientists, examine the potsherd to determine what the glaze is. Material engineers at the site said it looks like Trinitite, the substance materials such as sand turn into when subjected to a nuclear blast. However, Collins said he isn't suggesting a nuclear blast hit the site. He doesn't know the cause, but suspects a comet strike or electrical event.

Mud bricks and other potsherds his crew discovered also show burn marks, but not the glaze. He expects to find more melted surfaces in the next excavation season and gain a better picture of what happened.

"So right now, it's just extremely interesting," he said of the partially melted potsherd. "Scientifically, you can't say much about it."

Collins sees his field of biblical archaeology as a means to prove the Bible is real. Finding Sodom would provide an opportunity to demonstrate the historical authenticity of the most doubted part of the Bible, he said.

He hopes to help keep the United States from becoming "post-Christian" as Europe has.

He is looking for financial support to pay experts and other expenses, and for volunteer excavators.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 15, 2006, 02:16:44 PM
Could Masada fall again?

Masada is one of the most renowned symbols of Jewish endurance.

Rising 230 meters above the Dead Sea valley, the site of a mass suicide of Jewish Zealots in 73 CE, it is, next to Jerusalem, Israel's most popular tourist site. Elite units of the Israel Defense Forces hold ceremonies atop its heights, pledging, "Masada shall not fall again."

But it might.

Not today, not tomorrow, but one day. Seismic tremors, climatic change and, inevitably, gravity continue to threaten the stability of the historic remains and the mountain that supports them.

Engineering professors from Beersheba's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the University of California-Berkeley have teamed up to make sure that doesn't happen.

Using state-of-the-art monitoring devices and advanced computer modeling techniques, and armed with a four-year grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Beersheba's Yossi Hatzor and Berkeley's Steven Glaser are breaking new ground in geological engineering.

Masada is their test case.

"Masada has been degrading for 2,000 years," said Hatzor, head of BGU's Rock Mechanics Laboratory and founder of the geological engineering team working on the problem.

"There's no imminent danger," he said. "Nothing is collapsing. We're talking about long-term preservation of a World Heritage site."

The imposing, reddish-gold mountain sits directly on the Syrian-African Rift, an active fault line.

Since Herod the Great built his luxury palace on the mountain's northern face more than two millennia ago, at least five major earthquakes have hit, causing rock slides and damage to the man-made structures. Harsh desert weather continues to impose its own disintegrative effect.

"The terraces of the palace were much larger than what they are today," Hatzor said. "There have been failures and erosions since Herod built it.

We can see deterioration of the stones due to rain even in the time period we have been involved in preservation efforts on the mountain."

Masada is not one solid rock. It is composed of horizontal layers of sedimentary rock, and is fractured by vertical cracks or "joints" formed by tectonic stresses in the earth's crust. These horizontal and vertical joints give the mountain its particular wall-like appearance of huge irregular bricks piled one on top of the other. They also make it vulnerable to seismic tremors.

Work began in 1998, when the Israel Nature and Parks Authority began construction of a cable car to ferry greater numbers of visitors up Masada.

They called in Hatzor to evaluate the mountain's stability, something that had never been done.

Hatzor and his team studied the Snake Path cliff on the mountain's eastern side, which connects the cable car station to an adjoining bridge, and found several large rocks precariously poised.

Using a three-dimensional stability analysis, the team determined that some blocks of rock in the cliff face might dislodge even in a relatively small tremor.

Hatzor recommended "cable bolting," an engineering technique he'd studied a decade earlier as a doctoral student at Berkeley. He suggested inserting 18-meter long steel cables through individual blocks and into the solid rock, so the rock's own weight pushing against the cables would act as a stabilizing force.

Stepping off the cable car one morning last month, Hatzor pointed to an enormous yellow block of rock that hovered menacingly over the walkway visitors traverse on their way to the ruins.

Following his instructions, 30 anchors were inserted into the rock block before the new cable car was built. Though the enormous block still seems to be hanging in mid-air, Hatzor said it was now perfectly safe. Rock-colored covers hide the end of the anchors from view, preserving the aesthetics.

Hatzor's monitoring system also showed, for the first time, the effects of climatic change on rock movement.

"Why does a block decide to move?" Glaser asked.

"Yossi's preliminary monitoring suggested that perhaps it's due to very small changes in temperature, to expansion and contraction of rock over time."

The findings caused quite a buzz in international geological circles.

After the cable car project, Hatzor's team was asked to study the stability of Herod's palace on the northern side of the mountain. They conducted a computer simulation using dynamic Discontinuous Deformation Analysis, a new numerical method, also developed at UC-Berkeley, for measuring the risk of rock movement. Using data from a 1995 quake in the northern Sinai in 1995 that registered 7.1 on the Richter scale, Hatzor's simulation found that a similar tremor at Masada could cause shards of rock to come crashing down the cliff.

"To ensure lasting preservation of this historic gem, the north face should be reinforced," he said, a project he estimated would require several million dollars.

Eitan Campbell, director of Masada National Park, wants to make sure that happens, even though there is no budget for it yet.

Campbell has worked at Masada for more than 30 years, starting as a teenager hauling bags of cement for archeologist Yigal Yadin, who directed the initial excavation there in the mid-1960s.
Two years of heavy winter rains have caused significant damage to the 2,000-year-old structures, Campbell said.

"The whole top of the mountain was one big pool of water, I've never seen anything like it. A couple of the walls collapsed," he said.

In mid-August, Glaser expects to arrive from Berkeley with his new monitoring system. He and Hatzor will set up seismic monitoring stations at the visitors center at the base of the mountain and at the watchtower on top.

Gauges will be installed to measure the effects of temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and tidal pull on the mouths of cracks, "to measure how the crack opens and closes and whether there's any horizontal movement," Glaser said.

In addition, the scientists will compare movement at the mountain's base to movement at its top, examining, for example, how the rock responds to tidal changes at different times of the day.

The system has not been tried anywhere else. "This will be its field test," Glaser said.

Masada was chosen, he said, because of its historical and archeological importance, and because Israeli interest guaranteed easy and uninterrupted access to the site.

"It's more enjoyable to work on something with historic importance instead of a strip mall," he said.

Restoration of the palace is already underway, thanks to a government grant of $2.2m. Campbell has had all the Roman frescoes from the lower part of the palace - the part most susceptible to wind and rain - removed. They are being restored, and Campbell plans to mount replicas in their place while displaying the originals in a special museum.

Visitor safety, however, is his immediate concern.
Tourism slowed down considerably after Palestinian violence increased in late 2000, but it has now picked up. Half a million visitors came in 2005, and even more are expected this year.

"Restoration should be a yearly budgeted item," Campbell said. "Masada is subject to the elements. It needs constant attention.

"It's our job to pass it on for generations to come," he said.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 18, 2006, 08:22:51 PM
2,000-year-old seed has roots in King Herod's palace



In Israel, at Kibbutz Ketura, a 14-inch seedling date palm goes by the name Methuselah.

The seed from which it sprouted 14 months ago was found in archeological excavations of King Herod's palace on Mount Masada. Lying dormant for 2,000 years, it is the oldest seed to ever produce a viable tree. And this is no ordinary date palm, but the extinct Judean form considered uniquely medicinal.

The Judean palms described in Roman writings and shown on their coins are endemic to the Holy Land. Enormous forests of these palms once covered this now barren landscape, the value of its date harvest invaluable to the economic viability of Judea. But these groves disappeared after the Romans left. Twentieth century palm groves planted in Israel are not Judean, but imported from the date groves of California. Botanists are keen on discovering how the ancient date palm differs from our contemporary agricultural plants.

The date palm trees that fill scripture of many faiths is Phoenix dactylifera. The genus Phoenix relates to the palm's remarkable ability to regrow and fruit after near death due to drought.

These rugged feather-fronded palms have long been associated with the Holy Land and figure into religious celebrations such as Palm Sunday. It has become a symbol of peace and of life because its shade and sweet fruit was vital to people in the deserts of northern Africa and the Middle East. Perhaps more important is that palms signal the presence of ground water, marking locations of wells and spring fed oases.

The assurance of a heavy date crop was always on the minds of Holy Land cultures. The species is a diecious plant, which means Phoenix dactyliferas can be either a male or female. The male palms tend to be scrubby in form with many growth points that produce pollen-bearing flowers. The females grow a single tall trunk that can reach 30 feet at maturity, producing numerous large clusters of flowers at the top.

In Israel it was common for the male flowers to be cut and placed in the foliage heads of female palms to help fertilize them more thoroughly. In the Talmud there is a story of a female palm tree in Jericho weeping for its male companion until a branch of the male was brought over.

In ancient times, the value of the male trees cannot be overestimated. Loss of the male flowers would prevent pollination and cut off all fruit production. For cultures dependent on that harvest, this loss meant famine.

When conquering armies invaded date palm-dependent lands, they often cut down the male palm trees to interrupt the food supply. It was similar to the Romans sowing salt in the fields of Carthage. It took many years, if not decades, for the male palms to regrow and produce enough pollen to fertilize the existing female palms. In the interim, locals would be preoccupied with finding enough food rather than fighting their conquerors.

Palms are one of the easiest plants to grow from seed. Pits from dried dates you buy at the store will sprout within a few weeks in ordinary potting soil. These palms are not tolerant of frost and should be considered a houseplant in areas where winter temperatures drop below freezing. But they are fast growers in containers, easily moved around with the seasons.

Even in areas where date palms grow outdoors, there is little chance a tree will bear fruit. An old expression says, "Date palms have their feet in the water and their heads in the fire." They require extreme dry heat and heavy irrigation to form dates.

So whether you grow a California date or one like Methuselah raised from the dustbin of history, all Phoenix dactyliferas carry an extraordinary heritage. It is perhaps the most ecumenical plant ever, shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

And it is chronicled in the ancient literature of all three religions for its diverse powers _ from an aphrodisiac to a contraceptive _ and as a cure for a wide range of diseases including cancer, malaria and toothache. Now modern scientists may one day have a chance to test those contentions.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 18, 2006, 08:29:24 PM
Darius the Great is the darius King of Persia that is mentioned many times in the Old Testament.



Palace of Darius the Great Discovered in Bolaghi Gorge

Discovery of remains of a gigantic palace in Bolaghi Gorge and its similarity to the constructions of the time of Darius I, Achaemenid King, in Persepolis show that it was built during the same period of time.
Tehran, 15 May 2006 (CHN) -- Iran-French joint archeology team at Bolaghi Gorge succeeded in discovering and identifying the remains of a gigantic palace, believed to be from the Achaemenid era (648 BC–330 BC), during their second season of excavations in the area.

“Before the start of this season of excavations, our geophysical tests in area number 33 of Bolaghi Gorge had revealed to us the possible existence of a huge building near the Sivand Dam. Clay artifacts found in this area showed that this building used to be the residential palace of the Achaemenid kings. With the start of the new excavation season, we resumed our excavations in area number 33 with this attitude,” said Mohammad Taghi Ataee, head of the Iran-French joint archeology team at Bolaghi Gorge.

“After we started our excavations in the historic hill where this monument is located, we realized that it consisted of one historic layer only. Since no other layers were constructed on top of this layer, archeologists were hoping to unearth the entire palace intact. However, after they made their trenches they got to a number of wells which had been dug by illegal smugglers and also traces of bulldozers which had caused serious damage to this ancient Achaemenid palace,” said Ataee.

Plundering of archeological sites by the smugglers has become a common issue in archeology. However, according to Ataee, archeologists believe that illegal diggers cannot be held responsible for destroying of this palace by bulldozers, and it was a deliberate act by an unknown person or group of people who intended to devastate this place for a reason that is not clear for archeologists.

“The archeology team kept removing the debris caused by the bulldozers until they got to the base of a pillar similar to those used in the construction of the palace of Persepolis in Fars province, although smaller in size. The base of this pillar which looks like an inverted bell is built by the same stones used in the construction of Persepolis. The stone is so carefully varnished that one may clearly see the reflection of oneself in it,” added Ataee.

The height of this discovered base is 35 centimeters and it has a diameter of 50 centimeters. There are signs on this base which were meant to level it off, a method commonly practiced during the Achaemenid era.

“Based on the evidence, this palace must have belonged to either Darius the Great, the Achaemenid King who ruled between 521 and 486 BC and built the famous Palace of Persepolis, or the kings who preceded him. However, it is more likely that the palace belonged to Darius,” said Ataee.

In addition to this pillar base, the royal seat of this palace, built using soil and condensed sand, several pieces of clay bricks, and three clay walls constructed in a row were discovered by the archeologists. The top of the walls has been destroyed by bulldozers; however, archeologists are hoping to find the construction plan of this palace by studying these walls more carefully.

Regarding the size of these clay bricks, Ataee said, “These clay bricks are in different size, some are 35 by 33 cm, some 17 by 33, and some others are 33 by 33 centimeters. They were probably used to cover the floor.”

Bolaghi Gorge is an endangered historical site in Fars province, near the ancient site of Pasargade, threatened by the Sivand Dam built in its vicinity. Although the dam is not flooded yet, it is clear that with its inauguration Iran will say farewell to one of its most valuable cultural heritage sites.

Although Ataee announced that inauguration of the Sivand Dam will not directly affect this Achaemenid Palace since it is located in an area which is relatively far from the Sivand Dam, the humidity caused by the dam will certainly destroy this palace in a long run.

The Iran-French archeology team will continue its excavations in Bolaghi Gorge until June 5 to save this ancient site as much as possible before the inauguration of the dam, the date of which has not been announced yet.



Title: Ancient skeleton unearthed in Rome
Post by: Shammu on May 31, 2006, 03:22:04 PM
Ancient skeleton unearthed in Rome

Wed May 31, 6:38 AM ET

ROME - Archaeologists say they have dug up a woman skeleton dating to the 10th century B.C. in an ancient necropolis in the heart of Rome.

The well-preserved skeleton appears to be that of a woman aged about 30, said archaeologist Anna De Santis, who took part in the excavations under the Caesar's Forum, part of the sprawling complex of the Imperial Forums in central Rome.

An amber necklace and four pins also were found near the 5-foot-3-inch-long skeleton, she said Tuesday.

The bones, dug up Monday, would likely be put on display in a museum after being examined further, De Santis said.

It was the first skeleton to be found in the 3,000-year-old necropolis, she said. Early this year, a funerary urn that contained human ashes, as well as bone fragments that appeared to be from a sheep, were found in one of the necropolis' tombs.

Alessandro Delfino, another archaeologist who took part in the excavations, said Monday's discovery highlighted a "social change" in the funerary habits of the people who dwelled in the area, from incinerating to burying the dead.

Experts have said the necropolis was destined for high-ranking personalities — such as warriors and ancient priests — heading the tribes and clans that lived in small villages scattered on hills near the area that later spawned one of the world's greatest civilizations.

Ancient skeleton unearthed in Rome (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060531/ap_on_sc/italy_ancient_skeleton;_ylt=Aluk5A_2MqnLvPdHhIVBvcpxieAA;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MzV0MTdmBHNlYwM3NTM-)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 02, 2006, 09:08:29 PM
Union Station to host Dead Sea Scrolls

For the first time ever, fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be displayed in the Kansas City area Feb. 2-May 5, 2007, as part of a special exhibition that is expected to draw 150,000 people to Science City at Union Station.

Most scholars believe the scrolls - the first of which was famously found by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 - were created by a Judaic sect, perhaps the Essenes, between 250 B.C.E. and 70 C.E. They are considered the single most important archaeological find of the 20th century - and a potential museum blockbuster attraction - not because of their artistry, but because they represent the oldest known copies of biblical books.
And in the current age of "Bible Codes" books and "DaVinci Code" movies, the scrolls have a mysterious cachet, too. The non-biblical, "sectarian," sometimes Messianic writings of the Qumran caves cult paint a picture of ancient Judaism in the time of Jesus, and some scholars say they shed light on early Christianity, too. Add to that the fact that, due to struggles among the scholars who controlled various parts of the find, many scroll fragments were held in secrecy until recent years.
"One whole part of this is the perceived mystery - Who were the Essenes? What was this writing?" said Union Station CEO Andi Udris, who's been working to get the exhibition to Kansas City for several months. Udris said Union Station was "in the process of creating different groups with respect to programming, outreach and also fund raising."
Rabbi Morris B. Margolies, who writes a weekly column in The Jewish Chronicle, will play an integral role during the exhibition, serving as its scholar/curator. One of the conditions Kansas City had to meet in order to host the exhibition was to engage a resident scholar knowledgeable about the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaic history and ancient history.
The exhibition is expected to draw big crowds. Udris compared it to a "King Tut" or "Titanic," in terms of impact.
"We're really excited," said Udris. "This is one exhibit that will bring a lot of groups together. It's archaeological. That's why it's at Union Station's Science City. The mystery is great, for kids and scholars. These are 2,000-year-old artifacts. And third, it's religious, and we are in the middle of the Bible belt.
"It's such a great opportunity to present something no other Midwestern city will be showing."

Artifacts, scholars


The Israel Antiquities Authority says the Kansas City Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition will be one of four in the United States in 2006-07. "Discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls" closed May 29 in Charlotte, N.C., and opens in September at Seattle's Pacific Science Center. After Kansas City, the San Diego Natural History Museum will host the scrolls.
Udris said the Kansas City exhibition would be unique, created in cooperation with the IAA, and will feature some scroll fragments never seen before outside of Israel. The Dead Sea Scrolls were written in both Hebrew and Aramaic, some on parchment and some on papyrus. In addition to scroll fragments and some of the clay jars in which they were found, the exhibit will include artifacts from the nearby Qumran village excavation, thought to be contemporaneous. Those artifacts at other stops have included pottery, textiles, coins - even a leather sandal.
Officials from the Israel Antiquities Authority will travel to Kansas City to set up the exhibition, Udris said. Among other requirements, the scrolls must be held under special lighting, temperature and humidity conditions.
"We're actually bringing these artifacts to people's front door," Udris said. "We hope the experience will be very informative and very spiritual. We are trying to create it (to be) exactly what it was. We will have a great speaker series, with theologians and historians of all types, from Israel and the United States, giving their perspective on the Dead Sea Scrolls."
Rabbi Margolies is scheduled to give at least one of the lectures during the three-month exhibit and has already been talking to Union Station staff and others to prepare them for the upcoming event. He said the lecture series would feature "world-class scholars."
And the rabbi said the Dead Sea Scrolls have yet to give up all their mystery.
"When the scrolls are all released," Rabbi Margolies said, "and that's still in the future, we will have a much better idea of the origins of rabbinic Judaism; not of Judaism - Judaism already existed since Moses - but of rabbinic Judaism."
He said the Dead Sea Scrolls also reveal quite a bit about early Christianity.
"According to some scholars of the Dead Sea Scrolls, (Christianity) was definitely influenced by the teaching that we find in the Jewish Dead Sea Scrolls," he said. "That's the relevance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for our own times. After all, both Judaism and Christianity are among the world's most important religions."




Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 07, 2006, 12:09:39 PM
Diving into history in King Herod's harbor

CAESAREA, Israel (Reuters) - Above the glistening waves off the shores of the Israeli city of Caesarea, a group of scuba divers suit up to begin their descent into history.

As they slowly sink underwater, the light disperses to reveal remnants of what experts say was one of the biggest and most sophisticated sea ports of the Roman Empire.

After around 2,000 years, the ancient harbor is again open for business. The tourism business, that is.

Israeli and North American archeologists discovered the ruins some 40 years ago and, since last year, have worked to preserve the remnants, some of which once rested above the surface, to create Israel's first underwater archeological museum.

Metal poles with numbered signs mark 36 exhibits lying about 20 feet below the Mediterranean's surface over an area of 783,000 square feet.

Among the artifacts are remains of a sunken Roman vessel, giant anchors, loading piers, marble and granite columns and an ancient breakwater.

With waterproof maps and an instructor to guide them, scuba divers can maneuver through the larger artifacts by following ropes tied between the poles placed in the sea bed. Snorkelers can view remnants found in more shallow waters.

A ticket costs 12 shekels (about $2.50), not including the rental of equipment.

"The visibility was low but that just made it more dramatic," said Boaz Gross, a 22-year-old student. "You feel like you're in an ancient atmosphere and you feel the depth of the history of the place."

However, Yossi Kwart, a 25-year-old student, said strong currents put a damper on his dive.

"The fact that the dive was very difficult took away from some of the fun," he said.

ROMAN HISTORY

The Romans conquered Caesarea in 63 BC. King Herod named the port city in 22 BC to honor his patron Caesar Augustus and commissioned the building of the harbor, as well as other major projects, the remains of which are now on display.

The city later became the Roman provincial capital of Judea, a region which now encompasses Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Sarah Arenson, a maritime historian involved in the project, said the ancient harbor first opened in 10 BC and served for more than a century as the main gateway for goods such as exotic spices, textiles, dyes and cosmetics shipped to the Roman Empire from places as distant as the Far East.

"It probably overshadowed the old and very important ports of the eastern Mediterranean," Arenson said. "Caesarea eclipsed these old famous harbors in economic importance and splendor."

The port's architecture was also among the most sophisticated in the known world at the time, she said.

The materials used included marble, granite and wood, as well as an innovative ingredient at the time -- pozzolana, a kind of cement made from volcanic ash imported from Italy.

"Augustus marked the start of the 'Vox Romana', the unique political and economic entity that was the Roman Empire at the time," Arenson said, adding that after a Jewish rebellion from 66-70 AD, business in Judea declined and the port was less prosperous.

INNOVATIVE CONSTRUCTION

Archeologists were surprised to discover that the harbor was built in only 12 years, Arenson said.

"Even today, building a harbor this size would (take) about the same time," she said. "To think (Herod) did it with his technology in that time; it probably required many thousands of people working in coordination."

Experts believe workers built artificial islands from which they could later drop blocks onto the sea floor to create a solid platform for the port's breakwater.

A minor wall was constructed around the main breakwater to protect it during construction -- a tactic Herod used in the building of Jerusalem's Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Many experts believe the port's foundations were eventually smashed by erosion from earthquakes in a region that lies on a major fault-line. Others blame tidal waves.

Several countries boast underwater archeological exhibits, like a palace in Egypt's Alexandria, which historians believe was used by Cleopatra. Arenson said the Caesarea project is the world's first public underwater sea port exhibit.

Avi Baz, a diving instructor, said hundreds of people had already visited the underwater exhibit, a 40- to 50-minute dive. He predicts numbers will only grow.

"Divers in general have a tendency to look for new sites, new adventures, new thrills," he said.


Title: In a Ruined Copper Works, Evidence That Bolsters a Doubted Biblical Tale
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 14, 2006, 12:23:56 PM
In biblical lore, Edom was the implacable adversary and menacing neighbor of the Israelites. The Edomites lived south of the Dead Sea and east of the desolate rift valley known as Wadi Arabah, and from time to time they had to be dealt with by force, notably by the likes of Kings David and Solomon.

Today, the Edomites are again in the thick of combat — of the scholarly kind. The conflict is heated and protracted, as is often the case with issues related to the reliability of the Bible as history.

Chronology is at the crux of the debate. Exactly when did the nomadic tribes of Edom become an organized society with the might to threaten Israel? Were David and Solomon really kings of a state with growing power in the 10th century B.C.? Had writers of the Bible magnified the stature of the two societies at such an early time in history?

An international team of archaeologists has recorded radiocarbon dates that they say show the tribes of Edom may have indeed come together in a cohesive society as early as the 12th century B.C., certainly by the 10th. The evidence was found in the ruins of a large copper-processing center and fortress at Khirbat en-Nahas, in the lowlands of what was Edom and is now part of Jordan.

Thomas E. Levy, a leader of the excavations, said in an interview last week that the findings there and at abandoned mines elsewhere in the region demonstrated that the Edomites had developed a complex state much earlier than previously thought.

Dr. Levy, an archaeologist at the University of California, San Diego, said the research had yielded not only the first high-precision dates in the region, but also such telling artifacts as scarabs, ceramics, metal arrowheads, hammers, grinding stones and slag heaps. Radiocarbon analysis of charred wood, grain and fruit in several sediment layers revealed two major phases of copper processing, first in the 12th and 11th centuries, later in the 10th and 9th.

Khirbat en-Nahas is 30 miles from the Dead Sea and 30 miles north of Petra, Jordan's most famous archaeological site. The name means "ruins of copper" in Arabic. One of the first ancient occupation sites in the Edomite lowlands to be intensively investigated, the ruins of its buildings and grounds spread over 24 acres, and the fortifications enclose an area 240 by 240 feet.

"Only a complex society such as a paramount chiefdom or primitive kingdom would have the organizational know-how to produce copper metal on such an industrial scale," Dr. Levy concluded.

The first results of the research by Dr. Levy and Mohammad Najjar, director of excavations and surveys at the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, were described two years ago at a conference at the University of Oxford, England, and in a report in the British journal Antiquity. Reverberations of support and criticism have shaken the field of biblical archaeology ever since.

With the addition of new dates and more evidence of the importance of copper in the emergence of Edom, the two archaeologists have amplified their interpretations in an article being published this month in the magazine Biblical Archaeology Review.

"We have discovered a degree of social complexity in the land of Edom," they wrote, "that demonstrates the weak reed on the basis of which a number of scholars have scoffed at the idea of a state or complex chiefdom in Edom at this early period."

The findings, Dr. Levy and Dr. Najjar added, lend credence to biblical accounts of the rivalry between Edom and the Israelites in what was then known as Judah. By extension, they said, this supported the tradition that Judah itself had by the time of David and Solomon, in the early 10th century, emerged as a kingdom with ambition and the means of fighting off the Edomites.

The Hebrew Bible mentioned the Edomites no fewer than 99 times. In Genesis, Esau, Jacob's twin brother, is described as the ancestor of the Edomites, and a reference is made to "the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites." Dr. Levy said this statement showed that the Israelites acknowledged Edom's early political development.

In the context, Dr. Levy and Dr. Najjar wrote, "the biblical references to the Edomites, especially their conflicts with David and subsequent Judahite kings, garner a new plausibility."

Historians and archaeologists who generally endorse the new findings welcomed the more precise dating of ruins in the under-explored region and the attention focused on copper production in Edomite history. But they cautioned against interpretations that might encourage uncritical reliance on the Bible as a source of early history.

Most criticism has come from advocates of a "low chronology" or "minimalist" school of early biblical history. They contend that in David's time Edom was a pastoral society, and Judah not much more advanced. In this view, ancient Israel did not develop into a true state until the eighth century B.C., a century and a half after David.

More widely held in recent years is the estimate that Edom did not become a complex society and kingdom until the eighth or seventh centuries, presumably as a consequence of rule by the Assyrian empire.

Israel Finkelstein, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University and a leading proponent of the low-chronology model, has said the new research does "not shed new light on the question of state formation in Edom." He argues that perhaps the copper operations were controlled by chieftains in Beersheba, to the west, and supplied material for urban centers west and north of Edom.

Dr. Levy and Dr. Najjar said their excavations showed that "this image of external control is not convincing."

Piotr Bienkowski of the University of Manchester, England, and Eveline van der Steen of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., who have excavated the Edomite highlands, criticized the statistical analysis of the new dating and suggested that the data had been used to support an unjustified interpretation.

"One 'fortress' does not make a kingdom," they argued in a paper. Dr. Levy said the most advanced statistical methods were applied in analyzing the radiocarbon dates, and the laboratory work was conducted at Oxford and the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

"We realize that our work is far from complete, " Dr. Levy said, and a large team from the University of California will return this fall to Khirbat en-Nahas for a deeper look into the early history of the Edomites.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on June 15, 2006, 02:33:58 PM
Can it be true, that they found pieces of Noahs Ark??

Noah’s Ark, Pieces Intact, Found in Iran by Bible Explorers -

Wash—June 14—KIN—On June 5th, Bible Historian and explorer Bob Cornuke led an expedition of 15 geologists, historians, archeologists, scientists and attorneys on an exhausting mission 13,300 feet above sea level to locate and document the tremendous sections of what is thought to be Noah’s Ark located in the Ararat mountain range six hours North of Tehran, Iran. It had been essentially buried beneath the preservation of glaciers until last year when Iran recorded the hottest year on record which melted some of the snowcap revealing 450 by 75-foot footprint of the “object.”

Noah’s Ark was claimed to be found in Northern Iran rather than Turkey. Over a thousand expeditions had previously scoured Turkey’s Mt. Ararat, but by following the precise language of the Bible, Cornuke found what is believed to be Noah’s Ark, nearly in tact. Turkey’s Mt. Ararat was incorrect because Marco Polo named the large mountain during his journeys in the 13th century. Through mapping scriptures in Genesis with ancient maps, Cornuke pieced together the clues and found where the Ararat Mountain Range made home for Noah’s Ark in Northern Iran not far from Turkey. Bob Cornuke has been at the center of several controversies over his past findings as he has come at odds with secular scholars, but several people who I know personally were on this expedition as well as some credible, internationally known heads of Christian ministries. Cornuke and the participants are careful to not say emphatically that they found Noah’s Ark, but have taken extensive documentation to present their facts for both the public, and the Biblical and scientific communities.

After crawling on hands and knees miles above the earth’s surface in four below zero weather, the expedition found an altar, which could very well be the altar Noah built because it was made from the same materials they later found in the Ark. They found grapevines over two inches think in the area, of which the DNA from the grapes is the oldest known to man. Genesis 9:20 says that Noah planted a vineyard. But most amazing was the ark itself. It was found in sections, somewhat like a house that had collapsed over the years. Sections of petrified wood 12 to 14 feet high and 40 feet long were found. They found a huge pile of timber, thought to be floors or walls, in four-to-six foot sections.

Geologists took nine samples of the ark under the strict eye of a video team for analysis by the Smithsonian Institute. Over 23,000 feet of video was taken and will be released to the public. You can get your first glimpse of it on Fox News with John Kasich Saturday at 8:00pm Eastern time, according to the Cornuke team. The expedition members hope to spark debate over the Ark; hope to show that the Bible is accurate and true; and hope that people will come to know Christ through the truth that they have revealed. In John 8:32, Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” May you be revived and energized by the possibility of this wonderful discovery that there is one God and His truth reigns forever.

Noah’s Ark, Pieces Intact, Found  in Iran by Bible Explorers - (http://www.watch.org/showart.php3?idx=79928&rtn=/index.html&showsubj=1&mcat=1)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: ibTina on June 16, 2006, 09:29:04 AM
Can it be true, that they found pieces of Noahs Ark??

Noah’s Ark, Pieces Intact, Found in Iran by Bible Explorers -

Wash—June 14—KIN—On June 5th, Bible Historian and explorer Bob Cornuke led an expedition of 15 geologists, historians, archeologists, scientists and attorneys on an exhausting mission 13,300 feet above sea level to locate and document the tremendous sections of what is thought to be Noah’s Ark located in the Ararat mountain range six hours North of Tehran, Iran. It had been essentially buried beneath the preservation of glaciers until last year when Iran recorded the hottest year on record which melted some of the snowcap revealing 450 by 75-foot footprint of the “object.”

Noah’s Ark was claimed to be found in Northern Iran rather than Turkey. Over a thousand expeditions had previously scoured Turkey’s Mt. Ararat, but by following the precise language of the Bible, Cornuke found what is believed to be Noah’s Ark, nearly in tact. Turkey’s Mt. Ararat was incorrect because Marco Polo named the large mountain during his journeys in the 13th century. Through mapping scriptures in Genesis with ancient maps, Cornuke pieced together the clues and found where the Ararat Mountain Range made home for Noah’s Ark in Northern Iran not far from Turkey. Bob Cornuke has been at the center of several controversies over his past findings as he has come at odds with secular scholars, but several people who I know personally were on this expedition as well as some credible, internationally known heads of Christian ministries. Cornuke and the participants are careful to not say emphatically that they found Noah’s Ark, but have taken extensive documentation to present their facts for both the public, and the Biblical and scientific communities.

After crawling on hands and knees miles above the earth’s surface in four below zero weather, the expedition found an altar, which could very well be the altar Noah built because it was made from the same materials they later found in the Ark. They found grapevines over two inches think in the area, of which the DNA from the grapes is the oldest known to man. Genesis 9:20 says that Noah planted a vineyard. But most amazing was the ark itself. It was found in sections, somewhat like a house that had collapsed over the years. Sections of petrified wood 12 to 14 feet high and 40 feet long were found. They found a huge pile of timber, thought to be floors or walls, in four-to-six foot sections.

Geologists took nine samples of the ark under the strict eye of a video team for analysis by the Smithsonian Institute. Over 23,000 feet of video was taken and will be released to the public. You can get your first glimpse of it on Fox News with John Kasich Saturday at 8:00pm Eastern time, according to the Cornuke team. The expedition members hope to spark debate over the Ark; hope to show that the Bible is accurate and true; and hope that people will come to know Christ through the truth that they have revealed. In John 8:32, Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” May you be revived and energized by the possibility of this wonderful discovery that there is one God and His truth reigns forever.

Noah’s Ark, Pieces Intact, Found  in Iran by Bible Explorers - (http://www.watch.org/showart.php3?idx=79928&rtn=/index.html&showsubj=1&mcat=1)


   I have to admit, this is exciting news...I hope it is IT!!!  I hope I don't forget to watch the news on FOX on Sat.

    God Bless...Tina


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 16, 2006, 10:16:37 AM
I'll be watching for sure.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on June 16, 2006, 01:50:15 PM
I'll be watching as well, it suprised me PR you didn't have this posted, already.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 16, 2006, 02:00:38 PM
I'll be watching as well, it suprised me PR you didn't have this posted, already.

me, too    ;D ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on June 16, 2006, 03:55:35 PM
Tomb raider leads Italy police to ancient paintings

By Robin Pomeroy 46 minutes ago

FORMELLO, Italy (Reuters) - Italy unveiled on Friday a new archaeological site that some experts say houses the oldest paintings in the history of Western civilization.

(http://us.news3.yimg.com/us.i2.yimg.com/p/nm/20060616/2006_06_16t151659_450x308_us_arts_italy_frescoes.jpg?x=380&y=260&sig=flvQtopHJCVZ5EtHqglKHg--)

Paintings on the wall of an ancient tomb near the
central Italian town of Formello June 16, 2006. (Italian Ministry of Culture/Handout/Reuters)

Italy's culture minister took reporters to an unremarkable field outside Rome under which they were shown a room carved into the hillside, decorated with colorful frescoes which archaeologists said were 2,700 years old.

"It's a prince's tomb that is unique, and I would say is at the origins of Western art," said Minister Francesco Rutelli, standing on what, until two weeks ago when the site was found, was just a field of barley.

Authorities were led to the spot -- in an area known for its remains from the Etruscan civilization that thrived in Italy before the Roman Empire -- by an 82-year-old Austrian tour guide who police were questioning for looting ancient artifacts.

Archaeologists were amazed at what they found once the earth was removed -- a large, square room, with niches that would once have stored cremated remains, remnants of a bright red painted ceiling and colored frescoes of birds and roaring lions.

"There are thousands of tombs here," said Francesca Boitani, a culture ministry archaeologist, pointing to the rolling hills north of Rome which were once home to the Etruscan city of Veia.

"But this one, it's the pictures that that are stunning. They give a sense of the primitive."

It is the primitive nature of the paintings that has convinced the experts that they are at least a generation older than any others yet found -- dating from 700-680 BC.

OLDEST

Giovanni Colonna, a professor at Rome's Sapienza University, said although the frescoes were not as old as Egyptian art or some cave paintings, they had to be the oldest examples of the Western tradition of art that was then developed by the Greek and Roman civilizations.

Fragments of decorated pottery found in the tomb, and the clearly visible remnants of a wheel which once was part of a cart buried along with the bodies, indicate the burial site was that of a nobleman or prince.

In Etruscan art, the birds would have symbolized the passage between life and death and the lions represented the underworld.

While art historians salivate at the finding, it illustrated two serious problems for Italy -- the constantly rising cost of excavating and managing ancient treasures and the fight against organized criminals who plunder the country's heritage.

Ironically, police were led to the "Roaring Lions" site by a tomb raiding suspect who hoped to receive lenient treatment.

Tomb raider leads Italy police to ancient paintings (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060616/wl_nm/arts_italy_frescoes_dc;_ylt=Ars24UdxKlEworiywY8u4TBvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 19, 2006, 07:39:50 PM
11,000-year-old grain shakes up beliefs on beginnings of agriculture

Bar-Ilan University researchers have found a cache of 120,000 wild oat and 260,000 wild barley grains at the Gilgal archaeological site near Jericho that date back 11,000 years - providing evidence of cultivation during the Neolithic Period.

The research, performed by Drs. Ehud Weiss and Anat Hartmann of BIU's department of Land of Israel studies and Prof. Mordechai Kislev of the faculty of life sciences, appears in the June 16 edition of the prestigious journal Science.

It is the second time in two weeks that Kislev and Hartmann have had an article in Science. They recently wrote about their discovery of 10,000-year-old cultivated figs at the same Jordan Valley site.

According to the researchers, the newest find shows that the transition from nomadic food gathering and the beginning of agriculture were quite different than previously thought. Until now, the general assumption has been that agriculture was begun by a single line of human efforts in one specific area. But the BIU researchers found a much more complicated effort undertaken by different human populations in different regions, drawing a completely new picture of the origins of agriculture.

Agriculture, the BIU researchers suggest, originated through human manipulations of wild plants - sometimes involving the same species - that took place in various spatially and temporally distinct communities. Moreover, some of these occasions were found to be much earlier than previously thought possible.

The researchers analyzed archeo-botanical data from Near Eastern archeological sites to locate human attempts to grow early crops. Several plant species, which they term "pioneer crops," were found to be the earliest plants manipulated by humans. Some of these attempts succeeded, which means that domestication and continuity were achieved, while others were abandoned. They offer a model of a pioneer agriculture with its disappointments and achievements.

They were certain that the grains found at Gilgal were cultivated and not found naturally in the environment because they were found in such large quantities and because field observations showed that only moderate amounts could be gathered from natural growing sites in this part of the Jordan Valley, even in rainy years.

Although pioneer crops such as barley, lentils, rye and oats yielded satisfactory crops, early farmers faced the problem that their seeds would fall off immediately after ripening. One way to solve this problem was through domestication (causing a process by which plants would retain their seeds, rather than shedding them, to facilitate collection by farmers).

But the researchers found that not all crops were easily domesticated, causing our ancestors, the researchers maintain, to abandon certain crops (such as oats) for thousands of years, until different farmers in other parts of the world finally domesticated them.

This new hypothesis turns the spotlight on the peoples who were involved in creating a revolutionary new agricultural way of life. According to the researchers, it was not a particular individual or community who changed the way we live our lives today, but rather many human groups scattered throughout the world who manipulated several different local wild plants. Some of these groups failed in their attempts and some succeeded. Some plants were domesticated and some were abandoned.

Moreover, some of the plants abandoned during the Neolithic Period were later domesticated in other parts of the world. Barley and, most likely, oats, were cultivated in the Jordan Valley, represented by the early Neolithic site Gilgal.

However, domesticated oats appeared some seven thousand years later in Europe, several thousand kilometers away. Another domesticated plant - rye - was found to be cultivated by several Turkish communities, from the Neolithic Period onward, for several millennia. Some of these communities even succeeded in domesticating rye, but they apparently abandoned it. Rye apparently traveled from Turkey to Europe in the form of a weed that grew in fields of barley and wheat. As in the case of oats, the last stage of rye domestication occurred not in Turkey but in Europe, and several thousands of years later.

The wild lentil plant's path of domestication comprised two stages: loss of dormancy (most of the seeds do not germinate in the first year) and development of pod indehiscence (pods that do not spontaneously release their seeds). The researchers noted that the first evidence of lentil domestication - loss of dormancy - was found in the beginning of the Neolithic Period in Jerf el-Ahmar, Syria, and quickly spread south to Netiv Hagdud in the Jordan Valley.

Undoubtedly, the final stage of lentil domestication is represented by the huge, approximately 1.4 million lentil seed hoard found in later Neolithic Period Yiftah'el, near Nazareth, some 600 kilometers southwest of Jerf el-Ahmar.

According to the researchers, a similar phenomenon occurred in North America, where the chenopod, marsh elder, squash and sunflower became domesticated under indigenous group management between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. The erect knotweed, little barley and maygrass were cultivated and later abandoned, eventually to be replace by maize-centered agriculture and the arrival of the common bean.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on June 20, 2006, 11:24:14 PM
AMEN!

These reports are getting more exciting by the day. I can't help but wonder if GOD is giving mankind a message. The message is obvious: the Bible is GOD'S WORD and is the complete truth. All people, the saved and the lost, need to read and study the HOLY BIBLE right now, every day! For the saved, we might be given the best opportunities we've ever had to witness to the lost. For the lost, the Ultimate TRUTH is the HOLY BIBLE, and the GOOD NEWS it contains will set them FREE for eternity.

I hope and pray that all of God's children will take every opportunity God gives us to tell everyone about the HOPE that is within us. For many of us, that HOPE is so strong that it is absolute REALITY and all doubt is gone. This may be a time of great labor, but it may also be a time of great JOY in JESUS. We should pray for guidance and strength to go forward to do HIS WILL. We know that many will still reject our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, but we shouldn't become discouraged. Many will hear, believe, and ask JESUS CHRIST to become the LORD over their lives. All of the effort will be worth it for just one, but we already know there will be many and GOD'S WORD never returns void.

Love in Christ,
Tom

Romans 10:16-17 NASB  However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Romans 8:28 NASB  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 4:20-21 NASB  yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

Ephesians 5:19-20 NASB  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on June 22, 2006, 01:15:34 AM
Quote
These reports are getting more exciting by the day. I can't help but wonder if GOD is giving mankind a message. The message is obvious: the Bible is GOD'S WORD and is the complete truth. All people, the saved and the lost, need to read and study the HOLY BIBLE right now, every day! For the saved, we might be given the best opportunities we've ever had to witness to the lost. For the lost, the Ultimate TRUTH is the HOLY BIBLE, and the GOOD NEWS it contains will set them FREE for eternity.

Brother, God is trying to get these folks attention, least I feel He is.  My message this sunday, is about  these recent archaeological finds., and how they relate in the Bible.  That we can use this as a witnessing tool.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on June 22, 2006, 04:58:25 AM
Brother Bob,

I think that would be a fascinating sermon, and I would love to be there to hear it.

I do honestly believe that many Christians take the HOLY BIBLE for granted and don't realize what an amazing Book of FACTS it is. Other than that, the BIBLE is a beautiful "How TO" Manual from the CREATOR Himself.

Love in Christ,
Tom

Hebrews 7:18-19 NASB  For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 22, 2006, 05:07:05 AM
That does sound like a wonderful sermon.

Yes the Bible is full of amazing facts. It is an excellant history book, science book, literature book, it teaches about the law and so many many more things above all it shows us about our Saviour and the importance of coming to Him.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 22, 2006, 08:11:37 AM
The Book of Isaiah under the sands of Egypt


The archaeological mystery has been solved! The latest research shows that the manuscript found by Polish archaeologists in the village of Gourna (Sheikh abd el-Gourna) near Luxor in Upper Egypt contains the entire biblical book of Isaiah in the Coptic translation. “This is the first complete translation of this book in Coptic” – says Prof. Ewa Wipszycka-Bravo of the Institute of Archaeology at Warsaw University.

In February last year, Tomasz Górecki heading the Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Warsaw University mission in Gourna, made a unique find in the rubbish heap of a monastery. It consisted of two papyrus books in leather covers and a collection of parchment sheets bound by two bits of wood. This was the first discovery of Coptic manuscripts in Egypt since 1952, which are well preserved and supported by a well-researched archaeological context.


One of the books is the “Code of Pseudo-Basili” – the only preserved full text in Coptic, which is a collection of rules regulating Church life. The other contains the life of St. Pistentios, one of the Coptic bishops. Both texts date back to the 7th/8th centuries.


The books are under conservation in the National Museum in Alexandria and only then will the full text be known, says Górecki.  However, their character and content are already known.


Identifying the third manuscript was much harder. An untitled collection of 50 richly decorated parchment sheets written in Coptic, bound by two pieces of wood. The Polish archaeologists turned to researchers from the University of Rome to help decipher the texts. Prof. Wipszycka-Bravo says that Tito Orlandi, who reads Coptic documents like most people read a newspaper, has pronounced them to be the book of Isaiah. Many fragments of this book have already been found, but never the whole book.


The wooden planks binding the books were supported by parchment from old texts, one a known apocrypha – “The suffering of St. Peter”, another religious text and tax bills – the professor explains.


It is still not known how these books reached the hermitage. According to specialists, they must have been written in distant scriptoriums. Moreover, an Italian expert dates the book from the 9th-10th centuries, which makes them more recent than the other books.


“The hermitage was abandoned at the beginning of the 8th century, so the parchment could not have belonged to the monks in Gourna. Who brought them there if no Christians were there anymore remains a mystery” – says Prof. Wipszycka-Bravo.


On being transported to Gourna, the books were dumped on the rubbish heap, presumably by the Arabs after chasing out the Christians.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 23, 2006, 08:07:11 AM
1,000 skeletons found in Rome catacombs

ARCHAELOGISTS exploring one of Rome's oldest catacombs have discovered more than 1,000 skeletons dressed in elegant togas.

Experts are thrilled by the find - which dates from about the first century - as it is the first "mass burial" of its kind identified. Mystery surrounds why so many bodies were neatly piled together in the complex network of underground burial chambers, which stretch for miles under the city.

It was the custom then for Rome's upper classes to be burnt not buried, so it is thought the skeletons may be early Christians. Tests are being carried to establish whether they suffered violent death or were victims of an unknown epidemic or natural disaster.

Raffaella Giuliani, chief inspector of the Vatican's Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, who is overseeing the dig, said: "What we have discovered is very exciting. Usually, two or three bodies were put into holes dug out of the rock in the catacombs. But we have several rooms filled with skeletons.

"The skeletons were dressed in fine robes, many of which had gold thread in them, and they were wrapped in sheets and covered with lime.

"This was quite common with early Christian burials, as it was a form of hygiene, and the corpses were also anointed with balsamic spices. Again, this all shows a great amount of dignity and respect given to the dead."

There are several catacombs beneath Rome dating back 2,000 years and they were used as burial places by early Christians. They were also used as secret places of worship as the pagan Romans persecuted Christians, famously feeding them to lions in the Colosseum.

The discovery was made at the Catacomb of St Peter and Marcellinus on the ancient Via Labicana in the south-east of Rome. Ms Giuliani added: "We are trying to establish whether the skeletons were buried there following some form of epidemic or natural disaster.

"Initial examinations do not appear to show any violent trauma, but we cannot rule this out.

"It is possible they could have been persecuted and killed by the Romans and then buried there by fellow Christians - we just don't know."

Professor Andrew Wallace Hadrill, director of the British School in Rome which specialises in ancient history, added: "The fact that the skeletons were dressed in expensive togas is very unusual and would point to the fact that we are talking about the upper classes of ancient Rome.

"At that time, Rome had a population of one million - it is possible that these people were killed by an illness of which we know nothing about."

It was not until the third century that Christianity was officially recognised as a religion and as such during the Medieval Ages it was customary for pilgrims heading to Rome to stop at catacombs and pray for the souls of these early Christians, many of whom had been killed because of their religion.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 29, 2006, 05:52:38 AM
The view from the garbage


The secrets of life in Second Temple-era Jerusalem can be found in a trash heap

Two discs made of bone, which apparently served as buttons, are among the objects found in the municipal dump that served Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple era. These buttons were intended to be not only practical, but decorative as well. In addition the dump has yielded a handful of glass fragments, which testify to the use of prestigious objects.

However, the vast majority of finds at the dump were very much everyday objects: fragments of household utensils including cooking pots, storage jars, pottery and lamps, coins of low denominations and a large number of animal bones. The dump is located on the eastern slope of the hill where the City of David is located. It was first unearthed in 1867 by Charles Warren, and many other archaeologists excavated there after him, but they did not realize they were digging through garbage. Only in 1995 did Professor Ronny Reich, of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, and Eli Shukron, of the Antiquities Authority, who directed the dig at the site, realize it was a dump.

The researchers estimate that the dump held a total of 300,000 tons of refuse. Reich says it came from the upper city ?(today's Jewish Quarter?), from the area adjacent to the Temple Mount and from the City of David. They calculate that every year, about 3,000 tons of waste was dumped there. This quantity of garbage, which was carried a fair distance from its source, could not have been brought there by individuals, they reason: The garbage must have been transported in a centralized and planned way from the residential area to the dump.

Reich, Shukron and their colleagues excavated in two places at the dump and systematically sorted and examined the material they collected. They found that the most significant portion of the manmade objects there were pottery shards, among which the most common were pieces of cooking utensils. These constituted about 30 percent of the shards, three times more than was found at a dwelling excavated by Professor Nachman Avigad in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter.

Reich believes that the reason for the large quantity of cooking utensils in the trash stems from the gradual increase toward the end of the Second Temple period in the number of pilgrims coming to Jerusalem on Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot. Some brought pots and cooking utensils, and others purchased them in Jerusalem. In any case, the pilgrims' broken pots were dumped at the site, increasing their relative proportion among the rubbish.

Apart from the pottery shards, the rubbish offered little evidence of the use of stone utensils, which were also common during that period. In the dozens of cubic meters of dirt taken from the dump, only two fragments of stone utensils were found. At private homes in the upper city of Jerusalem, however, stone utensils were much more popular.

Compared to pottery, stone utensils were relatively resilient ? and relatively prestigious ? which explains their absence in the dump. According to Jewish religious law in those days, stone utensils could not be considered ritually contaminated. While a contaminated piece of pottery had to be broken and discarded, stone utensils never faced that similar fate. Furthermore, stone utensils were apparently considered much more prestigious, and therefore better care was taken of them.

Evidence of Jewish life

The difference between the frequency of stone vessels in the waste versus in homes is one of the clear signs of the Jewish character of the city. However, more obvious signs can be found in the animal bones collected at the dump. Most of the bones, Says Dr. Guy Bar-Oz, an archaeo-zoologist from the University of Haifa, were of domesticated animals, goats, sheep and cattle. Not a single pig bone was found. A thorough examination of the bones showed that most of the animals eaten in the city were young. This fact concords with the Jewish religious injunction to sacrifice young, unblemished animals.

Signs of cutting were found on the bones, from which Bar-Oz concluded that they had been slaughtered by professional slaughters in accordance with Jewish law. The cuts were always found in specific areas of the animal's body. Ram Buchnik, a student writing a doctorate under the supervision of Bar-Oz and Reich, is examining the signs of cutting and comparing them to the slaughtering laws in the Talmud and the Mishna. Thus far he has found complete congruence between the writings and bones. Apart from the two buttons, the researchers found bones only of animals slaughtered to be eaten by the city inhabitants and the pilgrims. Manmade objects like beads, buttons or other items were not fund.

This phenomenon, according to Bar-Oz, characterizes all the findings at the dump. The inhabitants discarded only objects and materials that they could not recycle or that required too much effort to keep at home.

The dimensions of the municipal dump and the quantities of refuse that accumulated there about 2,000 years ago are indicative of the size and the development of the city at that time.

"Jerusalem was a very large and wealthy city that lived on constant domestic tourism," says Reich. "The pilgrims who came there regularly brought food, utensils and money, and all of these contributed to the development of the city and its inhabitants."

Therefore, the finds recently excavated not far from the city dump, in the national park encircling Jerusalem, did not surprise Reich. Rescue excavations on the planned site of the Beit Ha'asor building turned up a dwelling of impressive dimensions. The dig was directed by Zvi Greenhut of the Antiquities Authority, on land owned by the Elad Association. Along the entire length of the rock slope above the Shiloah Pool, which soars to a height of 13 meters, four stories of rooms were excavated. The walls were plastered in stucco and were girded with wooden beams or by means of hewing into the rock.

Greenhut also found evidence in the dwelling of a cellar with a plastered dome, next to a storeroom. Alongside the storeroom was a ritual bath, which also served as a source of water in case the purification pools fell below the level stipulated in Jewish law.

Since the domed structure is so close to the Shiloah Pool, which could provide enough pure water for the house's inhabitants, the question arises as to why they needed a reservoir. Of all the ancient ritual baths that have been excavated to date in Jerusalem, this is the second or third next to a reservoir. In Greenhut's opinion, the investment in the construction of the reserve pool shows that the dwelling's inhabitants were wealthy, and preferred not to go down to dip with the commoners but rather to do so within the walls of their comfortable home.

The discovery of such a large house in this part of the city, contradicts the prevailing view of town planning in Jerusalem during that period. Michael Avi Yonah had drawn up Jerusalem of that period as a city where the wealthy lived in large villas on the slopes of the hill, while the poor lived in shaky huts farther down. The lovely building that Greenhut excavated is located in the lower city, contrary to Avi Yonah's conjecture. But Reich is not surprised.

"Because Jerusalem was a wealthy city, there were also beautiful houses in the lower city. Certainly not miserable shacks," he says. "If there were poor people in Jerusalem, they probably lived by the dump and lived by gleaning off what the rich threw away."

This way of life was truncated with the destruction of the city in 70 C.E. This is witnessed by, among other things, the coins that went into the dump. The researchers found there 126 coins, of which 50 have been cleaned and identified. Of them, only four or five are dated to the days of Alexander Yannai, in the first century B.C.E. All the rest belong to the early Roman period, in the first century C.E. The later coins are from the time of the Great Revolt against the Romans: One is from the year 67, and the other from 68. The Roman conquest two years later is also evident in the garbage.

"After the year 70 the Jewish city ceased to exist and its inhabitants fled, were killed or went into exile, and garbage ceased being taken to the dump. In Jerusalem remained only a Roman garrison, and you can see that the garbage piled up in the streets," says Reich.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 01, 2006, 09:03:49 AM
 Israeli students discover Byzantine-era mosaic


Just as they were preparing for the end of the school year, students from the Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam Jewish-Arab school taking part in a yearlong archaeological educational enrichment project uncovered a Byzantine-era mosaic covered with crosses.

The mosaic was apparently part of the floor of the central room of a Byzantine church or convent and includes a medallion with a radius of about three feet decorated with a large black and red cross. Smaller crosses encircled by geometric shapes surround the central cross.

Another mosaic uncovered in a smaller room to the east of the central room also includes small crosses inside geometric designs.

The students also found stucco remains most likely used to decorate the inside walls of the structure, according to an Israel Antiquities Authority press release. Large pottery shards were also discovered, and archaeologists believe they were part of clay jars and jugs used in bath houses.

The archaeological site is on top of a hill overlooking the Ayalon Valley on the main road to Jerusalem, close to the modern-day Trappist monastery at Latrun, and is believed to be the site where Jesus first revealed himself to his apostles following his crucifixion.

"It is not every day that children ages 9 to 12 years old, Jewish and Arabs, uncover Christian archaeological remains which are an integral part of the cultural heritage of this land," said Hagit Noigbern, director of the Jerusalem Archaeological Center of the Israel Antiquities Authority, which organized the enrichment program.

The IAA and the educational Karev Fund conducted the archaeological enrichment program for the children over the past year.

Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is a cooperative village of Jews and Palestinian Arabs of Israeli citizenship. The village includes a regular school, a peace school and hotel. It is the fruition of the dream of Dominican Father Bruno Hussar, who in the 1960s envisioned a village of coexistence. In 1970 he was able to begin the village on land leased from the nearby Latrun monastery.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 01, 2006, 09:06:02 AM
Team believes it found Noah's Ark
Returns from Iranian mountain with petrified wood, marine fossils


A 14-man crew that included evangelical apologist Josh McDowell says it returned from a trek to a mountain in Iran with possible evidence of the remains of Noah's Ark.

The group, led by explorer Bob Cornuke, found an unusual object perched on a slope 13,120 feet above sea level.

Cornuke, president of the archeological Base Institute and a veteran of nearly 30 expeditions in search of Bible artifacts and locations, said he is cautiously, but enthusiastically, optimistic about the find.

Some of the team's photos can be seen here.

Also on the team were Barry Rand, former CEO of Avis; Boone Powell, former CEO of Baylor Medical Systems; and Arch Bonnema, president of Joshua Financial.

The team returned with video footage of a large black formation, about 400 feet long – the length of the ark, according to the Bible – that looks like rock but bears the image of hundreds of massive, wooden, hand-hewn beams.

Bonnema observed: "These beams not only look like petrified wood, they are so impressive that they look like real wood – this is an amazing discovery that may be the oldest shipwreck in recorded history."

The team said one piece of the blackened rock is "cut" at 90-degree angle.

Sealed with pitch

Even more intriguing, they said, some of the wood-like rocks tested this week proved to be petrified wood.

It's noteworthy, they pointed out, that the Bible recounts Noah sealed his ark with pitch, a black substance.

When the retrieved pieces were cut open, a marine fossil was discovered. In the area around the object, the team found thousands of fossilized sea shells, and Cornuke brought back a one-inch thick rock slab replete with fossilized clams.

With the discovery of wood splinters and broken pottery at the remote 15,300-foot level, the team says it also found evidence that ancients considered it an important worship site for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Cornuke became involved in the search for the ark after meeting Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, participating with him in several searches on Mount Ararat in Turkey, but with disappointing results.

Cornuke began looking elsewhere, after finding clues in the Bible such as Genesis 11's reference to descendants of Noah coming to the Mesopotamian valley from the east. Cornuke believes that would put the biblical mountains of Ararat somewhere in northern Iran.

He also points to ancient historians such as Nicholas of Damascus and Flavius Josephus who wrote, just before and after Christ, that timbers of the ark had survived in the higher mountains of present-day Iran.

Cornuke noted that during World War II, an American Army officer and road construction engineer in Iran named Ed Davis said he saw the ark on a high mountain in the country after being led there by Iranian friends. After the war, according to Cornuke, Davis passed a lie detector test affirming he saw timbers from an ark-like object.

Before his death, Davis gave Cornuke a map showing the way to the object.

"It was right where Ed said it was in his map," Cornuke said. "After seeing it from a distance, I thought it at first unimpressive, but once we stood on the object we were all amazed at how it looked just like a huge pile of black and brown stone beams."

Noah tours

Cornuke's is the latest of many expeditions – most of them at Turkey's Mount Ararat – in search of Noah's Ark.

As WorldNetDaily reported, a new travel website is promoting summer tours to a Turkish site near Mount Ararat believed by many to be the fossilized remains of Noah's Ark.

Noah's Ark Holidays, which bills itself as an "ethical travel referral website" is behind the offer, with a pitch for the location in Dogubayazit, Turkey.

The late Ron Wyatt, whose Tennessee-based foundation, Wyatt Archaeological Research, also believed the ark is located at Dogubayazit, some 12-15 miles from Ararat.

Meanwhile, as WorldNetDaily reported in March, others who believe the vessel is on Ararat itself became excited with the release of a new, high-resolution digital image of what has become known as the "Ararat Anomaly."

The location of the anomaly on the mountain's northwest corner has been under investigation from afar by ark hunters for years, but it has remained unexplored, with the government of Turkey not granting any scientific expedition permission to explore on site.

In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible speaks of Noah and the ark, and Jesus Christ and the apostles Paul and Peter all make reference to Noah's flood as an actual historical event.

According to Genesis, Noah was a righteous man who was instructed by God to construct a large vessel to hold his family and many species of animals, as a massive deluge was coming to purify the world which had become corrupt.

Genesis 6:5 states: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Noah was told by God to take aboard seven pairs of each of the "clean" animals – that is to say, those permissible to eat – and two each of the "unclean" variety. (Gen. 7:2)

Though the Bible says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, it also mentions "the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days."

The ark then "rested" upon the mountains of Ararat, but it was still months before Noah and his family – his wife, his three sons and the sons' wives – were able to leave the ark and begin replenishing the world.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 02, 2006, 01:37:33 PM
Bone box on trial
James ossuary is at the centre of a Jerusalem court battle where the seamy side of the trade in ancient artifacts is exposed


In the city where Jesus preached and was killed 2,000 years ago, a controversy is building that could shake the foundations of the religion founded in his name.

The James ossuary, the purported burial box of Jesus' brother declared a fake by Israeli authorities three years ago, is at the centre of a Jerusalem court battle over alleged forging of antiquities.

The ossuary, with the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," made a big splash when it was unveiled to the world nearly four years ago at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum.

The trial, on hold for more than a month due to scheduling delays that plague the Israeli court system, resumes Tuesday with the testimony of Avner Ayalon of the Geological Survey of Israel whose examinations of the ossuary helped lead to charges be laid.

With barely one-quarter of the prosecution's 124 witnesses called since the trial began last fall, and the defence team expected to call at least as many witnesses, the case is expect to take years to make its way through the court system.

"Trials in Israel are really something special," deadpans defence attorney Lior Bringer in a telephone interview from his office in Tel Aviv.

His client is Oded Golan, an antiquities collector charged with forging part of the inscription on the ossuary and faking two other artifacts.

Experts called as witnesses have contradicted each others' testimony — with one going so far as to say she will leave the profession if the limestone ossuary is a fake and another saying the entire controversy may be the result of an over-zealous cleaning.

One German expert even alleges that the Israeli Antiquities Authority "recently contaminated" the most contentious part of the ossuary, its inscription, in such a way that earlier tests cannot be reproduced.

Through it all, the on-again off-again trial of Golan and two of his colleagues has exposed the seamy underbelly of trade in ancient artifacts — a world of deception, forgery and secret deals that Golan says is becoming even more secretive thanks to efforts to crack down on dealers.

That puts the archaeological heritage of the country at risk, he says, as artifacts are taken out of the country with little or no documentation of their origins rather than risk trouble with authorities.

"The less important (antiquities) are sold to tourists and the most important are taken out of Israel," Golan says in a telephone interview from his home in Tel Aviv, where he is under house arrest.

The exact origins of the ossuary are not known. Golan, one of the largest collectors in Israel, says he purchased it from an Arab antiquities dealer in the mid-1970s for a bout $200.

He was still in university at the time, studying industrial engineering. The ossuary spent the next 15 years in his parent's apartment, including a stint on the balcony. At one point, it may have even been used as a planter, though no one can remember for sure.

Golan then took it to his apartment for several years, before putting it in storage along with about 3,000 other items in his collection. Only the most beautiful of his antiquities are kept in his apartment, he says, and the plain box now known as the James Ossuary did not qualify.

It was not until a French scholar, André Lemaire, stumbled across it in Golan's storage shed in 2002 that Golan began to realize how significant it might be. Within months it was on display at the ROM, and within a year the subject of a police investigation.

Its route from tomb to trial is mapped by rumour, hearsay and speculation. Golan says the dealer he bought it from told him it came from Silwan, a village south of the Old City of Jerusalem. Others suggest it came from a tomb uncovered in the 1980s, or from one raided by thieves in June 2000.

The uncertainties of its origin, however, have only added to the intrigue and scientific debate over its authenticity.

At the centre of the debate is a report by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, a government body that stores and authenticates ancient objects for scholarly research, that declared in June 2003 that the ossuary was authentic, but that part of the inscription was forged.

Both the ossuary and the inscription, "James, son of Joseph," date to the time of Jesus, the authority declared. But the second part of the inscription, "brother of Jesus," was a modern forgery. A crude attempt to apply artificial patina under high temperatures was made to hide the forgery, the authority said.

"The patina was not created under natural conditions," report contributor Yuval Goren says in a telephone interview from Israel, where he is an archaeology professor at Tel Aviv University.

The report relies on what is known as an isotopic test, meant to compare the composition of patina on the ossuary to others of a similar age.

If the patina of two ossuaries are the same, they are about the same age. If the patina inside an inscription matches the patina outside, the inscription was made when the ossuary was new. Patina is a darkening that come with age.

The results, Goran says, show that the ossuary itself dates from the time of Jesus, but that parts of the inscription do not.

"The patina on the rest of the ossuary was created in normal cave conditions," he says, adding that the patina inside the inscriptions did not match that on the face of the ossuary.

That means the inscription was made later, with a fake patina added, possibly by dissolving in water patina taken from the rest of the ossuary and then spreading the resulting paste into the inscription and baking it on.

"I don't know about the motive and I don't know who did it," he says. "The bottom line is that the patina in the inscription is not natural."

His conclusions have come under severe attack, however, with the criticisms mounting since the Golan trial began last fall.

In one court exchange with Bringer, noted Israeli palaeographer Ada Yardeni said she would resign as an expert on ancient inscriptions if the ossuary is fake.

"Yes. I said that I would leave the profession," Yardeni said on cross-examination, confirming a story in Biblical Archaeology Review, the first publication to report news of the ossuary four years ago,

Making the criticisms all the more visceral is the questioning in archaeological circles about the use of isotopic tests themselves.

In a report that the review's editor Hershel Shanks called a "bombshell" in the Jerusalem Post last month, Wolfgang Krumbien articulated the growing concerns of many experts about the antiquities authority tests.

An internationally recognized expert on patina from the University of Oldenburg in Germany, Krumbien declared that the tests done by the authority were "irrelevant" and should never have been conducted.

Isotopic tests, he wrote in a report prepared for Golan's defence team, can only be used when on objects stored in ideal cave conditions and at steady temperatures.

But there is plenty of evidence that the James ossuary was not kept in such conditions. In fact, Krumbien found, it is likely that wherever the ossuary spent much of the past 2,000 years, there was either a flood or a cave-in of the wall of the tomb, which damaged the ossuary.

"The cave in which the James ossuary was placed, either collapsed centuries earlier, or alluvial deposits penetrated the chamber together with water and buried the ossuary, either completely or partially," he wrote.

As well, he wrote, he was able to find microscopic bits of patina within the inscription that matched the patina on the outside of the box, indicating that the lettering dated to the origins of the ossuary itself.

He attributed Goren's failure to find the patina to aggressive cleanings that removed almost all the patina from the lettering.

Goren declined to comment on the Krumbien report, saying he will do so when called to testify before the trial. He was not sure when that might be.

Ed Keall, a retired curator at the ROM responsible for the ossuary when it was in Toronto, says he saw the patina in the inscription by using powerful microscopes. He also saw evidence that the ossuary — pockmarked along its bottom edge — had been buried or immersed in water for extended periods.

"It's all eaten away, like a piece of cheese," says Keall, who remains optimistic that both the ossuary and the inscription date to Jesus' time.

"I have yet to be given any unequivocal evidence that it's false," he says.

He is quick to add, however, that the question of the ossuary's authenticity may never be settled, particularly since aggressive cleanings by antiquities dealers looking to boost the value by enhancing the inscription and by the antiquities authority have made it more difficult to find patina in the inscription.

Once the trial is over, however, Keall would like to see an open forum organized to discuss the ossuary and to debate the various opinions about its authenticity.

Shanks of the Biblical Archaeology Review is already working on pulling together such a forum, though he sees no need to wait until after the trial.

The problem, he says, is that Goren has said he won't discuss the matter until after he has testified, and Shanks says the forum can't be held without him — meaning the debate will just have to wait.

"It would be like staging Hamlet without Hamlet," Shanks says from his Washington office. "It can't be done."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 02, 2006, 01:38:33 PM
Israeli Occupation Government to Demolish the Islamic Relic of Al-Maghareba Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Islamic relic to be demolished by Israeli Antiquities Authority


The Israeli Antiquities Authority has announced in a press release the plan for the demolition of the famous Al-Maghareba (Moroccan) Gate at the gate of the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz has called the door “one of the most sensitive places in the world.” Indeed, the gate is a significant and symbolic place for the region’s Muslim community. The newspaper added that the Israeli Security Service, or Shin Bet, has been active in preventing the demolition of the door during the past few years, fearing the reaction of prominent Muslim leaders.

An Israeli source told Ha’aretz that the current Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip and the recent arrest of members of the Palestinian government is serving as a distraction for Palestinian Muslims, referring to the Palestinian Authority as “paralysed.” He added that the Antiquities Authority would be unable to resist such a timely opportunity.

The Israeli government decided in December 2005 to transfer responsibility for the area to the Western Wall Heritage Fund, an organization close to Israeli settlers in Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 02, 2006, 01:39:32 PM
Two years on, dangerous Temple Mount ramp will finally be removed

The Israel Antiquities Authority will begin removing the Mugrabi ramp in a few days, despite the fear of Muslim riots.

The ramp, which leads from the Western Wall plaza to one of the Temple Mount Gates, is located in one of the most sensitive places in the world, and plans to carry out excavations under it have therefore been held up by the Shin Bet security service and the prime minister's military secretary for the past two years, for fear of Muslim riots.

Archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov warned yesterday that any digging in the area could lead to bloodshed. "Digging in this place goes way beyond the archaeological sphere. This place is far too sensitive and the price would be much too high," he said.

However, a reliable source told Haaretz that "now that the Palestinian Authority is paralyzed and incapable of resisting, it's an excellent opportunity to carry out the plan."

The need to remove the ramp arose in February 2004, when one of its supporting walls collapsed into the West Wall plaza. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the city eng ineer said that the ramp was unstable and must be removed soon.

However, the prime minister's military secretary and Shin Bet representatives who attended discussions about the ramp objected to removing it. A source who attended these meetings told Haaretz that the former military secretary, Yoav Galant, wondered why the ramp needed to be removed.

Meanwhile, the cabinet decided in January 2005 to transfer responsibility for the Western Wall area to the Western Wall Heritage Fund, a group close to settlers' organizations that are active in East Jerusalem. The fund initiated a plan to replace the ramp with a bridge, to which the government contributed NIS 5 million.

However, the plan raised strong objections from senior Israeli archaeologists, who said that building the bridge would severely damage the important archaeological site south of the ramp.

The Mugrabi Gate serves non-Muslim visitors who enter the Temple Mount, as well as the security services, which use it to enter the Temple Mount during riots.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 05, 2006, 05:12:37 AM
Documentary sets new date for Exodus


A new documentary by a Canadian Jewish filmmaker argues that the Exodus did happen, but that it took place a couple of hundred years before the commonly-accepted time frame.

The Exodus Decoded, a two-hour documentary by award-winning Israeli-born filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, suggests that the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt as recounted in the Bible occurred around 1500 BCE, about 230 years before the date most commonly accepted by contemporary historians.

The 10 plagues that smote the Egyptians, according to the Bible, are explained in the documentary to be the result of a volcanic eruption on a Greek island that occurred 3,500 years ago.

The documentary, which is narrated by the director James Cameron (Titanic), identifies a 3,500-year-old gold image - found in a museum in Athens - as that of the lost Ark of the Covenant. It also cites a hieroglyphic inscription discovered in an Egyptian museum that attests to the Exodus.

The film also claims to reveal the "true location" of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments according to the Bible.

None of the relics - or arguments - cited in the made-for-TV, state-of-the-art film, which is the result of six years of research, has been accepted by archeologists or any prominent archeological institution as proof for Jacobovici's theory.

And Jacobovici, who has produced an array of documentaries over the last two decades on subjects ranging from suicide bombing in Israel to the ebola virus to the global sex trade, readily agrees that he is no archeologist. But he asserts that this makes him no less qualified to investigate historical facts.

"I bring with me the same skills you bring to any investigation, whether it is sex trafficking, politics, terror or the Biblical archeological story," said the two-time Emmy award-winner, denouncing "minimalists" who say that the Exodus - and the Bible - is a fantastic fairy tale.

"I think it is a mistake when you have a situation in archeology where some academics have set themselves up as some sort of priesthood between us and the Bible," he added.

Jacobovici set out on his Exodus quest after doing a documentary in the 1990s on a group of people on the Indian-Burma border who claim to be the lost Israelite tribe of Menashe. That film was met with widespread criticism by people Jacobovici branded as "so-called experts." Jacobovici said he himself was skeptical of the tribe's Israelite claims until he researched the subject.

Similarly with the new Exodus documentary, he asserted that with his hefty $3.5 million budget, a lack of preconceptions, and none of the restrictions of conventional archeological wisdom, he was free to reach what he insists are credible conclusions about the Exodus.

The 55-year-old director, whose original claim to fame was his first-ever documentary Falasha: Exile of the Black Jews, made two and half decades ago and which focused on Ethiopian Jewry, said his research for the lost tribes film spurred him to question the widely accepted assumptions about what he called "the founding story of Western civilization" - the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.

Six years later, mixing science, religion and a variety of archeological findings, Jacobovici is convinced that he has seen the light. Most of the archeological findings cited come from Egypt, with others from Greece. He said he researched in six countries, including Israel and the UK.

The film, which was first broadcast in Canada in April, premieres Friday at the Jerusalem Film Festival. It will be shown in the US on August 20 on the History Channel.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 15, 2006, 11:23:47 AM
Excavating at Megiddo

Dig this tel

More than a hundred years ago, German archeologists began to excavate the remarkable tel (mound) of Megiddo. Since then, artifacts galore from 26 layers of civilization built on top of one another have been discovered. However, the site still has many untapped secrets waiting for a trowel or shovel to unearth and expose them to the light of the new millennium.

Scores of students from Israel and abroad, including archeology buffs of all ages, are hard at work hoping to discover the unknown as they participate in this season's dig on and around Tel Megiddo.

For 25 years a German team worked the site, mentioned in ancient Egyptian writings as Thutmose III - one of the mightiest kings of Egypt - waged war upon the city in 1478 BCE. The battle was described for posterity in hieroglyphic detail on the walls of his upper Egypt temple.

The Germans were followed by teams from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr., some of their finds ending up in the US.

In 1992 the first Megiddo expedition of the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University took to the site, and the present dig is their eighth season since.

The site, a former haunt of King Solomon, was settled continuously for six millennia. It is also known as Armageddon and of great significance for Christians, who believe that this will be the location of the final battle between good and evil when Judgment Day comes.

Megiddo was a site of great strategic importance. The large mound overlooks an all-important artery to merchants and warriors of the past (and present) - the narrow pass leading between the Amir and Menashe mountain ranges.

In l918, British troops invaded the north of Palestine through the Megiddo Pass to free it from Turkish rule. The commander-in-chief of the British forces, field marshal Edmund Allenby, was later granted the title Lord Allenby of Megiddo. The present holder of the title - and patron of the Megiddo Expedition - is Viscount Michael Allenby, the grandnephew of the legendary British general.

Tel Megiddo is perched on a large hill hugging the lower slopes where the Menashe Hills peter off into the Jezreel Valley. Whoever sat on the prominent hill not only controlled the entrance to the narrow pass but was also afforded - this remains the case in present times - an uninterrupted view over a large portion of the valley below.

Known as the Via Maris (Way of the Sea) - nowadays Wadi Ara, Nahal Iron or Route 65 - the ancient pass winds its way, flanked by undulating hills, to the Mediterranean coastline. In years of yore, it would lead one all the way to Assyria in the opposite direction.

At present, the past fills every moment of the working day for British-born Israeli archeologist and coordinator of the Megiddo Expedition, Norma Franklin, as she oversees the smooth running of this season's 90-member team who hail from Finland, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia, Canada and the US, as well as Israel.

"We have 18-year-old students and lovers of archeology working alongside people up to the age of 70. And this year, many have come for the whole seven weeks," Franklin told Metro.

There are also people working on the tel under the auspices of the National Parks Authority, among them Ethiopian olim and a group from the nearby village of Mukeiba, an Israeli Arab Muslim village sitting on the Green Line opposite Jenin in the Jezreel Valley. The village is clearly visible from the tel.

A film crew is trying to capture the beehive of activity, and a huge sound boom suddenly looms up from behind one of the areas of black plastic netting strung across poles that gives the workers some respite from the beating sun. Cameramen and assistants gingerly step over rocks as old as the Bible, careful not to fall into one of the deep pits under excavation or uncovered in previous expeditions.

A camera trains on Abed, a 40something from Mukeiba hunkered down in a corner, squatting precariously on his heels as he carefully brushes out dirt from between stones, totally immersed in the task of searching for the past - and quite oblivious to the camera capturing the moment for the future.

Just down the road at the Megiddo prison, another archeological dig is underway following the discovery last year - while surveying to extend the facility where more than 1,000 Palestinians are imprisoned - of a mosaic floor of a 3rd- or 4th-century CE church, the oldest one found to date in the Holy Land and a very important discovery.

From the main Wadi Ara road, one can see a portion inside the prison, which is also built on a hill. Clearly visible over the outer wall are the same black netting structures for shade as those spotted atop Tel Megiddo.

Closing in on another area covered in black netting, voices float up from deep in the earth. Stepping off the beaten track and into ankle-deep fine white dust, I discovered three North Americans in a large pit some five meters deep, surrounded by piles of buckets, shovels, brushes and trowels.

Lee Drake from Wyoming, Katherine Sirman from Ontario and Colby Bestten from Missouri have spent the past months rising at dawn and working on the tel until noon. The archeology students attend academic lectures in the evenings at base camp in Kibbutz Ramat Hashofet, earning credits toward their university studies back home.

This is Bestten's third consecutive summer working on an archeological site in Israel. For Drake who, apart from archeology is also majoring in statistics and biology, being able to participate in the Megiddo Expedition is the answer to a dream. "When I was a kid I read about Megiddo, and the site has fascinated me ever since," he explains.

Sirman is the only one of the threesome not studying archeology. Theater is her major, and she found out about the dig while surfing the Internet.

What have they discovered so far after digging for eight hours a day for a month? "Pieces of pottery and animal bones," enthuses Bestten.

The students continue with their back-breaking work, huffing and puffing to find the remains of a house that an earthquake or war had brought down.

"To work on the expedition is always exciting," says Franklin. "We are looking for the big picture about those who lived here, how the people lived, organized their economy - about those who came and went."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 20, 2006, 04:48:39 AM
King Solomon-era fortifications revealed in Israel excavation

More than 30 years have passed since a major expedition has attempted to reveal the history of Tel Gezer, the ancient city of King Solomon fame located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This summer the biblical site has been re-excavated by a joint expedition of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The expedition is led by co-directors Steven M. Ortiz of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The project encompasses several consortium members: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Marian Eakins Archaeological Museum, Lycoming College, Lancaster Bible College and Grace Seminary. More than 60 students and staff members participated in the inaugural season this summer from June 4 through July 7. In addition, the excavations drew support from local residents of Kibbutz Gezer and Karmi Yosef.

Some secular archaeologists doubt the reality of many people and places named in the Bible, but the current work at the Tel Gezer location may prove useful in verifying various biblical accounts.

This year's excavations have revealed more than 40 meters of a massive fortification system associated with the six-chambered gate common in the building projects of King Solomon. Solomon’s extensive building projects are recorded in the biblical account of his activities throughout his kingdom and at his capital city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:15-17).

The Tel Gezer fortification systems were constructed in the typical fortress wall system consisting of two parallel walls with dividing walls interspersed about every five meters. Scholars are not sure of the function of this system. The rooms do not have doorways and therefore served as some type of basement storage system entered from above or were filled with soil and rubble as a less labor-intensive construction.

In addition to this large fortification system, two major destructions tentatively dated to the Egyptian pharaohs of Merneptah and Siamun were exposed. The famous Merneptah Stela (end of the 13th century B.C.), where the name Israel is first mentioned in ancient historical records outside the Bible, mentions a major campaign in ancient Palestine that included the destruction of Gezer. Siamun (mid-10th century B.C.) is identified by many scholars as the pharaoh who conquered Gezer and gave it as a dowry when his daughter married Solomon (1 Kings 9:15).

While the ancient site of Tel Gezer was extensively excavated by R.A.S. Macalister in the early 1900s and by Hebrew Union College in the 1960s and ’70s, many questions still remain concerning the nature of the city during the period of the United Monarchy of the Ancient Israelite Kingdom. The goals of the renewed excavations are to investigate the major fortification systems on the south edge of the site as well as excavate several cultural horizons in order to better understand the growth and development of the Iron Age city.

While parts of the large fortification system have been exposed by previous excavations, several new discoveries were obtained this season. The first was a major rebuilding of the part of the city near the fortification. Some time in the eighth century B.C. a large pillared building and a second unit consisting of several storage rooms were constructed directly abutting the 10th-century B.C. fortification. The pillared building was six and a half meters by four meters and the second unit of rooms covered an area seven meters in length.

The renewed excavations coincide with the celebration of the July 10 opening of the site by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority as a national park. While most of the preparation was carried out by the Israeli authority, it is part of the excavation project’s future goals to assist in the conservation of the site. Thus, participants of the Tel Gezer excavation assisted by clearing the years of overgrown brush that covered the Solomonic and Canaanite Gates.

The Tel Gezer project is a long-term initiative to investigate the growth and development of the ancient city of Gezer. In addition, it is a field school to train the next generation of students. Students participate in an intensive program of archaeological fieldwork with evening lectures and a study program where they travel throughout the various regions of Israel.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 23, 2006, 01:20:16 PM
Although the following timelines are debateable this still verifies the Biblical story of Joseph and the major drought that is told of during his life time.

______________________

Exodus From Drying Sahara Gave Rise to Pharaohs, Study Says


The pharaohs of ancient Egypt owed their existence to prehistoric climate change in the eastern Sahara, according to an exhaustive study of archaeological data that bolsters this theory.

Starting at about 8500 B.C., researchers say, broad swaths of what are now Egypt, Chad, Libya, and Sudan experienced a "sudden onset of humid conditions."

For centuries the region supported savannahs full of wildlife, lush acacia forests, and areas so swampy they were uninhabitable.

During this time the prehistoric peoples of the eastern Sahara followed the rains to keep pace with the most hospitable ecosystems.

But around 5300 B.C. this climate-driven environmental abundance started to decline, and most humans began leaving the increasingly arid region.

"Around 5,500 to 6,000 years ago the Egyptian Sahara became so dry that nobody could survive there," said Stefan Kröpelin, a geoarchaeologist at the University of Cologne in Germany and study co-author.

Without rain, rivers, or the ephemeral desert streams known as waddis, vegetation became sparse, and people had to leave the desert or die, Kröpelin says.

Members of this skilled human population settled near the Nile River, giving rise to the first pharaonic cultures in Egypt (related feature: sample and download Egyptian music).

Gift of Pottery

The new study, which appears online today on the Science Express Web site, is based on painstaking research that combines new radiocarbon dating of about 500 artifacts from the region with data from past studies.

Kröpelin and study co-author Rudolph Kuper also collected geological climate data from countless ancient lakebeds, rain pools, and rivers.

Over the course of 30 years the researchers labored for months at a time in deserts where daytime temperatures sometimes topped 120° to 140°F (50° to 60°C).

The information collected allowed the scientists to piece together a picture of the ancient climate, environment, and migration of prehistoric peoples in the eastern Sahara over the past 12,000 years.

Among their findings, the researchers provide further evidence that the human exodus from the desert about 5,000 years ago is what laid the foundation for the first pharaohs' rule.

"Egypt is a gift of the Nile, as Herodotus said, as many people still think today," Kröpelin said, referring to the 5th-century B.C. Greek historian. "But at the same time also it is a gift of the desert."

"Without the tradition and the know-how and the knowledge of the desert, probably the Egyptian pharaonic civilization wouldn't have emerged as it did."

For example, pottery was first invented in Africa in the Egyptian Sahara at the same time, if not before, it was developed in the Middle East.

"[Pottery] is the first modern plastic, one of the most important inventions in human history," Kröpelin said.

The innovation provided the economic basis for the Neolithic revolution—a period of human cultural development about 5,200 to 4,500 years ago.

Pottery vessels enabled nomadic peoples to preserve and store food and thus settle down (photo: excavating ancient Egyptian pottery).

"It was really a very, very big step in human evolution, and this happened in the desert," Kröpelin said. "Only when the desert dried out, this condition was brought to the Nile Valley."

Adding Some Meat

In their study, Kröpelin and Kuper also describe how pastoral cultures moved along with the desert's southern march.

The ancient peoples' progress helped sow aspects of farming, particularly domestic animal herding, throughout Africa (explore an interactive atlas of the human journey out of Africa).

David Phillipson, a professor of African archaeology, directs the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in England.

The study "adds a great deal of meat and detail to something which has been envisaged for a little while," he said.

"And it's extremely useful to have this, because it enormously increases the amount of basic data on which the conclusions are drawn.

"As the Sahara dried and became less suited and eventually unsuited to habitation, people ultimately had to move out, whether it be southward or to the east into the Nile Valley," Phillipson said.

"And this [study] helps [us] to understand the apparent rather sudden development of intensive settlement by sophisticated societies in the Nile Valley 'round about five or six thousand years ago."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on July 23, 2006, 04:04:43 PM
Augustus' birthplace believed found

Wed Jul 19, 8:20 PM ET

ROME - A team of archaeologists announced Wednesday they have uncovered part of what they believe is the birthplace of Rome's first emperor Augustus.

Leading archaeologist Clementina Panella said the team has dug up part of a corridor and other fragments under Rome's Palatine Hill, which she described as "a very ancient aristocratic house."

Panella said that she could not yet be certain that the house was where Augustus was born in 63 B.C., but added that historical cross-checks and other findings nearby have showed that the emperor was particularly fond of the area, she said.

Excavations on the Palatine in recent decades have turned up wonders such as another renewed Augustus' house, including two rooms with stunning frescoes of masked figures and pine branches.

Panella said there are at least two houses on the Palatine where the emperor was known to have lived. Much has yet to be uncovered, hidden in underground passageways.

Augustus' birthplace believed found (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060720/ap_on_sc/italy_augustus__birthplace_1;_ylt=ArukpTvsIlAomtVhULwljn5xieAA;_ylu=X3oDMTA2ZGZwam4yBHNlYwNmYw--)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on July 25, 2006, 11:52:51 PM
Ireland worker finds ancient psalms in bog

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press Writer Tue Jul 25, 8:46 PM ET

DUBLIN, Ireland - Irish archaeologists Tuesday heralded the discovery of an ancient book of psalms by a construction worker who spotted something while driving the shovel of his backhoe into a bog.

The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.

"This is really a miracle find," said Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, which has the book stored in refrigeration and facing years of painstaking analysis before being put on public display.

"There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing."

He said an engineer was digging up bogland last week to create commercial potting soil somewhere in Ireland's midlands when, "just beyond the bucket of his bulldozer, he spotted something." Wallace would not specify where the book was found because a team of archaeologists is still exploring the site.

"The owner of the bog has had dealings with us in past and is very much in favor of archaeological discovery and reporting it," Wallace said.

Crucially, he said, the bog owner covered up the book with damp soil. Had it been left exposed overnight, he said, "it could have dried out and just vanished, blown away."

The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.

Wallace said several experts spent Tuesday analyzing only that page — the number of letters on each line, lines on each page, size of page — and the book's binding and cover, which he described as "leather velum, very thick wallet in appearance."

It could take months of study, he said, just to identify the safest way to pry open the pages without damaging or destroying them. He ruled out the use of X-rays to investigate without moving the pages.

Ireland already has several other holy books from the early medieval period, including the ornately illustrated Book of Kells, which has been on display at Trinity College in Dublin since the 19th century.

Ireland worker finds ancient psalms in bog (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060726/ap_on_sc/ireland_ancient_book_5)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 26, 2006, 06:41:55 PM
Southwesterners help with major archaeological dig at Tel Gezer

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s collaboration with four Southern Baptist seminaries in one archaeological dig is “historic,” according to Eric Mitchell, assistant professor of biblical backgrounds and archaeology at Southwestern Seminary.

Mitchell served as a field supervisor in excavations at Tel Gezer from June 4 to July 7 in conjunction with the seminary’s Bible Lands Study Program. This summer, the program emphasized archaeological field work at Tel Gezer, along with evening lectures from experts in the field of archaeology and weekend study-tours throughout the Bible Lands.

"We have never had four Southern Baptist Seminaries working together on a dig,” Mitchell said. “It was just an excellent experience, an excellent team.”

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary co-sponsored the site with the Israel Antiquities Authority. Southwestern, Golden Gate and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminaries are among the eight consortium schools involved with the Tel Gezer project.

Steve Ortiz of New Orleans Seminary, who co-directed the expedition with Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority, agreed that it is “unusual” to have four of the six Southern Baptist Seminaries involved in one expedition.

“This just means that I have supportive colleagues in other seminaries who see the value of the Tel Gezer Excavation Project for students,” Ortiz said. However, Ortiz noted that “denominational affiliations” are not emphasized at Tel Gezer.

“The emphasis is … on the desire to participate in a field school that is excavating a major ancient biblical site,” he said.

Southwestern Seminary will co-sponsor the work at Tel Gezer in 2007, a shift that comes in conjunction with Ortiz’ move to Southwestern Seminary this fall. In August, Ortiz will begin his dual role as Southwestern Seminary’s associate professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds and director of its Charles C. Tandy Archaeology Museum. He will also continue to co-direct the expedition at Tel Gezer.

According to Mitchell, Southwestern’s sponsorship of Tel Gezer will give the seminary the ability to lead in the study of biblical backgrounds and archaeology.

“Tel Gezer will give (the seminary) a site recognized by the Israel Antiquities Authority and most Israeli archaeologists as one of the top five archaeological sites in Israel,” he said. “The last major American dig at the site trained some 40 archaeologists who have led digs in the last 35-40 years. So there is a great tradition at the site.”

According to Mitchell, Gezer was inhabited as early as the Early Bronze Age, around 3,000 B.C. The ancient city was situated in the Aijalon Valley, which runs east to west from the hills west of Jerusalem to the Mediterranean coast.

“Joshua stood on the descent of Beth Horon – just northwest of Jerusalem – overlooking this valley when the Israelites conquered the Amorite kings,” Mitchell said, referring to Joshua 10:12-13. “Joshua said, ‘Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon … And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.’”

Under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites attacked Gezer, but could not drive the people out of the city. According to Mitchell, the city was overrun several times during the period of the Judges, but it was not inhabited by the Israelites until the time of Solomon.

According to a July 18 Baptist Press report, this summer’s excavations uncovered “a massive fortification system associated with the six-chambered gate common in the building projects of King Solomon.”

It also revealed two layers of destruction in the ancient city, “tentatively dated” to the time of the pharaohs Merneptah and Siamun. The Merneptah Stela from the 13th century B.C. contains the earliest reference to Israel outside of scripture, along with a description of a “major campaign” in Palestine. Tel Gezer, the report notes, was destroyed during this campaign.

The BP report adds that many scholars identify Siamun as the pharoah who defeated the people of Gezer and gave the city as a dowry to his daughter when she married Solomon. According to 1 Kings 9, Solomon then fortified Gezer.

“I thought the site was very impressive,” said Joseph Cathey, archivist at Southwestern Seminary’s A.Webb Roberts Library and assistant square supervisor at Gezer. “I think that excavations opened a particular window on Solomonic Gezer, and I’m looking forward to next year seeing, I think, a better picture than what we even uncovered this year.”

Students who are interested in volunteering on the dig in 2007 can get more information at the project’s Web site, www.gezerproject.org.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 26, 2006, 06:43:37 PM
Solomon-era Fortifications Revealed in Israel Excavation

More than 30 years have passed since a major expedition has attempted to reveal the history of Tel Gezer, the ancient city of King Solomon fame located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Baptist Press reports that this summer the biblical site has been re-excavated by a joint expedition of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The expedition is led by co-directors Steven M. Ortiz of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Some secular archaeologists doubt the reality of many people and places named in the Bible, but the current work at the Tel Gezer location may prove useful in verifying various biblical accounts. This year's excavations have revealed more than 40 meters of a massive fortification system associated with the six-chambered gate common in the building projects of King Solomon. Solomon’s extensive building projects are recorded in the biblical account of his activities throughout his kingdom and at his capital city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:15-17).


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 26, 2006, 06:45:11 PM
Bone box on trial
James ossuary is at the centre of a Jerusalem court battle where the seamy side of the trade in ancient artifacts is exposed


In the city where Jesus preached and was killed 2,000 years ago, a controversy is building that could shake the foundations of the religion founded in his name.

The James ossuary, the purported burial box of Jesus' brother declared a fake by Israeli authorities three years ago, is at the centre of a Jerusalem court battle over alleged forging of antiquities.

The ossuary, with the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," made a big splash when it was unveiled to the world nearly four years ago at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum.

The trial, on hold for more than a month due to scheduling delays that plague the Israeli court system, resumes Tuesday with the testimony of Avner Ayalon of the Geological Survey of Israel whose examinations of the ossuary helped lead to charges be laid.

With barely one-quarter of the prosecution's 124 witnesses called since the trial began last fall, and the defence team expected to call at least as many witnesses, the case is expect to take years to make its way through the court system.

"Trials in Israel are really something special," deadpans defence attorney Lior Bringer in a telephone interview from his office in Tel Aviv.

His client is Oded Golan, an antiquities collector charged with forging part of the inscription on the ossuary and faking two other artifacts.

Experts called as witnesses have contradicted each others' testimony — with one going so far as to say she will leave the profession if the limestone ossuary is a fake and another saying the entire controversy may be the result of an over-zealous cleaning.

One German expert even alleges that the Israeli Antiquities Authority "recently contaminated" the most contentious part of the ossuary, its inscription, in such a way that earlier tests cannot be reproduced.

Through it all, the on-again off-again trial of Golan and two of his colleagues has exposed the seamy underbelly of trade in ancient artifacts — a world of deception, forgery and secret deals that Golan says is becoming even more secretive thanks to efforts to crack down on dealers.

That puts the archaeological heritage of the country at risk, he says, as artifacts are taken out of the country with little or no documentation of their origins rather than risk trouble with authorities.

"The less important (antiquities) are sold to tourists and the most important are taken out of Israel," Golan says in a telephone interview from his home in Tel Aviv, where he is under house arrest.

The exact origins of the ossuary are not known. Golan, one of the largest collectors in Israel, says he purchased it from an Arab antiquities dealer in the mid-1970s for a bout $200.

He was still in university at the time, studying industrial engineering. The ossuary spent the next 15 years in his parent's apartment, including a stint on the balcony. At one point, it may have even been used as a planter, though no one can remember for sure.

Golan then took it to his apartment for several years, before putting it in storage along with about 3,000 other items in his collection. Only the most beautiful of his antiquities are kept in his apartment, he says, and the plain box now known as the James Ossuary did not qualify.

It was not until a French scholar, André Lemaire, stumbled across it in Golan's storage shed in 2002 that Golan began to realize how significant it might be. Within months it was on display at the ROM, and within a year the subject of a police investigation.

Its route from tomb to trial is mapped by rumour, hearsay and speculation. Golan says the dealer he bought it from told him it came from Silwan, a village south of the Old City of Jerusalem. Others suggest it came from a tomb uncovered in the 1980s, or from one raided by thieves in June 2000.

The uncertainties of its origin, however, have only added to the intrigue and scientific debate over its authenticity.

At the centre of the debate is a report by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, a government body that stores and authenticates ancient objects for scholarly research, that declared in June 2003 that the ossuary was authentic, but that part of the inscription was forged.

Both the ossuary and the inscription, "James, son of Joseph," date to the time of Jesus, the authority declared. But the second part of the inscription, "brother of Jesus," was a modern forgery. A crude attempt to apply artificial patina under high temperatures was made to hide the forgery, the authority said.

"The patina was not created under natural conditions," report contributor Yuval Goren says in a telephone interview from Israel, where he is an archaeology professor at Tel Aviv University.

The report relies on what is known as an isotopic test, meant to compare the composition of patina on the ossuary to others of a similar age.

If the patina of two ossuaries are the same, they are about the same age. If the patina inside an inscription matches the patina outside, the inscription was made when the ossuary was new. Patina is a darkening that come with age.

The results, Goran says, show that the ossuary itself dates from the time of Jesus, but that parts of the inscription do not.

"The patina on the rest of the ossuary was created in normal cave conditions," he says, adding that the patina inside the inscriptions did not match that on the face of the ossuary.

That means the inscription was made later, with a fake patina added, possibly by dissolving in water patina taken from the rest of the ossuary and then spreading the resulting paste into the inscription and baking it on.

"I don't know about the motive and I don't know who did it," he says. "The bottom line is that the patina in the inscription is not natural."

His conclusions have come under severe attack, however, with the criticisms mounting since the Golan trial began last fall.

In one court exchange with Bringer, noted Israeli palaeographer Ada Yardeni said she would resign as an expert on ancient inscriptions if the ossuary is fake.

"Yes. I said that I would leave the profession," Yardeni said on cross-examination, confirming a story in Biblical Archaeology Review, the first publication to report news of the ossuary four years ago,

Making the criticisms all the more visceral is the questioning in archaeological circles about the use of isotopic tests themselves.

In a report that the review's editor Hershel Shanks called a "bombshell" in the Jerusalem Post last month, Wolfgang Krumbien articulated the growing concerns of many experts about the antiquities authority tests.

An internationally recognized expert on patina from the University of Oldenburg in Germany, Krumbien declared that the tests done by the authority were "irrelevant" and should never have been conducted.

Isotopic tests, he wrote in a report prepared for Golan's defence team, can only be used when on objects stored in ideal cave conditions and at steady temperatures.

But there is plenty of evidence that the James ossuary was not kept in such conditions. In fact, Krumbien found, it is likely that wherever the ossuary spent much of the past 2,000 years, there was either a flood or a cave-in of the wall of the tomb, which damaged the ossuary.

"The cave in which the James ossuary was placed, either collapsed centuries earlier, or alluvial deposits penetrated the chamber together with water and buried the ossuary, either completely or partially," he wrote.

As well, he wrote, he was able to find microscopic bits of patina within the inscription that matched the patina on the outside of the box, indicating that the lettering dated to the origins of the ossuary itself.

He attributed Goren's failure to find the patina to aggressive cleanings that removed almost all the patina from the lettering.

Goren declined to comment on the Krumbien report, saying he will do so when called to testify before the trial. He was not sure when that might be.

Ed Keall, a retired curator at the ROM responsible for the ossuary when it was in Toronto, says he saw the patina in the inscription by using powerful microscopes. He also saw evidence that the ossuary — pockmarked along its bottom edge — had been buried or immersed in water for extended periods.

"It's all eaten away, like a piece of cheese," says Keall, who remains optimistic that both the ossuary and the inscription date to Jesus' time.

"I have yet to be given any unequivocal evidence that it's false," he says.

He is quick to add, however, that the question of the ossuary's authenticity may never be settled, particularly since aggressive cleanings by antiquities dealers looking to boost the value by enhancing the inscription and by the antiquities authority have made it more difficult to find patina in the inscription.

Once the trial is over, however, Keall would like to see an open forum organized to discuss the ossuary and to debate the various opinions about its authenticity.

Shanks of the Biblical Archaeology Review is already working on pulling together such a forum, though he sees no need to wait until after the trial.

The problem, he says, is that Goren has said he won't discuss the matter until after he has testified, and Shanks says the forum can't be held without him — meaning the debate will just have to wait.

"It would be like staging Hamlet without Hamlet," Shanks says from his Washington office. "It can't be done."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2006, 10:53:53 AM
What is the truth regarding the controversial tunnel beneath the Moslem Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel?

Most of the world is now familiar with the explosive events which took place in Israel during September of 1996. This occurred the same time as our excavation at Khirbet al-Makater, led by ABR Director Dr. Bryant Wood. We were in the country while all the commotion took place and we found it very difficult to get accurate information on the exact issue which ignited the violence. Most news stories we heard suggested the issue was an underground tunnel newly discovered by archaeologists in Jerusalem or the opening of a tunnel that went directly beneath the Moslem Haram Al-Sharif (the Temple Mount). It was only after arriving home that we were able to get clarification. As far as I can tell, most media outlets never did get it correct. This is what really happened.

The underground tunnel at the center of the controversy was known officially in the 1980's as the "Western Wall Tunnel." Unofficially it was called the "Rabbi's Tunnel," because it was the project of Orthodox rabbis in Jerusalem. Work on the tunnel began shortly after the Six Day War in 1967, under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The rabbis did not discover an ancient tunnel, but dug their own narrow horizontal mine. It started from the area of the Western Wall plaza (also known as the "Wailing Wall") and ran north along the outside of the western wall of the Temple Mount compound. The Temple Mount, which now houses the Moslem shrines of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, was refurbished by King Herod as part of his renovation of the Second Temple. While the rabbis worked with government knowledge, there was little government oversight. Professional archaeologists also had little interest or involvement in the project.

As they tunneled north along the Temple Mount's western wall in 1982, the rabbis found an ancient sealed underground gate. They broke through the gate and began to clear out chambers beneath the Temple Mount. Reports suggest they were looking for evidence of the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies from the ancient Jewish Temples. Palestinian workmen on top of the Temple Mount compound heard the sounds of their digging up through a cistern. They opened the cistern and rushed down. In an area where the cistern and gate complex came together, they found the Jews clearing out the gate room and passageways beneath the mount.

A Palestinian riot resulted with numerous injuries. The Israeli government stopped the work beneath the mount and sealed the underground gate. Yet, the rabbis were allowed to resume their digging northward along the outside of the western wall.

By the late 1980's, they reached the north end of the Temple Mount compound. At this point, they also connected with a pre-Herodian second and first century BC -- the Hasmonean period) water tunnel north of the Temple compound. With the discovery of this ancient rock-carved water system, the whole tunnel officially became known as the "Hasmonean Tunnel." The project was finished in 1988, when the tunnel was stabilized and opened to tourists. While tours were not widely advertised, over 10,000 tourists a year have walked the underground tunnel since 1990.

I personally led a group through the tunnel in 1992. The only problem with the tour was, after walking the 400 yards to the north end, you had to retrace your steps back to the entrance to get out. For years, the Israeli government has considered opening an exit on the north end, but fear of Palestinian reaction has kept this idea on the shelf. The new government under Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to open the northern gate in September 1996. This new exit opened onto the Via Dolorosa (the "Way of Sorrows" -- the traditional road Jesus took to the Cross) in the Moslem quarter of the Old City.

Unfortunately, Palestinian reaction led to the worst violence in Israel since 1967.

Amazingly, this was not a new archaeological discovery. Neither did it go beneath the Temple Mount or affect the Moslem holy places. Furthermore, it has already been open to tourists for years. What set off all the violence was simply a new exit opened at the tunnel's northern end.

The Temple Mount compound is an emotionally-charged holy site for both Jews and Palestinians. Both make ancient religious and modern political claims on the site. Unfortunately, resolution of their disagreement doesn't appear likely. For now, both sides need to respect the other's concerns and exhibit some tolerance. Sadly, even that is a long shot.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2006, 11:08:25 AM
The Nuzi Tablets



Nuzi was a Hurrian administrative center not far from the Hurrian capital at Kirkuk in northern Iraq. The Hurrians are equivalent to the Horites in the Old Testament, also called Hivites and Jebusites. Excavations were carried out at Nuzi by American teams from 1925 to 1933. The major find was more than 5,000 family and administrative archives spanning six generations, ca. 14500 BC. They deal with the social, economic, religious and legal institutions of the Hurrians.

The tablets tell of practices similar to those in Genesis such as adoption for childless couples (Gn 15:2 children by proxy (Gn 16; 21:1, inheritance rights (Gn 25:29, marriage arrangements (Gn 28 and levirate marriage (Gn 38; Dt 25:5. They also demonstrate the significance of the deathbed blessing (Gn 27; 48 and household gods (Gn 31:14 30. Some Nuzi tablets, called “tablets of sistership,ve agreements in which a man adopted a woman as a sister. In the society of the Hurrians, a wife enjoyed both greater protection and a superior position when she also had the legal status of a sister. In such a case, two separate documents were drawn up, one for marriage and the other for sistership. This may explain why both Abraham (Gn 12:10 20:1and Isaac (Gn 26:7) said their wives were their sisters. It is possible that they had previously adopted them to give them higher status, in accordance with the custom of the day.

Family records were highly valued at Nuzi, being passed down from father to son for as many as six generations. Nowhere else in the ancient Near East is this kind of reverence for family documents illustrated, except in the Old Testament. Indirectly, the practice at Nuzi supports the position that Genesis and the other books of history in the Old Testament are grounded in actual family, clan and tribal records carefully passed from generation to generation.

As with Mari, the Nuzi records demonstrate that the cultural practices recorded in the book of Genesis are authentic. The accounts are not fictional stories written at a much later time, as some critics claim, since the customs were unknown in later periods.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2006, 11:09:11 AM
The Mari Archive


The ancient city of Mari, located in northern Syria, was a thriving metropolis ca. 2800-1760 BC. From about 2000 BC until its demise in 1760 BC, Mari was the capital of the Amorites. Amorites were spread far and wide throughout the ancient Near East, including the hill country of Canaan vanquished by the Israelites (Nm 13:29; Jos 10:6). The French have been excavating Mari almost continuously since 1933. The major discovery was an enormous palace covering 6 acres, with nearly 300 rooms on the ground level and an equal number on a second floor. It was in use from ca. 2300 BC until its destruction by Hammurabi in 1760 BC. An archive of about 15,000 texts from the final years of the palace provides a detailed insight into the common social, economic and legal practices of that time. Contained in the archive are administrative and legal documents, letters, treaties, and literary and religious texts.

The value of the Mari texts for Biblical studies lies in the fact that Mari is located in the vicinity of the homeland of the Patriarchs, being about 200 mi (320 km) southeast of Haran. It thus shares a common culture with the area where the Patriarchs originated. Some documents detail practices such as adoption and inheritance similar to those found in the Genesis accounts. The tablets speak of the slaughtering of animals when covenants were made, judges similar to the judges of the Old Testament, gods that are also named in the Hebrew Bible, and personal names such as Noah, Abram, Laban and Jacob. A city named Nahur is mentioned, possibly named after Abraham’s grandfather Nahor (Gn 11:22-25), as well as the city of Haran where Abraham lived for a time (Gn 11:31-12:4). Hazor is spoken of often in the Mari texts and there is a reference to Laish (Dan) as well. A unique collection of 30 texts deals with prophetic messages that were delivered to local rulers who relayed them to the king.

The findings at Mari show that the Patriarchal narratives accurately reflect the socioeconomic conditions of that time and place.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2006, 01:38:34 PM
Archaeology and the Bible

by Phillip Climer

The December 18, 1995, issue of Time magazine had as its cover story, “IS THE BIBLE FACT OR FICTION? Archaeologists in the Holy Land are shedding new light on what did—and did not—occur in the greatest stories ever told.” The article describes recent archaeological finds in Israel and surrounding areas, and then categorizes public and scholarly reaction to these finds into three main groupings: “Jewish and Christian Ultraconservatives,” who do not believe any part of the Bible is fiction; “Atheists,” who want to debunk the whole Bible; and “the moderate majority,” who want to be sure that the Bible is scientifically “grounded in truth.”

As Christians we fall into what Time calls the “Ultraconservative” group. We believe that the Bible is infallible not only in spiritual matters, but also in accounts with historical and geographical content.

When archaeologists excavate Biblical lands and, based on their findings, reach conclusions that differ with the historical account of Scripture, how should a Christian respond? To say that we accept the Word of God by faith, whatever the claims of archaeology or any other branch of science, is the correct reply. However, making that statement without any further explanation may sound as though we are pitting blind irrational faith against rational scientific research. This essay is intended to demonstrate that while the science of archaeology may be reasonable, it is not truthful; and a faith that provides truth is much to be preferred over a research program that does not.

Of the other two groups mentioned in the magazine article, we can easily understand the “Atheists.” We accept the Bible as true; they reject it. As Time points out, even when archaeology supports a Biblical narrative, the atheists are likely to reject both Scripture and science. Their position is one of faith, as much as is ours; it is just that the object of their faith is their own ideas. But what is one to make of the third category, the “moderate majority”?

Many Evangelicals fall into this category, for they are delighted whenever an archaeological find supports a part of Scripture, or as Time says, “strengthens the Bible’s claim to historical accuracy.” But if a supportive archaeologist enhances Scripture’s claim to accuracy, does a scientific detractor weaken the Bible’s claim to truth? And if Christians accept only those archaeological findings that they agree with, can they not be justly accused of being childish in their refusal to face up to disagreeable facts?

The whole unfortunate enterprise of trying to verify the claims of Scripture with the findings of archaeology rests on a conflict between the science of archaeology and the Christian faith on the question, “What is truth?” To focus on this dispute, let us confront the claims of archaeology with the simple question, “How do you know?” The answer to this one question reveals the principles upon which are based all claims to knowledge and truth by any science, philosophy, or religion.

To begin with, we must know what the science of archaeology is, and the type of claims it makes. Secondly, we must compare and contrast archaeological information and Biblical truth. Finally, against this background, let us review the conflict that Time calls “fact vs. faith.”
Archaeological Information

Archaeology is “the scientific study of extinct peoples through skeletal remains, fossils, and objects of human workmanship (as implements, artifacts, monuments, or inscriptions) found in the earth” (Webster’s Third International Dictionary of the English Language, 1981). Archaeologists excavate and sift through the remains of ancient civilizations and then try to piece together their findings into a coherent picture of how the people of that society lived, and how its institutions functioned.

Perhaps the most important artifact that any civilization leaves behind is its body of literature. Many societies in the ancient Middle East left their writings in stone (the hieroglyphs of Egypt), or on soft clay tablets that hardened into stone over time (the Babylonians and Assyrians). The ancient Hebrews apparently used paper or possibly animal skins. Since these materials decompose, documents written on them had to be recopied time and again. Archaeologists generally accept hieroglyphs and clay tablets as being more accurate than paper manuscripts, since the former are more likely to be the original writings. There is obviously much less room for error or editing in a document carved on stone than on a manuscript copy several times removed from the original.

The Time article gives several examples of archaeologists rejecting Biblical manuscripts in favour of their own theories based on other artifacts. The book of Joshua, chapter 6, records the destruction of the walls of Jericho, allowing the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua to conquer the city. Time tells us that after extensive excavations at the site of ancient Jericho, archaeologists have determined that the location was abandoned between about 1500–1100 BC. According to them, no walled cities existed during this time in this area of Canaan. Conservative Biblical scholars and archaeologists also disagree on the date of the Israelite entrance into Canaan, but they both agree that it falls well within the time range mentioned above. Given this chronology, modern archaeology concludes that the Hebrews moved onto vacant or sparsely populated land. This thinking allows no walls to come tumbling down, and no city to conquer. The skeptics also doubt that Joshua even existed. Without a battle, who needs a general? Now let us ask the test question: how do they know that Jericho and its walls did not exist during this time period?

Just as our society paves over old streets and erects new buildings over the remains of old foundations, so ancient civilizations built towns and cities over the debris of earlier structures. When archaeologists excavate a site they divide it into different levels, each level or layer corresponding to a defined era of human habitation or abandonment. The methods by which a date for a particular level is determined are quite involved, and a detailed explanation of them is beyond the scope of this essay.

To gain some idea of what is involved, consider a future archaeologist excavating our civilization and finding only ceramic dishes up to a certain level. Above that level, he finds plastic and ceramic dishes. Suppose he also finds some sort of preserved calendar dated “1950” with the plastic dishes. He now has his dating “key”: the calendar and the plastic dishes. This key tells him that at his initial site plastic dishes were not in use before 1950. If he encounters plastic dishes at any other site, he assumes that the level in which he finds them was inhabited in 1950 or later. At Jericho, the scientists found some sort of artifacts (probably pottery) at a certain level that allowed them to date that level at 1500–1100 BC, based upon their “key” with similar artifacts at other excavations. This particular level did not contain the foundations or remains of any city walls, buildings, or other structures that would indicate a city. How to explain this discrepancy with the Biblical account? The earliest extant manuscript of the book of Joshua dates from a period hundreds of years after the events described in the book. Sceptics theorize that such a manuscript, in being recopied from a decaying original, could have been altered by a zealous scribe, seeking to glorify his God and the history of his nation by inventing a battle that never occurred and a leader who never existed.

The archaeologists who excavated Jericho published their theory. These findings were debated and ultimately accepted by most of the archaeological community. Unless and until some new evidence comes along, the modern science of archaeology has determined that the Israelite conquest of Canaan as described in the book of Joshua is not factual. Specifically, Joshua did not fight the battle of Jericho. This is an archaeological “truth,” or more accurately, a testing by archaeological research methods of a Biblical story, and the Bible fails the test.

Conservative Biblical scholars disagree, but their objections are tainted, because they are trying to prove the Bible, instead of looking at it objectively—or so the scientists say. Now if religious bias is the problem, perhaps we could demonstrate the objectivity of archaeology in the reconstruction of ancient civilizations by examining a site that has no religious significance today, but one that has been widely excavated by numerous scientists. In such a case, there would be no believers to muddy the waters for the clear-thinking scientists. There are many such sites; perhaps the most famous is Troy.
Searching for Troy

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2006, 01:39:17 PM
In approximately 800 BC a blind Greek poet named Homer composed the first (and arguably the greatest) poem of European literature: The Iliad. This epic work tells of a great war fought approximately 400 years earlier, between a number of Greek city-states and the rich and powerful city of Troy, on the coast of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Perhaps the reader recalls some of the particulars of this story. Helen, queen of Sparta, was carried off to Troy by Paris, a prince of the Trojan royal family. Outraged, a number of Greek cities combined forces, sailed to Troy, and besieged the city for ten long years. They were not able to breach the massive walls of Troy, so finally they resorted to subterfuge. By means of a giant hollow wooden idol, the famed Trojan horse, the Greeks infiltrated Troy. The gates were thrown open, and the city was lost. Those Trojans not killed were enslaved, and Troy itself was burned and demolished. The victorious Greeks sailed home with the beautiful Helen, the cause of it all, “the face that launched a thousand ships.”

Since Roman times scholars have debated The Iliad. Does it describe a real war, or is it just a myth? If there was such a war, how accurate is Homer’s telling of it? In the 1850’s, modern archaeology took up the debate. For the last 140 years team after team of scientists has excavated a now deserted site on the coast of Turkey. Their very impressive and voluminous findings were reviewed by a recent documentary series on public television, In Search of the Trojan War. According to this program, the site suspected to contain the ruins of Troy was continuously occupied by humans for over 5,000 years. It contains 50 separate levels. Nine of these levels show the characteristics of true cities, that is, walls, palaces, etc. Nine of the levels also show signs of violent destruction, either by warfare or natural disaster, such as earthquakes.

What of Homer’s Troy? Which level, if any, matches the magnificent city of The Iliad? Did the Trojan War really happen? Almost a century and a half of modern scientific investigation, without any religious interference or bias, has yielded a new answer for each new investigator. The archaeological “truth” about Troy changes with each generation of archaeologists. The original excavator “proved” that The Iliad was as accurate as Christians believe the Bible to be. A later archaeological team threw out most of his conclusions and “proved” that Homer exaggerated greatly, if he told the truth at all. A subsequent generation of diggers “proved” that an earthquake largely destroyed Troy, and that pirates finished the job. And so on. The only points on which all the experts agree are that the site was inhabited for thousands of years, and it is now abandoned. But what of the sophisticated techniques for dating artifacts and levels of occupation? Each artifact was precisely catalogued by the team that found it. Each highly trained archaeologist looked at those catalogued findings, possibly made some excavations of his own, and then came up with a different interpretation to explain how all those artifacts got there.

The narrator of the documentary series takes us through these diverse theories in six hours of analysis. At the end, he makes this startling observation on the archaeological search for truth about the Trojan war: “There can never be a final word, only a new interpretation by each generation in terms of its own dreams and needs.” This is the “proof,” the “knowledge,” and the “truth” that modern archaeology gives us: “… never a final word, only a new interpretation … .”
Ever Learning … Never Able …

Returning to archaeological excavations in the lands of the Bible, let us review the case of Joshua and the battle of Jericho. The current secular view is that no battle took place there, and no walls existed. The proof is in the pottery, so to speak. But the final archaeological word is not in, and it never will come in. This is not the conclusion of a religious fanatic defending Scripture; this is a limitation of the method of the science of archaeology, as demonstrated in the search for Troy.

The skeptic may think that we are playing with words in reaching this conclusion. Perhaps he would say that the present theory of “no walls at Jericho” is substantially true, and that later excavations in the area will “fine-tune” it. The skeptic would be wrong. In archaeology any theory, no matter how well established, can be turned on its head by the next shovelful of dirt at the next dig. The Time article provides us with just such an example.

Many secular archaeologists questioned the existence of King David, because there are no records of him dating from the time of his rule (traditional dates 1025–985 BC). As with Joshua and the conquest of Canaan, these scientists speculate that the legend of David may have been added by a scribe recopying documents at a much later date, trying to “improve” the history of Israel. But in modern Israel in 1993 an inscription in stone dating from about 900 BC was found containing the phrases “House of David,” and “King of Israel.” That one inscription was enough to turn skeptical opinion around: now archaeologists generally accept that David really existed.

A monument and inscription from 1200 BC commemorating Joshua’s victory at the mighty walls of Jericho would similarly turn the archaeological world’s theory of the Hebrew conquest of Canaan on its head. Does such a monument exist? Who can say? But it is certainly true that the archaeological “truth” about Joshua and Jericho will not be the same fifty years from now as it is today, or as it was fifty years ago.

The reader may question the phrasing in saying that the truth of a past event is going to change every fifty years. How does the truth of the past change? Obviously, it never does. We have an account in writing of Joshua and the Israelites conquering the walled city of Jericho. Now that event either took place or it did not take place. The same can be said for any event for which we have record. The Greeks sailed to Troy to get Helen, or they did not. The theorizing of modern day archaeologists does not change a jot or tittle of history, because it is already past; it is out of their grasp; they can never relive or recall those events. Even if an archaeologist constructed a hypothesis that was absolutely accurate in explaining the Trojan War or Joshua and the battle of Jericho, no one could ever know it was absolutely accurate, because no one can go back in time and test the hypothesis against reality.

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2006, 01:39:33 PM
This may all seem very basic, but it demonstrates that archaeological research fails to give us historical truth not just occasionally, but consistently. No hypothesis of history based upon archaeological research has ever or can ever be shown to be true. The theories will continue to pour out of the minds of archaeologists, but none of them will ever be proved either. Naturally this conclusion includes written records also. We do not know if those indestructible clay tablets of the Assyrians or Hittites are true or not, and we never will. The same can be said for the Egyptian hieroglyphs and even for our friend Homer. He tells a wonderful story, but we will know if Achilles and Hector fought outside the walls of golden Troy only when we get a Word from God on the subject.
Biblical Truth

Scientifically, we do not know if the Bible is true, and we never will. That, of course, does not derogate from the truth or authority of Scripture, for two reasons: Scripture is self-authenticating; and science cannot prove anything true.

Scripture teaches that from eternity past God predetermined everything, everyone, every action, and every moment. By His Spirit and His Word, He executed His eternal plan and brought the universe and time itself into existence. Since He is Creator of all, including time, He stands outside of it and is therefore unchanging. When He inspired the prophets and apostles to write down that portion of His eternal plan which He chose to reveal to us, He directed them to write His unchanging Word describing His unchanging plan. When it comes to the past, how could anyone possibly imagine a more authoritative history than the Word of the One Who determined that history and then brought it to pass?

Revisiting Joshua and Jericho one last time, let us pose the same question to the Biblical narrative that we did to the archaeological theory. How do we know that the Scriptural account of the battle of Jericho is true? Because the Bible says so. No hypotheses here, no guesses, just truth, from the God of truth, who not only infallibly knows the events at Jericho, but also predetermined them and brought them to pass. To doubt the veracity of any historical event in Scripture is to doubt the very nature of God Himself.

The “moderate majority” will discount the previous argument as an evasion, circular reasoning, irrationalism, and double-talk. It is simply wrong, say they, to believe that the Bible speaks truthfully on historical matters because it says it does. The Bible itself must be checked, or “verified.” But by what can Scripture be corrected? What is the standard the moderates use to judge the Bible? Archaeological methods of research can provide us with mountains of information about—or at least mountains of—pottery and spears used in ancient Israel, and we should respect that information, and the scientists who work so diligently to extract and study the artifacts they find. But any theory they devise concerning any part of Biblical history is, by the nature of their own inductive method, tentative and inconclusive. One cannot verify any narrative with a worse theory. The “moderate majority” cannot legitimately test Biblical history with scientific methodology, and since there currently are no other possibilities with which to verify it, they must either receive the Scriptural narrative in faith or reject it for no good reason.

The reader may wonder why this discussion of archaeology and the Bible has been limited to the Old Testament, and why the subject of miracles has not been considered more extensively. Aside from time and space constraints, there are two main reasons.The New Testament manuscripts are now generally accepted, even among skeptics. (A few generations ago they were not accepted as genuine, but someone came up with a new theory and now they are.) The skeptics do not believe what the manuscripts say, but they do, at least for the moment, accept them as dating from the apostolic age. Second, archaeological methods of research cannot give us a true theory of any event that is not a miracle. Given that failure, how can archaeologists even begin to comment with any credibility upon Bible history that contains many miracles, such as the Gospels?
“Fact vs. Faith”

The notion of “fact vs. faith,” as Time put it, now can be seen in all of its absurdity. To test any Scriptural historical account by means of any theory of archaeology is to test that which cannot be false by means of that which cannot be true. It is the height of absurdity.

The Bible is the only means by which God reveals His plan of redemption to His people. As such, it is primarily concerned with spiritual matters, and when we read it we should also be primarily concerned with the spiritual knowledge it contains. But the great drama of redemption is being played out upon the stage of the visible universe and history. We cannot fully appreciate the scope and grandeur of God’s plan of salvation if we neglect the platform upon which it is presented. We must not take lightly the denial of the accuracy of Biblical history by modern archaeology. If we do not proclaim the truth about Joshua and Jericho and King David or any other historical narrative in Scripture, we are guilty of not proclaiming “the whole counsel of God.” We are in a battle for truth, and we must look to God for patience and courage to see our way through it.

When the youthful David visited his brothers on the battlefield, he heard Goliath taunting Israel. He was outraged, asking, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” {1Sa 17:26} David immediately volunteered to face Goliath in combat, and he slew that blasphemer.

David had to battle the enemies of Israel militarily. Our war with the enemies of Christ is spiritual and intellectual in nature, but it is just as real, and even more deadly. As Christians our posture should be one of righteous indignation against the giant of skeptical archaeology that slurs the truth of the Word of Almighty God. Who are these archaeologists who think they can disprove Scripture with a piece of broken pottery dug out of the mud? Who are the “moderate majority” who dare tell us what parts of the Bible are “reasonable” to believe? Let us be as eager to confront the giant of archaeology as David was to confront the Philistine champion. In the struggle between the eternal Word of God and secular theories, we know by revelation that God will crush all anti-Christian arguments and imaginations under our feet.

    “Is not my word like fire?” says the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” {Jer 23:29}


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 07, 2006, 07:59:45 PM
Tigris Dam Project Threat to Assyrian Heritage

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey -- Turkey began yesterday building a major dam on the Tigris river, overriding fierce criticism that the project will devastate a millenia-old historic site and displace thousands of Kurds. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined a ground-breaking ceremony for the Ilisu Dam outside Dargecit town, 45km from the Syrian border, marking the start of a project that was first mooted in the late 1970s and has ever since remained controversial.

At the core of opposition to the dam is nearby Hasankeyf, a small poverty-stricken town on the banks of the Tigris, once a mighty city in ancient Mesopotamia, part of which will be submerged by the dam's giant reservoir.

The many critics of the project argue that the dam, to be completed with a hydroelectric power plant, will destroy Hasankeyf's unique heritage which includes Assyrian, Roman and Ottoman monuments and ruin the traditional way of life of its population of ethnic Kurds and Arabs.

Erdogan hailed the project as a proof of Ankara's determination to raise the living standards of its Kurdish minority.

"The step that we are taking today demonstrates that the southeast is no longer neglected... This dam will bring big gains to the local people," he said at the televised ceremony.

Scheduled to become operational in 2013, the $1.55 billion Ilisu Dam will become Turkey's second largest reservoir and fourth largest hydroelectricpower plant, generating 3.8bn kWh of electricity annually.

Officials say 80pc of Hasankeyf's archaelogical sites - including tombs and hundreds of cave houses, already damaged by nature's impact and years of negligence - will remain above the planned waterline.

The monuments that would be flooded - including mosques, a hammam (Turkish bath) and the remains of an ancient bridge over the Tigris - will be relocated to a would-be open-air museum nearby, which Erdogan pledged would turn the region into a "tourist centre." The government is determined to salvage Hasankeyf's heritage, Erdogan said, adding that $85 million had been allocated for the archaeological work, already under way.

Opponents argue that even if the monuments are safely relocated, the integrity of the site and the original landscape will be destroyed for good.

The government will also compensate people from nearly 200 villages who will lose their homes, estimated to number at least 50,000, and is planning to build a new town for Hasankeyf residents.

"This dam will destroy a history of 12,000 years," grumbled Hasankeyf Mayor Abdulvahap Kusen, part of a vocal civic coalition battling the project.

"Neither I nor anyone else will go to the new settlement. We will all migrate to big cities if Hasankeyf is flooded," he said.

The Ilisu dam is a key element of the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP) that envisages a total of 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric plants across the region, most of them on the Tigris and the Euphrates.

The project has triggered protests from neighboring Iraq and Syria that Turkey is monopolising the waters of the two rivers, which flow on south to their drought-plagued territories.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on August 07, 2006, 08:16:17 PM
Quote
The Ilisu dam is a key element of the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP) that envisages a total of 22 dams

You know brother, all that water isn't going to do them a bit of good later. When God turns the water to blood. 

Revelation 11:6 These [two witnesses] have power to shut up the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying (their prediction of events relating to Christ's kingdom and its speedy triumph); and they also have power to turn the waters into blood and to smite and scourge the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they choose.

Revelation 16:4 Then the third [angel] emptied out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they turned into (became) blood.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 09, 2006, 02:49:01 PM
Looted Statue Returned to Iraq But Won't See the Light For Some Time

Iraqi archaeologists and museum officials were delighted last month when the U.S. officially returned one of the most significant statues stolen from the national museum during looting following the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

But because of the ongoing violence, Entemena, the oldest known sculpture of a Sumerian King in existence, cannot be exhibited.

In fact, nobody is quite sure when the statue, which is some 4,400 years old, will actually return to Iraq from the Iraqi embassy in Washington where it now resides. The Iraqi Museum in Baghdad is not only closed, but a brick wall has been built to stop anyone getting in to the museum's main exhibition halls.

Stolen Goods

The statue in question is of the Sumerian King Entemena of Lagash, about three feet high and sculpted out of black diorite stone around 2,340 BCE. The 300 pound sculpture was excavated near the temple of Ur in southern Iraq in the 1920's.

Along with other priceless artifacts, Entemena disappeared from the Iraqi Museum in Baghdad during the chaos of early April 2003 when U.S. troops entered the city but did not have sufficient numbers nor specific orders to protect the museum. The Iraqi museum contains one of the most valuable collections of ancient artifacts in the entire Middle East.

Since then many of the stolen artifacts have been recovered, but others have disappeared into the shadowy world of art smugglers, private dealers and wealthy collectors who are prepared to pay for stolen art works.

Somehow the heavy statue of Entemena was smuggled out of Iraq to Syria — sustaining a few chips along the way — and it was offered to a Lebanese antiquities dealer, Hicham Aboutaam, who runs his business from galleries in Manhattan and Geneva.

Realizing that the statue had been stolen from the Iraqi museum, Aboutaam declined to buy it, even though it would have been worth millions of dollars to a private collector willing to buy stolen goods. Instead Aboutaam provided information to U.S. authorities, who finally tracked it down and took it to the United States in May. The Entemena statue was on the FBI's list of top 10 most wanted stolen works of art in the world.

U.S. authorities decided to return the statue to the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during his recent trip to Washington. But back in Baghdad, Dr Itimad Yusuf, the deputy director of the Iraqi Museum, says she does not know when the statue is coming back.

The museum, located in a particularly dangerous area of Baghdad at the end of the notorious Haifa Street, is closed to visitors.

Even museum staff only go in to work for one or two days a week. The most valuable exhibits have been taken out of the museum and are stored in a vault in the heavily-protected Central Bank. Two months ago a brick wall was put up to prevent access to the main exhibition halls and there is no indication it's coming down soon.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 09, 2006, 02:50:21 PM
Archaeological finds in Syria -- looters and a tomb

Two of Syria's most famous sites from antiquity were in the country's news this week -- one for the discovery of a Byzantine tomb and the other after the arrest of alleged looters trafficking in stolen artefacts.

The official news agency SANA on Tuesday reported the arrest of people suspected of looting from the ancient city of Palmyra, 220 kilometres (136 miles) northeast of Damascus, without saying how many people had been detained.

It also said a stone tomb from the Byzantine era and jars, one of which was thought to hold the bones of a baby, were found in the northwest in the coastal province of Lattakia.

The Mediterranean province is also the site of ancient Ugarit, where the world's first alphabet -- inscribed on stone tablets nine thousand years ago -- was discovered.

Lattakia province is a treasure trove of ancient sites, known for its Crusader castles and Phoenician, Hittite, Greek, Roman and Byzantine remains.

SANA said that in Palmyra, the authorities had arrested "traffickers of archaeological objects" who were found with "a stone bust of a priest and a stone portrait of a woman".

It quoted Palmyra director of antiquities Walid Assad as saying the bust shows the priest wearing a laurel wreath "attached by a jewel, itself sculpted in the form of a gentleman".

Assad described the 45 by 40 centimetre (18 by 16 inch) limestone bust as a funerary sculpture or a piece "produced in homage to an important person of rank of the time".

"The second object is a depiction in stone of a woman from Palmyra," he said.

"She is shown in traditional dress and adorned with necklaces and bracelets. The lady's right hand is held to her cheek, as if she is thinking about something."

The oasis of Palmyra, where still impressive ruins are a mere shadow of the desert city's former glory, was for many centuries a caravan stop on the silk road from China to the Mediterranean.

Sandwiched between opposing Roman and Persian empires, the Arab city was conquered by Rome in the second century BC and renamed Palmyra, or City of Palms.

The Byzantine tomb in Lattakia province was found during excavations near the village of Beit Sweihin, SANA said.

It was found at a depth of two metres, and nearby were two terracotta jars "one of which contains bones possibly belonging to an infant buried in the Canaanite manner," Latakia director of antiquities Jamal Haidar said.

"These discoveries may herald the find of a large cemetery in a region which was an important centre of the Canaanite civilisation," Haidar added.

Last week tombs, public baths, a mosaic and objects including urns and coins dating from the Roman era were found in Lattakia.

Syria's Roman heritage is widespread, but nowhere more so than at Palmyra.

The desert city expanded rapidly after being conquered by Rome, but its downfall was eventually brought about by a power-hungry woman.

In 267 AD, the city's Arab governor Odeinat was assassinated, and his beautiful and eloquent wife Zenobia assumed power.

Inspired by a desire for both liberty and glory, Zenobia took possession of all of Syria in 270, invaded Egypt, and sent her forces as far north as the Bosphorus.

She defied the Roman Emperor Aurelian in doing so, and enraged him further by dubbing her own son "Augustus" -- a title reserved exclusively for the emperor.

Aurelian dispatched his legions to lay siege to Palmyra, and Zenobia was defeated and captured in 272.

She committed suicide, and the sumptuous city fell victim to pillage and destruction.

Today archaeologists continue to excavate in the hope of discovering Zenobia's palace, which was levelled by Aurelian and used to quarter his troops.

Palmyra's ruins -- the theatre, its hot baths, the Temple of Baal, senate, triumphal arch, market and grand colonade -- along with objects of gold, bronze and ceramics all attest to its glorious past.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 24, 2006, 01:06:12 AM
Ancient biblical waterworks found in Israel


Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed an ancient water system which was modified by the conquering Persians to turn the desert into a paradise.

The network of reservoirs, drain pipes and underground tunnels served one of the grandest palaces in the biblical kingdom of Judea.

Archaeologists first discovered the palace in 1954, a structure built on a six-acre (2.4 hectare) site where the communal Ramat Rachel farm now stands.

Recent excavations unearthed nearly 70 square meters (750 square feet) of a unique water system.

"They had found a huge palace ... even nicer than the palaces in Jerusalem, (dating) from the late Iron Age to the end of the biblical period in the 7th century," Oded Lipschits, a Tel Aviv University archaeologist, said.

The infrastructure of the palace was remodeled throughout the centuries to fit the needs of the Babylonians, Persians, Romans and Hasmoneans who ruled the Holy Land, said Lipschits, who heads the dig with an academic from Germany's University of Heidelberg.

But it was the Persians, who took control of the region around 539 BC from the Babylonians, who renovated the water system and turned it into a thing of beauty.

Lipschits said they added small waterfalls to try to turn a desert into a paradise.

"Imagine on this land plants and water rushing and streaming here," Lipschits said. "This was important to someone who finds aesthetics important, for someone who wanted to feel as though they are not just in some remote corner in the desert."

Yuval Gadot, a biblical archaeology expert from Tel Aviv University who is taking part in the excavation, said it was unclear exactly how the water system worked.

"Probably rainwater came down on the roof of the houses (in the palace complex)," he said. "From there, it was collected by drains into pools or to the underground reservoir and taken to nearby fields for crops or nice gardens."

For centuries water supplies have been one of the most sensitive issues in the Middle East, where most of the region is desert.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 07, 2006, 11:47:33 PM
Late Roman villa unearthed in ancient city of Laodicea

A villa dating back to the late Roman era has been unearthed in the ancient city of Laodicea, located close to the Aegean village of Eskihisar, announced Associate Professor Celal Şimşek, head of excavations at the site.

  Şimşek, of Pamukkale University, said the villa had been unearthed near a railway line to the south of the ancient city, reported the Anatolia news agency.

  Illegal excavations had been carried out in the region some time ago, added Şimşek, and his team of archaeologists were able to make out some mosaics through the resulting hole. �Therefore, we launched excavations in this area, although it's not a part of our program. And we discovered a villa there,� he stated.

  The courtyard of the villa contains mosaics, and these along with other factors suggest that the villa, situated in the Lycus Valley, might have belonged to a rich farmer. Şimşek also said broken pieces of glass were found in the villa. �A part of this building might have been used as a glassware workshop,� he proposed.

  Laodicea is situated south of the Lycus River, six kilometers north of Denizli. Some ancient sources say the city was called �Laodikeia� meaning �on the side of the Lycus.� According to others, the city was founded by Antiochos II in 263-261 B.C. and named after his wife.

  The city was at its most famous and important in the first century B.C., with most of the remains of the city dating from this era. Coins were minted in Laodicea during the reign of Roman Emperor Caracalla. Many monumental buildings were also constructed via donations from local residents. One of the famous seven churches mentioned in Revelations was located in Laodicea, which shows that Christianity became widespread here in later years. Laodicea was eventually almost completely destroyed by an earthquake and subsequently abandoned.

  Two theaters of different sizes, a stadium and gymnasium, a nypheum, council building, a temple to Zeus and the large church mentioned above are the most notable ruins in the ancient city.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 17, 2006, 08:13:10 PM
What is the truth regarding the controversial tunnel beneath the Moslem Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel?


Most of the world is now familiar with the explosive events which took place in Israel during September of 1996. This occurred the same time as our excavation at Khirbet al-Makater, led by ABR Director Dr. Bryant Wood. We were in the country while all the commotion took place and we found it very difficult to get accurate information on the exact issue which ignited the violence. Most news stories we heard suggested the issue was an underground tunnel newly discovered by archaeologists in Jerusalem or the opening of a tunnel that went directly beneath the Moslem Haram Al-Sharif (the Temple Mount). It was only after arriving home that we were able to get clarification. As far as I can tell, most media outlets never did get it correct. This is what really happened.

The underground tunnel at the center of the controversy was known officially in the 1980's as the "Western Wall Tunnel." Unofficially it was called the "Rabbi's Tunnel," because it was the project of Orthodox rabbis in Jerusalem. Work on the tunnel began shortly after the Six Day War in 1967, under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The rabbis did not discover an ancient tunnel, but dug their own narrow horizontal mine. It started from the area of the Western Wall plaza (also known as the "Wailing Wall") and ran north along the outside of the western wall of the Temple Mount compound. The Temple Mount, which now houses the Moslem shrines of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, was refurbished by King Herod as part of his renovation of the Second Temple. While the rabbis worked with government knowledge, there was little government oversight. Professional archaeologists also had little interest or involvement in the project.

As they tunneled north along the Temple Mount's western wall in 1982, the rabbis found an ancient sealed underground gate. They broke through the gate and began to clear out chambers beneath the Temple Mount. Reports suggest they were looking for evidence of the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies from the ancient Jewish Temples. Palestinian workmen on top of the Temple Mount compound heard the sounds of their digging up through a cistern. They opened the cistern and rushed down. In an area where the cistern and gate complex came together, they found the Jews clearing out the gate room and passageways beneath the mount.

A Palestinian riot resulted with numerous injuries. The Israeli government stopped the work beneath the mount and sealed the underground gate. Yet, the rabbis were allowed to resume their digging northward along the outside of the western wall.

By the late 1980's, they reached the north end of the Temple Mount compound. At this point, they also connected with a pre-Herodian second and first century BC -- the Hasmonean period) water tunnel north of the Temple compound. With the discovery of this ancient rock-carved water system, the whole tunnel officially became known as the "Hasmonean Tunnel." The project was finished in 1988, when the tunnel was stabilized and opened to tourists. While tours were not widely advertised, over 10,000 tourists a year have walked the underground tunnel since 1990.

I personally led a group through the tunnel in 1992. The only problem with the tour was, after walking the 400 yards to the north end, you had to retrace your steps back to the entrance to get out. For years, the Israeli government has considered opening an exit on the north end, but fear of Palestinian reaction has kept this idea on the shelf. The new government under Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to open the northern gate in September 1996. This new exit opened onto the Via Dolorosa (the "Way of Sorrows" -- the traditional road Jesus took to the Cross) in the Moslem quarter of the Old City.

Unfortunately, Palestinian reaction led to the worst violence in Israel since 1967.

Amazingly, this was not a new archaeological discovery. Neither did it go beneath the Temple Mount or affect the Moslem holy places. Furthermore, it has already been open to tourists for years. What set off all the violence was simply a new exit opened at the tunnel's northern end.

The Temple Mount compound is an emotionally-charged holy site for both Jews and Palestinians. Both make ancient religious and modern political claims on the site. Unfortunately, resolution of their disagreement doesn't appear likely. For now, both sides need to respect the other's concerns and exhibit some tolerance. Sadly, even that is a long shot.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on September 18, 2006, 10:03:03 PM
Pastor Roger,

Brother, I view information like this to be fascinating. In my heart, I think there are things in the "Temple Mount" area that are hard evidence for accounts in the Holy Bible. I really do hope that some of this evidence will be shared with the whole world soon. I love it when evidence like this is published. AND, to know this location will be the center of world attention one day soon. I don't have a clue what Biblical artifacts will be revealed from here, but I do know that JESUS CHRIST Himself will rule the world from close to this location.

Brother, thanks for sharing this fascinating article. In terms of the actual "Ark of the Covenant", I think that ONLY GOD will reveal what HE wants revealed. I watched a short documentary on the "Ark of the Covenant" recently, and they claimed that it was being kept safe and secure in Ethiopia. I have mixed emotions about this and would question what GOD would or would not allow that belongs to HIM. Just this could be an interesting conversation that would involve some fascinating portions of the Old Testament. Does it still exist, and if so, why and what it might be used for in the future? We know that the heart of God's children is now an abiding place and temple for the Holy Spirit of GOD. Just thinking about this should make every Christian stop and give thanks for JESUS, the CROSS, and making us fit for the inheritance of the Saints in LIGHT - the LIGHT of JESUS CHRIST.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Hebrews 11:6 NASB  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 18, 2006, 10:08:45 PM
Amen brother.


Yes it would make for an excellant Bible study. There is much in the Bible on it except for it's current location.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 21, 2006, 04:28:08 PM
Money runs out for excavating oldest church
The Christian altar found at the Megiddo Prison dates to the third of fourth century CE.


The tourist development venture at a Christian altar found at the Megiddo Prison, considered the world’s oldest church dating to the third of fourth century CE, has been halted because of a lack of money. The Israel Antiquities Authority financed the excavations and preservation of the site for years, but says it can no longer bear the cost.

Since the relevant authorities have not allocated the necessary resources to dedicate the site and develop it into a global tourist attraction, the Antiquities Authority has had to cover the ruins with sand and a tarpaulin in order to preserve them. The purpose is to prevent natural or human-induced damage to the uncovered mosaic. The decision is reversible, and if and when money is found to continue development of the site, the Antiquities Authority can continue activity at the dig to prepare it for visitors.

The discovery of the ruins within the prison last year caused a global sensation. The discoveries included the oldest mention of Jesus in Israel. When the pope announced his intention to visit the site, it raised great hopes of turning the site into a global tourist attraction, but it appears that these plans have been literally buried, at least for the time being.


Title: Israel opens ancient site near Jerusalem shrine
Post by: Shammu on September 22, 2006, 12:24:33 AM
Israel opens ancient site near Jerusalem shrine
Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:54 AM ET

By Jonathan Saul

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel has opened to the public an underground archaeological exhibit near Jerusalem's most sensitive shrine, drawing fire from Palestinians who say the project endangers the foundations of the holy site.

Israel's opening of an archaeological tunnel near al-Haram al-Sharif, the site of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque where the biblical Jewish Temples once stood, sparked Palestinian anger in 1996. Sixty-one Arabs and 15 Israeli soldiers were killed in clashes.

The "Chain of Generations Center" took over 10 years to construct and recently opened its doors to visitors for the first time. Among the attractions is a Jewish ritual bath dating to the 1st century which was discovered during building work.

The site runs parallel to Judaism's holiest site, the Western Wall, in the Israeli-annexed Old City of Jerusalem. Palestinians have long opposed Israeli excavations in the area, asserting it could weaken al-Haram al-Sharif's foundations.

An organization created by the Israeli government said the center was founded to highlight Jerusalem's central role in over 3,000 years of Jewish history. The display uses glass sculptures and a light and laser show.

Arieh Banner, an official with Israel's Western Wall Heritage Foundation which runs the site, said: "It is the first discovery of a ritual bath from the Second (Jewish) Temple in the area of the Western Wall."

The remains of Crusader walls and an ancient aqueduct, also unearthed during building work, are part of the exhibit.

"Such archaeological finds have not been discovered so close to the Western Wall before," Banner said.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it, a step that has not been recognized internationally. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state.

OPPOSITION TO SITE

The Waqf, the Islamic Trust in Jerusalem administering al-Haram al-Sharif, voiced opposition to the new exhibit.

"These excavations are illegal," Waqf director gotcha98 Husseini told Reuters. "They are doing these things through power and force."

"They (the Israelis) are weakening the foundations of the mosque and they are doing much damage to the buildings above the tunnels," he added.

Husseini did not rule out the possibility of the site, which is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, fuelling controversy.

"Any reaction is possible," he said. "It is enough that things are already unacceptable (in Jerusalem)."

Banner said the whole site, including ritual bath, did not run under al-Haram al-Sharif or endanger the shrine.

"We have not done any work in the direction of the Temple Mount," he said. "No damage can be caused as the site is at least 20 to 30 meters (65 to 95 feet) from the Western Wall."

"Everything we have done is legal and we have received permits from every authority for the center."

Visiting the center, Jonathan Lapides, 46, an American-Israeli currently living in France, said the excavations were an important find.

"It is good to dig out history," he said. "It is an important part of Jewish culture and history and it is necessary to ensure the link."

Admiring the new site, Jony Orenstein, a 56-year-old engineer from the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, said: "I have a soft spot for Jerusalem because of its holiness, its legacy. We (Jews) are part of it. We are here to stay."

Israel opens ancient site near Jerusalem shrine (http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=inDepthNews&storyID=2006-09-21T125437Z_01_L21244188_RTRUKOC_0_US-MIDEAST-JERUSALEM-SHRINE-GENERAL-FEATURE.xml&WTmodLoc=Home-C5-inDepthNews-3)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 28, 2006, 03:46:16 AM
Silver found in 2,000-year-old Jerusalem pottery
Find hints at city's wealth during late Second Temple period

Unusually high concentrations of silver have been found during excavations in Jerusalem's Old City by Bar-Ilan University researchers in samples of different types of pottery from late Second Temple period some two millennia ago.

It was the first study ever conducted on the silver content of archeological ceramics, said the BIU team, which worked with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They published their results in the latest issue of the University of Oxford journal Archaeometry.

The research team, consisting of Prof. David Adan-Bayewitz of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at BIU in Ramat Gan and guest at the Berkeley lab, and Dr. Frank Asaro and Robert Giauque of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the California lab studied silver concentrations in 1,200 pottery vessels from 38 sites in Roman Judea, which is present-day Israel, dating from between the late first century BCE and 70 CE.

The major finding is that samples of pottery from late Second Temple period Jerusalem had anomalously higher concentrations of silver, as compared to samples from all other non-urban sites dated to the same period of time.

Many of the samples from Jerusalem and other rural and urban sites were otherwise indistinguishable in date, shape and chemical composition.

Anomalously high silver abundances were also detected in pottery found at other urban sites (Sepphoris, Dor and Beit She'an). But many of the Jerusalem samples had higher silver values (above 5.5 parts per million) than any of the samples from the other cities.

The geographical distribution of the samples with high silver cannot be explained by natural causes, said the researchers, who deduced that the origin of the silver is related to human activity. The team also concluded that silver was washed into the pottery by the action of groundwater - but it is possible that in some cases the high silver may have been related to the use of the pottery in antiquity.

The researchers suggest that the anomalously high silver concentrations they found in the Jerusalem pottery samples may be analytical evidence of the wealth of the city during the period. The findings from this study also suggest that the measurement of silver in pottery may be a useful tool for evaluating archaeological remains and patterns of urban contamination in antiquity.

The research team notes that Jerusalem and its Temple was the religious and national focus of Jews throughout the Roman Empire during the period, leading to substantial growth and accumulation of wealth by the city's inhabitants.

The Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who lived during this time, called Jerusalem "by far the most famous city of the East." Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem contributed to the city's wealth, and continual donations to the Temple made it a target for plunder. The archeological remains unearthed in the Upper City, today's Jewish Quarter, also attest to the wealth of the inhabitants in this period.

"Our findings," says Adan-Bayewitz, "showed that the silver concentrations in many of the late Second Temple-period Jerusalem samples are distinctly higher than those from all other sites, as well as Jerusalem samples of a later date."

The team developed a new analytical method for measuring silver concentrations in archeological pottery that they found is more reliable than available techniques.

This new method was used to check the results obtained with two other techniques employed by the team for silver measurements.The research was funded in largely by the US National Science Foundation and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 08, 2006, 03:08:33 PM
Has King David's spa been uncovered?

Jerusalem digs reveal a tunnel possibly leading to the king's pool

There's a buzz of excitement among archeologists. In recent days, archeological digs in Jerusalem revealed a tunnel that, according to a number of estimates, leads to a pool used by King David.

The digs, which have been underway for years, are located in David's City, west of the Wailing Wall. A year ago, archeologists discovered a pool from the days of the Second Temple that had been used by pilgrims to Jerusalem, to refresh them after their long journey.

Recently, the edge of a tunnel was discovered in the digs. Archeologists posit that it leads to a pool, originally located next to a garden full of fruit trees, where King David and other kings of the dynasty used to bathe.

In order to ascertain whether it is really King David's spa, it will be necessary to dig for several months to the other end of the 30
meter long tunnel. Such digging requires special permission from the Greek Orthodox patriarchy, who is the holder of the land.

Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, the leading archeologist at the David City dig, does not believe that the tunnel leads to King David's baths and said that only when the dig uncovers dateable artifacts will they be able to posit what lies at the other end.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on October 08, 2006, 10:36:01 PM
Pastor Roger,

Discoveries related to King David are fascinating and probably timely. I immediately think of the Throne of David and the rightful, anointed KING of Israel who will claim that throne one day soon. The awesome MAJESTY and absolute POWER of this KING OF KINGS will be unquestioned. This KING is our Precious Lord and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST!

Love In Christ,
Tom

1 Corinthians 12:27 NASB  Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 18, 2006, 08:42:11 AM
While this has a non-religious slant to it I still find it quite interesting.

________________________

Digging for history in Turkey

An archaeological dig tells us more about the Garden of Eden, says Sean Thomas

I am standing above an archaeological dig, on a hillside in southern Turkey. Beneath me, workmen are unearthing a sculpture of some sort of reptile (right). It is delicate and breathtaking. It is also part of the world's oldest temple.

If this sounds remarkable, it gets better. The archaeologist in charge of the dig believes that this artwork has connections with the Eden story. The archaeologist is Klaus Schmidt; the site is called Gobekli Tepe.

In academic circles, the astonishing discoveries at Gobekli Tepe have long been a talking point. Since the dig began in 1994, experts have made the journey to Kurdish Turkey to marvel at these 40-odd standing stones and their Neolithic carvings.

But what is new, and what makes this season's dig at Gobekli so climactic, is the quality of the latest finds - plus that mind-blowing thesis which links them to the Garden of Eden.

The thesis is this. Historians have long wondered if the Eden story is a folk memory, an allegory of the move from hunter-gathering to farming. Seen in this way, the Eden story describes how we moved from a life of relative leisure - literally picking fruit from the trees - to a harsher existence of ploughing and reaping.

And where did this change take place? Biologists now think the move to agriculture began in Kurdish Turkey. Einkorn wheat, a forerunner of the world's cereal species, has been genetically linked to here. Similarly, it now seems that wild pigs were first domesticated in Cayonu, just 60 miles from Gobekli.

This region also has Biblical connections, tying it closer to the  Eden narrative. Muslims believe that Sanliurfa, a nearby city, is the Old Testament city of Ur. Harran, a town down the road, is mentioned in Genesis twice.

Even the topography of Gobekli Tepe is 'correct'. The Bible describes rivers descending from Paradise. Gobekli Tepe sits in the 'fertile crescent' between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. The Bible also mentions mountains surrounding Eden. From the brow of Gobekli's hills you can see the Taurus range.

But how does this intoxicating notion link to the architecture of Gobekli, and those astonishing finds?

Klaus Schmidt (left) says: "Gobekli Tepe is staggeringly old. It dates from 10,000BC, before pottery and the wheel. By comparison, Stonehenge dates from 2,000BC. Our excavations also show it is not a domestic site, it is religious - the world's oldest temple. This site  proves that hunter-gatherers were capable of complex art and organised religion, something no-one imagined before."

As for the temple's exact purpose, Schmidt gestures at a new discovery: a carving of a boar, and ducks flying into nets. "I think Gobekli Tepe celebrates the chase, the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. And why not? This life was rich and leisured, it gave them time enough to become accomplished sculptors."

So why did the hunters of Gobekli give up their agreeable existence? Schmidt indicates the arid brown hilltops. "Gathering together for religion meant that they needed to feed more people. So they started cultivating the wild grasses." But this switch to agriculture put pressure on the landscape; trees were cut down, the herds of game were dispersed. What was once a paradisaical land became a dustbowl.

Schmidt explains that this switch  took place around 8,000BC. Coincidentally, the temple of Gobekli Tepe was deliberately covered with earth around this time.

We may never know why the hunter-gatherers buried their 'temple in Eden'. Perhaps they were grieving for their lost innocence. What is unquestionable is the discoveries made in Gobekli Tepe, in the last few weeks, are some of the most exciting made anywhere in half a century.

Schmidt shows me some workmen scraping earth from a rock relief (left). It is marvellously detailed: it shows scorpions, waterbirds, and river life. I suddenly realise I am the first person other than an archaeologist to see it in 10,000 years.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 30, 2006, 03:23:38 PM
Ancient Jewish treasures in monastery, book says Ancient Jewish treasures in monastery, book says
Gold, silver vessels reportedly in West Bank caves


Until today, the main claim to fame of this sleepy monastery on the edge of the Judean wilderness was the tradition that the Three Wise Men slept in the caves here after visiting the infant Jesus in Bethlehem.

But a new book claims that the Greek Orthodox Monastery Mar Theodosius was the last hiding place of one of the greatest treasures of antiquity: the gold and silver vessels of the first century B.C. Temple in Jerusalem, the central shrine of Judaism that once housed the Holy Ark containing the sacred tablets brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses.

British archaeologist Sean Kingsley said he has traced the journey of the legendary vessels from the first time they disappeared from public view more than 1,500 years ago to their current location in this walled monastery east of Bethlehem in the West Bank. He said the items include "the central icons of biblical Judaism" -- a seven-branched gold candelabra, the bejeweled Table of the Divine Presence and a pair of silver trumpets.

But many people, including Israeli government officials, believe the treasures are hidden somewhere in Vatican vaults. In 1996, Israeli Religious Affairs Minister Shimon Shetreet officially asked the pope to return them.

But Kingsley contends they were taken from Rome when it was sacked by the Vandals in A.D. 455. He bases his theory on new archaeological sources and contemporary accounts by ancient historians.

In his new book, "God's Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem," just published in Britain this month and due in U.S. bookstores in the spring, Kingsley describes the odyssey of the priceless haul from Jerusalem to Rome and back again via Carthage and Constantinople, to its final resting-place at Mar Theodosius.

"I am the first person to prove that the temple treasure is no longer in Rome," he said.

Kingsley said the vessels were hidden in the caves under the monastery to escape the sacking of Jerusalem by Persian invaders in A.D. 614.

"If you were the Bishop of Jerusalem and a massive Persian force was sweeping down like locusts from the north, you would want to get the treasure out of the city," he said.

But at least one Israeli expert has scoffed at Kingsley's theories.

"I've been there several times, studying the skeletons of monks who were massacred by the Persians in the seventh century," said Israeli anthropologist Joe Zias, a former curator for the Israel Antiquities Authority. "It doesn't have any such treasure -- and if it did, it was plundered by the Arabs or Persians centuries ago."

Kingsley said he was unable to gain access to the monastery to prove his theory, and conceded that he had not discussed the matter with local church officials or archaeologists for fear of tipping them off before publication of his book.

The dilapidated monastery was once home to monks, but today its only inhabitants are 10 nuns. One of them, who declined to give her name, told a visitor that there was no treasure buried at Mar Theodosius, which was destroyed during the same Muslim invasion and left abandoned until the late 19th century. During a visit to the caves beneath the monastery, a Chronicle contributor was told that no precious artifacts had ever been recovered from the site, probably because it was left in ruins for nearly 1,300 years and any valuables were looted by grave robbers.

Although Kingsley may be mistaken about Mar Theodosius, his reconstruction of the odyssey of the temple treasure is compelling.

According to the first century historian Josephus, 50 tons of gold and silver vessels were plundered from the temple by the Roman Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus during the conquest of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

"They used the treasure to help finance the building of the Colosseum in Rome and paraded it through the streets in triumph in A.D. 71," said Kingsley. The moment, he said, was captured in a frieze carved into the Arch of Titus in Rome, which clearly shows the menorah, the seven-branched temple candelabra that was the symbol of ancient Judaism, being paraded through the streets.

"Contemporary sources show that it survived on public display in the Temple of Peace in the Roman Forum from A.D. 75 into the early fifth century. Then it suddenly disappeared. Who stole God's gold?"

According to his research, it was Gaiseric, king of the Vandals.

"In A.D. 455, Gaiseric looted and burnt Rome in 14 days and threw everything he could, including the temple treasures, into ships and took them to the temple of Carthage," he said. "They would not have liquidated the loot. It gave them power.

"In A.D. 534, the emperor Justinian brought the Vandal king into Constantinople. The records show that they resurrected the triumphal procession in A.D. 71. The historian Procopius of Caesarea clearly describes the treasures of Jerusalem being paraded at head of this triumph."

In Constantinople -- today's Istanbul -- Kingsley found the Church of St. Polyeuktos, a unique Byzantine structure which appears to have been built according to the dimensions of the Temple in Jerusalem. Its patron, Princess Juliana, was described in terms that compared her to the builder of the original temple. One church inscription read: "She alone has conquered time and surpassed the wisdom of renowned Solomon, raising a temple to receive God."

"The relevance of the Church of St. Polyeuktos to the temple treasure is obvious. Where would be more fitting to deposit the birthright of the chosen people than in a temple fit for God?" asked Kingsley.

But the treasure did not remain in Constantinople for long, he says.

"The emperor Justinian was a student of classical antiquity, and he was aware that every civilization that controlled the temple treasure had eventually been consumed by it. Fearful, he sent the treasure back to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in around A.D. 560," said Kingsley.

"At this point our evidence peters out, and the story becomes a question of interpretation," he said. "But we know that the Jews of Jerusalem allied with the Persians during the invasion of A.D. 614, and one chronicler describes them violating the cave beneath the tomb of Christ in the Holy Sepulchre. What were they looking for? I can only suppose they were looking for the temple treasure."

At that point, said Kingsley, a monk called Modestus from Mar Theodosius found himself in charge of the priceless vessels. It would only be natural for him to hide them in the isolated desert caves, not knowing that the location would also be overrun by the invading Persians a few weeks later.

Kingsley said he had peered over the wall of the monastery and seen evidence of archeological looting in the area, but hoped the temple treasures would remain undisturbed.

"It's very important this universal treasure is not used for political purposes," he said. "I wouldn't want to see this deadly treasure come to life. It's much safer left under the shifting sands of the West Bank."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 30, 2006, 03:25:32 PM
First Temple artifacts found in dirt removed from Temple Mount


The project of sifting layers of Temple Mount dirt has yielded thousands of new artifacts dating from the First Temple period to today. The dirt was removed in 1999 by the Islamic Religious Trust (Waqf) from the Solomon's Stables area to the Kidron Stream Valley. The sifting itself is taking place at Tzurim Valley National Park, at the foot of Mount Scopus, and being funded by the Ir David Foundation. Dr. Gabriel Barkai and Tzachi Zweig, the archaeologists directing the sifting project with the help of hundreds of volunteers, are publishing photographs and information about the new discoveries in the upcoming issue of Ariel, which comes out in a few days.

The bulk of the artifacts are small finds - the term used for artifacts that can be lifted and transported, rather than fixed features. The dirt was removed in the course of excavating the mammoth entrance to the underground mosque built seven years ago in the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount. The Waqf and Islamic Movement in Israel separated dirt from stones, then used the ancient building blocks for rebuilding, in case the police barred construction materials from being brought in.

Most of the finds predate the Middle Ages. The finds include 10,000-year-old flint tools; numerous potsherds; some 1,000 ancient coins; lots of jewelry (pendants, rings, bracelets, earrings and beads in a variety of colors and materials); clothing accessories and decorative pieces; talismans; dice and game pieces made of bone and ivory; ivory and mother of pearl inlay for furniture; figurines and statuettes; stone and metal weights; arrowheads and rifle bullets; stone and glass shards; remains of stone mosaic and glass wall mosaics; decorated tiles and parts of structures; stamps, seals and a host of other items.

The sifting project is precedent-setting: This is the first time dirt from any antiquities site is being sifted in full. Among the many volunteers are soldiers, tourists, high-school students and yeshiva boys. Visitors over the past few months have included ultra-Orthodox MKs and rabbis, who usually steer clear of archaeological digs.

When the dirt was originally trucked out, the late director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Amir Drori, termed it "an archaeological crime," and the attorney general at the time, Elyakim Rubinstein, said it was "a kick to the history of the Jewish people. Now it turns out that the dirt removed from the Temple Mount harbors thousands of small finds from diverse periods.

The oldest artifacts found are remnants of tools like a blade and scraper dating back 10,000 years. Some potsherds and shards of alabaster tools date from the Bronze Age - the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C.E. (the Canaanite and Jebusite eras). Only a handful of potsherds were found from the 10th century B.C.E. (the reigns of King David and King Solomon), but numerous artifacts date from the reigns of the later Judean kings (the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.E.), such as stone weights for weighing silver.

The most striking find from this period is a First Temple period bulla, or seal impression, containing ancient Hebrew writing, which may have belonged to a well-known family of priests mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.

Many other findings date from the Persian period (Return to Zion), Hasmonean, Ptolemaic and Herodian periods, as well as from Second Temple times. Second Temple finds include remains of buildings: plaster shards decorated a rust-red, which Barkai says was fashionable at the time; a stone measuring 10 centimeters and on it a sophisticated carving reminiscent of Herodian decorations; and a broken stone from a decorated part of the Temple Mount - still bearing signs of fire, which Barkai says are from the Temple's destruction in 70 C.E.

The project has also yielded artifacts from the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Early Arab periods. According to Barkai, the Byzantine finds radically alter the assessment that the Temple Mount was empty at that time.

Barkai and Zweig reject doubts cast by other archaeologists on the source of the dirt. They state that eyewitnesses monitored the trucks that removed the rubble, and that they have internal evidence that further confirms the dirt came from the Temple Mount.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on October 31, 2006, 08:34:24 AM
Pastor Roger,

Brother, this is a fascinating thread that I really enjoy. Thanks for your efforts in sharing this information with us. The number and frequency of significant finds are timely. A large variety of skeptics are getting proof after proof that the Holy Bible is THE TRUTH. I hope and pray that these many discoveries will cause many who rejected the Holy Bible to take another look.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Matthew 11:28-30 NASB  "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 08, 2006, 04:08:22 AM
 Archeologists Discover Ancient Graveyard Where Second Temple Model Once Stood


(IsraelNN.com) Archaeologists working at the site of the Holyland Park building project in Jerusalem have discovered a graveyard that is over 4,000 years old.

The graveyard formerly had a model of the Second Holy Temple on top of it. The model was recently relocated to the Israel Museum.

The graveyard, the archaeologists estimate, was used during the Bronze Age, from 2200 BCE until 1600 BCE. It is filled with amulets, weapons and work tools from that period, as well as complete pottery vessels of a high quality.

________________

This could be a very important discovery with information on the people of that time. I will be watching for more of this information as it comes out.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 09, 2006, 09:52:30 PM
4,000-year-old cemetery uncovered in Jerusalem

Containers for ritual offerings, weapons and jewelry are among the finds uncovered this week after builders in Jerusalem's Bayit Vagan neighborhood stumbled upon a 4,000-year-old Canaanite cemetery.

The Israel Antiquities Authority was alerted back in July when builders working on apartment buildings in the Holyland Park Project found evidence of ancient tombs. The remarkable finds were only discovered this week.

The dig's director, Yanir Milevsky, said that "the quantity of items and their particularly good state of conservation will allow us to enlarge our knowledge of farming villages during the Canaanite era."

The authority said the site covered more than 200 dunams and contains human and animal remains, as well as metal and ceramic artifacts and weapons, dating back to between 2,200 and 1,600 BCE.

The approximately 50 tombs originally date from the early Bronze Age (2200 BCE to 2000 BCE), but were apparently dug up and used again about 1700 BCE to 1600 BCE, an authority spokesman said. The main finds were from the latter period, because when they were reused, most of the original contents were cleared out.

Archeologists working on the site uncovered pottery vessels of various sizes which they said appear to be containers for spiritual offerings - mainly jars, bowls and jugs - as well as human remains. The containers' contents, which consisted of mostly perishable foods or liquids, have disappeared over time.

One of the archeologists, Zvi Greenhut, called it "a very important finding," adding that "the last such find from this period was many years ago."

He said the burial sites have entrances through a shaft and have thus been termed "shaft tombs." The shafts were quarried straight into the bedrock, and then a cave was dug out to house the tomb proper.

The archeologists said that in accordance with the common belief of the time, the offerings were given in the expectation of feeding the departed in the afterlife. Such beliefs were said to be heavily influenced by the cultural dominance of Egypt at the time, which was at the zenith of its power. Animal bones, supposedly sheep or goats, were also found. Milevski said he believed they were the remains of more offerings.

Some of the tombs contain bronze weapons, mainly daggers and axes, and in others jewelry, including Carnelian and Amethyst beads, was discovered.

Bronze and copper tools were also found, such as borers and other perforators as well as bones with drawings on them, most probably decorations, according to Milevski. In terms of the salvage possibilities, he said, "We have a lot of complete vessels, and also many shards that we can restore in the laboratories."

Twenty years ago, Milevski worked on his first-ever archeology excavation in Israel, where the Malha Mall stands today, not far from the present day cemetery excavation. The diggers at that site discovered village ruins dating to around 1700 BCE, the same period as the current excavation.

Milevski confirmed the connection between the two sites, and said: "We are more or less sure that the cemetery belongs to the village... It completes the picture. Now we better know this area."

The vessels found in the tombs will be moved to an Israel Antiquities Authority storage facility, and some may eventually enter the Israel Museum. The Holyland Park Project construction company, however, will destroy all of the cemetery, said Milevski.

"They need to remove all the bedrock for the construction of the foundations," he said. "They need to go maybe 20 meters down." Asked about the tombs' inevitable destruction Milevski said: "I don't feel good about it, of course, but now at least we have the information."

Fellow archeologist Greenhut seemed less concerned about the tombs' fate. "The burial chambers and tombs are very regular," he said. "The vessels and items within them, though, are very interesting, and will be kept."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 14, 2006, 08:10:16 AM
The debate as to whether the Essenes were or were not at the Qumran caves continues.


Remote latrine reconfirms the presence of Essene sect at Qumran
Ancient parasites show that cleanliness may have been next to sickliness

The Essenes, a strict ancient Jewish sect devoted to religious purity and linked to the Dead Sea Scrolls, are one of the most interesting and mysterious religious elements in Judaea around the time of Jesus. Recent articles and news stories have questioned long-established scholarship about the Essenes and their relationship to the scrolls, arguing in particular that the inhabitants of the ancient settlement of Qumran, located in the Dead Sea area where the scrolls were found, had no relationship to the religious sect.

Now, new scientific findings from the settlement connect Qumran to details in the scrolls, and give direct evidence of Essene culture at the site. The discovery may also provide a window into dynamic relationships between the sect's rigorous religious practices and the community's health.

A forthcoming report presenting new bioarchaeological evidence from Qumran reconfirms the "Essene hypothesis" by showing the presence of unusual and extreme toiletry and hygiene practices in the ancient community. The evidence points to the Qumran inhabitants' detailed obedience to unique, rigorously demanding precepts that are specified in Dead Sea Scrolls texts and also documented in a Roman-era descriptions of the Essenes.

In an article forthcoming in the next issue (winter 2006/2007) of Revue de Qumran, an international research team reports the results of an investigation of a suspected remote latrine site. Located by following clues in the ancient sources that specify the remote placement of latrines, the team positively identified the site as a latrine area through analysis of sub-surface soil samples.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte biblical scholar James Tabor suggested the investigation at a site outside the ruins of Qumran, noting instructions in two of the Dead Sea Scrolls (the "War Scroll" and the "Temple Scroll") specifically requiring latrines to be located at a significant distance "north-west of the city," and also to be "not visible from the city." Tabor had also noted that the first century Jewish historian Josephus described very similar exotic toilet practices among the religiously strict sect known as the Essenes.

Analysis of the site by Israeli paleopathologist Joe Zias and soil analysis by Stephainie Harter-Lailheugue, a French parasitologist from the Centre National de la Recerche Scientifique, confirmed the area as an ancient latrine site through the presence of desiccated eggs from three distinct human-specific intestinal parasite species. The findings have further implications regarding community health in the ancient settlement.

Visiting Qumran, Tabor noted an area approximately 500 meters to the northwest of the settlement which seemed likely because it was sheltered from view by a bluff. Tabor also noted that the soil in the area appeared to have a significantly different coloration from other soils in the Qumran environs, a fact which was subsequently confirmed by Zias using high-resolution aerial photographs.

"I started thinking that in the scrolls they have these very explicit descriptions of where the latrines have to be," Tabor explained. "It has to do with religious ritual purity -- the latrines have to be located in a place that the ancient texts designate as 'outside the camp'. That's a phrase used in the Torah, where Moses tells the ancient Israelites 'build your latrines outside the camp.' When you go to the toilet, take a paddle or a shovel with you and use the toilet and then cover it up," he said, explaining that the ancient practice appears to have been revived at Qumran.

"This group is very strict and they observe this practice rigorously -- in one text it says go 1000 cubits, and in another text, 2000 cubits -- and they specifically state 'northwest' in the scrolls. Josephus, in talking about the Essenes, mentions it as a point of admiration or piety – he says that these people are so holy, that on the Sabbath day they won't even use the toilet, because on the Sabbath one can't go outside the settlement," he said.

"It turns out, if you go northwest from Qumran you get to this bluff – a large natural plateau separated from further cliffs – and if you go around it, it hides you from the camp. One of the things Josephus says is that they also believe that their latrines should shield them from view of the camp, so I thought 'this is getting really good, if I can just find some evidence for toilet practices.'"

Tabor suggested investigating the area to Zias, who took four random soil samples at the site as well as six other samples for control -- 4 from surrounding desert areas, one from an area that was known to be Qumran's stable (to test for animal parasites), and one from an area on the opposite side of the city, essentially covering other outside-the-settlement areas that could have been used as latrines.

On the basis of earlier research that has shown that intestinal parasites can be preserved in arid, sub-surface conditions, Zias sent the samples to Harter-Lailheugue at CNRS for analysis. Three of the four samples from the suspected latrine area yielded four species of preserved worm eggs and embryophores that were all identified as human intestinal parasites – Ascaris sp. (human roundworm), Taenia sp. (a human tapeworm), Trichuris sp. (a human whipworm) and a human pinworm, Enterobius vermicularis, that had not previously been reported in the ancient Near East. The soil sample from the stable contained the eggs of Dricrocoelium sp., a common parasites of ungulates. The control samples from the surrounding desert areas contained no parasites, human or animal.

"Frankly, I was surprised," said Zias. "A parasitologist I talked to told me that my chances of finding something were just about nil. Finding evidence of parasites would be easy in a latrine, but in the middle of the desert… But small things like parasite eggs in feces can hang around for thousands of years. At the Dead Sea, we have hair and hair combs with desiccated lice in them because of the dryness."

"The evidence shows conclusively that the area was a toilet," Zias noted. "The samples contained eggs from intestinal worms that are specific to humans. These things had to come from human feces. The presence of eggs in three out of four 100-gram samples indicates heavy and continual use of the specific site suggested by Tabor."

Since the other sites did not yield human parasites, the team concluded that the latrine site was most likely the area specified in the Scroll passages. Because of the remoteness of the Qumran environs, they concluded that the latrine could only be associated with Qumran, the only settlement in the area.

"One possible concern was that the latrine area could have been used by Bedouins, who are known to have been near Qumran," said Zias. "However, according to Bedouin anthropologist Professor Aref Abu-Rabia, Bedouins are generally not known to bury their human waste, and fecal matter left on the surface quickly dries up and is broken down by sun and wind. This stuff was certainly buried, as the ancient documents say it should be."

Zias noted that the heavy daily digging by the Essenes left its mark on the desert in a way that is still noticeable more than 2000 years later.

"I went there and the entire area looked like somebody had plowed it, the earth was so nice and soft, while the rest of the desert was very hard," he said. "In fact, I broke my pick collecting control samples from the other areas."

Zias and Tabor also note that the settlement's unusual latrine practices may be clues in solving some of Qumran's other archaeological puzzles -- in particular, questions raised by the 1,100 graves found at the site, which are almost exclusively male.

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 14, 2006, 08:10:38 AM
"The graveyard at Qumran is the unhealthiest group that I have ever studied in over 30 years and this is readily apparent," said Zias, who has done previous work on the Qumran burials. "For example, 2,000 years ago in Jericho, 14 kilometers to the north, the chances of an adult male dying after 40 were 49 percent. But when you go to Qumran, the figure for people surviving to 40 falls to six percent -- the chances of making to 40 differ by a factor of eight!

"And yet we are told that these men arrived very healthy – they had physical examinations coming in. The people at Qumran thought that you could look at body types and tell what kind of person you were. Josephus tells us that the Essenes were selective -- you had to be 20 years old, and you had to be healthy," Zias noted.

The puzzle comes together for Zias when he combines the community's latrine practices with its near-obsessive use of pools for ritual cleansing and bathing.

"Burying your feces in the outdoors makes a lot of sense until you live in Qumran," Zias said. "What happened was that 20 to 40 people went out there every day over a period of 100 years. By burying their fecal matter, they actually preserved the microorganisms and parasites. In the sunlight, the bacteria and parasites get zapped within a fairly short amount of time, but buried, the parasites can live in the soil for up to a year. Then people pick up things by walking through fecally contaminated soil -- it's like a toxic waste dump, and if you have any cuts on your feet…"

Well-defined community bathing practices, combined with a lack of running water, complicated the problem of daily exposure to contaminated soil. A cleansing pool was located at the settlement entrance on the return route from the latrine area and is likely to have been a fertile breeding ground for pathogens picked up from the human waste-enriched soil.

"Here is where things really get bad," Zias explained. "After they went to the latrines they were required to enter one of the emersion cisterns (Miqvot) before they came back into the settlement. Hygienically, that sounds like a good idea, if you have fresh running water, but there is no running water at Qumran, only runoff which was collected during the three months of winter rains. They enter the cisterns where everyone else has been, with all the bacteria they've brought in with them, floating around. The bacterium, which usually doesn't last long in the air and sunlight, stays active for a longer period in the sediments and is continually re-suspended in the water by people disturbing the pool."

There were other immersion pools at Qumran as well, and Zias and Tabor point out that the Essenes' rigorous ritual purification practices seem likely to have insured that they too were contaminated by cross-infection.

"People who have cleansed themselves in the outside pool also have to go into the Miqwah twice a day. The water there may looked clean, but hygienically, it was rarely changed and must have been very dirty with the potentially fatal pathogens shared by everyone who was entering it for ritual purification. And Miqwah cleansing is a total immersion, which means that it gets in your ears, in your eyes and in your mouth. It is not hard to imagine how sick everyone must have been," Zias said.

Ironically, both the rigorous latrine and purification practices, combined with the lack of running water appear to be the most likely causes for the extreme differences in early mortality between Qumran and the contemporary Jericho.

"The people in Jericho were not religious extremists who went into the Miqwah twice a day and they also had clean, running water from the natural springs surrounding the desert oasis. The men in Qumran lived and bathed religiously in contaminated water that had been standing for up to nine months at a time," Zias said.

According to Tabor, however, poor health might have had its own place in the cultural thinking of Qumran.

"As a group the men of Qumran were very unhealthy, but I think this would have been likely to have actually fed the Essenes' religious enthusiasm," said Tabor. "They would have seen their infirmities as punishment from God for their lack of purity and then have tried even harder to purify themselves further."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 15, 2006, 08:22:23 PM
Isa 20:1  In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;



Looking for Evidence of Sargon's Invasion at Rabat Tepe

Archeologists at the historic Rabat Tepe are searching to find traces of the Assyrian king's attack to northwest Iran which took place in the first millennium BC.

Tehran, 14 November 2006 (CHN) -- Archeological excavations continue at the historic hill known as Rabat Tepe, northwest Iran, while archeologists are trying to find traces of the 1st millennium invasion by the Assyrian King, Sargon. Some believe that the result of the excavations could shed light on the existence of Musasir kingdom in Rabat Tepe.

According to historic documents, the invasion took place during the reign of Musasir kings which have remained largely unknown to this date. Archeologists hope that the result of their studies would lead them to identify this mysterious government which was conquered by Sargon, the Assyrian king, some 3000 years ago. "We are certain that we will succeed in finding the evidence we are looking for," said Reza Heidari head of excavation team in Rabat Tepe.

Enormous historical evidence including clay studs belonging to the first millennium BC, engraved bricks, and bronze pins were discovered during the recent excavations in the area.

Among other stunning discoveries in Rabat Tepe are artistic flagstones arranged in the form of concentric circles set in wheat cluster patterns. Archeologists believe that these flagstones which are dated to the first millennium BC belonged to a religious center, possibly the Musasir Temple.

Sargon, the Assyrian king, ruled from 722 to 705 BC. During his reign, he had several attacks to Mannai city states, which has been mentioned in number of clay inscriptions left from his kingdom. Clay inscriptions found in present-day Iraq also have indications of his attacks on the region, particularly the invasion of Musasir Temple.

Rabat hill is one of the richest archeological sites in West Azarbaijan, northwestern Iran which dates back to 1000 BC. The second season of archeological excavations in this historical site started to find out the relation between this historical site and Musasir, which was a semi-independent buffer state bordering Mannai between Assyria and Urartu and was called the "Sun Government" by Assyrians. The ancient city of Musasir is particularly known for its bas-reliefs and inscriptions obtained during the reign of the Assyrian king Sargon II, who captured it in 714 BC. Musasir civilization was contemporary with those of Urartu and Assyria, who allied with one or the other based on political conditions.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 15, 2006, 08:29:01 PM
Toilet evidence links Dead Sea Scrolls to sect

Following directions found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeologists have discovered the latrines used by the sect that produced the scrolls, discovering that efforts to achieve ritual purity inadvertently exposed members to intestinal parasites that shortened their lifespan.

The discovery of the unique toilet area provides further evidence linking the scrolls to Qumran — an association that recently has been called into question by a small but vociferous group of archaeologists who have argued that the settlement was a pottery factory, a country villa or a Roman fortress, but not a monastery.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the revisionists claim, were actually hidden in the caves of Qumran by Jews fleeing the devastation of Jerusalem during the Roman suppression beginning in A.D. 66.

The majority of archaeologists, in contrast, argue that the scrolls were copies produced by a small sect, generally called the Essenes, who lived at Qumran.

Because the location of the latrine was specified in two of the most important scrolls found at the site, its discovery provides strong evidence associating the settlement with the scrolls, said archaeologist James Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, one of the co-authors of a paper appearing in the international journal Revue de Qumran.

In 1947, Bedouin tribesmen discovered three ancient manuscripts in a cave on the shore of the Dead Sea, about 10 miles south of Jericho. Subsequent searches revealed about 900 manuscripts and fragments dating from about 250 B.C. to A.D. 68.

Some manuscripts are copies of books of the Old Testament, while others are related to more mundane aspects of life.

The Essenes are one of the few ancient groups whose toiletry practices were documented. The first century Jewish historian Josephus noted that members of the group normally went outside the city and dug a hole, where they buried their waste.

Two of the Dead Sea Scrolls note that the latrines should be situated northwest of the settlement, at a distance of 1,000 to 3,000 cubits — about 450 to 1,350 yards — and out of sight of the settlement.

Tabor and Joe Zias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an expert on ancient latrines, went to the site and took samples.

Zias sent samples to anthropologist Stephanie Harter-Lailheugue of the CNRS Laboratory for Anthropology in Marseilles, France, who found preserved eggs and other remnants of roundworms, tapeworms and pinworms, all human intestinal parasites.

Samples from the surrounding areas contained no parasites. Had the waste been dumped on the surface, as is the practice of Bedouins in the area, the parasites quickly would have been killed by sunlight. Buried, they could persist for a year or longer, infecting anyone who walked through the soil.

The situation was made worse by the Essenes having to pass through an immersion cistern, or Miqvot, before returning to the settlement. The water would have served as a major breeding ground for the parasites.

"The graveyard at Qumran is the unhealthiest group I have ever studied in over 30 years," Zias said. Fewer than 6 percent of the men buried there survived to age 40, he said. In contrast, cemeteries from the same period excavated at Jericho show that half the males lived beyond age 40.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 18, 2006, 01:02:14 PM
At Mideast holy site, what is treasure?

JERUSALEM -- Off an East Jerusalem side street, between an olive orchard and an abandoned hotel, sit a few piles of stones and dirt that are yielding important insights into Jerusalem's history.

They come from one of the world's most disputed holy places - the square in the heart of Jerusalem that is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

The story behind the rubble includes an underground crypt, a maverick college student, a white-bearded archaeologist, thousands of relics spanning millennia and a feud between Israelis and Palestinians which is heavily shaped by ancient history.

Among finds that have emerged are a coin struck during the Jewish revolt against the Romans, arrowheads shot by Babylonian archers and by Roman siege machinery, Christian charms, a 3,300-year-old fragment of Egyptian alabaster, Bronze Age flint instruments, and - the prize discovery - the imprint of a seal possibly linked to a priestly Jewish family mentioned in the Old Testament's Book of Jeremiah.

And the finds keep coming. On a drizzly November morning, Gabriel Barkay, the veteran biblical archaeologist who runs the dig, sat in a tent near the mounds examining some newly discovered coins stamped by various Holy Land powers: the Hasmonean dynasty of Jewish kings more than 2,000 years ago, a Roman procurator around the time of Pontius Pilate, the early Christians of the Byzantine Empire, two Islamic dynasties and the British in the 20th century.

Considering the wealth of findings, it is odd, perhaps, that this is an excavation that was never supposed to happen.

Jews revere the Mount as the site of their two ancient temples. Muslims believe it's where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven during a nighttime journey recounted in the Quran. Two mosques stand on the site, as do some of the temple's original retaining walls, including the Jewish shrine called the Western Wall, but there is no visible trace of the temple itself.

The site has been the frequent arena of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, and its volatility has prevented archaeologists from ever touching it.

In November 1999, the Waqf, the Muslim organization that administers the site's Islamic holy places, opened an emergency exit to an ancient underground chamber of stone pillars and arches known to Jews as Solomon's Stables and to Muslims as the Marwani mosque.

Ignoring fierce protest from Israeli archaeologists who said priceless artifacts were being destroyed to erase traces of Jewish history, the Waqf dug a large pit, removed tons of earth and rubble that had been used as landfill and dumped much of it in the nearby Kidron Valley.

The Waqf's position was, and remains, that the rubble was of recent vintage and without archaeological value.

Zachi Zweig, a 27-year-old archaeology undergraduate at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, showed up at the dump a few days later. Though Israel's archaeological establishment had shown no interest in the rubble, Zweig was sure it was important, especially after a Waqf representative told him to leave.

Zweig returned surreptitiously with friends, gathered samples of the rubble and discovered a high concentration of ancient pottery shards. He was charged by the Israel Antiquities Authority with stealing relics - charges that were later dropped - and finally convinced Barkay, his lecturer at the university, that the rubble needed to be studied.

In 2004, after five years spent getting a dig license and raising funds, they had 75 truckloads of rubble moved to a lot on the slopes of Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.

The first coin they found, Barkay said, was one issued during the Jewish revolt that preceded the Roman destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., imprinted with the Hebrew words "Freedom of Zion."

The most valuable find so far, Barkay believes, is a clay seal impression discovered last year. Its incomplete Hebrew lettering appears to name Ge'aliyahu, son of Immer. Immer is the name of a family of temple officials mentioned in Jeremiah 20:1.

Another important discovery is the many relics from the early Christian era, which seem to disprove the notion that the site was abandoned in those years as a symbol of God's abandonment of the Jews.

Stephen Pfann of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, best known for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, said moving the rubble around has jumbled its contents and diminished its scholarly value.

But even so, "This is an insight into the life of Jerusalem, and whatever they find will be very exciting," he said.

Archaeology here, however, is rarely just about providing insight into the past.

Barkay's dig is funded by the City of David Foundation, a hard-line religious group which spends most of its money settling Jewish families in Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. It's part of a broader attempt by groups affiliated with the settler movement to make the point that Jerusalem is Jewish.

When it removed the rubble, the Waqf was trying to destroy evidence of Jewish history on the Temple Mount, said Uri Ragones, a foundation spokesman. "We are going back to Jerusalem physically, learning about it and uncovering our past. We're touching our deepest roots as a people."

For its part, the Waqf says it wasn't destroying any evidence of Jewish presence - because there isn't any.

"I have seen no evidence of a temple," said the Waqf's director, gotcha98 Husseini. He had heard "stories," he acknowledged, "but these are an attempt to change the situation here today, and any change would be very dangerous."

Such reactions don't surprise Israeli Historian Gershom Gorenberg, whose book "The End of Days" documents the fight over the holy site.

"Dig a centimeter beneath the debate over antiquities," he said, "and you hit the debate over whom the Mount belongs to, and a centimeter beneath that is the war over whom the entire country belongs to."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on November 18, 2006, 06:24:50 PM
Quote
"Dig a centimeter beneath the debate over antiquities," he said, "and you hit the debate over whom the Mount belongs to, and a centimeter beneath that is the war over whom the entire country belongs to."

AMEN!

The facts, history, and proof are simple:  the land belongs to GOD, and HE gave it to Israel. Those who study Bible Prophecy know that GOD is going to restore Israel, and every Promise made by GOD will be fulfilled most perfectly at GOD'S appointed time. All who come against Israel will be cursed, and JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF will rule and reign over the earth from the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1,000 years. Any power that tries to stop this will be destroyed. It really just as simple as: GOD'S Will Be Done - and it WILL BE!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Philippians 1:6 NASB  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 20, 2006, 01:01:32 PM
The largest city in the ancient world-the finds from Tel Megiddo

The Early Bronze Age temple was initially discovered at Tel Megiddo a decade ago. When part of it was first unearthed in 1996, the researchers realized this was a very impressive structure. Since then, evidence accumulated supporting the estimated dimensions: In 2000, two large column bases were excavated.

Then last summer, most of the structure was excavated, and the researchers were surprised. The temple, it emerged, was built on a larger area than had been previously assumed, and is an artful construction of excellent materials.

Based on pottery shards and carbon-14 dating of olive pits found on the temple floor, the building was constructed shortly before the year 3000 B.C.E., during the Early Bronze Age. To date, it is the largest and most splendid structure of its sort to be found in the Near East.

The directors of the dig, Professor David Ussishkin and Professor Yisrael Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University's archaeology institute, say the building and its surroundings are the earliest evidence of urbanization in the region.

Two of the compound's walls - the facade and the rear walls - are well-preserved. The front wall is four meters thick. The rear walls of the temple compound are about 50 meters long. The stones of one of the side walls were stolen back in ancient times, and another wall has been deemed unlikely to be located.

In the hall between the walls, excavators found three pairs of large, well-worked basalt stones. In the hall's center sits a pair of round basalt stones, and two pairs of squared stones lie to the sides. In addition, smaller pieces of lesser-quality limestone were discovered in the center of the hall. The researchers are uncertain whether the basalt stones formed the bases of wooden columns or served as altars.

The site offers much evidence of animal sacrifices: Thousands of animal bones were found on the floors and in the corridors. The large number of bones and the monumental size of the structure led the researchers to conclude it was a temple. Dr. Paula Wapnish of Pennsylvania State University examined the bones and found that most came from sheep and cattle - domesticated animals. Only a few came from hunted animals.

During the period of the temple, says Finkelstein, the cultures throughout the Near East were taking first steps toward urbanization. Large central settlements arose around the rulers' dwellings, surrounded by smaller, agricultural communities. In recent years, evidence of monumental construction and central settlements of this sort has been found not far from Megiddo at Tel Rehov, near Beit She'an, and at Beit Yareah, near Lake Kinneret. But these are from later periods, and no structures equivalent in size to the one at Megiddo have been found.

To erect such a monumental structure, a very large workforce of laborers, planners, engineers, stoneworkers and artisans would have been needed, as well as a centralized government that controlled the area where all these professionals lived and could provide considerable material resources for the construction.

Finkelstein explains that the temple was built on the northern slope of the hill at Tel Megiddo. To construct such a large building on a slope, large quantities of earth had to be moved to level the area. Such an action could not have been accomplished without a strong central government. Such a government was also needed to transport the large basalt stones, which are not part of Megiddo's natural landscape.

The construction workers apparently lived in a community very close to Megiddo. A survey near the tel revealed that the territory to the west is sown with pottery shards from the period when the temple was built. An examination with the help of a magnometer, an apparatus used to find buried man-made structures, has revealed that during the Early Bronze Age, there was a settlement there on about 500 dunams of land, making it the Near East's largest settlement during that period. The monumental temple was built on the highest point at the edge of the settlement, like the acropolis in the city-states of Greece and throughout the East, and the inhabitants lived around it.

Apparently the rulers of Megiddo did not rely only on manpower from the city. This is evidenced by an extensive survey researchers conducted throughout the western Jezreel Valley, at the foot of the Carmel Mountain. They found an unparalleled flourishing of settlements dating to the period of the temple. Professor Arlene Rosen of the University of London, who specializes in climate research, found that at the end of the 4th century B.C.E. the conditions in the Jezreel Valley were well-suited to agriculture: a lot of rainfall, springs for irrigating fields and fertile soil.

However, in addition to the attractive conditions that drew people to the region, there was another factor that probably led to the temple's downfall: Tel Megiddo, says Finkelstein, sits on a geologic fault. The archaeological findings show the temple was abandoned at some stage, but there is no evidence of a fire or other violent event.

Geologists Dr. Shmuel Marco of Tel Aviv University and Professor Amotz Agnon of the Hebrew University have found evidence of a very strong earthquake that damaged the site, leading the inhabitants to abandon it. Megiddo was resettled, to a lesser extent, only 200 years later. These later inhabitants established new temples at the tel that were in operation until the end of the second millennium B.C.E.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 23, 2006, 12:36:53 AM
4,000-Year-Old Tombs Found Near Jerusalem Mall

Not far from Jerusalem, Israel's biggest shopping mall, builders accidentally uncovered a 4,000-year-old cemetery last summer. This month the ancient site began yielding jewelry, armaments, and ritual offerings.

The cemetery find suggests that the Canaanites—a Semitic people who inhabited ancient Palestine and Phoenicia beginning about 5,000 years ago—had a much more extensive settlement in the city than previously thought.

"Usually you find such sites completely looted, but here many of the tombs were discovered with all the artifacts inside them," said Gideon Avni, the Israel Antiquities Authority's director of excavations and surveys. "This is one of the largest concentrations [of artifacts] from this period."

Fittingly, the site was until recently the home of a sprawling, 1960s model of ancient Jerusalem. The model was moved to the city's Israel Museum in preparation for new construction.

Bronze Age Insights

Excavation team leader Yanir Milevsky says the new findings contribute greatly to the archaeological knowledge of the village areas surrounding Bronze Age Canaanite Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem's agricultural settlement area [during the Bronze Age—roughly 4000 B.C. to 1000 B.C.] was much wider than what we thought up until now," Milevsky said.

The 30 to 40 excavated tombs are on the edge of the Bayit Vagan neighborhood, overlooking Jerusalem's Emek Refaim ("valley of the ghosts").

"The cemetery sprawls over more than half an acre [0.2 hectare] and, according to evidence at the site, burials there were carried out primarily during the Bronze Age between 2200 and 2000 B.C. and 1700 and 1600 B.C.," Melinsky and colleague Zvi Greenhut said in a press statement.

The site's "shaft tombs"—tunnels dug into the bedrock leading to burial caves—were common during these periods.

Among the wide variety of artifacts found are copies of Egyptian scarabs used as talismans by the area's residents.

Avni says the scarabs might have arrived in Jerusalem via commercial exchanges or with Canaanite tourists returning from Egypt.

"It's not uncommon here to find all kinds of ornamentation brought from outside the region," he said.

Other objects found at the site include metal weapons, tools, and jewelry as well as fully preserved earthenware vessels.

Burial Rituals

Sheep and goat bones found in the cemetery are believed to have been used in burial rituals.

The animal remains and foodstuffs, likely stored in earthenware containers, are known as "food for the dead" and were meant to serve the deceased after their passing.

"This is another piece in the puzzle," Avni said. "The Emek Refaim area was extensively inhabited during this time.

"We have evidence from the Mount of Olives area of similar tombs, and the city proper—the City of David site—was inhabited. [Bayit Vagan] was part of the peripheral network around Jerusalem."

Archaeologists say the site could be even larger than what has been uncovered so far.

But no final decision has been made on how to handle the site once the excavations ar complete. Artifacts will likely be moved to the Israel Museum, Avni says, and the site itself would probably be reburied.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 28, 2006, 08:37:43 AM
  Tas-Silg: it’s past, present and future
“Tas-Silg represents thousands of years of human history. It is a living museum of different eras going back to the second half of the third millennium before Christ to the Phoenicians, the Carthagenians, the Romans and Christianity.”

Tourism and Culture Minister Francis Zammit Dimech traced the history of Tas-Silg when he delivered the opening address during a seminar entitled Tas-Silg: Its Past, Present and Future organised by Heritage Malta at the Italian Cultural Institute.

The minister said that it was very fitting that this seminar was being held at the Italian Cultural Institute. He pointed out that these excavations began following a mission in 1962 by Michelangelo Cagiano de Azevedo, Professor of Classical Archaelogical Studies at the Catholic University of Milan. From Azevedo’s report, it transpired that not only was Malta a unique place for megalithic complexes but also that it had great potential relative to the historic age.

Dr Zammit Dimech said that, as a result of this report, in 1963 the Italian archaelogical mission carried out the first excavation at Tas-Silg, San Pawl Milqi and Ras il-Wardija in Gozo. For the past 43 years, he said, Italian archaeological missions headed by distinguished scientific researchers have delved deep into our history and discovered unique archeological remains that have shed a light not only on our past but also on that of the Mediterranean basin.

Nowadays, Tas-Silg is an archeological workshop, said Dr Zammit Dimech. It is situated in the southern part of Malta overlooking the magnificent harbour of Marsaxlokk which, since time immemorial, has been one of the country’s main harbours. During the second half of the third millennium before Christ, a large megalithic temple was built on the hill overlooking the bay which contained, among other things, the carved female figure representing a priestess that was discovered in 1964.

This temple, said Dr Zammit Dimech, had survived several centuries of history, including the The Phoenician and Cathagenian eras. He said that it was surrounded by courtyards and porticos reminiscent of the architectural styles prevalent in the fourth and third centuries before Christ. Other additions had been made during the Roman period, when the megalithic temple remained the centre of attraction as well as a sacred place.

It was the conversion of the Maltese Islands to Christianity, Dr Zammit Dimech pointed out, that had led to the neglect of this temple and later to the erection of the monastery inside its ruins.

He said that a baptistry – a well-preserved baptismal trough surrounded by the remains of an intricate marble pavement – had been discovered in 1966 in the megalithic building.

This vast megalithic complex is of unique importance, said the minister, as it traces the roots of mankind in the southern part of our islands. It is testimony of life on our islands way back over 4,000 years. It is testimony to our ancestors’ beliefs, their way of life, and to Malta’s first vocation as a trans-shipment centre in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea which, in those times, was thought to be the centre of the world.

Dr Zammit Dimech said that following the various missions by Italian archaeologists, and the various studies by Maltese archaeologists, he felt that it was now time to open the doors of this megalithic site to the world, adding “but not before taking all the precautions necessary to preserve what has been excavated.”

He pointed out that Malta depended on tourism for a quarter of its livelihood, and cultural tourism was one of our major tourism segments. Malta offered unique megalithic remains that are world heritage sites, he said.

Tas-Silg groups together archaeological remains from different eras and these should help the Maltese people to become better acquainted with their history and heritage and give the tourists who visit us a better understanding of the roots of mankind through the ages.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 28, 2006, 08:39:09 AM
Hungarian archaeologist discovers tablet mentioning Masada's destroyer

In 73 CE, the Roman governor of Judea, Flavius Silva, laid siege to Masada with Legion X Fretensis. When the walls were broken down by a battering ram, the Romans found the fortress' defenders had set fire to all the structures and preferred mass suicide to captivity or defeat. Masada has since become part of Jewish mythology, as has the name Silva, who Josephus Flavius mentions in his writings. It is therefore no great surprise that Hungarian archaeologist Dr. Tibor Grull, studying in Israel three years ago, was excited to discover a stone tablet during a visit to the Temple Mount with a Latin inscription of the name of Masada's destroyer.

Grull asked officials of the Waqf, the Muslim trust for the Temple Mount, where the tablet came from, and they explained it had been found in the large hole dug in the mount in 1999 when the entrance to Solomon's Stables was opened. The Hungarian archaeologist received rare permission to photograph and document the finding. In October 2005, Grull published the discovery in the journal of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research.

Particularly interested in the find was Bar Ilan's Dr. Gabi Barkai, who has been sifting through Temple Mount dirt for the past two years. The dirt, in which many finds dating as far back as the First Temple period have been discovered, was dug from the same hole by Waqf personnel and taken from the same area - the south-east side - from which the inscription fragment was taken. Barkai contacted Grull and included Grull's work - which had not received exposure - in a comprehensive article on the sifting project at the Temple Mount, slated for publication in the next edition of the periodical Ariel.

Grull's photographs of the stone tablet are first being published in Haaretz. The five-line monumental inscription is 97 centimeters by 75 centimeters. The text itself is damaged. Barkai, relying on Grull, says the inscription is undoubtedly the dedication carved into a victory arch, and it includes the Latin word for "arch."

"This is the only evidence we have of a victory or memorial arch the Romans built on the Temple Mount after the destruction of the city and the Temple," Barkai notes. "This is the first evidence of reconstruction, carried out by the Roman army, immediately after Jerusalem's destruction, about fifty years before Aelia Capitolina was founded."

Barkai says the inscription memorializes Flavius Silva, the conqueror of Masada and governor of Judea from 73 to 80 CE. The missing section of the inscription apparently mentioned Roman military commanders Aspasianus and Titus. The inscription also mentions a previously unknown person named Atnagorus.

The Waqf, which is opposed to archaeological digging on the Temple Mount, apparently has the tablet itself. Due to Waqf opposition, only areas surrounding the Mount itself, the City of David and the southern Western Wall, south of the Wall Plaza, and the western area of the wall north of the plaza - the Wall Tunnel - have been excavated until now.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on November 28, 2006, 02:01:54 PM
Pastor Roger,

Brother, these discoveries are getting more and more frequent, and they are absolutely fascinating for folks who want to see proof for the Holy Bible. The evidence is getting pretty deep now, and it might be time for many of the skeptics to take another look.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Matthew 5:10 NASB  "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 28, 2006, 03:53:41 PM
Amen to that brother.

I am expecting a really big find in the near future that should be a real eye opener to even the most staunch of the skeptics. However no matter what is found, unfortunately, there will be some that still will not believe and will go off their own way.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 28, 2006, 10:03:56 PM
Byzantine arch found at site of renovated Jerusalem synagogue

A high arch which had been part of the skyline of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City in Jerusalem since the Six Day War has recently disappeared. It belonged to the Hurva Synagogue, Israel's grandest, most important synagogue until the War of Independence.

The arch, a remnant of the synagogue bombed by the Jordanians in 1948, was removed due to the renovation and reconstruction of the synagogue now in progress.

Excavations at the site, directed by archaeologists Hillel Geva and Oren Gutfeld, have exposed findings from various periods of the synagogue's history. The most significant is an entire arch standing along remnants of a stone-paved street from the Byzantine period, which split from the Cardo (one of Jerusalem's main streets during the Roman and Byzantine period) and ascended east to the center of the Jewish Quarter. The arch - 3.7 meters wide, 1.3 meters thick and five meters high - is built of one row of large hewn stones. Geva believes it formed the entrance gate to the Byzantine street.

"This arch is unique, because in excavations there so far only wide domes that walled the shops along the Byzantine Cardo were found," says Geva. "It shows where the street split from the Cardo, and has been recovered intact."

Yuval Baruch, the archaeologist of the Jerusalem District of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), also believes "this is a rare and important finding."

The excavations, which began in 2003, also unearthed structures and pottery from the First Temple period, remnants of rooms from the Herodian period (Second Temple), burnt wooden logs (evidence of fire that took place after the destruction of the Second Temple), and three plastered ritual baths carved in rock from the Second Temple period.

The diggers also found a small weapons arsenal, where defenders of the Jewish Quarter stashed mortar shells and grenades during the Independence War.

The Hurva's renovation ended a prolonged architectural argument about how to reconstruct the synagogue, which was the center of cultural and spiritual life in Israel and the Jewish Quarter in the second half of the 19th Century and first half of the 20th. Ultimately, architect Nahum Meltzer's plan to reconstruct the original synagogue was adopted.

The courtyard was purchased 306 years ago by Rabbi Yehuda he-Hasid (Segal), who arrived from Poland with 300 of his students. It sat adjacent to the Ramban Synagogue, built some 430 years earlier and was closed by the Ottomans in 1589. The Ashkenazi community in the Old City numbered a mere few hundred people in those days and Rabbi Yehuda he-Hasid and his students' coming caused much commotion. He died five days later.

His followers began building a yeshiva and synagogue in the courtyard, but the construction was not completed. The Jews were late returning the loan to the Arabs for the project and in 1721 the Arabs burned the uncompleted synagogue and the 40 Torah books it housed. The site remained desolate for 140 years, thus acquiring the name "hurva" (the wreck). A new synagogue was built there by the disciples of the Vilna Gaon in 1864.

The Hurva then became the most splendid synagogue in Israel and hosted important Jewish events until the 1930s. Two days after conquering the quarter in 1948, the Jordanians bombed the synagogue and the Jordanian commander reported to headquarters: "For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter. Not a single building remains intact. This makes the Jews' return here impossible."



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 30, 2006, 08:04:37 AM
More on Biblical past unearthed in Holy Land construction

Building a housing complex or a road in the Holy Land can often have grave implications.

Ancient cemeteries, burial caves from biblical times and centuries-old artifacts have been unearthed during construction work in Israel over the years, forcing contractors by law to call in archaeologists and sometimes halt building projects.

 In Holyland Park, a complex of apartments being built on a hill in Jerusalem, archaeologists will soon finish removing bones and other remnants from a field of 40 tombs estimated to be 3,700 years old.

Ianir Milevski, one of the leaders of the excavation, said the graves likely contained the bodies of dozens of Canaanites who lived in a nearby village during the Bronze age.

Across the road and on top of where their homes once stood, one of Israel's largest shopping malls does a brisk business.

"That was their village, and this is their graveyard," Milevski said. When the shopping mall was built "we were able to learn how the Canaanites lived. Now, we can potentially learn how they died."

Workers constructing the Holyland apartments were lucky -- Milevski spotted markings on the ground that led to the discovery of the graves before major foundations were laid.

Israeli law dictates such finds be preserved and Jewish remains salvaged for proper burial.

 The solution was to build around the excavation, giving Milevski, colleague Zvi Greenhut and their team time to extract the remnants, which included human bones, skeletons of animals likely used as "offerings," beads, weapons and work tools.

Now that the graves have been extracted, more apartment buildings are set to be built over the site, which is pitted Swiss-cheese like with gaping holes.

CIRCLE IN THE SAND

Archaeologists from Israel's Antiquities Authority monitor all construction projects in the country. If they find what appears to be an artifact, construction is stopped.

"It can be something that looks unusual -- a circle in the earth, or a stain-like patch on the ground," Milevski said.

Antiquities officials in the Palestinian territories employ a similar policy. An archaeological dig was recently conducted in a neighborhood in the West Bank city of Ramallah, a Palestinian commercial center.

The precautions to preserve archaeological remnants have often delayed large building projects.

In 2003, graves from the Byzantine period were discovered during groundwork for a train track. Workers were forced to halt construction until the builders and archaeologists agreed to build a rail tunnel under the tombs, delaying the project's completion by a year.

Israel has also often stopped infrastructure work because of protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews citing the possible desecration of Jewish graves at sites where bones were found.

 Archaeologists believe many such cemeteries contain remains of Roman troops who occupied Judea between around 63 BC and 638 AD.

Construction of a new wing at Israel's Megiddo Prison, near Armageddon, the site where the Bible says the final battle between good and evil will take place, led to the discovery of a church dating back to the third or fourth century.

Dozens of inmates from the prison helped archaeologists extract artifacts from the Roman and Byzantine periods.

Contractors repairing a Tel Aviv high school had to take a 2,100-year-old burial cave into consideration, first filling in the space where tombs had been excavated decades ago before shoring up the building.

And workers laying pipes for a town in northern Israel got into hot water when they accidentally damaged burial caves believed to be 5,000 years old.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 02, 2006, 07:53:12 PM
What peach did they dare to eat at Masada?
By Ran Shapira

The Roman army commander and naturalist Pliny described, in his book "The Natural History," a rare and unique variety of peach that ripens at an early date, in the summer, and not in the fall, as did all the other peach varieties around in his day. No one knows what this rare variety was called in antiquity, but Prof. Mordechai Kislev, an expert on botanical archaeology, claims that peaches matching Pliny's description appear in a wall drawing in the city of Herculaneum, near Pompeii, and that they also grew in the Land of Israel and were part of the diet of Masada's residents.

According to Kislev, up until a few years ago, several trees of this variety grew in Moshav Amikem, located in the valley between Givat Ada and Zichron Yaakov, which is why he and his colleagues from Bar-Ilan University's life sciences department named it the Amikem. Today, the only representative left from this remnant of the ancient world is a single tree in the village of Kafr Kara.

Kislev and his colleagues think that the peach pits found in Masada are of this specific variety. Like the lone tree in Wadi Ara, they, too, match the Roman descriptions from the first century CE. These peaches may indeed ripen early, but they remain edible for a long time, says Kislev, and that is why it's likely that Masada residents preferred them to peaches of other varieties.

Masada's residents did not suffice with just peaches, of course. In excavations at the site conducted by the late Prof. Yigael Yadin, abundant remains of fruits and grains were found. At the beginning of his academic career, in the early 1970s, Kislev received from Yadin all the remains of plants unearthed until then at Masada, and a few years ago, other botanical remains were added to the collection, having been uncovered in excavations there by Prof. Ehud Netzer and Dr. Guy Shtiebel. Today the collection includes thousands of items, representing all the periods when the mountain was inhabited: from the construction of Herod's palace on the peak of Masada in 37 BCE to the era of Roman rule after the conquest of the mountain in 73 CE.

Almost 30 years elapsed from the time Kislev received the findings from Yadin until he found the time and assistance to research the material. In the last three years, he has returned to the collection, with help from Suheil Zeidan, of the Jewish National Fund, and his colleagues Dr. Orit Simchoni and Yonit Tabak, a master's student. The team found that Masada residents enjoyed the full variety of foods produced by the Land of Israel: wheat, barley, apricots, plums, pomegranates, peaches, almonds, figs, grapes and olives.

Masada's olives sparked particular interest because an in-depth inquiry into their qualities found that since the Roman era, there has been no significant change in their agriculture. Masada residents ate olives from the exact same varieties that grow in Israel today, namely, Syrian, Nabali and Melisi. Researchers identified the varieties by inspecting the pits, their structure and symmetry. Olive pits were found whole, an indication that the olives were eaten in pickled form, and not used to produce oil. This speculation was reinforced by the fact that 90 percent of the olives on Masada were of the Nabali variety, which is most suited for pickling among the local varieties that grow in Israel.

The remaining 10 percent were primarily Syrian or Melisi olives, but there were also some amounts found of two varieties that do not grow in Israel, and need to be imported from neighboring countries. One is the Shami olive, which grows in Syria, and the other is the Toffahi, from Egypt. The pits of these varieties are substantially different from those of the local varieties. According to Kislev, who lectured this week at Masada at the Dead Sea Conference on Environmental Resources and Society, the two imported varieties are considered luxuries to this day, and Arab villages tend to use them as decoration for weddings and other occasions. He estimates that they were imported to Masada during the time when wealthy and high-ranking people lived there, such as King Herod himself or the Roman generals who besieged the mountain.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 02, 2006, 07:59:49 PM
 Is 1,400-year-old treasure evidence of Christianity's first foothold in Britain?



Archaeologists excavating near the edge of Trafalgar Square in London have found evidence of early Christianity in England, suggesting the area has a much older religious significance than was originally believed.

A team from the Museum of London has discovered a hoard of what is almost certainly royal treasure, buried in a mysterious, empty human grave laid out in the traditional Christian manner - east to west.

"Our excavations demonstrate the position as a significant and important place at an earlier date than we thought," said Alison Telfer, the senior archaeologist in charge of the dig.

The finds are among the most remarkable discoveries ever made in London and are likely to shed new light on the very early stages of the introduction of Christian ideas into the Anglo-Saxon world 1,400 years ago.

Located immediately next to one of the capital's most famous churches - St Martin-in-the-Fields - immediately to the north of Trafalgar Square, the empty grave appears to form part of a previously unknown ancient cemetery, dating back more than one and a half millennia. Archaeologists have also discovered 24 other graves on the site, all still holding the remains of their occupants.

The treasure hoard in the empty grave consists of a gold pendant inlaid with blue-green glass; glass beads and fragments of silver (possibly a neck pendant); and two pieces of amethyst, possibly earrings.

The empty grave, judging by its treasure, and several of the other early graves in the cemetery are estimated to date from the time that Bertha was Queen of Kent - 590 to 610.

"It is likely that the grave did initially accommodate a body, but the remains were removed after some months or years for burial inside a church, potentially an early version of St Martin's itself," said Professor Ian Wood of Leeds University, who specialises in 6th and 7th century history.

"It is likely that the empty grave belonged to a relative - possibly even a daughter or a niece - of the most important woman in Britain at the time, Queen Bertha, the wife of the most powerful ruler in England, King Aethelberht of Kent, overlord of the English."

Professor Wood added: "Bertha is the unsung heroine of early English Christianity because it was she, rather than the much more famous St Augustine, who was initially responsible for the introduction of Christianity into the Anglo-Saxon world. It was as a result of her activities that St Augustine was sent to England by the Pope to become the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

"The discoveries are therefore important because they reveal Christian activity, probably associated with Bertha's circle, at this very early stage of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England."

Bertha was a devotee of the cult of St Martin. Her personal church in Canterbury, presented to her in about 590 by her then pagan husband, Aethelberht, was dedicated to the saint - probably at her behest. And her husband was, after about 597, very keen on ecclesiastical development in London, which was technically part of the kingdom of Essex but in reality under Kentish overall control.

The mysterious empty grave near Trafalgar Square may therefore have been a temporary resting place for a senior Kentish princess during the time that the Anglo-Saxon church of St Martin's was being built.

The excavations have also revealed a second mystery. At least one of the other graves was pre-Anglo-Saxon and dates from the very late Roman or immediate post-Roman period. The burial, in a stone sarcophagus, was also Christian - like virtually all the others - but was 200 years older.

This raises the possibility that the site had Christian links long before the conversion of Anglo-Saxon England, possibly as the location of a small church or mortuary chapel built there in the very late Roman period, immediately before the Anglo-Saxon pagan conquest. This would mean St Martin-in-the-Fields is London's oldest surviving ecclesiastical site, predating St Paul's by some two centuries.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 04, 2006, 09:23:27 AM
Ancient Jewish-Christian settlement found in Mishmar David

The remains of an ancient Jewish and Christian settlement, which later became Muslim, dating back to the Early Islamic period and the Crusader Period have been uncovered between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Sunday.

The large six-dunam settlement, which was found in Mishmar David, located between Rehovot and Latrun, was discovered during an archeological salvage excavation in the area ahead of planned construction work at the site.

The archeologists digging at the site discovered the remnants of residential buildings, villas, public buildings, streets and alleys, as well as an industrial zone, which housed agricultural installations.

Two Jewish ritual baths with water pipes leading from the house, in accordance with Jewish law, were also found at the site.

The highlight of the excavation is a round structure, about 10 meters in diameter, built of well-dressed ashlar stones.

The floor of the structure - which is preserved to a height of three meters - is paved with a polychrome mosaic decorated with geometric patterns and a palm tree motif.

The unique building has never been uncovered in any other previous archeological excavation in the country.

Israeli archeologists date the building to the Byzantine-Islamic period but are unsure of its purpose.

The director of the excavations, Dr. Eli Yannai, noted that buildings such as the one that was uncovered were usually meant to commemorate an important historic event that was of significance to the population that resided there.

"It can be a building that was erected in memory of a person who was martyred because of his religious beliefs, a miracle that occurred at the site or a visit by a saint," Yannai said.

The importance of the excavation and their contribution to the study of the past lie in the intensity of the remains, the size of the settlement, and the evidence that the population that lived there was a Christian population prior to it having converted to Islam.

The findings that support this theory are unequivocal Christian symbols such as crosses that were revealed on clay lamps, and inscriptions in ancient Greek that mention "the mother of God," a Christian saying that was characteristic of the Byzantine period.

At the same time, the bronze coins that were recovered at the site bear the names of caliphs from the Early Islamic period and some of them include the Arabic inscription: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his servant."

__________________

This dig is far from complete. It will be interesting to see what else may be discovered here.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 05, 2006, 03:43:47 PM
 'Church of the Ark' found on West Bank

Archaeologists claimed yesterday to have uncovered one of the world's first churches, built on a site believed to have once housed the Ark of the Covenant.

The site, emerging from the soil in a few acres in the hills of the Israeli occupied West Bank, is richly decorated with brightly coloured mosaics and inscriptions referring to Jesus Christ.

According to the team, led by Yitzhak Magen and Yevgeny Aharonovitch, the church dates to the late 4th century, making it one of Christianity's first formal places of worship.

"I can't say for sure at the moment that it's the very first church," said Mr Aharonovitch, 38, as he oversaw a team carrying out the final excavations before winter yesterday. "But it's certainly one of the first." He said the site contained an extremely unusual inscription which referred to itself, Shiloh, by name.

"That is very rare and shows early Christians treated this as an ancient, holy place," said Mr Aharonovitch. According to the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, was kept by the Israelites at Shiloh for several hundred years.

It was eventually moved to the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem temple that the Bible says was built by King Solomon around 1000 BC. When the temple was sacked by the Babylonians 400 years later, the Ark was lost, sparking theories about whether it had been hidden or destroyed.

The team at Shiloh is considering whether to dig under the beautiful mosaics that they have uncovered, in order to find traces of the Ark. "We have to decide whether to fix the mosaics here or take them to a museum," said Mr Aharonovitch.

Jewish residents in the modern settlement of Shiloh, which sits on a hill amidst Palestinian villages, want the team to keep digging.

David Rubin, a former mayor of Shiloh, said: "We believe that if they continue to dig they'll reach back to the time of the Tabernacle," referring to the portable place of worship where the Israelites housed the Ark.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: ibTina on December 05, 2006, 07:12:05 PM
'Church of the Ark' found on West Bank

Archaeologists claimed yesterday to have uncovered one of the world's first churches, built on a site believed to have once housed the Ark of the Covenant.

The site, emerging from the soil in a few acres in the hills of the Israeli occupied West Bank, is richly decorated with brightly coloured mosaics and inscriptions referring to Jesus Christ.

According to the team, led by Yitzhak Magen and Yevgeny Aharonovitch, the church dates to the late 4th century, making it one of Christianity's first formal places of worship.

"I can't say for sure at the moment that it's the very first church," said Mr Aharonovitch, 38, as he oversaw a team carrying out the final excavations before winter yesterday. "But it's certainly one of the first." He said the site contained an extremely unusual inscription which referred to itself, Shiloh, by name.

"That is very rare and shows early Christians treated this as an ancient, holy place," said Mr Aharonovitch. According to the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, was kept by the Israelites at Shiloh for several hundred years.

It was eventually moved to the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem temple that the Bible says was built by King Solomon around 1000 BC. When the temple was sacked by the Babylonians 400 years later, the Ark was lost, sparking theories about whether it had been hidden or destroyed.

The team at Shiloh is considering whether to dig under the beautiful mosaics that they have uncovered, in order to find traces of the Ark. "We have to decide whether to fix the mosaics here or take them to a museum," said Mr Aharonovitch.

Jewish residents in the modern settlement of Shiloh, which sits on a hill amidst Palestinian villages, want the team to keep digging.

David Rubin, a former mayor of Shiloh, said: "We believe that if they continue to dig they'll reach back to the time of the Tabernacle," referring to the portable place of worship where the Israelites housed the Ark.

ummmmm..............(http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/tinabaran/fun%20things/WOW.gif)
               


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on December 05, 2006, 08:36:25 PM
I would have said

WOW!

but Sister Tina said it better.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 06, 2006, 07:43:34 PM
Vatican archaeologists find tomb believed to be that of Apostle Paul


Vatican archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul that had been buried beneath Rome's second largest basilica.

The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was completed last month, the project's head said this week.

"Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible," said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who headed the project at St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica.

The interior of the sarcophagus has not yet been explored, but Filippi didn't rule out the possibility of doing so in the future.

Two ancient churches that once stood at the site of the current basilica were successively built over the spot where tradition said the saint had been buried. The second church, built by the Roman emperor Theodosius in the fourth century, left the tomb visible, first above ground and later in a crypt.

When a fire destroyed the church in 1823, the current basilica was built and the ancient crypt was filled with earth and covered by a new altar.

"We were always certain that the tomb had to be there beneath the papal altar," Filippi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Filippi said that the decision to make the sarcophagus visible again was made after many pilgrims who came to Rome during the Catholic Church's 2000 Jubilee year expressed disappointment at finding that the saint's tomb could not be visited or touched.

The findings of the project will be officially presented during a news conference at the Vatican on Monday.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on December 06, 2006, 09:59:44 PM
ANOTHER

BIG

WOW!

The discoveries are getting massive, and they seem to hit now in an almost continual stream. Again, I can't help thinking that GOD might be giving the lost their chance to turn their lives around and accept JESUS CHRIST as Lord and Savior. The time might be growing short.

Love In Christ,
Tom

1 John 3:1-2  See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: ibTina on December 07, 2006, 09:49:28 AM
Yes.. another big WOW.... these discoveries really put such a joy into my heart... I feel like this:

         (http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/tinabaran/fun%20things/manynanas.gif)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 09, 2006, 12:20:52 AM
Vatican confirms St Paul's coffin has been found

VATICAN archaeologists have confirmed that St Paul was buried beneath the Roman church bearing his name.

They said they have identified

a Roman sarcophagus beneath the main altar and an epigraph: Paul apostle-martyr.

A small hole in the lid of the stone coffin, through which pilgrims would push pieces of fabric to touch the bones of the martyr, has been filled.

"I have no doubt that this is the tomb of St Paul, as revered by Christians in the fourth century," said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who made the discovery, and who will present the results of his scientific tests on the remains of the saint on Monday.

St Paul's sarcophagus was found after five years of extensive excavations at the church, which is second only in size to St Peter's in Rome.

The announcement reinforces the move by the Vatican in recent years to present the Pope as the successor not only of St Peter, but also of St Paul the great missionary.

Paul of Tarsus was a Jew who campaigned against Christians until converted on the road to Damascus. Arrested on obscure charges, he insisted on his right as a Roman citizen to be tried in the capital of the empire.

He was acquitted, but was later a victim of Christian persecution in Rome, and

was beheaded.

In the early fourth century Emperor Constantine built a church above his tomb outside the walls of the city.

"Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible," Dr Filippi said. He began looking for the tomb at the request of Archbishop Francesco Gioia, within whose jurisdiction the church falls.

In 2000 the archbishop was inundated with queries from pilgrims about the whereabouts of the saint, which eventually persuaded the Vatican that there was enough demand from tourists to warrant raising the sarcophagus to the surface so that it could be viewed properly.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2006, 12:26:52 PM
Archaeology Validates the Bible! AGAIN AND AGAIN!

If the Bible is true, then we should expect archaeology to confirm it. This article reveals exciting discoveries of such confirmations—and why most scholars and news media outlets oppose them.


As the Bible continues to be validated by new archaeological evidence, one would expect the public to take note with wonder.

Consider the 1983 discovery by Israeli scholar Adam Zertal, who unearthed a huge sacrificial altar on Mount Ebal, north of Jericho. Its construction perfectly matches the specifications described in Deuteronomy 27:4-8, which was later built by Joshua (Josh. 8:30-35).

Yet, as amazing as Dr. Zertal’s discovery was, it received a less than enthusiastic response from his academic colleagues. They claimed that he was probably politically motivated, linking his finding to the support of Jewish settlements in the region of Nablus (ancient Shechem), where Mount Ebal is located.

“It’s bad for business to find things from the Bible these days,” his peers observed. “It makes us look like unsophisticated messianic fanatics” (“Reclaiming Biblical Jerusalem,” aish.com).

Questioning the validity of the Bible has become fashionable for the academic elite. Weaned on evolutionary theory and molded by years of political correctness, most scholars equate any attempts to validate the Bible as promoting Zionism—a term that advocates of political correctness vigorously reject.

But despite the outcries of Bible skeptics, the restoration of a Jewish homeland in the region of ancient Israel was clearly foretold in Scripture, such as in Zephaniah 2:7 and Zechariah 12:2-8. And the One who orchestrated this prophesied migration, just prior to the Return of the Messiah, was God.

One major school of thought that rejects the existence of ancient Israel is called biblical minimalism (as spelled out in the 1996 book The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History, by Keith Whitelam). This movement actually denies the existence of ancient Israel, instead believing the biblical account to be imaginative fiction—an invention that covers up the “real” history of the Palestinians. (Our article “Palestine and the Palestinians” shows the true origin of the term “Palestine,” and gives a brief historical perspective of the peoples of this region.) Biblical minimalism holds that the monarchies of David and Solomon, and their rulership over a militarily and economically powerful Israelite nation, never existed. Rather, biblical minimalists portray these two kings as minor tribal chieftains of Jerusalem, which (they claim) was a small and insignificant village.

The 2001 book The Bible Unearthed, by Israel Finkelstein, chairman of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, attempted to discredit the biblical record while promoting radical revisions of ancient Israel. The book ranked high on the New York Times’ bestseller list, as Dr. Finkelstein became “the darling of a sympathetic media” (ibid).

As just one of many examples revealing the general leanings of the news media, it may explain why the public-at-large is rarely informed of the archaeological breakthroughs that corroborate the Bible’s authenticity.
A Shocking Discovery

In February 2005, an ongoing archeological project to find the palace of David began to produce an abundance of artifacts and structures, confirming biblical history. This project was spearheaded by Dr. Eilat Mazar, head archaeologist of the Shalem Center Institute of Archaeology, in Israel. She is also the granddaughter of a highly respected archaeologist, Dr. Benyamin Mazar, former President of Hebrew University. (See inset.)

There have been many attempts over the years to locate the palace of David within the ancient Jebusite stronghold that King David had conquered (II Sam. 5:6-10). This narrow fortified strip, which was later renamed the “City of David,” consisted of only nine acres, and is located just south of the former Temple of Solomon complex. Because evidence of the palace could not be found in there, some archaeologists began to doubt the biblical record.

Meanwhile, in Achziv, on Israel’s northern coast, Eilat Mazar was able to draw upon years of excavation experience. Her book The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations is based upon her experiences gained in the 1970s and 80s under the mentorship of archaeologists such as Yigal Shilo, as well as years of guidance from her grandfather. The book recounts the excavation of Dr. Shilo’s discovery of a huge wall—which he believed was a retaining wall for David’s palace, or possibly part of the Jebusite fortress David had conquered. This find served to heighten Dr. Mazar’s passion to locate the palace structure.

Based upon British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon’s discoveries of Phoenician stonework in the 1950s and 60s, a solid clue had surfaced as to the location of David’s palace: “Hiram king of Tyre [ancient Phoenicia] sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons [hewers of stones] and they built David a house” (II Sam. 5:11). This direct link between Dr. Kenyon’s find and the account of David’s house as built by the Phoenicians led Benyamin Mazar to advise his granddaughter to begin her search at the location where the Phoenician stonework was discovered.

Another indicator of the location is found in II Samuel 5:17. It states that when David, upon being anointed king over Israel, heard that the Philistine army was coming after him, he “went down to the hold [stronghold].” This meant that David’s residence was located at a higher elevation than the stronghold called the City of David. Thus, the palace was higher up the hill, just north of the stronghold, but not as far north as what would later become the Temple complex. It became apparent that King David had built his palace outside the walls of the fortified, but cramped, former Jebusite city. His chosen location near the summit of the mountain was on bedrock, with no archaeological layers beneath.

Upon recognizing this discovery in the late winter of 2005, Eilat Mazar found it incredible that the structure was only one to two meters beneath the surface. Skeptics warned that her project was futile due to David’s palace being buried by the many remnants of past cultures. However, she commented, “I was shocked at how easy it was to uncover it, and how well preserved it was, as if it were just waiting 3,000 years for us to find it” (ibid.). She expressed that she, as a Jew and an Israeli, felt great joy when the details of what they found matched the Bible’s descriptions.

She said, “The construction that we found was a complicated and intricate engineering operation that must have required immense resources, and the dating matches.”

It even appears that Dr. Mazar had prepared herself for this discovery by excavating ancient Phoenician ruins on the northern Israeli coast. Her years of experience enabled her to identify the Phoenician construction of David’s palace, which is quite distinct from other ruins in Judea.

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2006, 12:27:18 PM
As expected, intellectual skeptics refused to acknowledge the significance of Dr. Mazar’s phenomenal find. Despite overwhelming archeological proof, many chose to continue embracing false notions of biblical minimalism—maintaining that there was no David, no Solomon, no prophets and no Temple.
Other Unique Discoveries

Among Dr. Mazar’s find was a tiny clay disc within the palace ruins. Called a “bulla,” the disc is inscribed in ancient Hebrew script with the impressions of the sender’s name. It served as a “return address” used to seal papyrus scroll “mail.” This bulla bears the name of Jehuchal Ben Shelemiah, who is mentioned in Jeremiah 37:3 as one of two emissaries sent by King Zedekiah to implore the prophet Jeremiah to pray for Jerusalem, which was under siege by the Babylonians.

Later, in Jeremiah 38:1-4, Jehucal (or “Jucal”) was one of the emissaries who, upon hearing Jeremiah’s warning message of the Babylonians’ inevitable victory, declared that the prophet should be executed for demoralizing the people.

The fact that this bulla was discovered in David’s palace shows that this building continued to be used by the kings of Judah (or at least for governmental purposes) for about 450 years, until Jerusalem’s destruction.

Dr. Mazar stressed, “For me, finding the bulla was tremendous. Jehucal was no longer just some name in a biblical account…He was a real person. We now have his business card. The account is a real account. It is very rare to find such precise evidence for a narrative in the Bible” (ibid.).

Her late husband, also an archaeologist, had published material on bullas that helped her examine and decipher these intricate sources of valuable information.

In the last decade, more than 50 bullas have been discovered bearing dozens of Hebrew names. This provides even further confirmation of the biblical account. One such name is that of Gemariah Ben Shaphan, a scribe of King Jehoiakim, in whose chamber Baruch Ben Neriah read Jeremiah’s warning to Judah (Jer. 36:10). Another name inscribed on a bulla is that of Azariah Ben Hilkiah, a member of the family of high priests; he officiated before Jerusalem’s destruction (I Chron. 9:11).

Though Dr. Mazar was exhilarated by these discoveries, she did not bask in personal glory or fame. Her excitement solely focused on the fact that archeology validated God’s Word as historically accurate. (Her late grandfather published a five-volume work showing hundreds of connections between such finds and the Bible.)
Other Bible Opponents

As fast as artifacts are being unearthed, Dr. Mazar and other archaeologists are deeply concerned about the mass destruction and removal of valuable artifacts.

“According to agreements made between the Israeli government and the Waqf, to whom the Israelis handed control of the Temple mount in 1967, the Arabs are not permitted to carry out independent works on the Mount without permission from the Israel Antiquities Authority. Over the years, however, there have been indications of the Waqf breaking this status quo…The greatest breech was discovered in 1999, when the Waqf bulldozed and then paved over close to 6,000 square meters of the ancient Temple Mount surface. Temple Mount artifacts were ripped from the Mount and secretly dumped in several places throughout Jerusalem, mostly in the Kidron Valley east of the Old City and also in the city dump. Over 100 truckloads of Temple Mount rubble, soil and artifacts were clandestinely removed” (“Reclaiming Biblical Jerusalem”).

Dr. Mazar was critical of the “Israel Antiquities Authority, which by law is responsible for any archaeological activity on the Mount; The Authority didn’t pursue the matter, largely because the second intifada broke out and it had little stomach for enflaming Muslim sensitivities” (“Eilat Mazar: Uncovering King David’s Palace,” momentmag.com).

Such are the dilemmas of a turbulent world riddled with unpredictable outbreaks of conflict and chaos.

This same Bible—which Dr. Mazar and others continue to validate through their findings—makes some startling prophetic forecasts. It reveals that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) will soon return, and that Satan, the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4)—who “deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9)—will be dethroned.

At last, humanity will enjoy the benefits of worldwide peace, abundance and true fulfillment that will be brought by the rule of Christ and His resurrected saints. God’s Word also reveals that King David will once again reign over the 12 tribes of Israel (Jer. 30:9; Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Hos. 3:5).


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2006, 12:29:31 PM
How Jewish is Jerusalem?

You might think that's a silly question, but in the world of academia, revisionist history and even biblical archaeology, scholars have cast the shadow of doubt over Judaism's intrinsic connection to Jerusalem. The Moslem Waqf, the religious authority that administers the Temple Mount -- the site of Judaism's First and Second Temples -- has been claiming for years that there was never a temple there. But the idea that Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and Jerusalem its holy capital has been under attack from far more reputable sources in recent decades as well.

For a growing number of academics and intellectuals, King David and his united kingdom of Judah and Israel, which has served for 3,000 years as an integral symbol of the Jewish nation, is simply a piece of fiction. The biblical account of history has been dismissed as unreliable by a cadre of scholars, some of whom have an overtly political agenda, arguing that the traditional account was resurrected by the Zionists to justify dispossessing Palestinian Arabs. The most outspoken of these is Keith Whitelam of the Copenhagen School which promotes an agenda of "biblical minimalism," whose best-known work is The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History.

Even in Israel, this new school has found its voice. Israel Finkelstein, chairman of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology, began championing a theory several years ago that the biblical accounts of Jerusalem as the seat of a powerful, unified monarchy under the rule of David and Solomon are essentially false. The scientific methods for his assumptions, called a "lower dating" which essentially pushes archaeological evidence into a later century and thus erases all evidence of a Davidic monarchy, were laughed off by traditional archaeologists. But his book, The Bible Unearthed, wound up on the New York Times' best-seller list and he became the darling of a sympathetic media. He concluded that David and Solomon, if they existed at all, were merely "hill-country chieftains" and Jerusalem a poor, small tribal village. He claims that the myth of King David was the creation of a cult of priests trying to create for themselves a glorious history.

Looking in the Wrong Place

But the debunkers of Jewish biblical history got some bad news recently, when a spunky, dedicated archaeologist began her latest dig. Dr. Eilat Mazar, world authority on Jerusalem's past, has taken King David out of the pages of the Bible and put him back into living history. Mazar's latest excavation in the City of David, in the southern shadow of the Temple Mount, has shaken up the archaeological world. For lying undisturbed for over 3,000 years is a massive building which Mazar believes is King David's palace.

For Mazar, 48, one of the world's leading authorities on the archaeology of ancient Jerusalem and head archaeologist of the Shalem Center Institute of Archaeology, the discovery was the culmination of years of effort and solid speculation. From the time she was a teenager, she had her nose in archaeology literature, and worked closely with her grandfather, renowned archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, who conducted the southern wall excavations next to the Western Wall. She holds a doctorate in archaeology from Hebrew University, is author of The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations, and in the 1970s and '80s worked on the digs supervised by Yigal Shilo in the City of David. The significant discoveries made then, including a huge wall called the "stepped-stone structure" -- which Shilo believed was a retaining wall for David's royal palace or part of the Jebusite fortress he conquered -- ignited Mazar to continue to look for the prize: David's palace itself.

Some biblical scholars gave up looking for the palace because, according to Mazar, they were looking in the wrong place. Scholars searched for remains of the palace within the walls of the ancient Jebusite city that David conquered and called Ir David (City of David). This city, while heavily fortified with both natural and man-made boundaries, was also very small, just nine acres in size. When no evidence of such a majestic palace as the Bible describes was found there, the next step was to claim that David's monarchy never really existed.

But Mazar always suspected that the palace was outside the original city, and cites the Bible to prove it. When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed, they went on the attack to apprehend him. This occurred after he conquered the Fortress of Zion, which was the actual nucleus of the city, and built his palace. The Bible says that David heard about it and "descended to the fortress," (2-Samuel 5:17), implying that he went down from his palace, which was higher up on the mountain than the citadel/city.

Mazar told Aish.com: "I always asked myself: Down from where? It must have been from his palace on top of the hill, outside the original Jebusite city."

Mazar says she was confident in her assessment of where the palace would be. What she discovered was a section of massive wall running about 100 feet from west to east along the length of the excavation (underneath what until this summer was the Ir David Visitors Center), and ending with a right-angle corner that turns south and implies a very large building.

Scientist, Not Philosopher

Within the dirt fill between the stones were found pottery shards dating to the 11th century BCE, the time when David established his monarchy. Based on biblical text and historic evidence, Mazar assumed that David would have built his palace outside the walls of the fortified but cramped Jebusite city which existed up to 2,000 years before; and in fact, the structure is built on the summit of the mountain, directly on bedrock along the city's northern edge, with no archaeological layers beneath it -- a sign that the structure constituted a new, northward expansion of the city's northern limit.

cont'd



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2006, 12:31:11 PM
What most amazed Mazar was how close the building is to the surface -- just one to two meters underground. "The cynics kept saying, 'there will be so many layers, so many remnants of other cultures, it's not worth digging, it's too far down.' I was shocked at how easy it was to uncover it, and how well-preserved it was, as if it were just waiting 3,000 years for us to find it," Mazar said.

Mazar snickers at the idea that she is some sort of divine emissary revealing the eternity of David's kingdom. "I am a scientist, not a philosopher. My focus is on how magnificent and enduring these complex structures are, that they were preserved and protected for so many generations. In truth, when I began to excavate, I had to be prepared for any result. I even had to be prepared to accept Finkelstein's hypothesis if that's what the facts indicated. Still, I am a Jew and an Israeli, and I feel great joy when the details on the ground match the descriptions in the Bible. Today it's become fashionable to say there was no David, no Solomon, no Temple, no prophets. But suddenly the facts on the ground are speaking, and those outspoken voices are stammering."

Biblical References

The City of David is essentially the ancient nucleus of Jerusalem, located just south of the mountain on which the Holy Temples stood. From here the rest of the city as we know it grew and developed over the course of history. According to tradition, the first significant event that occurred there was the meeting between Abraham and Malki-tzedek, King of Shalem. King David, divinely directed, chose this city as the capital of his united kingdom. And the more archaeologists uncover and identify, the easier it is becoming to form a complete picture of the people who lived there -- with the pivotal Jewish history of the First Temple period, described in the Prophets, played out in its structures and installations.

The Bible says that King David brought God's Tabernacle to its final home in this original Jerusalem, expanded the city, and made it the spiritual and economic capital of the world at that time. According to Jewish tradition, he fulfilled God's master plan for a spiritual monarchy that would endure until the final Redemption.

"The construction that we found was a complicated and intricate engineering operation that must have required immense resources, and the dating matches," says Mazar. "This is the kind of step one would expect of a new ruler who wants to turn the city he conquered into his permanent residence, and who has an exceptional vision of the future development of the city."

According to the Bible, David's palace was constructed by Hiram, King of Tyre, the contemporary Phoenician ruler and his ally against the Philistines. Mazar, an expert in Phoenician construction from her excavations at Achziv on Israel's northern coast, attests that this building bears the mark of Phoenician construction, not likely to be found otherwise in the Judean hills.

In fact, quite a bit about David's palace is known from the Bible itself. It was a "house of cedars" built by Phoenician builders (2-Samuel 5:11 and 1-Chronicles 14:1) who used the cedars of Lebanon and developed a distinct style of stone masonry. Remains of pillars and decorative stone capitals in this particular style were discovered at the site years before, which was one clue Mazar used to look for the palace.

THE CLAY DISC

Mazar believes that the palace was used for Jewish monarchs until the destruction of the First Temple 450 years later. To indicate this, she speaks excitedly about a tiny clay item she found at the site (found on the 17th of Tammuz, the fast day commemorating the siege of Jerusalem before its destruction). It is called a "bulla," a clay disc, inscribed in ancient Hebrew script with the name of the sender as a "return address," used to seal papyrus scroll "mail." The bulla bears the name of Yehuchal Ben Shelemiah,
* who is mentioned in Chapters 37 and 38 of the Book of Jeremiah. Yehuchal was one of two emissaries dispatched by King Tzidkiyahu to Jeremiah, asking him to pray for the people during the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. In an about-face, Chapter 38 tells that Yehuchal was one of four ministers who asked the king to kill Jeremiah, claiming that he was demoralizing the besieged nation with his prophecies of doom and destruction.

The bulla found on the site of the palace indicates that the building was used by the king, or at least by his ministers, until the destruction of Jerusalem soon afterwards. (In fact, a nearby cistern uncovered in what might have been a king's courtyard is speculated to perhaps be the pit Jeremiah was lowered into, as recorded in Jeremiah 38:6).

"For me, finding the bulla was tremendous," says Mazar. "Yehuchal was no longer just some name in a biblical account that I might not even have been sure was true. He was a real person. We now have his business card. The account is a real account. It is very rare to find such precise evidence for a narrative in the Bible."

Mazar took the bulla home to examine and decipher. With the help of a needle and magnifying glass, she cleaned off the grains of dust until the ancient inscription was revealed. Together with her boys, aged 14, 13, and 11, they managed to decipher the ancient Hebrew script. Mazar's late husband, also an archaeologist, had published material on bullas, and the boys made use of their father's articles which explained how to properly examine and decipher the clay.

Mazar is heady, not with personal glory or the fame that has followed her since the discovery, but with what she considers validation of the Bible she so loves and respects. "Today the scholarly approach to Tanach [the Bible] is that it's not true unless you can prove it true. Maybe we should do a little reverse. Why don't we say it's true unless we can prove otherwise?"

Too Biblical?

More than ten years ago, Mazar proposed a solid thesis as to the location of the palace, and argued her position in a piece published in Biblical Archaeological Review. After years of digging in the City of David under her professional mentor Yigal Shilo before he passed away, and based on finds several decades ago by British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon, she knew she was in the right place. David's palace was the topic of her last conversation with her famous grandfather, biblical archaeology Professor Binyamin Mazar, before he died ten years ago. He told her, "Kenyon found the protoaeolic capitals (of the decorative Phoenician stone-work), so go and find where she found them, and start there."

Despite her sound hypothesis and impeccable credentials, she couldn't find any financial backers, as if no one in the academic world really wanted to find David's palace. It would just be too politically complicated. It's no wonder, when even mainstream archaeologists are inclined to play down finds which might be considered too highly charged with biblical or historical accuracy.

An example is Adam Zertal, who in 1983 discovered an enormous sacrificial altar on Mount Eval, on the very mountain where Joshua was described in the Bible as having built an altar after the Jews crossed the Jordan River. The altar he found contained tools dating to the 12th century BCE, the time the Jewish people entered the Land, and its construction matched the descriptions of Joshua's altar in both biblical and rabbinic texts. But instead of the expected excitement accompanying such a monumental find, Zertal's academic colleagues ignored him and his discovery. The more vocal accused Zertal, a secular Jew raised on a kibbutz, of being politically motivated to support Jewish settlements in the area around Shechem (Nablus), where Mount Eval is located.

Despite the seeming indifference from the academic world, Mazar's proposal finally found a sponsor in the Shalem Center, an academic center in Jerusalem that recently established an institute for archaeological studies, and was funded by Roger Hertog, an American Jewish investment banker who told the New York Times that he fronted the dig because he wants to encourage scientific support for the Bible as a reflection of Jewish history.

David Hazony, editor-in-chief of Azure, a journal published by the Center, is excited about Mazar's results. "We don't want to see this shunted to the side like Zertal's discovery," he told Aish.com. "The message he got from his colleagues was, 'It's bad for business to find things from the Bible these days. It makes us look like unsophisticated messianic fanatics.' Unfortunately, academia has done much to undermine the Jews' capacity to say where they come from and what their past is all about. We want to create an environment where serious scholars can pursue their research without feeling intimidated."

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2006, 12:35:39 PM
Bulldozer on the Mount

But as fast as new Jewish artifacts are being unearthed, Mazar is concerned that a great number are being destroyed.

As spokesperson for the Committee Against the Desecration of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, Mazar has for the past six years tried to alert the world to the vandalism being perpetrated by the Muslim Waqf, who have their own agenda of destroying remnants of proof of Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem, and who consistently deny that there ever was a First or Second Temple.

According to agreements made between the Israeli government and the Waqf, to whom the Israelis handed control of the Temple Mount in 1967, the Arabs are not permitted to carry out independent works on the Mount without permission from the Israel Antiquities Authority. Over the years, however, there have been indications of the Waqf breaking this status quo, such as when they sealed up the ancient Hulda Gates entrance to the Temple Mount on the southern wall and buried the adjoining steps and ancient tiling, and the sealing of an underground water cistern that some rabbis thought would lead to the Temple foundations.

The greatest breech was discovered in 1999, when the Waqf bulldozed and then paved over close to 6,000 square meters of the ancient Temple Mount surface. Temple Mount artifacts were ripped from the Mount and secretly dumped in several places throughout Jerusalem, mostly in the Kidron Valley east of the Old City and also in the city dump. Over 100 truckloads of Temple Mount rubble, soil and artifacts were clandestinely removed.

Tzachi Zweig, then an archaeology master's student at Bar Ilan University, blew the whistle on the Waqf when he discovered Temple artifacts in junk heaps around Jerusalem, and then presented some of the artifacts he unearthed at an archaeology conference at the university.

Under the supervision of his mentor, Professor Gabriel Barkay, dozens of truckloads of the "garbage" were moved to a special site near Mount Scopus, where until today teams of archaeologists and volunteers continue to find massive amounts of valuable, significant artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods.

Antiquities in Israel has long been a politically contentious topic, with all its religious and nationalistic overtones. The jury is still out on where all this activity will lead. But one thing is certain: Mazar's discovery has rocked the archeological world.

As Hazony wrote in Azure: "Is this absolute proof? No. But it is enough to shift the burden of proof... The normally reserved Amihai Mazar of Hebrew University, one of the most esteemed scholars in the field of biblical archaeology and author of the standard textbook, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 10,000-586 BCE, has described the discovery as 'something of a miracle'."

"In the end," says Mazar, "the integrity of the land and its history will prevail. And I'm grateful to have a small part in it."

And Yehuchal's "business card" is actually one of several that have been discovered in the last decade, which give further testimony to the veracity of the biblical account of the king's court activities prior to Jerusalem's destruction. In another excavation site, thought to be the remains of a public building, over 50 bullas were discovered under the charred layers of destruction. King Nebuchadnezzar's fires razed the city, but those same fires solidified the clay seals like a kiln, preserving them in good condition and fully legible. They bear dozens of Hebrew names, two of them belonging to characters in the Bible who were contemporaries of Yehuchal. One of those is Gemaryahu Ben Shafan, one of King Yehoyakim's scribes, in whose chamber Baruch Ben Neria read Jeremiah's words of rebuke and repentance (Jeremiah 36:10). Another name is Azaryahu Ben Hilkiyahu, a member of the family of high priests who officiated before Jerusalem's destruction (Chronicles I, 9:10).



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on December 13, 2006, 02:06:11 PM
AMEN AND AMEN!

The devil and the powers of darkness will continue to mock the truth as long as they can, but people with common sense who are willing to look at all the evidence with open eyes and hearts will see overwhelming evidence that the HOLY BIBLE is REAL AND COMPLETELY TRUE!

The absolute REALITY of BIBLE TRUTH is more than the powers of darkness can bear, so great effort will be made with lies and attempts to divert attention from what ALREADY IS ABSOLUTE FACTS! I plan to find and read some of the materials that were mentioned in these articles. I'm especially interested in the summary and compilation of archaeological discoveries that provide absolute proof for many portions of the Holy Bible. I've read about many over the years, but I didn't know that a source existed for a compilation. The forces of darkness are beginning to resemble "Baghdad Bob" in trying to deny what is visible to all willing to open their eyes and look. There is no shortage of "Baghdad Bobs" in this world.


Love In Christ,
Tom

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/verse/Verse007.gif)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2006, 03:44:53 PM
Amen, brother. There is a wealth of information on the internet on this subject.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2006, 03:46:26 PM
 Life-size sketch of giant dome uncovered

Archaeologists digging to reach the tomb of St Paul have stumbled across a life-size "sketch" of the dome of St Peter's produced by one of its architects in the 16th century.

The excavation of St Paul's tomb at the church of St Paul's Outside-the-Walls in Rome is now complete, and the sarcophagus will be on view from the beginning of next year.

However, three feet below the floor of the enormous church, which is the second-largest in the city, the project's team came across a surprise from the Renaissance.

An architectural drawing of the arches and walls of the dome of St Peter's had been carved into 1,726 marble slabs by Giacomo Della Porta, who took over the design and construction work of the dome after the death of Michelangelo. The slabs had formed the floor of the church at the time.

"It was a complete surprise," said Carlo Visconti, one of the engineers. "It is a curious find, and perhaps we shall think about putting it on view to the pilgrims, tourists and students who will come to see St Paul's tomb."

He added that there was a simple explanation for the drawing. When Michelangelo died, he did not leave behind scale drawings of the dome. Consequently, Della Porta decided to sketch out the cupola in life-size and the only covered place large enough for him to work in was the church. "He needed to do the sketch to work out his calculations," said Giorgio Filippi, an architect at the Vatican.

Mr Filippi said the Pope is in the process of deciding whether or not to open the lid of St Paul's sarcophagus in order to examine the remains. The tomb has been locked inside a block of concrete since the 19th century.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 15, 2006, 08:58:31 PM
French archaeologist says Ur royal tomb artifacts came from Burnt City

French archaeologist Michèle Casanova said that the artifacts unearthed from the royal tombs in the ancient Sumerian city of Ur came from Iran’s 5200-year-old Burnt City, the Persian service of CHN reported on Friday.

“Now, we are almost certain that the beautiful artifacts discovered in the city of Ur had been brought from the Burnt City, Jiroft, and Central Asia. This fact raises many questions, including why trade relations were established between the regions,” Casanova said.

Casanova, who is also an expert on ornamental stones and particularly lapis lazuli, and several other foreign archaeologists are working together with the Iranian team at the Burnt City, near the city of Zabol in Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

“The most interesting point is that all the ornamental dishes made of soapstone have been discovered in temples and royal tombs,” noted Casanova, who is also a professor at the University of Rennes.

“This fact indicates that ornamental dishes were very common, so the artifacts were buried with ordinary people. However, such dishes had been brought to Mesopotamia as a precious object for temples and royal families,” he explained.

Nine seasons of excavations have been carried out at the Burnt City.

An artificial eye is one of the most amazing artifacts discovered at the Burnt City during the current excavations led by Mansur Sajjadi.

The team also discovered an earthenware bowl at the Burnt City which bears images of what experts believe is the world’s oldest “animated” picture drawn around it.

Archaeologists had previously estimated the size of the city at 150 hectares, but the latest study shows that the city covers an area of 180 hectares.

It was built circa 3200 BC and destroyed some time around 2100 BC.

The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times. Since it was not rebuilt after the last time it was burnt down, it has been named the Burnt City.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 18, 2006, 11:39:47 AM
Cyrus the Great is the King of Persia mentioned a number of times in 2 Ch, Ezra and Daniel.


Discovered Stone Slab Proved to be Gate of Cambyses' Tomb

A huge stone slab discovered accidentally last year was proved to have once been the entrance gate to the mausoleum of Cambyses II, son and successor of Cyrus the Great.

Tehran, 13 December 2006 (CHN) -- Agricultural activities by local farmers near the world heritage site of Pasargadae last year resulted in the accidental discovery of a big stone slab bearing some carvings typical of Pasargadae monuments. The discovered slab was recently proved by archeologists to have been the entrance gate to the mausoleum of Cambyses II, son and successor of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achameneid Empire (550-330 BC).

"A huge stone slab measuring 1.60 meters in height comprised of 5 broken pieces was discovered last March by farmers at a distance of 100 meters from Tall-e Takht and was immediately transferred to Parse-Pasargadae Research Center to be studied by archeologists," said Afshin Yazdani, archeologist of Parse-Pasargadae Research Center.

Tall-e Takht or 'throne hill' is a citadel located at the heart of Pasargadae historical complex, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, in Fars province. Remains of an unfinished tomb denoted to Achaemenid King Cambyses II can be seen close to Tall-e Takht, from which only a wall has survived the ravage of time.

Based on studies by British archeologist David Stronach, the Tomb, also known as Zendan-e Soleiman/Eskandar (Solomon/Alexander Prison), originally consisted of an almost square, 4-meter-high tower in which a solitary, raised room was approached by a projecting monumental stone staircase. It resembles the Achaemenid era monument of Zoroaster's Kaba in Naqsh-e Rostam historical site

According to Yazdani, the stones used in the gate of Cambyses' tomb are very similar to a stone slab discovered 50 years ago by archeologists. At the time, Stronach proposed a theory that the stone belonged to the mausoleum of Cambyses and drew a sketch of the original gate which he believed to have had two leaves, each comprising of 6 rectangular frames. He also drew 3 flowers each having 12 petals on the top and bottom of each frame.

"As Stronach himself was uncertain about his own drawing of the gate, recent discovery of the gate proves his theory wrong. Based on the new studies, it became known that the entrance gate of what is called Tomb of Cambyses was made of two stone leaves each having a 35 by 59 cm frame with three 12-petaled flowers on the top and bottom," explained Yazdani, adding that the height of each door leaf was found to be 1.75 meters - that is 8 centimeters shorter than the height of the wall. Archeologists believe that the gate was made shorter on purpose to allow circulation of air in and out of the mausoleum.

According to the inscriptions of Bisotun historic site, the mausoleum of Cambyses was destroyed by the Mongol invader Geomat who disguised himself as Bardia, King Cambyses' brother and came to power shortly after Cambyses' assassination and razed down Achaemenid temples. Achaemenid King Darius the Great clearly accounts in Bisotun inscription that he restored the Achaemenid temples after murdering Geomat. "Evidence left on the stone gate very well confirms that it was restored during the early days of Darius the Great's reign," added Yazdani.

According to Yazdani, the new findings together with the fact that a similar structure to the mausoleum of Cambyses, Zoroaster's Kaba, was built also by Darius the Great at Naqsh-e Rostam, proved that it was a temple whereas it had previously been variously regarded as either a tomb, or a fire temple, or a depository.

Cambyses was the son and successor of Cyrus the Great who ruled the Persian Empire from the death of his father in 530 BC to his own death in Ecbatane (Syria) eight years later.

During his reign, Cambyses continued the politic of expansion started by his father. First, he took part with his father to the conquest of Babylonia and was named King of Babylon after he captured the city in 539. After rising to the throne, he invaded Egypt in 525 BC, putting an end to the 26th Dynasty of the Pharaohs and beginning a period of Persian rule that covered much of the next two centuries.

Cambyses later personally led a force up the Nile to conquer Ethiopia, but after annexing the north of the country, he ran short of supplies and had to return.

While on his way back from Egypt with his army in 522 BC, Cambyses was assassinated upon order of one of his brothers, Smerdis, which he himself tried to have assassinated. At his death, after a short period during which Smerdis assumed the leadership, more palace struggles led to the rise to the throne of Darius the Great, whose task was to organize such a vast empire.

The mausoleum of the son and successor of Cyrus the Great, Persian King Cambyses II, was also registered with other ancient monuments of Pasargadae historic complex in UNESCO's list or World Heritage List in 1979.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 22, 2006, 08:00:19 PM
The hidden latrines of the Essenes

In one of his detailed accounts of the Essenes, Flavius Josephus (Yosef Ben Matityahu), described one of the many laws that shaped the Jewish sect's way of life during the Second Temple period. While the Essenes sat in a circle, Josephus wrote, it was forbidden for them to spit into its center. Like many other laws outlined by Josephus, the details of this law appear in the Dead Sea Scrolls found in caves along the northern end of the Dead Sea. These scrolls are attributed to the Essenes.

The resemblance between the 1st century historian's testimony and the content of the Dead Sea Scrolls does not end with the law forbidding spitting into the center of a circle. Magen Broshi, former curator of the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem, where the Qumran scrolls are housed, says there are dozens of parallels between Josephus' writing and the content of the scrolls. One of the main similarities regards purification rituals and the Essenes' meticulous hygiene.

Anthropologist Joe Zias, of the Hebrew University Science and Archaeology Department, recently found positive evidence of the Essenes' adherence to these rituals. Together with Dr. James Tabor, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina and parasitologist Stephanie Harter-Lailheugue of the CNRS Laboratory for Anthropology in Marseilles, France, Zias found the latrines that were used by the Essenes in Qumran. The three researchers say that, in addition to shedding a great deal of light on the unique culture of the Essenes in Qumran, the discovery represents an archaeological bonanza: Additional proof that the Essenes wrote the scrolls. Zias explains that when feces are left on the desert floor, exposure to sun and wind quickly annihilates intestinal parasites. But when feces are buried in the earth, intestinal parasites may survive for many months and their eggs may be preserved for as long as 2,000 years, as in the case of Qumran.

Close attention to hygiene

The presence of the eggs of intestinal parasites, typically present in human intestines, in a relatively limited area, in the place described in the scrolls and by Josephus, led researchers to conclude that they discovered the bathroom of Qumran's ancient residents. "Only ascetic members of a sect that paid such close attention to hygiene would bother to walk hundreds of meters beyond their camp to relieve themselves, and invest the necessary energy to dig a pit in which to bury their waste," Zias concludes.

However, Dr. Yitzhak Magen, staff officer of archaeology in the Civil Administration of the West Bank, was not impressed by the new discovery. Last summer, Magen and his colleague, Yuval Peleg, published findings based on 10 years of excavation in the Qumran ruins. Both researchers reached the conclusion that Qumran was not a monastery but an enormous ceramics factory. They found fragments of clay artifacts at the site and many pools, which they believe were used to submerge the sediment that surfaces, to this day, when local rivers overflow to produce tremendous, winter floods. Magen maintains that this sediment provides excellent raw material for pottery production. According to Magen and Peleg, the pools were not ritual baths; nor were they used by the Essenes, who immersed themselves in ritual baths twice a day. "In addition," Magen says, "the Qumran area and particularly the caves surrounding the site, are full of predatory animals and animals that consume carrion, like foxes, hyenas, and leopards. People who lived in this area for years were well aware of that. They feared these animals and certainly would not leave their camps to relieve themselves. Thus, it is unreasonable to assume that the camp's latrine was located at such a distance."

"It was not the Essenes who buried the scrolls in the caves near the Qumran ruins," Magen adds. "The scrolls were buried by Jews who escaped from Jerusalem after the destruction of the Second Temple." One of the main escape routes from Jerusalem passed through Qumran. Jews, who were somewhat unfamiliar with the area and had no knowledge of its predatory animals, did not fear entering the caves to bury the scrolls, he proposes.

According to Magen, one finds ample evidence of this in the scrolls, themselves, as they are written in a broad variety of styles and they cover a great deal of content. "It is not possible to say that one man or one sect wrote all the scrolls," Magen says. It is more reasonable to conclude that they reflect the enormous diversity that typified Judaism during the end of the Second Temple period.

Magen's theory is the most recent in a series of conclusions that question the authorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Essenes. Since the first scrolls were found, in 1947, a number of suggestions regarding the identity of the authors of these scrolls arose, leading to occasional outbursts of angry discourse, fraught with thinly-veiled agendas. But the most solid conclusion, raised in the early days of Professor Eliezer Sukenik, who purchased the scrolls, was and remains that the Essenes wrote the scrolls.

"The best proof of that," Broshi says, "is evident in the 900 scrolls discovered in Qumran." Some of them describe a group of ascetic hermits, and the details match information provided by Flavius Josephus. "There are dozens of parallels between Yosef Ben Matityahu [Flavius Josephus] and the Dead Sea Scrolls." Broshi says that the conclusion that there were potters, rather than ascetics, in Qumran is unfounded.

Ascetics, not potters

According to Broshi, Qumran lacks the raw materials suitable to the production of ceramic pottery. Investigations conducted a few years ago, by Broshi and Professor Hanan Eshel of Bar-Ilan University, reveal that clay pots and other ceramic vessels found in Qumran were made with metamorphic rock that came from the hills surrounding Jerusalem.

In addition to that, clay pots must be fired in kilns, at temperatures of 800-900 degrees Celsius, and the Qumran area lacks raw material to produce energy of that magnitude.

"It is possible that the residents produced ceramic vessels," Broshi says, "but only for their own personal use - not as a source of income."

"Discovery of latrines neither proves nor disproves," Broshi comments.

It merely provides another piece in the larger puzzle, which, after 60 long years of research, few scholars still question.

"I do not know a single, serious researcher that maintains that Qumran was not inhabited by Essenes and that they did not write the scrolls."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 11, 2007, 02:44:42 PM
Unearthing the mystery of the priestly city of Nob

The first biblical reference to the city of Nob is in Samuel I. During King Saul's reign, after the destruction of Shiloh, priests from the house of Eli resided in Nob, and the tabernacle was located there. After Saul discovered that one of the priests, Ahimelech ben Ahituv, gave David Goliath's sword, which was also kept in Nob, and that David had managed to escape, the king ordered all of Nob's inhabitants killed. "And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen and asses and sheep, with the edge of the sword." (1 Samuel 22:19)

Despite Saul's vengeance, the city remained intact for hundreds of years. The prophet Isaiah mentions it in his description of a journey taken by King Ashur of Assyria in 701 BCE, when he attempted to conquer Jerusalem. Nob is referred to as the last city the Assyrian army passed through on its way to Jerusalem. "This very day shall he halt at Nob, shaking his hand at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem." (Isaiah 10:32)

Nob is mentioned again, in Nehemiah's description of the return to Zion, as one of the settlements in the region of Benjamin, located north of Jerusalem between Anathoth, identified with the modern village of Anata, and Ananiah, identified with the modern village of Azzariyeh, according to accepted theories.

During the last 100 years, however, none of these biblical references helped researchers locate remains of the ancient settlement. While the Old Testament clearly indicates that the city was located somewhere north of Jerusalem, no site was found that provided sufficient evidence to connect it with Nob. All that remains is speculation regarding the city's location.

Archaeologist Professor Hanan Eshel, a senior lecturer at the Martin Szusz Department of Land of Israel Studies at Bar-lan University, suggests that Nob may have been located in the center of the present-day village of Shoafat. His colleague in the Martin Szusz Department, Dr. Gabi Barkai, proposes Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood as the location of Nob. Other geographic "candidates" competing for the title of the priestly city include the A-Tur neighborhood.

In a conference held at Bar-Ilan University last week, Dr. Boaz Zissu proposed a new location: He believes the city was situated at the top of the hill overlooking the Eli branch of the Kidron Valley, called Wadi al-Joz in Arabic. However, since he lacks unequivocal proof to connect the remains he found with any specific settlement, including Nob, Zissu asks that his theory be approached with caution. Despite that, corroborating data indicates there is a good chance he is right.

This data began to accumulate in June 2001, when Zissu started excavations near the Kidron Valley, to salvage a site about 50 meters north of what is known as Ramban's Cave. That dig, under the auspices of the Israel Antiquities Authority, began after work to lay a new sewage pipe revealed an ancient limestone quarry.

The boulders in this quarry are of the desirable melekeh variety local builders treasured. Excavation marks at the site indicate the boulders were hewn into blocks for building. Similar quarries operated during the Late Israelite (Iron) Period (586-1000 BCE), when Israeli and Judean kings reigned, and they remained active until modern times in the area surrounding Jerusalem.

Zissu concludes that the quarries in the Kidron Valley operated until the end of the Hasmonean era, during the first century BCE. This conclusion is based on his discovery of vessel shards, including cooking pots and a pitcher, which masons left in the niches of the quarry's walls. After operations ceased, the quarry area was covered in a thick layer of dust. The dust included building stone and shards from the final days of the Iron Age. These shards are remnants of pitchers, bowls, candleholders, and other ceramic vessels associated with the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E. The dust did not include shards from other periods.

Where did the ceramic vessels found in the dust come from? That question will apparently never be answered, but it is reasonable to conclude that they belonged to residents of a settlement near the quarry: Either in the present-day American Colony neighborhood, south of the quarry, or in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the quarry. Both neighborhoods are situated north of the Temple Mount, on the main road to Nablus, and, in either neighborhood, it is possible to see a man "shaking his hand" (Isaiah 10:32) at the hill.

Remnants of the ancient settlement were not found, and that is one reason for Zissu's caution. He says it is possible that stones used to build in the settlement were dismantled to expand the quarry. An aqueduct, constructed in a style typically found in the area's springs, was unearthed at the Western end of the excavation site, at a depth of about 3.5 meters. The aqueduct predates activities in the quarry, since the quarries run across the aqueduct's trench. The discovery of an aqueduct of this type raises the possibility that a spring once flowed near the site.

Other evidence of an Iron Age settlement at the Kidron Valley is found in Ramban's Cave. Signs that boulders were hewn into blocks of stone were found in the cave as well, and a system of four troughs, cut in the rocks, was found next to the hewn boulders. Water entered these troughs by means of a canal that came from a nearby spring. Zissu assumes that the spring was discovered during quarrying activities at the site, and associates this find with a settlement that was once located here - quite possibly the mysterious, priestly city.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 15, 2007, 10:30:55 AM
Temple aqueduct, ritual bath excavated 
New archaeological find in Jerusalem uncovers a 'missing link'

Excavations being conducted opposite the Western Wall Plaza have uncovered an aqueduct that brought water to the Holy Temple, as well as a ritual bath from that period.



The never-before-excavated area is situated behind the Western Wall police station, adjacent to the plaza where millions of worshipers and tourists come each year to visit the Western Wall and Temple Mount.

The new archaeological find uncovers a missing link in the ancient water system, known as the "Lower Aqueduct." This system channeled water from Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem (located several miles south of Jerusalem) directly to the national focal point of Jewish worship - the Temple Mount.

Solomon’s pools, situated just north of the modern Jewish town of Efrat, cover an area of about 7 acres and can hold three million gallons of water. A lengthy aqueduct conveyed the water from the lowest pool through Bethlehem, across the Gihon valley, along the western slope of the Tyropoeon valley, and into the cisterns underneath the Temple Mount. Today, the water from the pools reaches only Bethlehem due to the destruction of the aqueducts.

Current plans for the partition wall will leave Solomon’s Pools outside the area of Jewish sovereignty.

The plastered hewn-stone mikva (ritual bath) unearthed at the excavation is from the Second Temple period. It was originally situated in the foundation level of a private home during the time of the Second Temple. The ritual bath was damaged at a later date when the bedrock cliff opposite it was hewn into a vertical wall that rose up to a maximum height of about thirty feet.

The most extensive remains of the period are those of a Roman-Byzantine colonnaded street – the Eastern Cardo. Included in that area is a covered stoa, a row of shops and several artifacts.

The street appears on a 6th century map known as the Medaba Map and is known as the Eastern Cardo or the Valley Cardo. The lavish colonnaded street began at the Damascus Gate in the north and led south, running the length of the channel in the Tyropoeon Valley. Sections of this street were revealed in the past in the northern part of the Old City, at a depth of about four meters (12 feet) below the pavement. The full eleven-meter (33 foot) width of the original road was exposed in the present excavation for the first time.

“The street was paved with large flagstones that were set in place diagonally, in the customary method of the Roman world, which was probably meant to prevent wagons from slipping,” Shlomit Wexler-Bdolah, the director of the excavations, explained. She added that a drainage system was installed below the flagstones.

To the west of the street was a covered stoa that was six meters wide, and beyond it was a row of shops set inside cells whose walls were hewn out of the bedrock cliff. A large base of a magnificent corner column has just been exposed in the eastern side of the street and may be part of a building that stood there, or an intersection with an entrance to the road that runs to the east.

The Antiquities Authority is carrying out the excavations of the 80 by 200 foot area west of the Western Wall at the request of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. The area will soon be the site of the Western Wall Heritage Center.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 24, 2007, 08:15:01 PM
City of David dig unearths pilgrims' road to Temple

At the end of the 19th century, the archaeologists Bliss and Dickey discovered a short piece of road dating back to the Herodian period in Jerusalem's City of David. The road ascended from south to north in the direction of the Temple Mount. Many years later, in 1963, the archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon found another piece of the road, a little closer to the Temple Mount. When, a little over a year ago, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologists found yet another section of it, they believed they had solved a puzzle, and that they could now sketch the course of the main road by which many pilgrims of Second Temple times made their way up to the Temple after immersing themselves in the Siloam Spring. It turned out they were wrong. That road was apparently secondary.

The road that IAA archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron have now found, which is much grander, wider and more central, is parallel to the one Bliss and Dickey discovered. Reich believes that at a certain point further to the north, these two roads converged.

The City of David excavations are funded by the Elad Association, which buys houses in the City of David area and populates them with Jews. The dig also enjoys government backing, and funding from the Tourism Ministry; the Israel Nature and Parks Protection Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality are involved as well. About 20 laborers, mostly Arab residents of Silwan (the Arab neighborhood where the City of David is located) are employed by the IAA in the dig.

Not far from there, at a lower point, the IAA has continued to unearth the Pool of Siloam, which is much bigger than previously thought. But this dig has been halted for the time being, until talks are resumed with one of the churches, which owns the area believed to cover the rest of the pool.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 24, 2007, 08:19:51 PM
Ancient spell may be oldest Semitic text

A magic spell to keep snakes away from the tombs of Egyptian kings, adopted from the Canaanites almost 5,000 years ago, could be the oldest Semitic text yet discovered, experts said Tuesday.

The phrases, interspersed throughout religious texts in Egyptian characters in the underground chambers of a pyramid south of Cairo, stumped Egyptian experts for about a century, until the Semitic connection was found.

In 2002 one of the Egyptologists e-mailed the undeciphered part of the inscription to Richard Steiner, a professor of Semitic languages at Yeshiva University in New York. Steiner discovered that the phrases are the transcription of a language used by Canaanites at some point in the period from 25th to the 30th centuries B.C.

"This is the oldest connected text that we have in any Semitic language," Steiner said in a telephone interview while visiting
Israel to present his findings in a lecture sponsored by the Academy of the Hebrew Language. The previous oldest Semitic text dates from the 24th century B.C., Steiner said.

Another expert said it was still unclear whether the Egyptian text is actually the oldest.

"This is highly significant because maybe, according to the researcher, it dates to the third millennium B.C., so it's the most ancient pre-Canaanite text that we ever met and maybe ... it is the most ancient Semitic text ever discovered," said Moshe Florentine, an expert on ancient Hebrew and a member of the language academy.

Steiner has not submitted his findings to a scientific journal but plans to do so, he said. More study of the fragments will be necessary to determine how these passages fit into the evolution of Semitic languages, Florentine said.

The Egyptians' use of the magic spell demonstrates the close relations they had at the time with the Canaanites. While Egyptians considered their culture and religion superior to that of their neighbors to the north, they were willing to do anything to protect the mummies of their kings from the poisonous snakes.

Believing that some snakes spoke the Semitic language of the Canaanites, Egyptians included the magic spells in inscriptions on two sides of the sarcophagus in an effort to ward them off.

"Come, come to my house," reads one section in the Semitic language that is supposed to be the snake's mother speaking, trying to lure him out of the tomb. In another passage, the snake is addressed as if he is a lover with "Turn aside, O my beloved."

The Egyptian and Semitic sections are each an integral part of the magic spell and neither can stand alone, Steiner said. For this reason, the Egyptian experts could not fully understand parts of the religious texts until Steiner got involved.

The Semitic language of these texts that have now been deciphered was a very archaic form of the languages later known as Phoenician and Hebrew, Steiner said.

The text includes words that have the same meaning as in Hebrew, like "yad" for hand, "ari" for lion, and "beit" for house, he said.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 06, 2007, 08:34:26 PM
Israel Begins Renovation Near Holy Site

Police took up positions throughout Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday as Israeli archaeologists began digging near a site holy to both Jews and Muslims amid protests and threats from Palestinians.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the work poses no danger to the holy site. Palestinians fear Israel will damage it and have warned the work would inflame tensions.

Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in several areas of Jerusalem and the West Bank, though no injuries were reported. Palestinian leaders harshly condemned the project.

"What is happening is an aggression," Mohammed Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, told the Gaza Strip radio station of the Hamas militant movement. "We call on the Palestinian people to unite and unify the efforts to protect Jerusalem."

The dig is just outside one of the most sensitive places in the Mideast conflict - the hilltop in the heart of Jerusalem that is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The site often has been the catalyst of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Israel plans to build a new pedestrian ramp to the complex and says it wants to ensure the renovation work does not come at the expense of important artifacts. Such exploratory digs are common practice in the ancient city.

The ramp will replace a centuries-old walkway that was damaged in a snowstorm three years ago.

"The construction of the bridge, located in its entirety outside the Temple Mount, has no impact on the Mount itself and certainly poses no danger to it," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said.

Yuval Baruch, Israel's chief archaeologist for the Jerusalem region, told Israel Radio Tuesday that the work was between 60 to 70 yards from the site, and that there was "no intention of getting close to the Temple Mount."

"We invite everyone to come see. We are working under the open sky and have nothing to hide. We won't do anything secretly or in the dark," Baruch said.

On the first day of work, however, access was heavily restricted.

Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said police were stationed in alleys throughout the Old City and at the entrances to the disputed compound "to thwart any attempt to disrupt order."

Police also prevented tourists from entering the site, and restricted access for Muslim men to Israeli Arabs and east Jerusalem residents over the age of 45.

Jews revere the Mount as the site of their two biblical temples. Muslims believe it's where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven during a nighttime journey recounted in the Quran, the Muslim holy book. Two mosques - the Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock - now stand on the site, along with some of the temples' original retaining walls, including the Jewish shrine called the Western Wall.

"The continued Israeli aggression on Al Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem require all Palestinians to unite and remember that our battle is with the occupation," said Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. He spoke as he departed for Saudi Arabia for reconciliation talks with President Mahmoud Abbas of the rival Fatah faction.

Fighting between Hamas and Fatah has claimed more than 130 lives since May. But Palestinians were united in their opposition to the Israeli renovation project.

Islamic Jihad, a small and violent group funded by Syria and Iran, said it fired two rockets from Gaza into southern Israel to protest the construction. The army said the rockets caused no damage.

Earlier, Islamic Jihad, which has carried out dozens of suicide bombings, warned it would "shake the land underneath the legs of the Zionists" and that Israel was "opening the door for a new war with the Islamic nation."

The Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigades, a Fatah-linked militant group, weighed in with similar fiery threats, along with Hamas' Qassam Brigades. Raed Salah, the fiery leader of the Islamic Movement inside Israel, called on his followers to come from all over the country to protect the site.

"The danger in Jerusalem has increased. It is high time for the intifada of the Islamic people," Salah told reporters near the holy site on Tuesday.

gotcha98 Husseini, the director of the Islamic Waqf, the trust that oversees that complex, said he was concerned the new walkway could damage the original earthen ramp, which he said was Waqf property.

"This is a very dangerous project that will damage things of great historical value in this very sensitive place," Husseini said.

He said he suspected Israel of trying to tunnel under the site, a common allegation among Muslims, though one never substantiated.

When Israel opened a tunnel alongside the complex in 1996, it touched off clashes that killed 80 people. In 2000, then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the site. The next day, riots erupted, leading to years of violence.

Jordan, which has a custodial role over the site, expressed concern about the work there, according to the kingdom's official Petra news agency.

Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Judeh quoted Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit as saying that the dig was "a big concern to Jordan, its king, people and government," Petra reported.

The site is part of east Jerusalem, which was ruled by Jordan until Israel captured it and the adjacent West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war.

In 1988, the current's king's father, King Hussein, renounced his country's claim to the West Bank, but maintained Jordan's authority to look after the mosques - a role that Israel recognizes.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 09, 2007, 03:11:06 PM
In Jerusalem archaeology is politics

The very stones of Jerusalem are political weapons in the age-old struggle for possession of the Holy Land.

And nowhere is more sensitive than the great platform built by King Herod, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to the Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary.

To understand the current row over excavation and repair work just outside one of the gates onto the compound, it is important to know that here history, religion and politics meet. Nothing in Jerusalem can be understood without all three.

The history

It was where Herod the Great ('Great' because of his buildings) constructed the Second Temple - and where King Solomon had probably built the First Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians.

Religious belief placed Abraham here when he offered his son Isaac for sacrifice.

For the Jews, it was once the centre of their world - and the place to which they always promised themselves in exile that they would return.

Even today, Jews pray at the nearest point they can reach to the Temple Mount, its Western Wall, once known as the Wailing Wall. Most are content to leave the eventual reconstruction of the temple to the future - and to God.

Plan of the holy sites

Religious Jews will not even go onto the Temple Mount for fear of stepping on some holy relic.

Christians know it as the temple where Jesus overturned the tables of the moneylenders.

The Romans knew it as a place of Jewish rebellion and, under Titus, demolished it in 70 AD (the Common Era) after the Zealots' revolt, which also saw the siege and fall of Masada.

 After the Romans left and the Byzantines arrived, it lay empty for centuries. Christians were more interested in the site of Jesus' crucifixion. The place was a rubbish dump.

Then in 638, the Muslim army of Omar, Commander of the Faithful, conquered Jerusalem.

There was then built one of the most beautiful edifices in the world, the Dome of the Rock, followed by the al-Aqsa mosque nearby.

The Dome became, in Muslim eyes, holy because they believe that it was from this rocky outcrop that the Prophet Muhammad in a dream ascended into heaven on his horse Buraq to receive commandments from God.

The al-Aqsa ("The Furthest") was built to commemorate the furthest mosque to which Muhammad states that he travelled from Mecca in his dream.

It has become the third most holy place in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.

Politics

One now has to roll forward until 1967. When the Israelis captured the Old City from the Jordanians, the question as to the future of the compound obviously arose. Political realism prevailed. The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque would not be demolished. A compromise was reached.

Israel allowed the Muslim religious authority known as the Waqf to administer the whole compound. But the Israelis claimed the right to enter it at will to keep security control. They enforce this claim regularly.

They do so by entering the compound through a small gate known as the Mougrabi or Moors' Gate.

The gate

It is this gate that is at the centre of the current controversy.

Because the gate is high up in the wall (it overlooks the Western Wall,) it has to be reached by either an earth mound or a walkway.

Last year, the earth mound collapsed after a rainfall. So a temporary wooden structure was put up. The current work is designed to replace this with something stronger and more permanent.

This entails removing the remains of the earth mound down to bedrock in order that there can be secure foundations for the new walkway or bridge.

The observer

An independent observer, Father Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, from the French institute the Ecole Biblique in East Jerusalem, said that the work was "completely routine".

"This work is not inside the Haram. It is outside, leading to the Moors' Gate. The earth ramp fell down and has to be replaced," Father Murphy-O'Connor, author of an Oxford University guide "The Holy Land", told me.

"I do not know why the Palestinians have chosen to make an issue out of this. It is a recognised Jewish area under the arrangements that prevail in the Old City.

"One can contrast this to the extensive excavations just round the corner in a Muslim area where huge pilgrim hostels from the 8th Century were revealed, with no protest. There has also been no protest over digs at the City of David nearby.

"There is absolutely no danger to the foundations of the al-Aqsa mosque since that is built on the huge Herodian blocks that are still there."

The reason for the protest does not really have much to do with archaeology in fact. It is a protest about presence. The Palestinians and the wider Muslim world have an objection to anything the Israelis do that touches on the Haram.

Such work is seen as symbolising a threat to Palestinian and Muslim identity and a rallying point for Palestinians to express their desire for their own space, their own state.

In this atmosphere, the arguments of the archaeological academics do not carry much force.

The Moors' Gate is perhaps even more sensitive than other sites, as it is the only gate to the compound for which the Israelis hold the key. They do so, Father Murphy-O'Connor said, under an agreement reached in 1967 between General Moshe Dayan and the Waqf.

In 1996, the Israelis tunnelled further along the Western Wall, prompting riots and unrest. Again, the issue was not so much the actual dig as the concept.

Israeli digs

But it has not only been the Palestinians who have linked archaeology and politics.

Over recent years, Israelis have accused the Waqf of deliberately removing evidence of Jewish remains on the Haram/ Temple Mount and dumping them in rubbish fills.

Especially after 1967, the Israelis, among them the amateur archaeologist (and illegal hoarder) Moshe Dayan himself, made a concerted effort to dig into history to provide evidence that the Jews had been there and had a right to be there still.

"They were digging for God and country," says Father Murphy-O'Connor. "Though it has to be said that those days are over. The younger Israeli archaeologists just dig. They have for example been leading the way in researching the monasteries of the Judean wilderness."

But in Jerusalem, you cannot "just dig". There, every stone counts.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 11, 2007, 02:06:57 AM
Temple's location found,
says Israeli archaeologist 
Study of ancient cisterns pinpoints sacred site,
– Muslim Dome of the Rock outside confines

Using maps created in 1866 by a British explorer and passages from the Jewish Mishnah, an Israeli archaeologist and professor at Hebrew University says he has pinpointed the location of the sacred Jewish Temple, twice built and twice destroyed in ancient times.

While popular consensus places the Temple, built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. and rebuilt by Jews who returned from Babylon in the 5th century B.C., on the site of the present Muslim Dome of the Rock, Prof. Joseph Patrich says archaeological remains show its exact location – and the consensus is wrong.

According to Patrich, the Temple, its corresponding courtyards, chambers and gates were oriented in a more southeasterly direction, sitting diagonally on what is the modern Temple Mount. The difference in orientation and the placement further eastward varies from the east-facing orientation of other scholars who believe the Temple was closer to today's Western Wall.

However, that difference is why, Patrich says, the Temple did not sit over the rock believed by Jews to be the site where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac and where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended into heaven.

Patrich's siting of the Temple is derived from information collected by British engineer Sir Charles Wilson in 1866 on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Wilson mapped a series of ancient cisterns below the present Temple Mount platform. One of those, Patrich says, preserves a vestige of the Temple that stood until it was destroyed by Rome in A.D. 70.

The cistern mapped by Wilson, approximately 15 feet wide, 170 feet long and 45 feet deep, was located near the Temple Mount's southeast corner. It was oriented in a southeasterly direction with branches extending north and south.

"Until now no one has ever thought that the location of the cistern on the Temple Mount and its unique shape were derived from the shape and location of the altar and sanctuary," Patrich told YNetNews.

According to the archaeologist, this cistern is the only one found on the Temple Mount that corresponds to descriptions in the Jewish Mishnah – the rabbinic oral tradition compiled in the 3rd century A.D. – of daily purification and sacrificial duties carried out by the priests on the altar in the Temple courtyard.

The Mishnah says water was drawn by a waterwheel mechanism from a cistern and held in a large basin, or laver, for daily purification by the Temple's priests before they ascended the nearby ramp to the altar to offer sacrifices.

Patrich believes the placement of the waterwheel and laver can be reconstructed from Wilson's map of the giant southeast-trending cistern and from that, the location of the altar and the Temple itself.

Patrich's siting has the Temple further east and south of locations proposed by other scholars and diagonal, rather than perpendicular to the Temple Mount's eastern and western walls. It also leaves the rock in the Dome of the Rock outside of the confines of the Temple itself.

Patrich said his research on the Temple's location is strictly academic, and political connotations should not be attributed to it.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 15, 2007, 03:05:22 AM
Discovery of mosaic halts work at Jerusalem walkway
Byzantine artifact found at bottom of underground shaft where pillars to go



The planned walkway at the centre of the furious dispute over Jerusalem's holiest site could be further delayed by the discovery of a Byzantine mosaic.

The geometric patterned fragment was exposed by archaeological workers yesterday at the bottom of an underground shaft where one of the walkway pillars is intended to go, as The Independent examined excavation work in the area.

"We have a real time discovery," reported Gideon Avni, director of excavations and surveys at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Dr Avni said further excavations would now be needed to see whether the mosaic, probably from the fifth or sixth century AD, was part of a larger decorated room or house. He said it was too early to say whether the pillar would have to be moved. If the fragment turned out not to extend further, it could possibly be extracted and exhibited.

The discovery was the latest in a series of twists in the conflict over access through the Mugrabi Gate to the compound sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif - noble sanctuary.

Seventeen policemen and 23 Palestinians were injured last Friday during demonstrations against the building of the new walkway, where the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque - Islam's third holiest site - is located. The work, is being carried out close to the Western Wall, the remains of the second Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans AD70, and most sacred place in Judaism.

On Monday, Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Mayor, Uri Lupolianski, won praise from Israeli liberals when he unexpectedly announced work on the new walkway would be frozen to allow time for objections, including by Muslims, under a formal planning procedure. But the Israeli government said the archaeological "salvage digging" customary when construction work is carried out in the area, would continue.

Dr Avni vehemently denied claims by some Islamic leaders - and echoed by demonstrators from Cairo to Damascus - that the excavations posed a threat to the foundations of the mosques, saying they were all taking place in a limited area outside the walls of the compound. The Israeli authorities are arranging for webcam pictures of the dig to prove his case.

And while archaeology in Jerusalem is often complicated by religious and political overtones, Dr Avni virtually ruled out the possibility that the digs will discover remnants of the Jewish temple period.

Pointing to arches from Ottoman and Mameluke structures below the ramp, he added: "I don't believe that they will even reach the early Islamic period."

The eminent Israeli novelist Amos Oz yesterday praised the Mayor's decision to put work on the walkway on hold but added in an article in Yedhiot Ahronot: "It would be appropriate if this argument would also lead to the postponement of the archeological excavations - these excavations are also sparking the fires of religious dispute over the question of who in fact is the proprietor of the Temple Mount holy sites."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 19, 2007, 01:09:09 PM
Collector accused of forging 'James ossuary' says old photos prove authenticity

Mysterious photographs from the 1970s are to be brought as evidence to prove that the so-called ossuary of James, the brother of Jesus, is authentic. They are to be presented by attorneys for Oded Golan, the antiquities dealer charged with forging the item, which when it was made public, was dubbed "the most important archaeological discovery from the beginnings of Christianity."

The photographs, copies of which have reached Haaretz, have already been examined by an American expert and are to be submitted as evidence in court. But they do not remove doubts about the item, which touched off a storm in the archaeological world.

In December 2004, after a lengthy police investigation, the State Prosecutor's Office indicted Golan and three other Israelis for what they called the most serious case of antiquities forgery ever uncovered in Israel.

Golan, 55, a Tel Aviv resident, was charged with allegedly masterminding a ring responsible for the fabrication of antiquities over a period of more than 15 years. According to the charge sheet, the group stands accused of attempting to sell items to museums and wealthy collectors for millions of dollars.

The indictment states that in 2001 or shortly before, Golan forged the inscription on the ossuary (bone receptacle) and that at approximately that same time, also forged the so-called "Joash inscription."

The ossuary was unveiled in a press conference in Washington, D.C., in October 2002. It was inscribed in Aramaic with words interpreted as "Yaakov the brother of Yeshua," alluding to the fact that the individual whose bones it held was Jesus' brother, James, mentioned in the New Testament. A geological test commissioned by the owners of the ossuary and confirming the authenticity of the find was presented at the briefing.

A panel appointed by the director of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Shuka Dorfman, determined in June 2003 that the inscription on the ossuary was "added recently," while the ossuary itself was authentic.

In the defense's photographs, dated 1976, the ossuary is shown on a shelf, apparently in Golan's home. In an enlargement, the whole inscription can be seen with great difficulty. The photo was examined by Gerald Richard, a former FBI agent and an expert for the defense. Richard testified that "Nothing was noted that would indicate or suggest that they were not produced in March 1976 as indicated on the stamps appearing on the reverse side of each print."

Golan's attorney, Lior Beringer, told Haaretz that the photos support the defense's position. "The prosecution claims that Golan forged the inscription after the beginning of 2000. But here is a detailed report from an FBI photo lab that states that the inscription existed at least since the 70s," Beringer said. "It is unreasonable that someone would forge an inscription like this in the 70s and suddenly decide to come out with it in 2002," he added.

The date of the photo is also significant legally because any antiquity discovered in Israel since the passage of the 1978 Antiquities Law belongs to the state.

The IAA refused yesterday to comment on the new finds and would say only that the matter was being dealt with by the state prosecutor.

The photos join experts in Israel and other countries who have tried to disparage the credibility of the IAA panel, in what the IAA at the time described as a well-orchestrated campaign backed by interested parties. The accusation was leveled against Hershel Shanks, the editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, published in the U.S. Shanks' identification of the ossuary brought him credit worldwide. He funded the exhibition of the ossuary in a Toronto museum, from which money poured in from thousands of visitors to the organizers, including Shanks. Shanks has told Haaretz in the past that he is motivated by the desire to get to the truth in the matter.

But it is the way the ossuary was found that seems to raise the most doubts. Golan, whose friends say his knowledge is "phenomenal," said that for years he did not realize that he had of the most important archaeological finds in the world on his shelf. When asked by Haaretz about this in an interview, he explained, "It didn't set off any bells, I am not an expert in Christian tradition."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 06, 2007, 12:03:37 PM
More evidence to prove the historicity of the Bible.

Eastern Porch of Darius' Palace Discovered in Bolaghi Gorge

In continuation of their excavations in area number 34 of the historic site of Bolaghi Gorge where evidence of a palace denoted to Achaemenid Emperor Darius the Great (549-486 BC) had previously been discovered, Iranian and French archeologists succeeded in discovering the eastern porch of the palace.

Announcing this news, Mohammad Taghi Atayi, Iranian head of the Iranian-French archeology team told CHN: "A black cubic plinth was discovered during the first days of excavations in the area which was later found to have been built by stones obtained from Majdabad query."

According to Atayi, three meters from the place where this plinth was unearthed, another pillar base was found which was very similar to the first one. Since this pillar base was discovered at the opposite site from the western porch, it is believed that it must have belonged to the eastern porch, constructed symmetric to the western one. "Since the western porch was four-columned, we were expecting to find four pedestals in the eastern one as well; however, we found out that the eastern porch, which has a dimension of 9x6 meters, was constructed with two columns with two small chambers in place of the other two pillars, making the palace look like those of the historic site of Pasargadae," explained Atayi.

Prior to this and during the first season of excavations in area number 34 of Bolaghi Gorge, archeologists had succeeded in discovery of a round black pedestal with the design of an inverted lotus flower carved around. This pedestal was supposed to have belonged to the eastern porch of the palace; however, the idea was rejected after the new discovery since the newly found pillar base has a cubic shape and exhibits no similarity to the one found earlier.

Some of the palace's pedestals have been moved from their original places due to activities of bulldozers in the area, something that has made it difficult for archeologists to decide which part of the palace any of these pedestal mush have belonged to.

"We assume that the black round pedestal might have belonged to another part of the palace, most probably the central hall. Still we hope to find the original place of the pedestal by finding more similar pedestals in the area during our excavations," said Atayi.

Head of the excavation team in area number 34 of Bolaghi Gorge further explained that three kinds of pedestal have so far been unearthed in the area including the black and white cubic plinths in the western porch, the cubic black plinths found in the eastern porch, and the round one with the design of an inverted lotus flower possibly belonging to the central hall.

Discovery of pieces of bricks, 45x33 centimeters in size which are bigger than standard bricks used in other Achaemenid structures are among the other discoveries in area number 34 of Bolaghi Gorge. "Discovery of these bricks is somehow strange and shows that might not have been used in the walls and most probably were used for flooring the palace," explained Atayi.

Regarding other archeological achievements in the area, Atayi said: "A raised platform constructed with rubbles has also been discovered during this season of archeological excavations in the area. This raised platform was constructed in front of the eastern porch and just like the plan used in the western porch, it is built in the northeast direction."

According to Atayi, the discovered palace is rectangular in shape. He further said that archeologists have not yet succeeded to reach to the main floor; however, it is expected that the height of this part of the palace which was luckily not destroyed by bulldozers must have been 1.5 meters, 80 centimeters of which has so far been unearthed.

Excavations by the team of Irano-Franch archeologists are directed by Mohammad Taghi Atayi from Iran's Archeology Research Center and Remy Boucharlat from the French Institute of Archeology. The team's most stunning discovery was that of the gigantic palace, believed to have belonged to Darius the Great.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 14, 2007, 08:26:53 AM
Army retiree digs for biblical city of sin known as Sodom

In a search for the most deplorable, notorious place in history, a mix of amateur and seasoned archaeologists are digging for evidence of destruction that they say will prove the Bible correct.

The men and women — some of whom pay thousands of dollars for their excavation trip to Jordan — are searching for evidence of Sodom. The Bible in Genesis tells that God rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah, smiting their sinful populace.

By unearthing the destruction of Sodom, the group hopes to give credence to the accuracy of the Bible, said Kennett Schath, an Army retiree who now works on Ramstein Air Base.

“If we can show that truly God did these things, if we can show that destruction layer, then we can show that this is a pretty significant story here and the rest of the Bible should be absolutely correct and accurate,” he said.

To refresh your memory, the ancient city of Sodom and its companion city of Gomorrah have become synonymous with sin, lawlessness and godlessness. Some refer to Las Vegas as a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom was such a bad place that it gave rise to the word “sodomy.”

Many of those digging are amateur archaeologists and devout Christians who paid their way for the chance to connect with biblical history. That does not mean the dig is being taken lightly.

“We’re doing everything as scientifically as possible so that the geography, the archaeology and the history all match what the biblical accounts are because it would be the only story from Genesis that would be able to be proved,” said Schath, who is pursuing a doctorate in biblical counseling through Trinity Southwest University, based in Albuquerque, N.M., which is sponsoring the dig.

Schath just returned from the dig site in Tall el-Hammam, Jordan, where the site director believes Sodom is buried. For the 2007-2008 dig, Schath is looking for 10 to 15 people from Germany to accompany him in December and into January.

Site director Dr. Steven Collins, dean of the College of Archaeology and Biblical History at Trinity Southwest University, is using biblical works as a foundation in his efforts — a method frowned upon by other archaeologists. In the preface to his book “The Search for Sodom & Gomorrah,” Collins takes on these critics.

“Along with this has come the desire on the part of many scholars to do away with the term ‘biblical archaeology’ altogether, as if to say that the Bible is not a historical document credible enough to guide or control archaeological pursuits,” according to the preface. “To that I say, ‘Hogwash!’”

The dig project just finished the second of its seven planned years, and evidence is building that the group has found the site of Sodom, Schath said.

“We’re at 98 percent right now that what we have is Sodom,” he said. “I know that Dr. Collins, without a doubt, can defend it to anyone in the world.”


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on March 14, 2007, 09:08:54 PM
AMEN Pastor Roger,

Brother, I love this thread and others like it. I'm well aware that the Bible contains absolute PROOF for itself within its Sacred Pages, but I also love it when outside sources such as science and archeology add to that absolute PROOF. The devil hates it when sources outside of the Bible provide PROOF that the Holy Bible is completely TRUE AND ACCURATE. There is a growing mountain of evidence, and it's fascinating to read about. The frequency of discoveries is also increasing, almost as if GOD is giving mankind another message, "MY WORD IS TRUTH".

Love In Christ,
Tom

Galatians 3:6-12 NASB  Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." 


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 01, 2007, 10:53:58 PM
City of David claim reinforced by find


A recently found wall from the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem has given strength to a claim of where King David's palace existed, an archaeologist says.

Israeli archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar said Thursday the recent unearthing of the First Temple wall section offers additional proof to her 2005 discovery of the palace's location, the Jerusalem Post said.

Ever since Mazar discovered the 10th century BC structure in 2005, the authenticity of the site as the palace of King David has been a source of debate.

Samuel II:5 of the Hebrew Bible states that King Hiram of Tyre built the palace for David after he conquered Jerusalem.

While the authenticity remains debatable, Mazar said that the nearly 66-foot-long wall section represents the largest discovery ever from the time of King David.

The Post said the successful archaeological dig is being supported by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the city's Shalem Center.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 01, 2007, 10:56:11 PM
More on this:

First Temple wall found in City of David

A wall from the First Temple was recently uncovered in Jerusalem's City of David, strengthening the claim that it is the site of the palace of King David, an Israeli archeologist said Thursday.

The new find, made by Dr. Eilat Mazar, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center's Institute for the Archeology of the Jewish People, comes less than two years after she said she had discovered the palace's location at the site just outside the walls of the Old City.

The monumental 10th century BCE building found by Mazar in 2005 following a six month dig has ignited debate among archaeologists about whether it is indeed the palace built for the victorious David by King Hiram of Tyre as recounted in Samuel II:5.

A 20-meter-long section of the 7-meter-thick wall has now been uncovered. It indicates that the City of David once served as a major government center, Mazar said.

Mazar estimates less than a quarter of the entire wall has been uncovered so far, and says that it is the largest site from King David's time ever to have been discovered.

The dig is sponsored by the capital's Shalem Center, with academic backing from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2007, 07:08:13 AM
AMEN Pastor Roger!

Brother, thanks for sharing this with us. All I can say is WOW! - AMEN!

More and more proof is being offered by the day that the events, places, and people of the HOLY BIBLE are all completely REAL.

As Christians, most of us know that JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF will rule and reign over the earth from the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1,000 years. HE'S already the KING OF KINGS and has a Heavenly Kingdom, but GOD has also promised an earthly Kingdom. That time hasn't come yet, but it most certainly will. Mentioning recent discoveries about King David brings this Bible Prophecy to mind pretty quickly.

For the lost and those who don't study Bible Prophecy, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF will fight in many battles against evil on this earth at the end of the Seven Year Tribulation Period. JESUS CHRIST will obviously win, and all those surviving on the earth will be under HIS Subjection as absolute KING and RULER! Israel will be restored. Here's a big secret - JESUS CHRIST is and always has been the anointed KING of Israel. They mocked HIM on the CROSS as the KING of the JEWS, and they just didn't know that HE is the KING of the Jews. JESUS CHRIST will claim HIS earthly Throne, but not before great hosts taste HIS TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD. HE will come in great wrath, the HOLY WRATH of GOD who gave HIS Creation every reasonable opportunity and time to accept HIM as LORD. The patience of our Loving LORD who died for us on the CROSS will end one day, and that day might be soon.


Love In Christ,
Tom

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 NASB  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 07:24:17 AM
Amen! What a great day that will be.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 06, 2007, 08:49:46 PM
Historically Important Greek Stele Inscriptions Unveiled

The Israel Museum unveiled a unique 2,200-year-old stele (inscribed stone block) on May 3 that provides new insight into the dramatic story of Heliodorus and the Temple in Jerusalem, as related in the Second Book of Maccabees.

"The Heliodorus stele is one of the most important and revealing Hellenistic inscriptions from Israel," said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum.

"It contextualizes the Second Book of Maccabees and provides an independent and authentic source for an important episode in the history leading up to the Maccabean Revolt, whose victorious conclusion is celebrated each year during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah."

Heliodorus Stele Suggests New Perspectives on Israeli History

The newly deciphered stele presents new information about Heliodorus, who, according to the Second Book of Maccabees, received orders to seize the treasure in the Temple in Jerusalem, but was driven from the sanctuary by the miraculous appearance of a fearsome horseman accompanied by two mighty youths.

This presentation marks the first public display of the Heliodorus stele, which is on extended loan to the Museum from Michael and Judy Steinhardt of New York. The stele documents a correspondence in ancient Greek between Heliodorus and King Seleucus IV, ruler of the Seleucid Empire from 187 to 175 BCE, who was succeeded by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (best known from the story of Hanukkah). In his letter, King Seleucus announces the appointment of an administrator to oversee the sanctuaries within the province that included the Land of Israel.

The appointment of an overseer of the sanctuaries - including the Temple in Jerusalem—was intended to bring the province into line with the rest of the Seleucid Empire. This position included authority over the sanctuaries' revenues and, above all, taxes due to the king. It is likely, however, that the Jews regarded this appointment as an infringement of Jewish religious autonomy.

This episode may have foreshadowed events yet to come. Less than ten years later (169/8 BCE), a new Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and his armies would enter Jerusalem, massacre its inhabitants, rob the Temple treasury, and desecrate the Holy of Holies. Thus the new appointment, recorded on the stele, appears to mark the beginning of Greek/Seleucid interference in Jewish religious affairs, which eventually led to the outbreak of the Maccabean revolt in 167 BCE.

Israel Museum Opens Historical Stele Display

The Heliodorus stele is part of a special display, curated by David Mevorah, Curator of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Archaeology, entitled "Royal Correspondence on Stone—The Overseer of the Sanctuaries." On view through June 2007, this presentation also includes another Hellenistic stele from the royal administration of the Seleucid Empire—the Hefzibah stele—part of the Museum's permanent archaeological holdings.

The writings on the Heliodorus stele have been deciphered and interpreted by Professor Hannah Cotton-Paltiel of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Professor Michael Woerrle of the Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy at the German Archaeological Institute in Munich. Analysis of the stone's patina by Professor Yuvel Goren of Tel Aviv University suggests that the stele most likely came from the lowlands between the Judaean hills and the Mediterranean coast.

New Research on Historical Significance of the Heliodorus Stele

The Heliodorus stele preserves three missives from the royal administration of King Seleucus IV (187-175 BCE). The earliest and most significant of the three letters is from King Seleucus IV to Heliodorus, of which only the preamble remains.

In it, the King announces the appointment of an administrator to oversee the sanctuaries within the Seleucid province of Koile-Syria and Phoinike, including the Land of Israel. The other two, dating from the late summer 178 BCE, are shorter notes transmitting the directives of the King from Heliodorus to his subordinates.

By this appointment, the King intended to bring the province of Koile-Syria and Phoinike into line with the other regions in the empire. The appointment of a new overseer would help ensure royal control over the sanctuaries and their revenues. The opportunity for this new appointment was necessitated by the death or dismissal of a former governor, who had also served as chief priest in the province and presumably controlled the revenues of its sanctuaries.

Correspondence between the previous governor and Antiochus III, the father of King Seleucus IV, is preserved on the Hefzibah stele, also included in the current installation, which went on display in the Israel Museum following its discovery in northern Israel in the 1960s.



Title: Archaeologist finds tomb of King Herod
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 07, 2007, 08:09:19 PM
Archaeologist finds tomb of King Herod 
Ancient builder of Jerusalem was in office when Jesus was born

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced Monday night that it has uncovered the grave and tomb of King Herod, who ruled Judea for the Roman empire from circa 37 BCE.

According to a press release from the Hebrew University, the news of the archeological find at Herodium was to be announced Tuesday morning at a special news conference, and was to be kept secret until then, but the discovery by Haaretz of the story had led to the premature announcement.

The tomb was discovered by Hebrew University Professor Ehud Netzer, who is considered one of the leading experts on King Herod. Netzer has conducted archeological digs at Herodium since 1972 in an attempt to locate the grave and tomb.

The discovery solves one of Israel's greatest archeological mysteries. Additional details will be made available at the Tuesday press conference.

The majority of researchers had believed that Herod was in fact buried at Herodium, based on the writings of the ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, but multiple excavations at the site failed to locate the grave.

Netzer's successful dig focused on a different part of the site than previous excavations, between the upper part of Herodium and the site's two palaces.

Herodium, a fortified palace built by Herod some 12 kilometers south of Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Romans in 71 CE.

Herod, whose father and grandfather converted to Judaism, was appointed governor of Galilee at the age of 25 and was made "King of the Jews" by the Roman senate in approximately 40 BCE. He remained king for around 34 years.

Herod, also known as Herod the Great, is credited with expanding the Second Temple and building Caesarea, Masada, and many other monumental construction projects. He died in the year 4 BCE in Jericho after a long illness.

Herod decided to construct his tomb at Herodium because the site played a role in two dramatic events in his life. In the year 43 BCE, when Herod was still governor of the Galilee, he was forced to flee Jerusalem along with his family after his enemies the Parthians laid siege to the city.

His mother's chariot flipped over near Herodium, and Herod became hysterical until he realized she was only lightly wounded. A short while later, the Parthians caught up to Herod and his entourage, although Herod and his men emerged victorious in the ensuing battle.

At Herodium, Herod built one of the largest monarchical complexes in the Roman Empire, which served as a residential palace, a sanctuary, an administrative center and a mausoleum. Herod first built an artificial cone-shaped hill that could be seen from Jerusalem, on which he constructed a fortified palace surrounded by watchtowers that he used solely in wartime.

At the base of the hill, he built an additional palace, which was the size of a small town and known as "Lower Herodium." The palace included many buildings, fancy gardens, pools, stables, and storage areas.

Herod spared no expense in an attempt to turn the site into a regional gem, bringing water from Solomon's Pools and special soil to allow his gardens to blossom in the heart of the desert.

Following Herod's death, his son and heir Archilaus continued to reside and Herodium. After Judea became a Roman province, the site served as a center for Roman prefects.

With the outbreak of the Great Revolt, Herodium was seized by the rebels, but then handed over without resistance to the Romans following the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

Fifty years later, Herodium was also used by the rebels during the Bar Kokhva revolt, but was abandoned thereafter.

In the 5th century CE, the site was settled by Byzantine monks, and then served as a leper colony before being finally abandoned in the 7th century CE.

The first archeological dig at the site, between the years 1956 and 1962, was conducted by a Franciscan monk and revealed most of the currently-known remains. Israel began excavations at the site in 1972, several years after its capture during the Six-Day War.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 14, 2007, 04:39:13 PM
I started this thread to be primarily for archaeological finds that have to do with supporting the stories in the Bible. I want to post some articles though on the founding of the U.S. though as it does have a lot to do with the Christian foundation of this nation.


______________________


Excavation of 400-Year-Old Jamestown Fort Yields More Than 1 Million Artifacts

A church tower built in 1639 is all that remains above ground of 17th century Jamestown. But everyday, archaeologists unearth hundreds of objects from the early 17th century, all within the foundations of the 1607 fort.

Until William Kelso came along, no one believed it was still there, buried under layers of dirt. "The conventional wisdom was that the 1607 fort - that which is 400 years old this year -- couldn't be found because river erosion had taken it and destroyed it," Kelso says.

But in 1994, Kelso, the Director of Archaeology at Historic Jamestowne, proved them wrong. "We've found almost the entire fort itself was not only -- not -- washed away, but it is all here on land, the buried remains of the walls and the buildings and the artifacts that were there," he says. "Over a million objects have been found that date to this early 17th century time period."

Kelso's crew is currently scraping away layers of dirt within an old well to uncover buried artifacts. "A well is an absolute time capsule," Kelso says. "People begin to lose things, drop things. It begins to fill in and then once there is no more water, you fill in the hole with garbage and trash."

What was trash is now treasure, carefully cleaned on the banks of the James River. Then, in the laboratory, everything from the excavation is examined, cataloged and analyzed by Bly Straube, senior curator at Historic Jamestowne. It's her job to determine what role each artifact may have had in the lives of the people who lived here 400 years ago.

Every object, every shard of pottery reveals something, says Straube. "If you know how to read the material, if you can put it all into context," she says, "they can talk to you just like a document can."

Archaeologists have found a wealth of objects, including surgical tools, body armor, fine Chinese porcelain, and a trumpet mouthpiece. That mouthpiece, says Straube, "has caused so much excitement among musical historians, because traditionally the trumpet was brought to America by Germans in the 18th century, and here we have earlier evidence."

Together, all of the artifacts reveal a rich and varied life in Jamestown for the colonists. Archaeologist William Kelso says they also show a commitment on the part of the immigrants, a commitment that wasn't made clear in some of the writings we have about the earliest years in the colony. "The documentary evidence, which was very scanty, has been looked over for at least 100 or more years," he says. "That story has always been incomplete and a bit like a myth, that Jamestown wasn't a serious commitment of the Europeans to settle and it failed. What we are finding is hard, concrete evidence that it endured."

Captain John Smith, who was an early leader of the colony, anticipated that Jamestown would become a great city. Instead, the settlement picked up and moved up river in 1699 to what is now Williamsburg. Bly Straube is thankful that Jamestown didn't become a metropolis. "Because if it had," she says, "we would not have the wealth of material we have found today. It would all have been destroyed or buried."

For many centuries it was buried. But now, as Americans mark the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, they are getting a fresh perspective on the life of the colonists by examining some of what they left behind.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on May 15, 2007, 12:08:34 PM
Hello Pastor Roger,

Thanks Brother! They are going to find that American History is Christian. They will add to the already existing tons of evidence that Christians settled this country for Christians, and that's how this nation was born - long before the Revolution.

This was a hobby of mine for many years, so I have directories on my computer full of various documents about early America. They are absolutely fascinating, and nothing can be done to deny their existence. I even have photographs of many of the original documents that are still on display at the Library of Congress. The ACLU and groups like them would get sick upon entering HUGE repositories of just about every kind of artifact you can think of that this was a Christian nation and it was intended to be kept that way. I think that the ACLU would really enjoy much of our original law that was quoted Chapter and Verse from the Holy Bible. All of the most serious offenses listed Scripture from the BIBLE as the authority for the Law.

I highly recommend an online trip to the Library of Congress for every American. I've put a couple of beginning links below for those who are curious. I must add that the Library of Congress has excellent search engines installed, and masses of new documents are being added to what's available online every day. In short, the Library of Congress is outstanding and a national treasure.


http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html

http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/religion.html

Love In Christ,
Tom

Romans 4:20-21 NASB  yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 15, 2007, 12:17:35 PM
The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of information. I have used it quite extensively myself. There is even a section that can be reached from the links that you gave that are designed especially for children. It is especially helpful for those that are homeschooling in order to obtain the requirements that some states have for 8th graders to achieve before graduating on to 9th grade.



Title: Artifacts from time of Kings David, Solomon revealed
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 17, 2007, 11:16:47 AM
Artifacts from time of Kings David, Solomon revealed
Some seals bear names of royal advisors mentioned in various Biblical accounts

In honor of Jerusalem Day, which begins Tuesday night, archaeologists revealed a number of seals from the time of the Biblical Kings David and Solomon. The seals, along with other recently uncovered artifacts, were displayed for the first time on Monday, at a conference marking 40 years since the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem by the modern State of Israel.

The Bible-period artifacts were unearthed during archaeological excavations underway in Ir David, the City of David, below Jerusalem’s Old City to the east. The specific artifacts on display on Monday were found at the Beit HaMaayan (well-house) dig, overseen by Haifa University's Archaeology Department Director, Professor Ronny Reich.

The greatest scientific and public interest was focused on more than 100 seals and signet rings, used as a means of authentication for written papyrus documents, from the time of the reigns of Kings David and Solomon. The seals bear various markings that, when deciphered, indicate the sender of the document and his or her location. The large number of such seals, archaeologists explained, indicate that the City of David area was a commercial and trading center.

Several hundred leaders of Israel's industry and the economy took part in the Jerusalem gathering at which the artifacts were displayed.

Similar seals and signets have been found at various excavation sites around Jerusalem over the past decade. Some of those seals bear names of royal advisors and servants mentioned in various Biblical accounts of the reigns of Jewish monarchs.

In 2005, a Hebrew University archaeologist and a leading authority on ancient Jerusalem, Dr. Eilat Mazar uncovered a clay seal in what she claimed served as the residential palace of Jewish kings from King David until the destruction of the First Temple, for a period of 450 years. That seal, dated from about 580 BCE, bears the name Yehuchal Ben-Sheleimiya, who is identified as a royal envoy and court minister sent by King Zedekiah to the prophet Jeremiah (in chapters 37 and 38 of the Bible's Book of Jeremiah).

Several years earlier, another circa-580 BCE royal seal was found at the same site. It had the name of Gemaryahu, son of Shafan, who is also mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah, and who was a top official in the court of King Zedekiah's predecessor, King Yehoyachim. Another seal found among dozens of others bears the name of Azaryahu Ben-Hilkiyahu, a member of a priestly family, who served in the Temple before Jerusalem's destruction (according to I Chronicles, 9:10).

_____________

More wonderful findings that support Biblical accounts. This article makes me wonder though just what other things that may have been found that they have not told the public about.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on May 17, 2007, 11:14:21 PM

More wonderful findings that support Biblical accounts.

AMEN brother


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on May 18, 2007, 04:30:38 AM
ANOTHER AMEN!

I loved this article and thank you sincerely for sharing it with us. This is just tons of more evidence that the HOLY BIBLE isn't JUST the greatest history book ever written - it's the TRUTH AND GOD'S WORD!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Psalms 18:46 NASB  The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be the God of my salvation,


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on June 03, 2007, 12:16:57 AM
Though this isn't from the Bible I found it intersting.
~~~~~~~

2,100-year-old melon found in Japan

TOKYO, June 1 (UPI) -- Japanese scientists say the inside of an ancient melon has been found in the Shimonogo ruins in Moriyama.

The Shimonogo Municipal Board of Education said the fruit dates back about 2,100 years.

The melon segment was kept from contact with the atmosphere and was able to preserve its inner fruit, the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported Friday.

The age of the fruit was determined using radiocarbon dating.

2,100-year-old melon found in Japan (http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20070601-23522200-bc-japan-melon.xml)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 03, 2007, 12:22:23 AM
Quote
The age of the fruit was determined using radiocarbon dating.

This is the part that makes the entire thing very questionable. Radio carbon dating has been found to be very inaccurate.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on June 03, 2007, 12:33:11 AM
This is the part that makes the entire thing very questionable. Radio carbon dating has been found to be very inaccurate.


True but, I still think it is intersting.  I know radiocarbon dating said a cat fossil was over 2 hundred years old, when it cat died the year before.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 03, 2007, 12:44:03 AM
And many more where the dates were even further off than that.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 04, 2007, 07:35:58 AM
How did fish reach Jerusalem?

Jerusalem's ancient water system, which excavations over the past decade are gradually uncovering, included a large pool hewn into rock. The pool, next to the Gihon Spring in the City of David, ceased to be used and dried up in the late eighth century B.C.E., after King Hezekiah of Judah built a new water project in the city, the Siloam tunnel. But according to Prof. Roni Reich, of the University of Haifa's Archaeology Department, and Eli Shukrun of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), who are overseeing the excavations at the site, the pool hewn into the rock did not remain desolate for long: Toward the end of the eighth century B.C.E., a Jerusalem resident decided to build himself a house inside it, thus sparing himself a lot of work, since the pool's four hewn walls served as a base for the external walls of his home.

Apparently, the new homeowners did not want to live in the depths of the pool and preferred to raise the lower level of their home by about three meters. In order to bring the house to the desired level, they poured stones and earth into the bottom of the pool, and its upper reaches abutted the floor of the house.

The excavation, being managed by the IAA with the assistance of the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority (INNPPA), the Elad Association and the Gihon Company, has uncovered in the attached earthen floor of the house clay vessels dating to the end of the eighth century B.C.E., but the more surprising findings were in the stratum beneath. Reich and Shukrun decided to sift through all of it in the hope of uncovering artifacts that would help date the structure.

The first sifting did not yield any dramatic discoveries. Mostly the earth yielded clay vessels typical of Jerusalem in the First Temple period, and the bones of animals that were part of the standard diet of residents of the city, mainly cattle and sheep. But Reich and Shukrun suspected that other findings were hiding there and therefore decided to sift through it all, around 250 cubic meters, once again. This time, the earth was rinsed with water and what remained in the sifter after the rinsing was carefully inspected in a process that lasted around a year and a half. The findings justified the effort.

Pottery sherds that differed in nature from those found so far in the City of David were uncovered and the researchers date them to the second half of the ninth century or the beginning of the eighth century B.C.E. approximately, a range that covers the reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, to the reign of Joash, son of Ahaziah, a period when Jerusalem was subject to the influence of its northern neighbors, the Kingdom of Israel and Phoenicia. (Reich is nonetheless cautious and says that the precise date has yet to be determined.)

In addition to the sherds, an abundance of small seals, about a centimeter in diameter, that were used to seal documents and goods were found. All the seals were broken - they had been removed from the letters or goods they sealed. In this respect, they differ from seals found in the past in the City of David, which were all unbroken, and apparently were used to seal documents preserved in the local archive of the City of David.

The seals uncovered by Reich and Shukrun differ from those uncovered by Shilo also in their graphic characteristics. Approximately 170 of the broken seals bore stamps or part of one and some had signs of Egyptian writing, unlike those uncovered by Shiloh, where the names appeared in Semitic writing. A review by experts found these were not meaningful signs, but a copy of Egyptian script familiar to residents of the ancient Near East. Such seals were uncovered in the past in excavations in Samaria, the capital of the kingdom of Israel.

The seals also bore other graphic symbols, such as sphinxes, images of winged persons and an image of the sun with wings. Others contained etchings of proto-aeolian capitals, an architectural motif typical of structures from the ninth and 10th centuries B.C.E. in Israel and Judea. This motif appears often in Phoenician ivory bas-reliefs.

A grouper surprise

Another surprise was the impressive amount of fish bones found in the earth. After the second sifting, it turned out that the fill beneath the house concealed close to 10,000 fish bones.

They were sent for careful analysis by Prof. Omri Landau, a retired surgeon, who now devotes himself to his hobby of researching fish bones uncovered in excavations. Landau has yet to complete his analysis, but at this stage it is clear that the lion's share of the bones are from fish found in the Mediterranean Sea, primarily bass and grouper. Like the seals, this is also not the first time fish bones were uncovered in Jerusalem. However, Reich stresses that such a large quantity of them in one site is not an ordinary occurrence. The large accumulation attests to the importance of fish in the diet of Jerusalem residents then, as they were willing to invest considerable effort in bringing fish from the Mediterranean coast to the city.

Phoenician ties

The high concentration of seals, the graphic motifs on them, which are not typical of Jerusalem of the First Temple era, in addition to the impressive amount of fish bones, are likely to provide evidence of the Phoenician or Israelite presence in Jerusalem during the second half of the ninth century, B.C.E. Reich notes that the dynasty of the house of Omri, the ruler of the Kingdom of Israel in the early ninth century, had family ties to the Phoenicians. These ties reached the Kingdom of Judah when King Jehoram, the son of Jehosaphat, who controlled Judah during the second half of the ninth century, B.C.E., married Athaliah, the daughter of Omri or of his successor, Ahab, who was of Phoenician origin. Athaliah forcibly assumed power and ruled Judah for a number of years until being deposed (II Kings 11).

It is possible that the high concentration of fish bones and seals with graphic images typical of the Phoenicians - one seal depicted a Phoenician ship, another an image of a fish - indicates that before the house was built in the pool, an administrative center of the rulers who were close to the Phoenicians operated nearby. Reich and Shukrun note that apart from Athaliah, also her predecessor, Jehoram and her successor, Ahaziah, were likely to maintain close ties with the capital of the Kingdom of Israel and with Phoenician cities, such as Sidon.

The hypothesis regarding ties between Jerusalem and Phoenicia in the late eight and ninth centuries, B.C.E. is reinforced by other findings, including a pomegranate made of ivory that was found in the earth. The Phoenicians, who were talented sailors, builders and merchants served as cultural intermediaries in the Mediterranean basin, where they sailed. Among other things, they engraved ivory, a craft they learned in Egypt, where they found raw and etched ivory to bring back to Assyria. They also brought artistic motifs from one place to another, such as Egyptian symbols that appeared on the seals. As seafarers, it is likely that the Phoenicians did not want to give up the fish they were so fond of, even when they were far away from the coast, and took the trouble to bring the fish from the coastal cities to Jerusalem.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 04, 2007, 07:52:15 AM
Even though these finds in the last post seem minuscule I find it interesting because it does validate the Bible in that the Bible does mention the Phoenicians even in the Old Testament. The Old Testament does not mention them with the Greek word of Phoenicians, though. Instead they were referred to by the city they had come from such as Sidonians. Hiram of Tyre was a Phoenician by modern terms. Hiram of Tyre is the person that provided wood for a house for David and wood for the temple that Solomon had built. It was this group of people that introduced Phoenician gods like Baal to the Jews during the time of the Prophet Elijah.


It was previously thought that this was not true as there was no proof of them being there.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on June 04, 2007, 02:20:34 PM
AMEN!

Brother, I don't see any of these discoveries to be small. They are adding to the growing mountain of evidence that is PROOF the Holy Bible is completely TRUE!

I'm even more positive that there is a big reason for every Scripture in the Bible. As an example, some might not pay very much attention to genealogy, historical data, and many other types of information in the Bible that they view to be insignificant. It's fascinating when we discover the reasons. As an example, genealogy information was used by the Jews to establish blood lines, birthrights, and who was to be the recipient of Promises - some made by GOD HIMSELF. I was just thinking that I find it fascinating that places mentioned over 2,000 years ago still exist and are in the news today.

The Holy Bible isn't just the greatest history book and MASTERPIECE of all time - it's the WORD OF GOD. The specific locations of palaces, temples, cities, and other construction will be important again. One can put a few discoveries together and have massive piece of PROOF. We also see in the Bible meticulous descriptions of various construction - some including precise dimensions. There was and is a BIG reason for everything in the Bible, and many of those reasons are being revealed right now.

Thanks Brother! This is absolutely fascinating!


Love In Christ,
Tom

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 NASB  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 04, 2007, 02:58:05 PM
You're most welcome, brother and a big Amen!

The Bible is the only ancient book of religious significance that is able to stand up to the test of reliability in all aspects of it's writings; historically, archaeologically, genealogically, scientifically and most important of all spiritually. With so many different writers and yet it's accuracy in these things is being proven time and again.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on June 04, 2007, 03:05:45 PM
You're most welcome, brother and a big Amen!

The Bible is the only ancient book of religious significance that is able to stand up to the test of reliability in all aspects of it's writings; historically, archaeologically, genealogically, scientifically and most important of all spiritually. With so many different writers and yet it's accuracy in these things is being proven time and again.


AMEN

Truly the Bible is written by God's prophets.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 05, 2007, 02:32:23 PM
Rare Old Testament manuscript unveiled

A rare Old Testament manuscript about 1 300 years old is finally on display for the first time, after making its way from a secret room in a Cairo synagogue to the hands of an American collector.

The manuscript, containing the "Song of the Sea" section of the Old Testament's Book of Exodus and dating to around the 7th century AD, comes from what scholars call the "silent era" - a span of 600 years between the third and eighth centuries from which almost no Hebrew manuscripts survive.

It is now on public display for the first time, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

"It comes from a period of almost darkness in terms of Hebrew manuscripts," said Stephen Pfann, a textual scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem. Scholars have long noted the lack of original biblical manuscripts written between the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the latest of which come from the third century, to texts written in the ninth and 10th centuries, Pfann said.

Scholars can only piece together scraps of information on the period using translations into Greek and other languages, he said, "so to have a piece of the original text from this period is quite remarkable."

The parchment is believed to have been left in the Cairo Genizah, a vast depository of medieval Jewish manuscripts discovered in the late 1800s in a previously unknown room at Cairo's ancient Ben Ezra Synagogue. It was in private hands until the late 1970s, when its Lebanese-born American owner turned it over to the Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Special Collections Library at Duke University.

The manuscript is now on extended loan to the Israel Museum and is on display in the museum's Shrine of the Book, which also houses the Dead Sea Scrolls.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 18, 2007, 10:18:56 AM
Second Temple Jewish settlement found between Jerusalem and TA

A Second Temple Jewish settlement has been uncovered between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, including structures that may have been used as hiding places during the Bar Kochba Revolt, Israel's Antiquities Authority announced Monday.

The remains, found during a salvage archeological excavation by the Ben-Shemen interchange, include two-millennium-old structures, and several Jewish ritual baths or mikvaot.

An elaborate arched structure made of hewn stone at the side of one of the rituals baths was also found fully intact.

Secret passages discovered inside the structures at the site led archeologists to surmise that these were secret hideouts dug during the Bar Kochba Revolt in 132 CE against the Roman Empire.

Similar hiding places have been found in the area in the past.

The discovery of the site clarifies that the size of Jewish settlement in the area was larger than what had been assumed in the past, said Ronit Lupo, the director of excavations at the site.

An assortment of glass vessels, candles, cooking utensils and coins were also found.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 22, 2007, 05:46:16 PM
Biblical passage and forensic analysis suggest new theory on human remains at Masada

An Israeli anthropologist is using modern forensics and an obscure Biblical passage to challenge the accepted wisdom about mysterious human remains found at Masada, the desert fortress famous as the scene of a mass suicide nearly 2,000 years ago.

A new research paper published Friday takes another look at the remains of three people found in a bathhouse at the site — two male skeletons and a full head of women's hair, including two braids. They were long thought to have belonged to a family of Zealots, the fanatic Jewish rebels said to have killed themselves rather than fall into Roman slavery in the spring of 73 A.D., a story that became an important part of Israel's national mythology.

Along with other bodies found at Masada, the three were recognized as Jewish heroes by Israel's government in 1969 and given a state burial, complete with Israeli soldiers carrying flag-draped coffins.

But Israel might have mistakenly bestowed that posthumous honor on three Romans, according to a paper in the June issue of the journal Near Eastern Archaeology by anthropologist Joe Zias and forensics expert Azriel Gorski.

The remains of the three became a key part of the site's story when Masada was excavated in the 1960s. Yigael Yadin, the renowned Israeli archeologist in charge of the dig, thought they illustrated the historical account of Zealot men killing their wives and children and then themselves before the Roman legionnaires breached Masada's defenses.

Upon finding the remains, the crew "relived the final and most tragic moments of the drama at Masada," Yadin wrote in his book documenting the dig, mentioning that the woman's "dark hair, beautifully plaited, looked as if it had just been freshly coiffeured."

"There could be no doubt," Yadin wrote, "that what our eyes beheld were the remains of some of the defenders of Masada."

The new paper focuses on the hair, noting the odd absence of a skeleton to go with it. The researchers' new forensic analysis showed an even stranger fact — the hair had been cut off the woman's head with a sharp instrument while she was still alive.

The new findings could not be reconciled with the original identification of the remains.

Zias' attempt to explain the discrepancy led him to the Old Testament's Book of Deuteronomy, where a passage requires that foreign women captured in battle by Jews cut off all their hair, apparently an attempt to make them less attractive to their captors.

Zias concluded that the hair belonged not to a Jewish woman but to a foreign woman who fell captive in the hands of Jewish fighters.

In his scenario, the woman was attached to the Roman garrison stationed at Masada in 66 A.D., when the Zealots took over the fortress and killed the Roman soldiers. Jewish fighters in Masada's northern palace threw two Roman bodies into the bathhouse, which Zias thinks the Zealots used as a garbage dump because of other debris found inside. They took the woman captive and treated her according to Jewish law, cutting off her hair, which they threw in along with the bodies.

The new paper is only the latest in a string of attacks on the original Masada dig, which some scholars now think was colored less by scientific rigor than by a desire to enshrine the desert fortress as a national myth of heroism and sacrifice.

Once a pillar of Israeli identity — army units used to be sworn in on the mountaintop, shouting the sentence "Masada will not fall again" — the Masada story has fallen out of favor as Israelis became less comfortable with glorifying mass suicide and identifying with religious fanatics.

The very story of the suicide, as recounted in dramatic detail by the first century Jewish-Roman historian Josephus Flavius, has come increasingly into doubt, and many scholars now believe that it was either greatly exaggerated or never happened at all.

The original archeologists at the site, Zias said, "had the story and went around trying to find the proof." No concrete evidence for the Zealot suicide has been found, he said.

But others have pointed out that many details of Josephus' story are matched precisely by archeological evidence, and have charged that for archeologists today debunking the Masada myth has become as popular as creating it was 40 years ago.

Ehud Netzer, a veteran Hebrew University archeologist who participated in the Masada dig in the 1960s and later oversaw restoration work there, questioned the new findings.

Zias is "building a story on assumptions built on assumptions," he said.

"I think that with the existing information, you can't make such theories, and I think that those people should be allowed to rest in peace," Netzer said.


Title: Pope OKs opening of St. Paul's tomb
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 30, 2007, 10:07:42 AM
Pope OKs opening
of St. Paul's tomb 
Investigators to remove plug
from stone coffin, insert probe

Eighteen months after the sarcophagus believed to have once contained the remains of St. Paul the apostle was positively identified by Vatican archaeologists, Pope Benedict XVI has given his approval to plans by investigators to examine the interior of the ancient stone coffin with an optical probe, according to a German Catholic paper.

As WND reported in 2005, the sarcophagus was discovered during excavations in 2002 and 2003 around the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in south Rome.

"The tomb that we discovered is the one that the popes and the Emperor Theodosius [A.D. 379-395] saved and presented to the whole world as being the tomb of the apostle," said Giorgio Filippi, a specialist with the Vatican Museums.

The excavation was conducted after the administrator of St. Paul's basilica, Archbishop Francesco Gioia, received inquiries about the location of the apostle's tomb from thousands of pilgrims visiting during the Jubilee Year of 2000.

Over the centuries, the basilica grew over the small church built at the burial site early in the 4th century. While the authenticity of the site – or at least, the authenticity conferred by the actions of Theodosius – was not in doubt, repeated enlargements and rebuildings, as well as a fire in 1823, meant the exact location of the sarcophagus was lost for many years.

"There has been no doubt for the past 20 centuries that the tomb is there. It was variously visible and not visible in times past and then it was covered up. We made an opening (in the basilica floor) to make it visible at least in part," Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the basilica, told Reuters last year.

An initial survey of the basilica enabled archaeologists to reconstruct the fourth century building's original shape.

The Vatican team found the sarcophagus during a second excavation under the basilica's main altar.

Under the altar, a marble plaque is visible, dating to the 4th century, bearing the inscription "Apostle Paul, martyr."

Surprisingly, said Filippi, "nobody ever thought to look behind that plaque," where the Vatican team found the sarcophagus.

"We tried to X-ray it to see what was inside but the stone was too thick," said Montezemolo.

Since the rediscovery of the tomb, measuring approximately eight feet long, four feet wide and 3 feet high, archaeologists have cleared away centuries of debris and plaster that surrounded the site. According to Kath.net, investigators have been given permission to remove a plug with which the coffin has been sealed so an endoscopic probe can be inserted and images of the contents captured.

"Absolute proof that it holds St. Paul's bones is impossible," Leonard Rutgers, an archaeologist at the University of Utrecht who visited the excavation, told Archaeology magazine in April.

St. Paul's remains were removed from the original burial site in A.D. 258, according to documentary evidence, reburied in another part of Rome, and then moved back to the site of the basilica when it was built over the original church in the late fourth century.

"So they were schlepping these bones around a lot," says Rutgers. "It's hard to say if the remains in the sarcophagus itself belong to the saint. But it is still a significant late-fourth-century burial."

The Bible does not state how Paul died. Many scholars believe he was beheaded in Rome in about A.D. 64 during the reign of Roman Emperor Nero. The "apostle to the gentiles," as he described himself, was the most prolific of all the New Testament writers.



Title: Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 11, 2007, 07:26:11 AM
Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament
Babylonian relic names Nebuchadnezzar's chief eunuch from Book of Jeremiah

The sound of unbridled joy seldom breaks the quiet of the British Museum's great Arched Room, which holds its collection of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years.

But Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, let out such a cry last Thursday. He had made what has been called the most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.

Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets, Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name he half remembered - Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.

Prof Jursa, an Assyriologist, checked the Old Testament and there in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled differently, the same name - Nebo-Sarsekim.

Nebo-Sarsekim, according to Jeremiah, was Nebuchadnezzar II's "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city.

The small tablet, the size of "a packet of 10 cigarettes" according to Irving Finkel, a British Museum expert, is a bill of receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin's payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon.

The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem.

Evidence from non-Biblical sources of people named in the Bible is not unknown, but Nabu-sharrussu-ukin would have been a relatively insignificant figure.

"This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find," Dr Finkel said yesterday. "If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power."

Cuneiform is the oldest known form of writing and was commonly used in the Middle East between 3,200 BC and the second century AD. It was created by pressing a wedge-shaped instrument, usually a cut reed, into moist clay.

The full translation of the tablet reads: (Regarding) 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 13, 2007, 09:59:19 AM
Discoveries in Sudan reveal economic organization of an ancient African state—the kingdom of Kush

Archaeologists from the Oriental Institute have discovered a gold-processing center along the middle Nile in the Sudan, an installation that produced the precious metal sometime between 2000 and 1500 B.C. The center, along with a cemetery they discovered, documents extensive control by the first sub-Saharan kingdom, the kingdom of Kush.

The team found more than 55 grinding stones made of granite-like gneiss along the Nile at the site of Hosh el-Guruf, about 225 miles north of Khartoum. The region also was known as Nubia in ancient times. Groups of similar grinding stones have been found on desert sites, mostly in Egypt, where they were used to grind ore to recover the precious metal. The ground ore was likely washed with water nearby to separate the gold flakes.

“This large number of grinding stones and other tools used to crush and grind ore shows that the site was a center for organized gold production,” said Geoff Emberling, Director of the Oriental Institute Museum and a co-leader of the expedition. The research was funded by the National Geographic Society and the Packard Humanities Institute, which also offered to support all the other teams working in the Fourth Cataract salvage project, the location of the University’s expedition.

“Even today, panning for gold is a traditional activity in the area,” said expedition co-leader Bruce Williams, Research Associate in the Oriental Institute and a Systems Team Leader in NSIT at the University. “Water is a key ingredient for the production of gold, and it is possible that bits of gold ore were found in gravel deposits nearby in wadis (dry creek beds) and crushed on the site.”

The team also uncovered burials with artifacts in a cemetery they excavated, which suggest the region was part of the kingdom of Kush, which would have ruled an area much larger than previously believed. Such discoveries show that the kingdom was the first in sub-Saharan Africa to control a territory as much as 750 miles in length.

“This work is extremely exciting because it can give us our first look at the economic organization of this very important, but little-known ancient African state,” said Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute. “Until now, virtually all that we have known about Kush came from the historical records of their Egyptian neighbors, and from explorations of monumental architecture and cemeteries at the Kugotcha2e capital city Kerma. The Oriental Institute excavations at Hosh el-Guruf will allow scholars to understand the rural sources of the riches of Kush.”

The University expedition is part of an international recovery project that is underway. Before archaeological sites are covered by the steadily rising Nile, expedition teams are working to find artifacts related to Kush and other civilizations that flourished in the area. The Hamdab or Merowe Dam, located at the downstream end of the Fourth Cataract, is flooding the area. The lake to be formed by this dam will flood about 100 miles of the Nile Valley in an area that had previously seen no archaeological work.

“Surveys suggest that there are as many as 2,500 archaeological sites to be investigated in the area. Fortunately, this is an international effort; teams from Sudan, England, Poland, Hungary, Germany and the United States have been working since 1996, with a large increase in the number of archaeologists working in the area since 2003,” Emberling said. The area will probably be flooded next year, but the team hopes to return for another season of exploration.

Stein noted, “The current excavations mark a return to Nubia for the Oriental Institute. The Institute played a key role in the large-scale international salvage excavations in Nubia during the 1960s in connection with the construction of the Aswan High dam. Materials from these rescue excavations in the Oriental Institute’s museum form one of the largest collections of scientifically excavated Nubian artifacts in the United States.”

The sites studied by Emberling and Williams provide important new information on the ancient Kingdom of Kush, which flourished from about 2000 to 1500 B.C.

“The Kingdom of Kush was unusual in that it was able to use the tools of power—military and governance—without having a system of writing, an extensive bureaucracy or numerous urban centers,” Emberling said. “Studying Kush helps scholars have a better idea of what statehood meant in an ancient context outside such established power centers of Egypt and Mesopotamia.” Among the artifacts they found in burials nearby at the site al-Widay were high-status pottery vessels that appear to have been made in the center of the kingdom, a city called Kerma, some 225 miles downstream.

The graves for the cemetery, which were for elite members of the community, included 90 closely packed, roughly constructed stone circles—covered shafts that were circular and lined with stones, a feature noted in the so-called Pan Graves of Lower Nubia and Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, about 1700 B.C., said Williams. “These, and the broad-bottomed, black-topped cups they contained, are generally assigned to the Medjay, people of the Eastern Desert, who at times served as soldiers and police in Egypt.”

Williams noted, “A few of the tombs had the rectangular shafts of the later Classic Kerma burials, graceful tulip-shaped beakers and jars of Kerma-type, and even imported vessels from Egypt, as well as scarabs and faience and carnelian beads, and there were even several beds or biers.”

“Finds of Kerma materials at the Fourth Cataract was one of the major surprises of the salvage effort, and they suggest the leaders of Kush were able to expand their influence much further than was previously known, possibly including as much as 750 miles along the banks of the Nile.” he said.

The Oriental Institute team worked on sites that were in the concession of the mission from the Gdansk Archaeological Museum.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on July 13, 2007, 06:39:31 PM
Hello Brother Roger,

It's been awhile, so I just want to thank you for this thread. It's one of my favorites because the evidence is mounting higher and higher that the Bible is completely TRUE AND ACCURATE. More and more of the Bible is being proven as absolute FACT, and this does make me think that GOD is allowing a few more hints before the end of this Age of Grace. I just hope that the lost are hearing about these discoveries and they understand the significance.

The significance is simple:  THE HOLY BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD!

Love In Christ,
Tom


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 13, 2007, 06:53:58 PM
You're welcome, brother. It has been my pleasure.

Much of these finds are not getting very much media attention so many people are not seeing it. Then when they do it is not easy for them to see the significance such as the last article on Kush. Those that do not know the Bible very well would not know the significance of Kush in the Bible.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on July 13, 2007, 10:18:24 PM
You're welcome, brother. It has been my pleasure.

Much of these finds are not getting very much media attention so many people are not seeing it. Then when they do it is not easy for them to see the significance such as the last article on Kush. Those that do not know the Bible very well would not know the significance of Kush in the Bible.



Brother, things like this make me wonder why there isn't something like a Christian Discovery Channel. There are mountains of material that are absolutely fascinating. Sadly, it's rare to have a first class Christian documentary on television. They could be accompanied by Bible lessons that would explain the significance of the discoveries. Obviously, I would be talking about programming from a Biblical and Christian perspective, NOT just something thrown together by secular folks. I think that most Christians would support something like this.

Love In Christ,
Tom


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 13, 2007, 10:24:02 PM
That would be a wonderful thing and I for one would be watching it all the time and trying to convince others to do so also.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 13, 2007, 11:59:31 PM
Jerusalem seeks return of ancient tablet

Jerusalem's mayor has asked the Turkish government to return a 2,700-year-old tablet uncovered in an ancient subterranean passage in the city, sugggesting that it could be a "gesture of goodwill" between allies.

Known as the Siloam inscription, the tablet was found in a tunnel hewed to channel water from a spring outside Jerusalem's walls into the city around 700 B.C. — a project mentioned in the Old Testament's Book of Chronicles. It was discovered in 1880 and taken by the Holy Land's Ottoman rulers to Istanbul, where it is now in the collection of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski made the request in a Thursday meeting with Turkey's ambassador to Israel, Namik Tan, Lupolianski spokesman Gidi Schmerling said Friday. Lupolianski suggested the tablet's return could be a "gesture of goodwill" from Turkey, Schmerling said Friday.

Turkey and Israel are close regional allies.

An official at Turkey's embassy in Israel said the request would be passed on to the Turkish government. A transfer of ownership was unlikely, the official said, but Turkey would look into lending the tablet to Israel or creating a replica. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as required by embassy regulations.

In the Bible's account, the Siloam water tunnel was constructed by King Hezekiah to solve one of ancient Jerusalem's most pressing problems — its most important water source, the Siloam spring, was outside the city walls and vulnerable to the kingdom's Assyrian enemies.

The tunnel, around 500 yards long, was hollowed out of the bedrock by two teams of diggers starting from each end, according to the tablet, which was installed to celebrate the moment the two teams met underground, "pickax to pickax."

"When there were only three cubits more to cut through, the men were heard calling from one side to the other," the Hebrew inscription recounts.

The tunnel and spring are located in what is today the east Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Silwan, controlled by Israel since 1967.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on July 17, 2007, 02:07:00 PM
2,400-year-old golden mask unearthed

Mon Jul 16, 1:05 PM ET

SOFIA, Bulgaria - A 2,400-year-old golden mask that once belonged to a Thracian king was unearthed in a timber-lined tomb in southeastern Bulgaria, archaeologists said Monday.

The mask, discovered over the weekend, was found in the tomb along with a solid gold ring engraved with a Greek inscription and the portrait of a bearded man.

"These finds confirm the assumption that they are part of the lavish burial of a Thracian king," said Margarita Tacheva, a professor who was on the dig near the village of Topolchane, 180 miles east of the capital, Sofia.

Georgi Kitov, the team leader, said that they also found a silver rhyton, silver and bronze vessels, pottery and funerary gifts.

"The artifacts belonged to a Thracian ruler from the end of the 4th century B.C. who was buried here," Kitov added.

According to Kitov, the Thracian civilization was at least equal in terms of development to the ancient Greek one.

The Thracians lived in what is now Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Romania, Macedonia, and Turkey between 4,000 B.C. and the 8th century A.D., when they were assimilated by the invading Slavs.

In 2004, another 2,400-year-old golden mask was unearthed from a Thracian tomb in the same area.

Dozens of Thracian mounds are spread throughout central Bulgaria, which archaeologists have dubbed "the Bulgarian valley of kings" in reference to the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt, home to the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs.

2,400-year-old golden mask unearthed (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070716/ap_on_re_eu/ancient_mask;_ylt=AqX.QycpLuGoARSzy_vkDvkUewgF)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 19, 2007, 10:48:12 AM
Iraq to renovate biblical prophet's tomb
Purported burial site for Nahum to be restored


The national Antiquities Department in Iraq has announced plans for the renovation and restoration of an ancient synagogue in al-Qoush, a short drive north of Mosul and the location of the purported tomb of the biblical prophet Nahum.

"The Antiquities Department has added the tomb of the Prophet Nahum, peace be on him, to its 2008 preservation plan," Abbas al-Hussaini, the department's chief, told the Iraqi newspaper Azzaman.

Archaeologists have said the work on the synagogue and the tomb is urgent, with some scientists fearing the structure already may have been irreparably damaged.

However, the agency has delayed the work because it lacked the expertise and resources to refurbish and reconstruct the historic structures, officials said. Hussaini confirmed his administrative team is seeking foreign help for the work.

Nahum, one of the Bible's minor prophets, is venerated by all faiths and sects in Iraq, including Muslim Shiites and Sunnis, according to the government agency.

"The tomb is not important to Iraqis only. It is of an international character and can turn into a tourist attraction," Hussaini told the newspaper.

Azzaman speculated that the beginning of work "is bound to attract considerable media interest and perhaps reveal more information about the prophet of whom the Bible says very little beyond the fact that a reference to the town of al-Qoush from which he hailed."

Among the questions expected to be addressed is the age of the tomb, as well as the age of the synagogue itself, which is believed to be more than 400 years old.

Al-Qoush is a major Christian center in northern Iraq, but it held a large Jewish population before the Jewish return to the new nation of Israel in 1948.

According to the recommendations of an organization called Tomb of Nahum, "it is advisable that the repairs to the site be undertaken hand-in-hand with an archaeological team, which may also provide the opportunity to examine the interior of the tomb (presently sealed) itself."

The organization noted that a structural survey already completed by an American civil engineer suggested the renovation likely will cost around $400,000.

"The cost … does include renovation of all the buildings and the perimeter wall," the organization said.

Officials also said such work cannot be launched without permission of the Kurdish Regional Government's Ministry of Religious Affairs, which also has authority to allow examination of the tomb's interior.

"[Officials with] the Ministry of Religious Affairs have previously stated their position that they will not countenance restoration of the synagogue without the written permission of the Jewish Council. Whether by this statement they mean the Chief Rabbi in Iraq or a body in Israel is unclear. As Iraq does not recognize the state of Israel, the permission of the Baghdad rabbi or the national board of Jewish deputies of the UK or the U.S. will probably be sufficient," the group said.

"The renovation of al-Qoush synagogue is a matter of great urgency if what is believed to be the tomb of a biblical prophet is not to be irreparably damaged or destroyed," the group said.

Officials note al-Qoush is one of three places that claim to house the tomb of Nahum, who prophesied in 655 B.C. the downfall of Nineveh, which happened in 612 B.C.

His writings are the 27th book of the Old Testament and the Talmud.

Historically, it is believed the Assyrian king Shelmanassar II brought thousands of Hebrews to northern Iraq about 727 B.C., and some settled in al-Qoush, where a population of pagans already existed. Christianity arrived later.

In recent history, the Jews in al-Qoush, like the rest of Iraq, were subjected to increasingly oppressive laws starting about in 1930. In 1948, the last of the Jews left, with the rabbi handing the keys of the synagogue to a neighbor.

Some parts of the Jewish quarter are estimated at more than 2,000 years old, and in the center of the synagogue is a simple plaster tomb topped by a green silk coverlet, the purported tomb of Nahum himself.

Part of the roof of the synagogue has collapse, and other portions are described as in a "sorry state of repair."

The region also includes a monastery, Raban Hormus, which dates to the 3rd century. It sits on the slope of the mountain overlooking al-Qoush.

In a statement on the weblog Gateway Pundit, Haider Ajina, an Iraqi-American, noted the plan "shows us what a budding democracy and rule of law can do, even under tough conditions."

"This also shows that Muslims who no longer fear their militant leaders and are free of their leader's venomous rhetoric can and will do. This sparks tremendous hope," he said.


Title: Book of Jeremiah Confirmed
Post by: Shammu on July 27, 2007, 03:51:21 PM
Book of Jeremiah Confirmed
Scholars link biblical and Assyrian records.

Austrian Assyriologist Michael Jursa recently discovered the financial record of a donation made a Babylonian chief official, Nebo-Sarsekim. The find may lend new credibility to the Book of Jeremiah, which cites Nebo-Sarsekim as a participant in the siege of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.

The tablet is dated to 595 B.C., which was during the reign of the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II. Coming to the throne in 604 B.C., he marched to Egypt shortly thereafter, and initiated an epoch of fighting between the two nations. During the ongoing struggle, Jerusalem was captured in 597, and again in 587-6 B.C. It was at this second siege that Nebo-Sarsekim made his appearance.

He ordered Nebo-Sarsekim to look after Jeremiah: "Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee." (Jeremiah 39.12)

As the biblical story goes, the victorious Babylonian king departed the city with numerous Jewish captives. Desiring to spare the prophet Jeremiah, he ordered Nebo-Sarsekim to look after him: "Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee." (Jeremiah 39.12). Nebo-Sarsekim obeyed these orders by taking Jeremiah out of the Babylonian court of the prison, and ensuring he was escorted home to Jerusalem to live among his people.

Aside from serving in the military, Nebo-Sarsekim evidently also fulfilled religious duties. Jursa was studying Babylonian tablets at the British Museum when he came across Nebo-Sarsekim's name. According to Jursa, the tablet contained the record of a donation to a Babylonian temple, and his interpretation was later verified by curators at the British Museum. However, one can't infer too much about Nebo-Sarsekim's life from this transaction. Museum spokesperson Hannah Boulton states that it would have been quite common for a high-ranking official to contribute religious donations. It is not necessarily the case, therefore, that Nebo-Sarsekim was particularly pious or religious.

The tablet may not reveal information about Nebo-Sarsekim's lifestyle or personal beliefs, but it does lend credibility to the Book of Jeremiah. It is important because it shows that a biblical character did actually exist. Jursa states, "Finding something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date is quite extraordinary." Boulton proposes an even deeper significance, suggesting that the finding may confer credibility to the rest of the Bible. "I think that it's important in the sense that if [his name] is right, then...presumably a great deal of other info in [the Book of Jeremiah], but also generally in the Bible, is also correct."

The tablet is important because it shows that a biblical character did actually exist.

On the other hand, the tablet also exposes the danger of multiple translations. The Greek Septuagint (LXX) and the Hebrew Masoretic text (MT) contain the two main versions of the Book of Jeremiah surviving from antiquity. Scholars agree that the name was translated incorrectly in both of these texts. Vowels and entire syllables were sometimes omitted, transforming the proper Babylonian rendering, "Nabu-sharussu-ukin," into the traditional spelling, "Nebo-Sarsekim," as well as a few variants. Remarkably, Juris showed that the different spellings referred to the same person by using contextual information from the tablet, including the title of occupation and date of transaction.

Spelling variations may seem like a minor problem, but they highlight a greater issue, namely the inconsistency between archaeological evidence and biblical text. One notorious discrepancy involves the 701 B.C. Babylonian campaign against Jerusalem. According to the Bible, Sennacherib, the Babylonian king who reigned from 701-681 B.C., was unsuccessful in his attempt to sack the city of Jerusalem. The Old Testament states that an angel came during the night to kill 185,000 soldiers, forcing Sennacherib and his weakened army to retreat (II Kings 18-19).

King Sennacherib, however, left a conflicting report on an artifact now known as the Prism of Sennacherib. Standing 38 cm high, the hexagonal clay prism contains 500 lines of writing on six columns. In direct opposition to the Bible, it states that Sennacherib captured settlements belonging to the King of Judah, took the king's daughters and enforced a heavy tribute. Both historical accounts cannot be completely correct, but in the absence of further archaeological evidence, historians can only speculate about what actually occurred.

The British Museum's collection of Babylonian tablets could hold answers to this question, as well as other lingering historical mysteries. There are currently more than 100,000 undeciphered tablets housed at the British Museum, containing letters, recipes, receipts, and scholastic works. Scholars have already extracted information about the Old Testament flood story, observations of Halley's Comet, and rules for the world's oldest board game. It is likely that future researchers will come across further information about the biblical era.

Cuneiform experts worry that their unique window to the past is being irreversibly closed by violence in Iraq.

Even so, cuneiform experts worry that their unique window to the past is being irreversibly closed by violence in Iraq, including the current situation and the Gulf War. With countless other cuneiform scripts scattered throughout the Middle East, the British Museum's collection is just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, the tablets are easily smashed and broken, making it likely that only fragments of larger scripts will be recovered. Looting is also common, so they may be separated from the archaeological site and artifacts to which they refer. It is difficult to know what exactly has been lost so far, Boulton admits: "I mean we just have no idea really, but the prospect [that something important was lost] is certainly there; and that's why it's such a tragedy that these tablets are being lost all over Iraq at the moment because who can say what might be written on them."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 27, 2007, 04:39:30 PM
New Genesis Text from the Judaean Desert

Today James Charlesworth presented an image of a fragment (in two parts) that he acquired on 25 October 2006. He said it had been in Zurich since the 50’s and reportedly came from Kando.

There is currently very little information on this recent find. It was said however that it is not a part of the Qumran finds and is believed to be older than any of them and of a differnt style of writing. This is just a fragment of Genesis 32:3-7a.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on July 29, 2007, 09:14:49 PM
FASCINATING! - THANKS!

I think that much will depend on the perspective of those making the discoveries and then those who are evaluating the artifacts. This is just one reason why I hope and pray that these items are protected for many to evaluate them. I would hope that everything would be recorded in great detail so we don't just get limited opinions.

The point that many artifacts might be lost because of the political climate in this part of the world is troubling. I'm just hoping that many other items of great value will be discovered soon and get into hands that will properly handle the evidence for sharing with a lost and dying world.

Love In Christ,
Tom


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on August 07, 2007, 08:07:55 PM
Archaeologists discover sixth-century mosaic floor near Palmahim
By Ofri Ilani
August 07 2007

A floor mosaic dating back to the sixth century, depicting trees and fruit baskets, was uncovered this week at the Yavneh-Yam archaeological site near Kibbutz Palmahim.

The floor, discovered during excavations by Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology, decorated the dining room of a Byzantine villa, containing unbroken pottery.

The Yavneh-Yam site, 15 kilometers south of Jaffa, served as a seaport from the middle of the second millennium B.C.E. until the ancient Islamic period. The numerous artifacts uncovered at the site point to extensive cultural and trade ties with Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and the Greek Isles.

At the end of the fifth century, it was home to a monk known as Peter the Iberian - a charismatic bishop of Georgian origin who gathered around him a circle of intellectuals. His biography, "The Life of Peter the Iberian," provides a glimpse into the nature of the community.

The excavation, directed by Prof. Moshe Fischer and Itamar Taxel, was intended, among other things, to examine life in the community vis-a-vis the text. So far it has yielded magnificent finds: In the eastern part of the area examined, the remains of warehouses were uncovered, containing storage jars that were hidden inside the floors and large storage rooms with numerous utensils that were destroyed toward the end of the ancient era.

Fischer warns: "A few years from now, there won't be a trace of the ancient remains at the site."

The Yavneh-Yam archaeological site is located within the confines of a national park, but it is not protected by a security system.

"The Yavneh-Yam Archaeological Project is trying to salvage some of the antiquities, but also to warn of the danger looming over this site," Fischer said.

Archaeologists discover sixth-century mosaic floor near Palmahim (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/890786.html)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on August 08, 2007, 12:52:14 AM
Brother Bob,

I will be praying that many of these ancient sites will be preserved so that the discoveries can continue. Many of them are presenting scientific proof of the Holy Bible, so I'm sure that many people in the world don't like this at all. It's also true that many of the discoveries are directly related to ancient claims by Jews and Arabs that are hotly contested. I would imagine this will be the greatest motivation to destroy and/or close these sites to further discoveries. The TRUTH is there, and many won't like it at all. I'll just say that this history is important to the entire world, and it might serve as another reminder from GOD that HIS WORD is completely TRUE.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 09, 2007, 01:56:49 PM
Ancient Byzantine Church Discovered In Tiberias

Impressive Byzantine church discovered in excavations in Tiberias

In excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority in Tiberias impressive and unique finds were uncovered that shed light on the history of the ancient city.

The excavations were conducted over the course of the last three months at the request of Mekorot, as part of a project that involves the installation of a sewage pipeline and the transfer of the waste water treatment facility from Tiberias to the southern part of the Sea of Galilee.

The finds that were exposed date from the founding of Tiberias in the first century CE until the eleventh century, when the city was abandoned due to an earthquake, wars and dire economic and security conditions. In the lower part of the city, a Byzantine church (from the fourth-fifth centuries CE) was exposed that is paved with magnificent polychrome mosaics decorated with geometric patterns and crosses.

Three dedicatory inscriptions written in ancient Greek are incorporated in the mosaics. In one of the inscriptions, which were deciphered by Dr. Leah Di Signi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the line: "Our Lord, protect the soul of your servant..." [Our Lord=Jesus]

One of the mosaics is adorned with a medallion in which there is a large cross flanked by the letters alpha and omega, which are one of the monograms for Jesus (alpha to omega meaning from A to Z in Greek).

The church's remains were discovered adjacent to ancient public buildings among them a basilica, bathhouse, streets and shops that were exposed at the site in the past. Dr. Moshe Hartal and Edna Amos, the directors of the excavation on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, stated that this is the most ancient church to be uncovered in Tiberias and the only one that has been found in the center of the city.

According to Dr. Hartal, from the year 427 CE the Church issued a decree prohibiting the placement of crosses in mosaic floors in order to prevent them from being stepped on. "The presence of so many crosses in the floors of the church that was exposed here thus confirms the church dates to the period prior to the ban," he said.

In addition, the remains of a Jewish neighborhood that dates to the tenth-eleventh centuries were discovered in the excavations. These remains extend up to the foot of the cliff in the high part of the city, in an area that was probably residential in nature.

"The discovery of the remains of the church in the middle of the ancient city, like that of the Jewish neighborhood and the magnificent city that existed in Tiberias more than one thousand years ago, greatly contributes to our understanding of the town planning, its scope and it structures," archaeologists on behalf of the Antiquities Authority said.

The discovery of the church in the heart of the Jewish quarter disproves the theory that the Jews prevented the Christians from establishing prayer halls in the middle of the city," they added.

In the Holiday Inn hotel's parking lot, in the southern part of the excavation, buildings were uncovered that were replete with a wealth of impressive ceramic vessels that date to the Early Islamic period (8th-11th centuries CE) and installations for the manufacture of glass and pottery vessels.

These finds show that in this period the settlement of Hammat was included within the domain of the city of Tiberias, which had grown and expanded beyond the Byzantine city walls that had previously separated it from Hammat.

In addition a settlement was discovered that dates to the Early Bronze Age (from 5,000 years ago) thereby attesting to the fact that the region of Tiberias was inhabited in periods earlier than those mentioned in the historical sources.


Title: Ancient Tablet Vouches for Biblical King
Post by: Shammu on August 17, 2007, 11:01:15 PM
Ancient Tablet Vouches for Biblical King

Aug. 16, 2007 — Non-biblical evidence for individuals named in the Bible is rare, particularly for people who were not royals. But an ancient Babylonian tablet provides further proof that a king and his servant — both named in the Book of Jeremiah — existed in the 6th century B.C.

According to an announcement by Assyriologist Michael Jursa and the British Museum, the small clay tablet from the museum's collections bears the name of Babylonian officer Nebo-Sarsekim. In chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, this individual is described as being with King Nebuchadnezzar II at the siege of Jerusalem in the year 587 B.C.

Jursa, a visiting associate professor from the University of Vienna, discovered the find while analyzing the tablet's cuneiform script, which was produced by pressing a wedge-shaped instrument — probably a cut reed — into moist clay. The tablet turns out to be a 595 B.C. bill of receipt acknowledging Nebo-Sarsekim's payment of over 1.6 pounds of gold to a Babylonian temple.

Jursa said that "finding something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date is quite extraordinary."

Both Nebo-Sarsekim and Nebuchadnezzar were players in key historical events with repercussions still felt today. Prior to the 587 Jerusalem siege, the Babylonians had allied themselves with Iranian warriors.

After Nebuchadnezzar's 604 B.C. coronation, he campaigned in Syria for five months. In 601 B.C., he and his troops marched to the Egyptian frontier, where the Babylonians and Egyptians battled for many years.

During the course of this struggle, Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem. Zedekiah, a Babylonian-appointed king of Judah, later rebelled, which led to yet another Jerusalem siege in 587-586 B.C., during which a large segment of the population was deported. Arab-Israeli tensions in the region have continued until the present day.

In fact, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein made links between himself and King Nebuchadnezzar in speeches and by use of billboards that showed Hussein shaking hands with a drawing of the ancient king, according to Aaron Brody, assistant professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion and director of the Badè Museum.

"Nebuchadnezzar vanquished surrounding nations, so Hussein wanted to draw parallels with his own reign and that of the former Mesopotamian leader," Brody told Discovery News.

Brody thinks the tablet represents "further verification that certain historical elements within the Book of Jeremiah are valid."

He said this time period in the Bible, around the 6th century, is among the least disputed among Biblical scholars. The Old Testament's 9th century Assyrian texts are also believed to contain historically accurate information. Other parts of the Bible, however, such as those that describe earlier events from the 10th century, are still hotly debated.

The British Museum tablet even suggests that some Biblical translations were adjusted to fit altered moral standards. Nebo-Sarsekim is described on the tablet as being Nebuchadnezzar's "chief eunuch." Eunuchs were castrated in order that they might supervise harems, sing at a higher pitch, or perform certain civic, social or religious functions without posing much of a threat to leaders.

More modern versions of the Bible had listed Nebo-Sarsekim as being a "chief officer," but it is now believed that "chief eunuch" was indeed the correct, original title given by Jeremiah.

Irving Finkel, assistant keeper in the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum, agrees that the tablet is important.

"Cuneiform tablets might all look the same, but sometimes they contain a treasure," Finkel said. "Here a mundane commercial transaction takes its place as a primary witness to one of the turning points in Old Testament history."

Finkel added, "This is a tablet that deserves to be famous."

Ancient Tablet Vouches for Biblical King (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/08/16/tablet_his.html?category=history&guid=20070816151500&dcitc=w19-502-ak-0000)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on August 17, 2007, 11:02:31 PM
The Bible keeps proving it's reliability and Truth...........


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on August 18, 2007, 04:49:05 AM
The Bible keeps proving it's reliability and Truth...........

AMEN BROTHER!

This was fascinating! THANKS!


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 29, 2007, 12:05:33 AM
Archeologists make urgent appeal to rescue Biblical relics pulverized by tractors on Temple Mount, Jerusalem

The Waqf Muslim authority, using heavy tractors, has so far excavated a trench 120 -meters long, 1.5 meters deep, crushing fragments of monumental building, pottery and glazed tiles in their path. The trench runs through the northern and eastern parts of the 2,000-year old Upper Platform of Temple Mount, where the outer courts of the Jewish Temple were situated, including the Women’s Court, until the Roman destruction of 70 C.E. Today, the Muslim Dome of the Rock stands there. (See picture)

Dr. Gabriel Barkai of Bar Ilan University is leading the protest against the wildcat, unauthorized Waqf project to improve the mosques’ infrastructure and demanding that the contents of the trench be scientifically excavated and documented before they are lost.

“This issue transcends politics,” he told DEBKAfile. “It is a tragic loss for world culture, as much as or more than the effigies of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. It affects the foundations of Judeo-Christian civilization – as well as Muslim history in Jerusalem – by ravaging one of the most important sites for the history of mankind.”

DEBKAfile’s sources add: The Temple Mount Plaza, paved over by the Muslim rulers of Jerusalem in the Middle Ages, has never been scientifically explored.

All attempts to unearth and study the relics beneath the pavement have elicited a ferment of Muslim threats accusing Israel of attempting to destroy the mosques built over the ruins of the Jewish First and Second Temples. Even cautious shafts at a distance from the mosques are greeted with rage.

Yet, in 1999 and again now, in 2007, the Muslim authorities themselves excavated deep below the surface to expand their mosques and improve their facilities. Then as now, they destroyed precious Jewish, Christian and Muslim artifacts with heavy tractors and dumped them helter skelter as unwanted debris.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 29, 2007, 01:00:05 PM
 At Galilee site, solving a mystery from the time of Solomon

A wooden sign stands at the entrance to the dirt road leading to the Segev Forest in the Western Galilee, inscribed with the symbol of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Beneath it in fading green letters is the name "Rosh Zayit Ruin." Without perusing the entrance to the dirt road carefully, you might not see the weed-covered sign, and not realize that this is the entrance to a very special archaeological site.

Only an all-terrain vehicle can reach the place because the road is so bad. Before you reach the site, consisting of ruins from the 10th century BCE, you will notice how poorly the area is kept up. The communities in the Misgav region, where the ruin is located, are to begin restoration and development work during the holidays in the hope of upgrading their foundering tourism profile.

The site itself is on a hill with a spectacular view. To the west, you can see the entire Acre Valley and Haifa Bay, and to the north and east are the Western and Upper Galilee mountains. Many archaeologists have found in the site the solution to a historical mystery going back to the time of King Solomon.

"The excavations Dr. Zvi Gal carried out at the beginning of the 1990s solved a very complex puzzle about King Solomon and Hiram, king of Phoenicia," says Mordechai Aviam, director of the Galilee Archaeological Institute.

"A site of a Phoenician nature was built here, a kind of administrative and military center constructed on top of private dwellings from the 11th century. The Phoenician nature of the site bears out the story of King Solomon giving King Hiram portions of the country in exchange for the cedars of Lebanon, with which he built the Temple," Aviam says, smiling in consideration of the implications the story has for the present-day debate over dividing the land.

Not far from here, on the slope of the hill, Aviam has worked with archaeology students at a site known as the Beza Ruin. Remains were found here of an olive oil press and a private home from Second Temple times and the period of the Mishnah, the first and second centuries CE. "The place is beautifully preserved, and we know there are many archaeological finds underground," Aviam says. Gidi Aharoni, head of the Teradyon Industrial Zone (named after a martyr in the rebellion against Rome, a name to be changed to the Misgav Industrial Zone) is listening in. Aharoni is also director general of the Misgav economic corporation, and by his own admission is a lover of archaeology and the environment. For Aharoni, the two sites, beyond their historical importance, can leverage tourism in the region. "We have an amazing place that people hardly know. In Misgav tourism has been almost totally neglected for years." For Aharoni, changing the Segev Forest into a protected park with bicycle and hiking trails that will help people get to know its history and archaeological remains is a dream come true. "If you don't dream, you'll never get there," he says. "This is one of my declared goals, to bring people back to this place. We are talking about archaeological tourism and ecology, landscape, riding and hiking in the fresh air and the heart of nature, along with visits to incredible sites that tell the story of this land."

Aharoni and Aviam believe it will not be particularly costly to develop the site. "Cleaning, fencing and signage can make the site quite attractive to visitors. It can also be developed with additional excavation because we know how much is still underground," Aviam says.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 29, 2007, 01:07:43 PM
The Jesus Boat
Ancient Galilee boat believed to be 2,000 years old

As the birthplace of civilization, archaeologists have spent years in Israel uncovering stone and earthen remnants of biblically significant treasures.

Sometimes, the finds come from the most unlikely sources.

Considered one of the most remarkable archeological finds in the world, an ancient wooden boat was discovered in 1986 that has been dated back to the first century.

During a severe drought that had lowered the Sea of Galilee to record levels, two brothers, exploring its muddy shoreline for ancient artifacts, found a piece of wood jutting out of the now-exposed seabed. The vessel had been buried in, and protected by, the seabed’s sediments.

Assisted by experts from around the world, the Israel Antiquities Authority rescued the boat during an 11-day-and-night excavation. The weak and waterlogged hull required tedious care, as it was subject to crumbling after being exposed to light and air. Although the wood looked strong, it was soft and shattered upon touch.

Much of the excavation was done by volunteers working while lying face down in the cold mud to remove the wet sand and clay by hand in order to preserve the fragile wood.

After workers carefully packaged the vessel in a cocoon of fiberglass and polyurethane, they floated it to the nearby Yigal Allon Centre, where it underwent an extensive 11-year conservation process in a specially built pool.

To conserve it, the boat was submerged in a solution of heated polyethylene glycol. This synthetic wax replaced the water in the wood cells. Allowed to dry slowly, the hull was then cleaned of excess wax, allowing it to be exhibited in an atmosphere-controlled museum environment.

After 14 years, in the year 2000, the boat was moved to its current location in a newly designed wing of the Yigal Allon Centre, a museum dedicated to Galilean history.

The boat is preserved to a length of 26.9 feet, a width of 7.5 feet, and a height of 3.9 feet. It is built in the typical ancient Mediterranean shell-based construction, employing pegged mortise-and-tenon joints to edge-join the planking. Iron nails—some crooked, suggesting multiple use—hold the frame to the hull.

Numerous repairs, the reuse of timbers and a variety of wood types (12 in all), seem to indicate the vessel had a long work life and an owner of meager means.

Archeological evidence suggests the boat was used by local villagers for fishing and transport and is firmly dated to the first century. It is likely this is the type of boat referred to in the Gospels as used by the disciples of Jesus, thus referred to by many as “The Jesus Boat.”

Other items provided clues to the boat’s origins. A cooking pot was found outside the boat and dated to the first centuries B.C. and A.D. An oil lamp located inside the boat was dated to the first century B.C.


Coincidental or providential?
While not suggesting that the boat discovery has any religious significance, officials admit that if the boat had been unearthed more than a few years earlier, the technology would not have been available to rescue and preserve the fragile vessel.

But what does Yuval Lufan, one of the two brothers who discovered the boat, think?

“I say what I am feeling,” Lufan said in a June interview with a group of Christian journalists from the United States. “I feel Jesus touched this boat, and because He touched this boat, it stayed. It is not gone after 2,000 years. This is what I feel. It is a sign.”
Lufan admitted that, being raised in a kibbutz, he had not believed in God, but “after I (found) it, everything changed. (It) changed my life.”


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 29, 2007, 01:10:10 PM
A rare find

An archaeological dig led by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has turned up collapsed mud-brick walls burned centuries ago at a fortification built by King Solomon in Gezer, Israel.

The dig by more than 80 volunteers also turned up a cylinder seal into which was carved a king, his outstretched bow in hand, riding on a beast; and a silver coin dating to the reign of Ptolemy IV during 207-205 B.C., said Steven Ortiz, an associate professor of archaeology and biblical studies at Southwestern. The coin is only the third of its kind excavated in Israel, he said.

The Bible, in 1 Kings 9:15-17, says that Solomon fortified Gezer, as well as Jerusalem, Hazor and Megiddo, Ortiz said.The mud-brick walls were burned, perhaps during an attack by the Assyrians in the eighth century B.C., Ortiz said.

"We were quite surprised at the preservation of the Assyrian destruction," he said. "Although this represents a tragedy in the history of Gezer, it means that the results of next season will be very promising."

This is the second season of the dig, with students and staff from several seminaries, colleges and a museum taking part in June and July. The excavation of more than 30 feet of wall was led by Ortiz and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The dig is expected to last another decade.

Digs in the early 1900s, 1960s and 1970s uncovered a 52-foot-wide tower, an underground water system and a huge gate.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 31, 2007, 06:06:44 AM
Israel 'allowing Muslims to destroy Temple wall'
Archeologists barred as Islamic custodians dig at Judaism's holiest site

Israel is blocking leading archeologists from surveying massive damage Islamic authorities are accused of causing to what experts believe may be an outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple, WND has learned.

"It is unconscionable that the Israeli government is permitting the Waqf to use heavy equipment to chop away at the most important archeological site in the country without supervision," prominent, third-generation Temple Mount archeologist Eilat Mazar told WND.

"The Israeli government is actively blocking us from inspecting the site and what may be a monumental find and is doing nothing while the Waqf destroys artifacts at Judaism's holiest site," charged Mazar, a professor of Hebrew University and member of the Public Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on Temple Mount.

Mazar also is the discoverer and lead archaeologist of Israel's City of David, believed to be the palace of the biblical King David, the second leader of a united Kingdom of Israel, who ruled from around 1005 to 965 B.C.

Last month, the Waqf, the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount, were given permission by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to use bulldozers and other heavy equipment to dig a large trench they say is necessary to replace 40-year-old electrical cables for mosques at the holy site. The dig is being protected by the Israeli police and is supposed to be supervised by the Israeli government's Antiquities Authority.

Earlier this month, after bulldozers pulverized a trench 1,300 feet long and about five feet deep, the Muslim diggers came across a wall Israeli archeologists believe may be remains of an area of the Second Jewish Temple known as the woman's courtyard.

The Antiquities Authority has not halted the dig and has not inspected the site. The Waqf has continued using bulldozers to blast away at the trench containing the wall.

Leading Temple Mount archeologists, including Mazar and Gavriel Barkai, petitioned the Israeli government to immediately halt the dig and allow experts to inspect the emerging wall.

But Mazar and other archeologists say they are being blocked by the Israeli government.

"The Antiquities Authority tells us to coordinate with the police. The police send us back to the Antiquities Authority," said Mazar. "It's crucial this wall is inspected. The Temple Mount ground level is only slightly above the original Temple Mount platform, meaning anything found is likely from the Temple itself."

Fed up, Mazar and other top archeologists today ascended the Mount to hold a press conference and inspect the site without government permission, but they were blocked from the trench by the Israeli police.

Rabbi Chaim Rechman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute, was among those on the Mount today with Mazar. He told WND he attempted to take pictures of the damage the bulldozers are allegedly wrecking on the wall, but his digital camera was confiscated by Israeli police at the direction of Waqf officials.

"If Israel was building a shopping mall and they found what may be an ancient Buddhist structure, the government would stop the construction and have archeologists go over the area with a fine tooth comb. Here, the holiest site in Judaism is being damaged, a Temple wall was found, and Israel is actively blocking experts from inspecting the site while allowing the destruction to continue," Rechman said.

Rechman charged the Waqf was "trying to erase Jewish vestiges from the Temple Mount."

The last time the Waqf conducted a large dig on the Temple Mount – during construction 10 years ago of a massive mosque at an area referred to as Solomon's Stables – the Wafq reportedly disposed truckloads of dirt containing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods.

After the media reported on the disposals, Israeli authorities froze the construction permit given to the Wafq, and the dirt was transferred to Israeli archeologists for analysis. The Israeli authorities found scores of Jewish Temple relics in the nearly disposed dirt, including coins with Hebrew writing referencing the Temple, part of a Hasmonean lamp, several other Second Temple lamps, Temple period pottery with Jewish markings, a marble pillar shaft and other Temple period artifacts. The Waqf was widely accused of attempting to hide evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temples.

Temples 'never existed'

Most Palestinian leaders routinely deny well-documented Jewish ties to the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism.

Speaking to WND in a recent interview, Waqf official and chief Palestinian Justice Taysir Tamimi claimed the Jewish Temples "never existed."

"About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount)," said Tamimi, who is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

"Israel started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city, and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s," said Tamimi.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and over 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.

Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad's horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the Wall predates the mosque by more than 1,000 years.

"The Western wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It's where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah."

The Palestinian media also regularly state the Jewish Temples never existed.

'We are fed up with this crap nonsense'

In a series of WND exclusive interviews, Palestinian terror leaders denied the existence of the Jewish Temples.

"We are fed up with this crap nonsense of the Temple Mount," said Nasser Abu Aziz, the deputy commander of Fata's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank.

"We do not know where this story came from. There is no historical or archeological proof that your legendary Temples existed. We are sick of this story. But Allah warned us that Jews will look for an excuse in order to corrupt life on earth, so we are not surprised from the fact that you keep raising this issue."

Muhammad Abdul-El, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees terror organization, said the Jewish Temples "existed only in your dreams.

"Go look for your stupid Temple elsewhere. And I am not saying this for political reasons. I say that the enemy invented this story in order to justify its occupation of Jerusalem."

Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' so-called military wing, accused all Jews of being pathological liars.

"Stop lying and believing your own lies. Even if there was such a thing (as a Jewish Temple) do you really believe that Solomon, who was a prophet, would have built a Temple in the place that Allah wanted for the Al Aqsa Mosque?"

Judaism's holiest site

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. Muslims say it is their third holiest site.

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The Dome of the Rock now sits on the site and the Al Aqsa Mosque is adjacent.

The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark where Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 31, 2007, 08:04:21 PM
 Doubts over 'second temple remains' in Jerusalem

Israeli officials cast doubt Friday over claims that remains of the second Jewish temple might have been found during work to lay pipes at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

"If that was the case, the antiquities authority, which has an observer on site, as well as police, also monitoring the work, would have stepped in," said archaeologist Dan Bahat, a former excavations official in Jerusalem.

On Thursday, archaeologist Gaby Barkai from Bar Ilan University told local television that "a massive seven metre-long (23 feet) wall" had been found, and urged the government to ask the Muslim religious authorities to stop laying pipes.

Bahat said he would visit the site, but accused nameless archaeologists with a nationalist agenda of "waging a politically inspired campaign, systematically for several years, to strengthen Israeli control over the esplanade".

The police spokesman for the city, Shmulik Ben Rubi, said police had not been asked to intervene in the pipe-laying work has would have been the case normally in the event of an archaeological discovery.

A spokeswoman for Israel's antiquities authority refused to comment.

Israeli television said the pipework carried out by Muslim religious affairs authority, the Waqf, is about 1.5 metres deep and 100 metres long.

The holy site in east Jerusalem, which Israel annexed unilaterally after capturing the Arab sector of the city in 1967, houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock and is the third holiest site in world Islam.

Jews venerate the site as the Temple Mount, where King Herod's second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. It is the holiest site in Judaism.

All that remains today is the temple's Western Wall, or Wailing wall.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on September 01, 2007, 11:32:53 AM
Again, all I can say is "WOW!"

The devil doesn't want the TRUTH to be exposed and given out in news releases. This tells me that the devil knows what's there.

I still think that GOD might be giving much of the world little bits and pieces of scientific information on a regular basis to prove that the BIBLE is TRUE and REAL. For Israel and the lost, that might cause them to take another hard look at what they believe and take another look at the HOLY BIBLE. For Christians, scientific discoveries like this will serve to strengthen our faith and give us ammunition to use when we witness.

The BIBLE has always been GOD'S WORD, the complete TRUTH! from cover to cover. Most Christians already know this ABSOLUTE FACT, but even some Christians question portions of the HOLY BIBLE. I would love to see a renewed interest for the entire world in searching the Scriptures of the HOLY BIBLE. If not the entire world - at least Christians. Babes in CHRIST go to GOD'S WORD for strength, and the mature in CHRIST should have a firm habit of staying in GOD'S WORD and feeding from it every day. The need is great for all Christians to become and stay strong in CHRIST. The ways to do this haven't changed at all:

Bible Study

Prayer

Yielding to GOD'S Will for our lives.

Personal relationship with JESUS CHRIST.

Having CHRIST as the HEAD of our homes, hearts, and lives.

Making CHRIST the very core of our lives.

Fellowship with other Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST for further strengthening and encouragement.


Love In Christ,
Tom

KEEP LOOKING UP!!
 


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 02, 2007, 11:48:13 PM
Muslims caught red-handed destroying Temple artifacts
Archaeologists kept out as WND obtains photo of pulverized antiquities at Judaism's holiest site

Islamic authorities using heavy machinery to dig on the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – have been caught red-handed destroying Temple-era antiquities and what's believed to be a section of an outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple.

WND today obtained a photograph of a massive trench the Waqf, the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount, have been blasting around the periphery of the holy site purportedly to replace 40-year-old electrical cables for mosques on the Mount. The Waqf has steadfastly denied they found or destroyed any Jewish antiquities during their dig.

In view in the picture, which was obtained in conjunction with Israel's Temple Institute, are concrete slabs broken by Waqf bulldozers and what appears to be a chopped up carved stone from Jewish Temple-era antiquity.

Eilat Mazar, considered one of the most prominent Temple Mount archaeologists, analyzed the photo and told WND the damaged stone displays elements of the second Temple era and might be part of a Jewish Temple wall Israeli archeologists charge the Waqf found and has been attempting to destroy. If authenticated, the wall would be one of the most important Temple Mount archaeological discoveries in recent history. "It certainly looks like Second Temple antiquity and could very well be part of a Second Temple courtyard wall," Mazer said.

She said in order to certify the stone in the photo, she would need to personally inspect it.

But Israel is blocking leading archaeologists from surveying massive damage Islamic authorities are accused of causing to what may be the outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple.

Last month, the Waqf, the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount, were given permission by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to use bulldozers and other heavy equipment to dig a large trench they say is necessary to replace electrical cables. The dig is being protected by the Israeli police and is supposed to be supervised by the Israeli government's Antiquities Authority.

Earlier this month, after bulldozers pulverized a trench 1,300 feet long and five feet deep, the Muslim diggers came across a wall Israeli archaeologists believe may be remains of an area of the Second Jewish Temple known as the woman's courtyard.

The Antiquities Authority has not halted the dig and has not inspected the site. The Waqf has continued using bulldozers to blast away at the trench containing the wall.

The Antiquities Authority did not return repeated requests for comment.

Leading Temple Mount archaeologists, including Mazar and Gavriel Barkai, petitioned the Israeli government to immediately halt the dig and allow experts to inspect the emerging wall.

But Mazar and other archaeologists say they are being blocked by the Israeli government.

"The Antiquities Authority tells us to coordinate with the police. The police send us back to the Antiquities Authority," said Mazar, who is a professor of Hebrew University and member of the Public Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on Temple Mount.

Mazar also is the discoverer and lead archaeologist of Israel's City of David, believed to be the palace of the biblical King David, the second leader of a united Kingdom of Israel, who ruled from around 1005 to 965 B.C.

"It's crucial this wall is inspected. The Temple Mount ground level is only slightly above the original Temple Mount platform, meaning anything found is likely from the Temple itself," the archaeologist said.

Fed up, Mazar and other top archaeologists last week ascended the Mount to hold a news conference and inspect the site without government permission, but they were blocked from the trench by the Israeli police.

"It is unconscionable that the Israeli government is permitting the Waqf to use heavy equipment to chop away at the most important archeological site in the country without supervision," Mazar told WND.

"The Israeli government is actively blocking us from inspecting the site and what may be a monumental find and is doing nothing while the Waqf destroys artifacts at Judaism's holiest site," she said.

Rabbi Chaim Rechman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute, was among those on the Mount last week with Mazar. He told WND he attempted to take pictures of the damage the bulldozers are allegedly wrecking on the wall, but his digital camera was confiscated by Israeli police at the direction of Waqf officials.

"If Israel was building a shopping mall and they found what may be an ancient Buddhist structure, the government would stop the construction and have archaeologists go over the area with a fine tooth comb. Here, the holiest site in Judaism is being damaged, a Temple wall was found, and Israel is actively blocking experts from inspecting the site while allowing the destruction to continue," Rechman said.

Rechman charged the Waqf was "trying to erase Jewish vestiges from the Temple Mount."

The last time the Waqf conducted a large dig on the Temple Mount – during construction 10 years ago of a massive mosque at an area referred to as Solomon's Stables – the Wafq reportedly disposed truckloads of dirt containing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods.

After the media reported on the disposals, Israeli authorities froze the construction permit given to the Wafq, and the dirt was transferred to Israeli archeologists for analysis. The Israeli authorities found scores of Jewish Temple relics in the nearly disposed dirt, including coins with Hebrew writing referencing the Temple, part of a Hasmonean lamp, several other Second Temple lamps, Temple period pottery with Jewish markings, a marble pillar shaft and other Temple period artifacts. The Waqf was widely accused of attempting to hide evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temples.

Temples 'never existed'

Most Palestinian leaders routinely deny well-documented Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

Speaking to WND in a recent interview, Waqf official and chief Palestinian Justice Taysir Tamimi claimed the Jewish Temples "never existed."

"About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount)," said Tamimi, who is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

"Israel started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city, and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s," said Tamimi.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and over 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.

Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad's horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the Wall predates the mosque by more than 1,000 years.

"The Western wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It's where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah."

The Palestinian media also regularly state the Jewish Temples never existed.

Judaism's holiest site

While the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, Muslims say it is their third holiest site.

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The Dome of the Rock now sits on the site and the Al Aqsa Mosque is adjacent.

The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark where Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 02, 2007, 11:53:02 PM
The inscribed stone spoken of in the article.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/templemountstones.jpg)

Destruction of the base of a wall.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/waqftrench.jpg)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on September 02, 2007, 11:53:15 PM
I would say, that the muslims are thinking that............ If they destroy the evidence, they can say the Israeli's have no claim to Israel.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 03, 2007, 12:20:32 AM
That is precisely their goal. It is what they have been saying anyway.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on September 03, 2007, 01:58:16 AM
I was just thinking that I wouldn't make a very good politician in Israel. I would lock the entire area down, hold massive news conferences, and make sure that every news agency in the world had all the pictures they wanted.

The truth is definitely there, and the Arab world wants it destroyed.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 03, 2007, 04:53:34 PM
Hebrew University excavations reveal first beehives in ancient near east in ‘Land of milk and honey’


Archaeological proof of the Biblical description of Israel really as “the land of milk and honey” (or at least the latter) has been uncovered by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Archaeology.

Amihai Mazar, Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, revealed that the first apiary (beehive colony) dating from the Biblical period has been found in excavations he directed this summer at Tel Rehov in Israel’s Beth Shean Valley. This is the earliest apiary to be revealed to date in an archaeological excavation anywhere in the ancient Near East, said Prof. Mazar. It dates from the 10th to early 9th centuries B.C.E.

Tel Rehov is believed to have been one of the most important cities of Israel during the Israelite monarchy. The beehives there were found in the center of a built-up area there that has been excavated since 1997 by Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen of the Hebrew University. Three rows of beehives were found in the apiary, containing more than 30 hives. It is estimated, however, based on excavations to date, that in all the total area would have contained some 100 beehives.

Each row contained at least three tiers of hives, each of which is a cylinder composed of unbaked clay and dry straw, around 80 centimeters long and 40 centimeters in diameter. One end of the cylinder was closed and had a small hole in it, which allowed for the entry and exit of the bees. The opposite end was covered with a clay lid that could be removed when the beekeeper extracted the honeycombs. Experienced beekeepers and scholars who visited the site estimated that as much as half a ton of honey could be culled each year from these hives.

Prof. Mazar emphasizes the uniqueness of this latest find by pointing out that actual beehives have never been discovered at any site in the ancient Near East. While fired ceramic vessels that served as beehives are known in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, none were found in situ, and beekeeping on an industrial level such as the apiary at Tel Rehov is hitherto unknown in the archaeological record. Pictorial depictions of apiaries are known from Pharaonic Egypt, showing extraction of honey from stacked cylinders which are very similar to those found at Tel Rehov.

Cylindrical clay beehives placed in horizontal rows, similar to those found at Tel Rehov, are well-known in numerous contemporary traditional cultures in Arab villages in Israel, as well as throughout the Mediterranean. The various products of beehives are put to diverse use: the honey is, of course, a delicacy, but is also known for its medicinal and cultic value. Beeswax was also utilized in the metal and leather industries, as well as for writing material when coated on wooden tablets.

The term “honey” appears 55 times in the Bible, 16 of which as part of the image of Israel as “the land of milk and honey”. It is commonly believed that the term refers to honey produced from fruits such as dates and figs. Bees’ honey, on the other hand, is mentioned explicitly only twice, both related to wild bees. The first instance is how Samson culled bees’ honey from inside the corpse of the lion in the Soreq Valley (Judges 14: 8-9). The second case is the story of Jonathan, King Saul’s son, who dipped his hand into a honeycomb during the battle of Mikhmash (Samuel I 14:27).

While the Bible tells us nothing about beekeeping in Israel at that time, the discovery of the apiary at Tel Rehov indicates that beekeeping and the extraction of bees’ honey and honeycomb was a highly developed industry as early as the First Temple period. Thus, it is possible that the term “honey” in the Bible indeed pertains to bees’ honey.

Cultic objects were also found in the apiary, including a four-horned altar adorned with figures of naked fertility goddesses, as well as an elaborately painted chalice. This could be evidence of deviant cultic practices by the ancient Israelites related to the production of honey and beeswax.

Study of the beehives found at Tel Rehov is being conducted with the participation of various researchers. Dr. Guy Bloch of the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences of the Hebrew University is studying the biological aspects of the finds; he already discovered parts of bees’ bodies in the remains of honeycomb extracted from inside the hives. Dr. Dvori Namdar of the Weizmann Institute of Science succeeded in identifying beeswax molecules from the walls of the beehives, and Prof. Mina Evron from Haifa University is analyzing the pollen remains in the hives.

Dating of the beehives was done by measuring the decaying of the 14C isotope in organic materials, using grains of wheat found next to the beehives. This grain was dated at the laboratory of Groningen University in Holland to the period between the mid-10th century B.C.E. until the early 9th century B.C.E. This is the time period attributed to the reign of King Solomon and the first kings of the northern Kingdom of Israel following the division of the monarchy. The city of Rehov is indeed mentioned in an Egyptian inscription dating to the time of the Pharaoh Shoshenq I (Biblical Shishak), whom the Bible notes as the contemporary of King Solomon and who invaded Israel following that monarch’s death.

A particularly fascinating find at the site is an inscription on a ceramic storage jar found near the beehives that reads “To nmsh”. This name was also found inscribed on another storage jar from a slightly later occupation level at Tel Rehov, dated to the time of the Omride Dynasty in the 9th century BCE. Moreover, this same name was found on a contemporary jar from nearby Tel Amal, situated in the Gan HaShelosha National Park (Sachne).

The name “Nimshi” is known in the Bible as the name of the father and in several verses the grandfather of Israelite King Jehu, the founder of the dynasty that usurped power from the Omrides (II Kings: 9-12). It is possible that the discovery of three inscriptions bearing this name in the same region and dating to the same period indicates that Jehu’s family originated from the Beth Shean Valley and possibly even from the large city located at Tel Rehov. The large apiary discovered at the site might have belonged to this illustrious local clan.

The excavations at Tel Rehov were supported by John Camp from Minneapolis in the U.S. with the participation of archaeological students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and numerous volunteers.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 04, 2007, 08:03:11 PM
Christian world urged:
Save Jewish Temple! 
Archaeologists kept out as Israel allows Muslims
to pulverize antiquities at Judaism's holiest site

The Christian world and top U.S. Christian leaders are being urged to petition the Israeli government to immediately halt a massive dig Islamic authorities are conducting on the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – that is said to be destroying antiquities and what archaeologists believe is a wall from the Second Jewish Temple.

The Israeli government has barred archaeologists from inspecting the Temple-era wall, believed to be from the outer courtyard of the Second Temple.

The wall reportedly has been pulverized by bulldozers operated by the Waqf, the Mount's Muslim custodians.

If verified, the wall would be the most significant Jewish Temple find in history.

"The Christian people must rise up and stand with their brethren in Israel and make their voices heard to stop this travesty," states an open letter from Israel's Temple Institute, an organization seeking to promote awareness of the Temple Mount. "We are asking Christians to do everything possible to petition the Israeli government to halt the Waqf destruction and have archaeologists immediately inspect the area."

"As a result of destructive and wanton bulldozing by the Waqf – with Israeli permission – a section of the wall of the Holy Temple in the area universally recognized as the location of the Women's Court has been unearthed," the letter states. "This is the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple that actual physical evidence of the Temple has been revealed. But all of the antiquities of the Temple that have been uncovered are in danger of being destroyed if you don't help."

Leading Israeli archaeologists, speaking to WND, also urged the Christian world to act immediately:

"The Christian world and all those who care about safeguarding the Temple Mount must immediately join us in our efforts to protect the holy site and demand that the Israeli government stop the Waqf construction," prominent, third-generation Temple Mount archaeologist Eilat Mazar said.

"The Temple Mount is important to people of all religions. Now is the time to act before more antiquities are erased," said Mazar, a senior fellow at Israel's Shalem Center and member of the Public Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on Temple Mount.

Mazar's much-discussed discovery in the City of David, a neighborhood just south of Jerusalem's Old City Walls, is a massive building that dates to the 10th century BC is believed is the remains of the palace of the biblical King David, the second leader of a united Kingdom of Israel, who ruled from around 1005 to 965 B.C.

This weekend, Islamic authorities using heavy machinery to dig on the Temple Mount were caught red-handed by WND destroying Temple-era antiquities and the purported outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple.

Last month, they were given permission by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to use bulldozers and other heavy equipment to dig a massive trench they say is necessary to replace electrical cables outside mosques on the holy site. The dig, which extends to most of the periphery of the Mount, is being protected by the Israeli police and is supposed to be supervised by the Israeli government's Antiquities Authority.

Earlier this month, after bulldozers dug a trench 1,300 feet long and five feet deep, the Muslim diggers came across a wall Israeli archaeologists believe may be remains of an area of the Second Jewish Temple known as the woman's courtyard.

The Antiquities Authority has not halted the dig and has not inspected the site. The Waqf has continued using bulldozers to blast away at the trench containing the wall and has steadfastly denied it is destroying any antiquities.

But WND obtained a photograph of the massive Waqf trench. In view in the picture are concrete slabs broken by Waqf bulldozers and a chopped up carved stone believed to be of Jewish Temple-era antiquity.

Mazar analyzed the photo and said the damaged stone displays elements of the second Temple era and might be part of the Jewish Temple wall Israeli archaeologists charge the Waqf has been attempting to destroy. She said in order to certify the stone in the photo, she would need to personally inspect it.

But Israel is blocking leading archaeologists from surveying the massive damage Islamic authorities are accused of causing to what may be the outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple.

"The Antiquities Authority tells us to coordinate with the police. The police send us back to the Antiquities Authority," said Mazar.

The Antiquities Authority did not return repeated requests for comment.

"It's crucial this wall is inspected. The Temple Mount ground level is only slightly above the original Temple Mount platform, meaning anything found is likely from the Temple itself," the archaeologist said.

Fed up, Mazar and other top archaeologists last week ascended the Mount to hold a news conference and inspect the site without government permission, but they were blocked from the trench by the Israeli police.

"It is unconscionable that the Israeli government is permitting the Waqf to use heavy equipment to chop away at the most important archaeological site in the country without supervision," Mazar said.

"The Israeli government is actively blocking us from inspecting the site and what may be a monumental find and is doing nothing while the Waqf destroys artifacts at Judaism's holiest site," she said.

Mount destruction 'attempt to undermine God's sovereignty'

In his group's letter to the Christian world today, Rabbi Chaim Rechman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute, pointed out what he said was the significant of the Islamic dig on the Temple Mount.

    To understand the Waqf destruction as merely an archaeological issue would be myopic. It would also be a mistake to consider these actions as nothing more than a heartless and cruel attack against another religion and culture. These atrocities are not being committed solely against the Jewish people and their traditions. This is an attack on humankind by enemies of the God of Israel

    Aside from the political implications regarding the future of Jerusalem and the direct effect that this will have on the entire world, the spiritual implications of what is now transpiring are enormous. The Bible consistently emphasizes the centrality of the Holy Temple in the life of mankind; it is none other than the 'footstool' of God in the world.

    The destruction of God's holy mountain is precisely what is taking place at this very moment under our very eyes. The purposeful destruction of remnants of the Holy Temple are an attempt to undermine God’s sovereignty and to erase His name from the one place on earth that He has chosen to manifest His presence throughout the saga of human history.

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 04, 2007, 08:03:30 PM
Rechman called the Temple Mount "central to humanity."

"Our sages teach us that Adam, the first man, was created from the spot of the altar in the Holy Temple. All of Adam's descendants – the family of man who are created in the Divine image – are therefore under attack."

Rechman was among those on the Mount last week with Mazar. He told WND he attempted to take pictures of the damage the bulldozers are allegedly wrecking on the wall, but his digital camera was confiscated by Israeli police at the direction of Waqf officials.

"If Israel was building a shopping mall and they found what may be an ancient Buddhist structure, the government would stop the construction and have archaeologists go over the area with a fine tooth comb. Here, the holiest site in Judaism is being damaged, a Temple wall was found, and Israel is actively blocking experts from inspecting the site while allowing the destruction to continue," Rechman said.

Rechman charged the Waqf was "trying to erase Jewish vestiges from the Temple Mount."

(bold) Muslim custodians have history of destroying Temple artifacts

The last time the Waqf conducted a large dig on the Temple Mount – during construction 10 years ago of a massive mosque at an area referred to as Solomon's Stables – the Wafq reportedly disposed truckloads of dirt containing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods.

After the media reported the disposals, Israeli authorities froze the construction permit given to the Wafq, and the dirt was transferred to Israeli archaeologists for analysis. The Israeli authorities found scores of Jewish Temple relics in the nearly disposed dirt, including coins with Hebrew writing referencing the Temple, part of a Hasmonean lamp, several other Second Temple lamps, Temple period pottery with Jewish markings, a marble pillar shaft and other Temple period artifacts. The Waqf was widely accused of attempting to hide evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temples.

Temples 'never existed'

Most Palestinian leaders routinely deny well-documented Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

Speaking to WND in a recent interview, Waqf official and chief Palestinian Justice Taysir Tamimi claimed the Jewish Temples "never existed."

"About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount)," said Tamimi, who is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

"Israel started since 1967 making archaeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city, and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s," said Tamimi.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and more than 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.

Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad's horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the wall predates the mosque by more than 1,000 years.

"The Western Wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It's where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah."

The Palestinian media also regularly claim the Jewish Temples never existed.

Judaism's holiest site

While the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, Muslims say it is their third holiest site.

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The Dome of the Rock now sits on the site and the Al Aqsa Mosque is adjacent.

The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark where Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on September 05, 2007, 12:19:45 AM
Quote
Hebrew University excavations reveal first beehives in ancient near east in ‘Land of milk and honey’

Honey? Did they find honey? If sealed in a container, honey has no shelf life, it stays good indefinitely!! Aged honey, I bet it taste really yummy. ;D ;D ;D


Title: Hezekiah Inscription to return to Israel
Post by: Shammu on September 07, 2007, 07:18:41 AM
Hezekiah Inscription to return to Israel

By Jay Bushinsky
September 5, 2007

JERUSALEM — An ancient inscription memorializing Jer- usalem's salvation from Assyrian invaders 2,700 years ago is to be returned to the Holy Land from Turkey for study and public display.

Israel has been trying for about 20 years to recover the artifact, which marks one of the most important turning points in Hebrew history.

Assyrian forces under King Sennacherib controlled most of the Middle East in the early eighth century B.C. and were about to march on Jerusalem, where a defiant King Hezekiah ruled.

Anticipating a prolonged siege, Hezekiah ordered the construction of a tunnel connecting the city to the Gihon Spring outside its walls, ensuring a source of drinking water. The water collected inside the Judean capital at the Pool of Siloam, where centuries later Jesus is said in the Gospel of John to have cured a man who had been blind since birth.

An inscription inside the tunnel described the dramatic moment when stonecutters working from either end converged in the middle.

In 1880, a Jewish boy discovered the so-called Hezekiah Inscription, also known as the Siloam Inscription, engraved in ancient Hebrew letters in the tunnel's limestone wall.

"A segment of the tunnel wall's surface had been flattened and smoothed so that the inscription could be carved into the limestone," said Gabriel Barkay, a senior archaeology lecturer at the Bar-Ilan University.

Mr. Barkay said Conrad Schick, a German national who had been living in Jerusalem since 1846, publicized the find. He made a papier-mache likeness known as a gypsum plate copy and photographed the inscription.

The date of the inscription was determined on the basis of its contents and historical context.

A Greek antiquities dealer tried to remove it from the tunnel wall, but succeeded only in breaking it into several pieces.

Ottoman Turkish authorities who ruled Palestine at the time appropriated the inscription and shipped it to Istanbul — formerly Constantinople — for safekeeping. The artifact has been kept since then in the Museum of the Ancient East near the Topkapi Palace.

Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek made the first attempt to retrieve the inscription for contemporary Israel two decades ago. Last month, Mayor Uri Lupolianski asked for it again at a meeting with Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan. The ambassador said it would be returned in accordance with international law as a loan rather than a restitution.

A member of the Turkish Embassy's staff in Tel Aviv said the inscription could be deposited in Jerusalem "on a long-term basis" if some kind of reciprocity was made. Otherwise, it may stay at the Israel Museum for as little as three months.

Mr. Barkay suggested that the diplomat was hoping for a loan of items dating from the Ottoman Empire's 400-year-long rule over Palestine. Most of this material is stored in Israel's state archive, he said.

The inscription's text is dramatic and vivid. According to one translation, it states: "While the excavators were still lifting up their picks, each toward his fellow, and while there were yet three cubits to excavate, there was heard the voice of one calling to another, for there was a crevice in the rock, on the right hand. And on the day they completed the boring, the stonecutters struck pick against pick, one against the other, and the water flowed from the spring to the pool."

The tunnel through solid rock — 1,750 feet long, 15 feet high and 29 feet wide — took four years to cut, Mr. Barkay said.

He said the Hezekiah Inscription "is corroborated perfectly" by Sennacherib's written account of his campaign to subjugate Judea and conquer Jerusalem.

Several original copies of Sennacherib's cuneiform text are displayed at the British Museum in London, the Museum of Chicago's Oriental Institute and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. His text contains a colorful comment about his dealings with King Hezekiah.

"Fear of my greatness terrified Hezekiah," it states. "He sent to me tribute: 30 talents of silver, precious stones, ivory and all sorts of gifts including women from his palace."

By then, Sennacherib had subjugated 46 other Judean cities and compelled them to pay him tribute. He said he "enclosed Hezekiah in his capital of Judea like a bird in a cage."

His father and predecessor, Sargon II, conquered the northern Kingdom of Israel and expelled the 10 tribes that inhabited it. One of the underlying causes of Sennacherib's invasion of Judea, Mr. Barkay said, was Hezekiah's formation of an anti-Assyrian coalition that included Egypt.

The prophet Isaiah opposed this policy vigorously and eloquently, speaking against tenuous alliances with unpredictable neighbors.

His condemnation is expressed in Isaiah 31:1: "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!"

The Bible says the king then prayed to God that Jerusalem be spared from Assyrian attack. Sennacherib withdrew his forces shortly afterward.

Hezekiah's water-diversion project is cited in the Old Testament's II Chronicles 32:30: "It was Hezekiah who stopped up the spring of water of upper Gihon leading it downward west of the City of David," Jerusalem's ancient core.

Hezekiah Inscription to return to Israel (http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070905/FOREIGN/109050039/1003)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on September 07, 2007, 07:21:01 AM
Quote
An ancient inscription memorializing Jer- usalem's salvation from Assyrian invaders 2,700 years ago is to be returned to the Holy Land from Turkey for study and public display.

Once again, the Bible proves the truth of His Word.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on September 07, 2007, 01:37:09 PM
Once again, the Bible proves the truth of His Word.

Amen!

Great hosts could see and understand this if they wanted to, and I pray that they will.

As for Christians, these almost endless discoveries providing absolute PROOF for the TRUTH of the HOLY BIBLE should strengthen our faith and make us stronger in CHRIST. The devil wants us to be weak and like "Doubting Thomas".

I am convinced that discoveries like this are being used by GOD for HIS Purposes, so I give THANKS!


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on September 09, 2007, 10:34:56 PM
Archeologists find ancient tunnel used by Jews to escape Roman conquest of Jerusalem
The Associated Press
Published: September 9, 2007

JERUSALEM: Israeli archeologists on Sunday said they've stumbled upon the site of one of the great dramatic scenes of the Roman sacking of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago: the subterranean drainage channel Jews used to escape from the city's Roman conquerors.

The ancient tunnel was dug beneath what would become the main road of Jerusalem in the days of the second biblical Temple, which the Romans destroyed in the year 70, the dig's directors, archaeology Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority, told a news conference.

The channel was buried beneath the rubble of the sacking, and the parts that have been exposed since it was discovered two weeks ago have been preserved intact.

The walls — ashlar stones one meter (3 feet) deep — reach a height of 3 meters (10 feet) in some places and are covered by heavy stone slabs that were the main road's paving stones, Shukron said. Several manholes are visible, and portions of the original plastering remain, he said.

Pottery sherds, vessel fragments and coins from the end of the Second Temple period were discovered inside the channel, attesting to its age, Reich said.

The discovery of the drainage channel was momentous in itself, a sign of how the city's rulers looked out for the welfare of their citizens by organizing a system that drained the rainfall and prevented flooding, Reich said.

The discovery "shows you planning on a grand scale, unlike other cities in the ancient Near East," said anthropologist Joe Zias, an expert in the Second Temple period who was not involved in the dig.

But what makes the channel doubly significant is its role as an escape hatch for Jews desperate to flee the conquering Romans, the dig's directors said.

Historian Josephus Flavius indicates in "The War of the Jews" that numerous people took shelter in the channel and lived inside until they fled the city through its southern end.

"It was a place where people hid and fled to from burning, destroyed Jerusalem," Shukron said.

Tens of thousands of people lived in Jerusalem at the time, but it is not clear how many used the channel as an escape hatch, he said.

The Second Temple was the center of Jewish worship during the second Jewish Commonwealth, which spanned the six centuries preceding the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. Its expansion was the most famous construction project of Herod, the Jewish proxy ruler of the Holy Land under imperial Roman occupation from 37 B.C.

The discovery of the channel two weeks ago was unintended. Shukron said excavators looking for Jerusalem's main road in the time of the Second Temple happened upon a small drainage channel. That discovery led them to the massive tunnel that archeologists say lies beneath that road.

"We were looking for the road and suddenly we discovered it," Shukron said. "And the first thing we said was, 'Wow.'"

The icing on the cake, he said, is that archeologists now know in what direction the road lies.

About 100 meters (yards) of the canal have been uncovered so far. Reich estimates its total length will approximate one kilometer (.6 mile), stretching north from the Shiloah Pool at Jerusalem's southern end to the disputed holy shrine known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. The shrine is the site of the two biblical Jewish temples.

Archeologists think the tunnel leads to the Kidron River, which empties into the Dead Sea.

Archeologists find ancient tunnel used by Jews to escape Roman conquest of Jerusalem (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/09/africa/ME-GEN-Israel-Ancient-Escape-Hatch.php)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on September 09, 2007, 11:50:46 PM
DOUBLE WOW!

The large number and increasing frequency of major discoveries is mind-boggling. They almost need an army of professionals just to document discoveries in and near Jerusalem. Years of work and study will be required for just one site, so I doubt that any of us will live long enough to learn the full significance. In reality, this Age of Grace might end before they even get a good start.

THANKS! for the fascinating material!


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 10, 2007, 01:15:53 PM
Petition: Stop Temple Mount destruction 
Israel allows Muslims to pulverize antiquities as media, archeologists barred

Prominent archaeologists, some Jewish leaders and former Israeli politicians are petitioning Israel's supreme court to immediately halt a dig Islamic authorities are conducting on the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – that is said to be destroying antiquities and what archaeologists believe is a wall from the Second Jewish Temple.

Sections of the petition were based on WND's recent coverage of the Temple Mount controversy.

The Israeli government has not stopped Islamic authorities from blasting a massive trench on the Mount and has barred archaeologists from inspecting the Temple-era wall, believed to be from the outer courtyard of the Second Temple.

The wall reportedly has been pulverized by bulldozers operated by the Waqf, the Mount's Muslim custodians. If verified, the wall would be the most significant Jewish Temple find in history.

Yesterday's court petition against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, other cabinet ministers and Israel's Antiquities Authority, explains Second Temple courtyards and artifacts are located within a few feet of ground level. It maintains the Waqf dig – a trench 1,300 feet long and five feet deep – has destroyed or damaged priceless archaeological artifacts from the first and second Temple periods.

States the petition: "The excavations were carried out in an area where the bedrock is sometimes at a depth of only half a meter. Therefore, massive digging to a depth of a meter and a half entails damage to ground layers, some of which may have been in place since the first Temple stood there 3,000 years ago. Excavating with heavy equipment and tractors severely damaged the ground and directly caused the destruction of ancient stones and other artifacts."

The petitioners charged the Israeli government and its agencies, including the Antiquities Authority, are failing to meet their legal obligations to protect the antiquities of the Temple Mount.

The Antiquities Authority has not halted the dig and has not inspected the site. The Waqf has continued using bulldozers to blast away at the trench containing the wall and steadfastly has denied it is destroying any antiquities.

The petition was signed by Members of the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities, including prominent archaeologists Eilat Mazar, Ephraim Stern, Amihay Mazar, Ehud Netzer, Israel Finkelstein, Moshe Kochavi, and Gabriel Barkai; Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo Lahat; Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; and retired Israel Defense Forces generals Zvi Zamir, Yitzhak Hofi and Giora Eiland.

Last month, the Waqf was given permission by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to use bulldozers and other heavy equipment to dig a massive trench it claims is necessary to replace electrical cables outside mosques on the site. The dig, which extends to most of the periphery of the Mount, is being protected by the Israeli police and is supposed to be supervised by the Israeli government's Antiquities Authority.

Earlier this month, after bulldozers dug a trench 1,300 feet long and five feet deep, the Muslim diggers came across a wall Israeli archaeologists believe may be remains of an area of the Second Jewish Temple known as the woman's courtyard.

WND last week obtained a photograph of the massive Waqf trench. In view in the picture are concrete slabs broken by Waqf bulldozers and a chopped up carved stone believed to be of Jewish Temple-era antiquity.

Third-generation Temple Mount archaeologist Eilat Mazar analyzed the photo and said the damaged stone displays elements of the second Temple era and might be part of the Jewish Temple wall Israeli archaeologists charge the Waqf has been attempting to destroy. She said in order to certify the stone in the photo, she would need to personally inspect it.

Mazar is also a fellow at Israel's Shalem Center and member of the Public Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on Temple Mount. Her much-discussed discovery in the City of David, a neighborhood just south of Jerusalem's Old City Walls, is a massive building dating to the 10th century B.C. It is believed to be the remains of the palace of biblical King David, the second leader of a united kingdom of Israel, who ruled from around 1005 to 965 B.C.

Israel, though, is blocking leading archeologists from surveying the massive damage Islamic authorities are accused of causing to what may be the outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple.

"The Antiquities Authority tells us to coordinate with the police. The police send us back to the Antiquities Authority," said Mazar.

The Antiquities Authority did not return repeated requests for comment.

"It's crucial this wall is inspected," the archaeologist said. "The Temple Mount ground level is only slightly above the original Temple Mount platform, meaning anything found is likely from the Temple itself."

Muslims bar WND from Temple dig

Last Thusday, the Muslim Waqf custodians of the Temple Mount barred WND from inspecting and filming their massive trench. (link: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=57507)

The confrontation was captured on video by InfoLive.tv, a new, Internet-based television network broadcasting in four languages. (link: http://www.infolive.tv/en/infolive.tv-12064-israelnews-wakf-bans-reporters-inspecting-temple-mount)

WND and the InfoLive.tv camera crew ascended the Mount to obtain footage of the trench, but Waqf guards backed up by the Israeli police stopped the news agencies from approaching open sections of the trench. The guards told WND only closed areas of the trench could be filmed. Sections of the massive trench were being closed up with dirt today before archeologists were able to inspect the site.

After persisting, one Waqf guard asked WND to shut off the camera and vacate the Temple Mount.

Mazar and other top archaeologists also recently attempted to inspect the Waqf trench. Two weeks ago they ascended the Mount to hold a news conference and inspect the site without government permission, but they were blocked from the trench by the Israeli police.

"It is unconscionable that the Israeli government is permitting the Waqf to use heavy equipment to chop away at the most important archaeological site in the country without supervision," Mazar said.

"The Israeli government is actively blocking us from inspecting the site and what may be a monumental find and is doing nothing while the Waqf destroys artifacts at Judaism's holiest site," she said.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of Israel's Temple Institute, was among those on the Mount last month with Mazar. He told WND he attempted to take pictures of the damage the bulldozers are allegedly wrecking on the wall, but his digital camera was confiscated by Israeli police at the direction of Waqf officials.

"If Israel was building a shopping mall and they found what may be an ancient Buddhist structure, the government would stop the construction and have archaeologists go over the area with a fine tooth comb. Here, the holiest site in Judaism is being damaged, a Temple wall was found, and Israel is actively blocking experts from inspecting the site while allowing the destruction to continue," Richman said.

Richman charged the Waqf was "trying to erase Jewish vestiges from the Temple Mount."

Muslim custodians have history of destroying Temple artifacts

cont'd


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 10, 2007, 01:16:10 PM
The last time the Waqf conducted a large dig on the Temple Mount – during construction 10 years ago of a massive mosque at an area referred to as Solomon's Stables – the Wafq reportedly disposed truckloads of dirt containing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods.

After media reported the disposals, Israeli authorities froze the construction permit given to the Wafq, and the dirt was transferred to Israeli archaeologists for analysis. The Israeli authorities found scores of Jewish Temple relics in the nearly disposed dirt, including coins with Hebrew writing referencing the Temple, part of a Hasmonean lamp, several other Second Temple lamps, Temple-period pottery with Jewish markings, a marble pillar shaft and other Temple period artifacts. The Waqf was widely accused of attempting to hide evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temples.

Temples 'never existed'

Most Palestinian leaders routinely deny well-documented Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

Speaking to WND in a recent interview, Waqf official and chief Palestinian Justice Taysir Tamimi claimed the Jewish Temples "never existed."

"About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount)," said Tamimi, who is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

"Israel started since 1967 making archaeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city, and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s," said Tamimi.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and more than 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.

Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad's horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the wall predates the mosque by more than 1,000 years.

"The Western Wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It's where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah."

The Palestinian media also regularly claim the Jewish Temples never existed.

Judaism's holiest site

While the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, Muslims say it is their third holiest site.

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. It was expanded by King Herod in 19 B.C. shortly before the birth of Jesus. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The Dome of the Rock now sits on the site and the Al Aqsa Mosque is adjacent.

The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark where Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 10, 2007, 01:20:09 PM
DOUBLE WOW!

The large number and increasing frequency of major discoveries is mind-boggling. They almost need an army of professionals just to document discoveries in and near Jerusalem. Years of work and study will be required for just one site, so I doubt that any of us will live long enough to learn the full significance. In reality, this Age of Grace might end before they even get a good start.

THANKS! for the fascinating material!

There is a whole lot more that is being found that is not being released to the public. The IAA is keeping a lid on many things because of the fear of islamic reprisals. Especially so of any information that is tied to the Temple Mount. Even though they are trying to hide such finds word of them are still leaking out. I am sure that this is because God wants people to have the chance to know the truth.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 10, 2007, 06:47:56 PM
Second Temple Period Drainage Canal Unveiled

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the City of David Foundation unveiled an important remnant of life in ancient Jerusalem on Sunday. The main drainage canal of the holy city, dated around the first century CE, before the destruction of Second Temple and the City of Jerusalem, was displayed for the first time to journalists near the entrance to the City of David.

The 70-meter long segment is located between the Temple Mount and the Siloam Pool and stretched underneath the main street of the Old City. The drain carried rainwater from the area of the Western Wall now used as the Jewish Quarter, and the western area of the City of David, to the Kidron River near the Dead Sea. Shards and coins were also found at the site. Archaeologsts Roni Reich and Eli Shukrun said they had to dig 10 meters deep in order to reach the main street. They added that Jews hid in the drain on their way to the southern gate of the Old City as they fled the Roman siege, according to the account of the period by the historian Josephus.

The IAA has, however, blocked archaeologists from inspecting a ditch being dug by the Wakf (Arab Religious Authority) with heavy machinery on the Temple Mount that may be of equal importance. Vehement insistence by the archaeologists that precious artifacts from the Second Temple period are being destroyed by the construction have been met with silence. Photos snapped surreptiously, despite police attempts to block entry to the site, show chunks of stone that appear to be part of a wall from the era.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on September 10, 2007, 08:30:08 PM
There is a whole lot more that is being found that is not being released to the public. The IAA is keeping a lid on many things because of the fear of islamic reprisals. Especially so of any information that is tied to the Temple Mount. Even though they are trying to hide such finds word of them are still leaking out. I am sure that this is because God wants people to have the chance to know the truth.



YES - this is political correctness out of control. Facts and evidence that are impossible to dispute would probably cause a BIG problem, but that BIG problem will come anyway. Many already know what lies beneath, but it would be wonderful to see that proof beyond any doubt displayed to the entire world.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 10, 2007, 10:20:14 PM
Dan - A nature reserve and archaeological treasure trove

Dan is one of Israel's great surprises. A medium-sized archaeological site with remains from all the significant periods of the historical past, it is situated on the northern border at the foot of the winding road to the northeast that leads up on to the Gola

As one approaches from the south, the site is hidden by leafy trees and lush vegetation. Indeed, the whole area is one of Israel's most unusual and beguiling national parks. For while the archaeology and history of the place is reason enough to visit, it is the greenery, the high trees, the forestation, the birds, the colours and the refreshing water-filled air that are the visitors' immediate impressions.

Why? Dan is the location of the biggest spring in the Middle East, gushing out of the ground at an enormous rate throughout the year. As one walks across the site, in the park, the whole area gurgles with the sound of water bubbling out of the ground. In some areas, it is almost impossible to find a place to put your feet without them becoming wet. The shade of the trees adds to the surreal sense of being in a different world.

There are three main sources of the River Jordan, and the Dan River is the biggest. The endless flow of water comes from the melting snows and rain of Mt. Hermon, a few miles to the north, which seep into the slopes of the mountain and emerge at the site. As so often happens, nature's beauty has become the subject of dispute. After the founding of the state in 1948, the border between Israel and Syria lay just a few metres north of Dan. The potential loss of the rich history associated with the site to Israel's northern neighbour in a war brought archaeologists to Dan in the 1966. They are still there.

Dan has proved to be an archaeological treat. Occupied from the Neolithic period in the fifth millennium BC down to the Roman period, its remains and the excavation trenches of the last 40 years scatter the site.

Arched mudbrick city gate

Among the most significant of these is an arched mudbrick city gate that was built in the Canaanite period, about 1700 BC. This is the time of the patriarchs of Genesis, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The oldest complete standing arch gate ever found anywhere, it was the entrance to the city to visitors from the north.

The city at the time was surrounded by a large earthen rampart some 50 metres wide that covered and sloped down on both sides of a solid stone core. The mudbrick gate was built into the rampart and consisted of three arches that one passed through on the way into or out of town. Wonderfully preserved almost to its origina it stood about 7 metres high, with a passageway 10.5 metres wide. Flanked by four towers, two inside the town and two outside, the gate was built of sun-baked mudbricks on a stone foundation. The walls were originally covered with a white plaster. It was approached from both sides by several stone steps, precluding the possibility of entering the city by chariot or cart or even on horseback.

The amount of energy expended in creating the gate, of cutting through the rampart and building this massive mudbrick superstructure, was huge. Dan at the time was one of the city states that were scattered around Canaan, and the local king would have had the authority to get the job done. It was a dramatic and impressive statement of his power and ability as a leader. No one visiting the city could fail to have been left unaware of the king's status.

It is remarkable then that the gate went out of use after just a generation or two, and was deliberately buried in the rampart.

What could have caused this?

What could have caused the gate to be decommissioned in this way? The most likely reason is the most obvious. Evidence was found during excavation that it had been repaired and shored up several times in its short lifespan, possibly in efforts to avoid collapse. Were poor building techniques used in its construction? Did it rapidly become a health and safety hazard? It is impossible to say for certain, but the deliberate decommissioning of so substantial a structure could well be explained in this way. What is certain is that its burial explains its remarkable preservation.

The thriving Canaanite city was destroyed violently by fire in the 16th century BC, but was rapidly resettled. What followed was a time of hardship in Canaan after the Egyptian conquest of the region. Dan, however, appears not to have been affected by these developments, surviving the privations of Egyptian colonial excess by looking to the north and west, to the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon, with which it maintained strong ties. Excavations show that this was a prosperous time, and that trade with the coast and even the importation of Mycenaean products from the Aegean was strong.

It is in the biblical books of Joshua and Judges that the town's Canaanite identity as Laish or Leshem is revealed. In Joshua 19:47, we learn of the migration of the tribe of Dan from the coastal plain north to Leshem, which they attacked and conquered, naming it after Dan their forefather. The story is repeated in greater detail in Judges 18, where verse 7 describes the city as lacking nothing and being prosperous. The Israelites conquered Leshem/Laish and settled and renamed it, and soon the name became synonymous with the northern extent of the country, as in the phrase "from Dan to Beersheba". By the time of the divided monarchy, Dan defined the northern border of Israel. Its relations with the rest of the Israelite kingdom, and with its northern neighbours, form another chapter in the city's colourful historical and archaeological past.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 13, 2007, 11:16:49 AM

Powerful x-ray to unravel fragile Dead Sea scrolls

Ancient writings from the Dead Sea scrolls are to be read for the first time by British scientists using powerful x-rays.

The team will examine rare and unread fragments of the scrolls, which are believed to shed light on how the texts came to be written in caves along the north-west coast of the sea nearly 2,000 years ago.

The technique will give scientists from Cardiff University a first opportunity to read ancient texts considered too fragile to open.

They will look at the texts using x-rays produced at the £360m Diamond Light Source in Didcot, Oxfordshire. The machine works by propelling electrons at great speeds around a giant tunnel. As they corner they emit x-rays 100bn times brighter than a medical x-ray.

Researchers led by Tim Wess have developed computer software that can "unravel" x-ray images of rolled up parchment documents to reveal the writing, even if the parchment has text on either side.

The scientists have focused their efforts on reading parchments from the 18th century and found that they are able to read 80% of the words written on documents without unravelling them.

Tests have so far been conducted on legal documents called weedings dating back to 1770 from the National Archives of Scotland. The team is also set to examine a series of unknown fire-damaged texts recovered from the UK's National Archives in Kew.

Many historical documents are recorded in iron gall ink, a mix of oak apple, iron sulphate and copper, on parchment made from the treated skin of cows, goats or sheep. With time the collagen that holds the parchment together degrades and turns into gelatin, damage that is accelerated by the corrosive nature of the ink. Using the x-ray machine scientists can examine sheets of parchment in such detail that they can decide how badly degraded they are over distances of one thousandth of a millimetre. If they are badly degraded the researchers will be able to use the new technique to read them without risk of destroying them.

The team's first goal is to read hidden texts from the scrolls and the Torah which is said to record the word of God as revealed to Moses.

"There are some parts of the Dead Sea scrolls that haven't been unrolled, and there are parts of the Torah that haven't been seen as well," Prof Wess said. "There are discoveries to be made in terms of trying to understand the whole picture of the history of the people who wrote the Dead Sea scrolls and why they moved into that area of the Dead Sea. Sometimes we don't know their value because we can't see inside them, and until we start looking, we don't know what's there."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 19, 2007, 07:09:47 PM
Even though this is mixed with ancient Greek mythology it is like the article on the web site says, that much of ancient Greek mythology is based on real people even though those people may be depicted as gods. Even though these historical figures may be overblown on their abilities it still shows that Noah was a real historical figure and he did in fact go through a world wide flood.

_______________________

Solving Light Books announced today the publication to its Web site of 37 images of Noah from ancient Greek art. These images of the Greek version of Noah reveal his role in Greek art as the known historical figure in contrast to whom the artists depicted, and boasted of, the rapid growth of their man-centered religious outlook. Ancient Greek artists and poets called Noah "Nereus" (meaning the "Wet One"), and also referred to him as the "Salt Sea Old Man."

The Web presentation has six parts:

•Part I consists of 37 images of Noah cropped out of their sculpted and vase-scene contexts so that the viewer can examine the similarity of the images in one place.

•Part II presents a short pictorial review of what Greek religious art chronicles and celebrates—the end of Noah's rule, the resurgence and triumph of the way of Kain (Cain), and the exaltation of man as the measure of all things.

•Part III features vase-scenes wherein the hero-rebel Herakles (the Nimrod of Genesis and Gilgamesh of the Sumerian epic) threatens Noah, brings him and his rule to a halt, and pushes him out of the way.

•Part IV presents an ancient vase-art tradition wherein Herakles is pictured as seizing Noah's authority in the form of a creature known as Triton.

•Part V features vase-scenes in which Noah reacts stoically to the abduction of his daughter, Thetis, by the Zeus-worshipper, Peleus.

•Part VI presents scenes in which the ancient artists depict Noah as an unwilling and disheartened witness to the key events leading to the triumph of Zeus-religion.

The creator of the Web presentation, Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr., is the author of "Athena and Eve," "Athena and Kain," "The Parthenon Code: Mankind's History in Marble," "Noah in Ancient Greek Art," and a 950-slide PowerPoint presentation on the true meaning of ancient Greek art.  "An enormous amount of information about mankind's origins hides in plain sight in the art of ancient Greece. These many images of the Greek version of Noah, now made available to the public, are just a small part of it," Mr. Johnson said.

The art can be viewed at:

http://www.solvinglight.com/features/37NoahsPartI.htm



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: ibTina on September 19, 2007, 07:22:54 PM
Even though this is mixed with ancient Greek mythology it is like the article on the web site says, that much of ancient Greek mythology is based on real people even though those people may be depicted as gods. Even though these historical figures may be overblown on their abilities it still shows that Noah was a real historical figure and he did in fact go through a world wide flood.

_______________________

Solving Light Books announced today the publication to its Web site of 37 images of Noah from ancient Greek art. These images of the Greek version of Noah reveal his role in Greek art as the known historical figure in contrast to whom the artists depicted, and boasted of, the rapid growth of their man-centered religious outlook. Ancient Greek artists and poets called Noah "Nereus" (meaning the "Wet One"), and also referred to him as the "Salt Sea Old Man."

The Web presentation has six parts:

•Part I consists of 37 images of Noah cropped out of their sculpted and vase-scene contexts so that the viewer can examine the similarity of the images in one place.

•Part II presents a short pictorial review of what Greek religious art chronicles and celebrates—the end of Noah's rule, the resurgence and triumph of the way of Kain (Cain), and the exaltation of man as the measure of all things.

•Part III features vase-scenes wherein the hero-rebel Herakles (the Nimrod of Genesis and Gilgamesh of the Sumerian epic) threatens Noah, brings him and his rule to a halt, and pushes him out of the way.

•Part IV presents an ancient vase-art tradition wherein Herakles is pictured as seizing Noah's authority in the form of a creature known as Triton.

•Part V features vase-scenes in which Noah reacts stoically to the abduction of his daughter, Thetis, by the Zeus-worshipper, Peleus.

•Part VI presents scenes in which the ancient artists depict Noah as an unwilling and disheartened witness to the key events leading to the triumph of Zeus-religion.

The creator of the Web presentation, Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr., is the author of "Athena and Eve," "Athena and Kain," "The Parthenon Code: Mankind's History in Marble," "Noah in Ancient Greek Art," and a 950-slide PowerPoint presentation on the true meaning of ancient Greek art.  "An enormous amount of information about mankind's origins hides in plain sight in the art of ancient Greece. These many images of the Greek version of Noah, now made available to the public, are just a small part of it," Mr. Johnson said.

The art can be viewed at:

http://www.solvinglight.com/features/37NoahsPartI.htm



  ummm all I can say is....

(http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/tinabaran/fun%20things/WOW.gif)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on September 20, 2007, 06:23:49 AM
THANKS BROTHER!

These are beautiful and timely things. I pray that the lost will see them and reconsider JESUS CHRIST. I pray that the Saved will see them and be strengthened and encouraged. NOW, more than ever, Christians need to be Strong in CHRIST!

Love In Christ,
Tom

KEEP LOOKING UP!!


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Shammu on September 21, 2007, 04:50:58 PM
Israeli archeologists ordered out of court hearing
Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST    Sep. 21, 2007

A group of Israeli archeologists and public officials who petitioned the High Court of Justice against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Antiquities Authority over ongoing Wakf infrastructure work on the Temple Mount were ordered out of the courtroom during a hearing Thursday, an archeologist said.

The members of the nonpartisan Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount had to leave the courtroom while the state-run archeological body presented "secret" evidence to the court.

"It is more than clear that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has instructed the Antiquities Authority to cooperate with the Wakf and conceal the damage to antiquities being done during the infrastructure work at the site," said Hebrew University archeologist and leading Temple Mount expert Dr. Eilat Mazar.

The two-month old dig on the Temple Mount is being carried out by Islamic officials with Israeli approval as part of infrastructure work to repair faulty electrical lines on the ancient compound.

The independent Israeli archeologists say that the dig, which is being carried out with tractors and other heavy construction machinery, has created a 400-meter long and 1.5 meter deep trench, destroying several layers of ancient remains on the Temple Mount

Israeli archeologists ordered out of court hearing (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1189411455394&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 23, 2007, 03:07:22 PM
Quarry used for Jewish temple unearthed in Israel

Archaeologists have found an ancient quarry where King Herod's workers may have chiselled the giant stones used to rebuild the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said on Sunday experts believe stones as long as 8 meters (24 feet) were extracted from the quarry and then dragged by oxen to building sites in Jerusalem for major projects such as the temple.

"This construction most likely included the walls of the Temple Mount and other monumental buildings," the authority said in a statement.

Some of the blocks discovered at the site resemble stones used in the lower parts of the Temple Mount compound, the site of two biblical Jewish temples, the statement said.

Jews believe King Solomon built the first Jerusalem temple 3,000 years ago. In 1 BC, King Herod rebuilt and expanded a second temple on the same site, which was razed by the Romans during the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The complex known as Temple Mount by Jews is also revered by Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). It houses Islam's third-holiest mosque, making it Jerusalem's most contested site and giving it a pivotal role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said workers stumbled upon the quarry during excavations as part of a plan to build a new school in an outlying Jerusalem neighborhood known as Ramat Shlomo.

Archaeologists also discovered coins and shards of pottery which confirm the quarry was operating during the Second Temple period, when rulers of the city under King Herod embarked on major construction projects.

King Herod looms large in biblical history. Appointed "king of the Jews" by the Roman Senate in about 40 BC, Herod rebuilt and expanded the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

The Gospel of Matthew says Herod ordered the killing of young male children in Jesus's birthplace of Bethlehem -- known as the "Massacre of the Innocents" -- for fear he would lose his throne to a new "king of the Jews" whose birth had been related to him by the Magi.

Archaeologists also found a complete iron tool at the site which they believe was used to chisel out the blocks from the quarry.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 07, 2007, 12:21:20 AM
Digging through the Bible

The third season of renewed excavations at Ramat Rahel in Jerusalem has come to a close, with several exceptional finds that have increased archeologists' understanding of the site.

The excavations are the result of a joint project between Tel Aviv University and the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and are scheduled for another three seasons, with the next to begin in the summer of 2009.

Dig director Dr. Oded Lipschits of Tel Aviv University said that the goals of this year's dig were to expand the area around a Byzantine (fourth-seventh centuries CE) church previously excavated by Yohanan Aharoni of the Hebrew University in the 1950s, and to further expose a garden and a profound water system from a palace or administrative building that was in use from the late Iron Age (seventh-sixth centuries BCE) until the beginning of the Hasmonean period in the 2nd century BCE.

These goals were met, he said. "We understand much better the time and the extent of the garden."

According to Lipschits, Ramat Rahel was used as an administrative center for various foreign powers ruling over Judea beginning with the Assyrians after Sennacherib's conquest of Judea in 701 BCE.

Ramat Rahel was also used as a large administrative center during the Persian period (538-333 BCE) and into the early Hellenistic period (333-165 BCE), but was destroyed by the Maccabees in the second century BCE.

Later the Romans had a military camp there, including a bathhouse and villa, followed by the Byzantines who built a church and several support buildings. Ramat Rahel was continuously occupied until the Abbasid period in the 10th century CE.

Veteran Jerusalem archeologist Dr. Gabi Barkay, who currently heads the Temple Mount sifting project, disagrees with Lipschits's findings. Barkay led a small expedition to Ramat Rahel in 1984 and although nothing official has been published, some of his conclusions have been presented in the Biblical Archaeology Review magazine.

In his articles Barkay points to several "LMLK" (in Hebrew, "for the king") stamps and a small painted potsherd of what appears to be a king on a throne as evidence that the site was built by King Hezekiah, who ruled from around 715-687 BC. According to Barkay, Jerusalem had become too overcrowded and Hezekiah wanted to build a large royal palace at Ramat Rahel that would better reflect his grandeur.

Lipschits says that these "LMLK"-stamped jars were taxes collected by the king and then sent to the Assyrian governor at Ramat Rahel.

There is still much to learn about the early phases of Ramat Rahel, said Lipschits, adding that future excavations would focus on "the relationship between the eighth and seventh centuries BC and between the Persian and Hellenistic periods."

Future digs will also focus on learning more about the area immediately surrounding Ramat Rahel and the relationship between those various sites.

This year's excavations yielded several extraordinary finds, including a piece of a proto-Ionic (also known as a proto-Aeolic) capital from the Iron Age. To date only 13 such capitals have been found in Judea, with one from the City of David in Jerusalem and now 12 from Ramat Rahel.

The proto-Ionic capital was also used on seals in the Early Iron Age before writing in the Israelite kingdom, and can be seen today on the back of the five shekel coin. Also found this year were some 30 stamped jar handles with variations on the "Yehud" stamp from the Persian period, adding to the more than 320 such stamps previously found at the site.

A potsherd bearing the letters "mem," "nun," "lamed" in ancient Hebrew was also discovered, believed to possibly be from a water libation jar. Also found was a mikve with an impressive carving of a tree on one of the plastered walls.

Groups of archeologists, students and volunteers worked in different areas of the excavation site, arranged by period. One group excavated a building from the Muslim Ayyubid period, another group a Byzantine church, another a Persian period wall and an additional two groups worked on the Iron Age administrative building and garden.

Together these groups uncovered structures that spanned the eighth century BCE to the 11th century CE, an incredible 1,700-plus years of human occupation at Ramat Rahel.

In the final week-and-a-half of the dig, a bulldozer dug in an area previously unexcavated, in search of bedrock for the archeologists to better understand the shape and behavior of the hill at Ramat Rahel. However, the bulldozer was halted after uncovering an area of what turned out to be bedrock carved into a large platform.

The area was then further excavated by archeologists and several volunteers, who later discovered plastered floors and several channels presumably used for directing water. According to Lipschits, this new area will also be the focus of future seasons.

When asked how it was to work with a German university, Lipschits said: "It's the third time we are putting together different Christian and Jewish groups, and for me this is an important part of the project."

He emphasized that at Ramat Rahel the two groups were together excavating the structures from both the Old and New Testament periods, and even into the Muslim periods. This year's excavation drew volunteers and students from several countries, including Israel, Germany, the United States, The Netherlands, Canada, Finland, Norway and Australia.

"I wanted to go to Israel and I thought this would be a nice opportunity to go with people I knew," said Magdalena Gebessler, a University of Heidelberg student.

During her four weeks of excavation work at the site, Gebessler said she found "tons of pottery, and the floor of the mikve."

She was joined by more than 20 other German participants, many of them students of theology or Jewish studies at the University of Heidelberg who were in classes instructed by Dr. Manfred Oeming, co-director of the dig.

The results of the various seal impressions found at the site, Lipschits promised, would be published within one week of the conclusion of this year's dig.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 11, 2007, 11:44:01 PM
Dutch researcher claims to confirm Queen Jezebel's seal

For some 40 years, one of the flashiest opal signets on display at the Israel Museum had remained without accurate historical context. Two weeks ago, Dutch researcher Marjo Korpel identified article IDAM 65-321 as the official seal of Queen Jezebel, one of the bible's most powerful and reviled women.

Israeli archaeologists had suspected Jezebel was the owner ever since the seal was first documented in 1964. "Did it belong to Ahab's Phoenician wife?" wrote the late pioneering archaeologist Nahman Avigad of the seal, which he obtained through the antiquities market. "Though fit for a queen, coming from the right period and bearing a rare name documented nowhere other than in the Hebrew Bible, we can never know for sure."

Avigad's cautious approach stemmed from the fact that the seal did not come from an officially-approved excavation. It was thought to come from Samaria in the ninth century B.C.E., but there was no way of knowing for certain where it had been found. And that has been the scientific hurdle that Korpel - a theologian and Ugaritologist from Utrecht University and a Protestant minister - set out to conquer.

In her paper, scheduled to appear in the highly-respected Biblical Archaeology Review, Korpel lists observations pertaining to the seal's symbolism, unusual size, shape and time period. By way of elimination, she shows Jezebel as the only plausible owner. She also explains how two missing letters from the seal point to the Phoenician shrew.

"As a minister, I never speak of coincidence, but my research happened by chance," Korpel told Haaretz last week. "I was asked to deliver a paper on female embodiment. I'm not much of a feminist, but I'd written on the imagery of the seal."

Korpel says she had probably seen the seal years before on a visit to the Israel Museum, but only much later did it spark her interest. "The missing letters on the top intrigued me. I was used to reconstructing broken texts from earlier research."

Upon hearing of Korpel's research, Dr. Hagai Misgav of Hebrew University said he believed the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Museum have in their possession many more articles carrying unnoticed historical clues. "Not all the artifacts have been thoroughly examined," he said. "There are many discoveries waiting to be made." Misgav added he would have to study Korpel's work more thoroughly to further comment on it.

The seal is expected to be put on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem when it reopens after renovation work currently under way is finished.

Following her discovery, Korpel, 48, had to contend with a media onslaught. The seal's story has so far been featured in national and local newspapers and magazines. "The phone is ringing off the hook!" Korpel says. "The local paper here even ran a cover picture of me. I felt a bit awkward going to the corner shop for a while."

As a researcher, Korpel will only say she thinks her research serves to prove the seal belonged to Jezebel. "True, there is no way of knowing for sure where the seal comes from. Theoretically, it could come from anywhere. But speaking as a private person, I am in my mind 99 percent sure that it belonged to Jezebel," she says after some coaxing.

However, Korpel is not an archaeologist, and her research of archaeological findings is essentially textual. "I have thought about this. But many research fields see important discoveries by researchers from related fields," she says. "I admit my solution for the seal of Jezebel is quite simple. But then, so was the invention of the paper clip."


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Littleboy on October 14, 2007, 03:52:43 PM
God Bless you Brother,
Looks like them stones are going to do some talking :)
Did you know that they used a dye from a certian kinda fish to color the levite priests robes?
And that, that fish has been extinct (they thought) until a couple years ago, and they have made
new robes already!
Also the red heifer that is needed for the daily sacrifice?
It was extinct until a couple years ago..
Also the instruments of gold that are needed, have been made and are ready for use..
When they used to sacrifice along time ago, they would go straight out the east gate &
they could see the Temple thru the east gate, would'nt that make the dome of the rock
south of the Temple site?
I hope someone can figure this out so the Temple can be built,
Let's get the show on the road people, i want to go home! :)
Do you know what's written on the Dome of the Rock "God has no son"? >:(
It would take the Antichrist to bring peace so that the Temple could be built next to that!
Or some major destruction by God or Man?
Your loving Brother, Duane
P.S
Hang-On Their's a whole lotta shaken about to go on(not only the earth, But the heaven's also)! :o




Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 14, 2007, 04:34:44 PM
Yes, there is more evidence by the day that points to the temple having been located more to the north south * than the Al Aska Mosque which actually is not a mosque. It is believed now that there was a Christian church in the location that Al Aqsa now occupies that was built over the rock and that the rock was believed to have been the location where Pilot sat when Jesus was brought before him. There are indentations in the rock in the shape of human feet where it is believed that Pilot had placed his feet when judging those brought before him. The Arabic inscriptions inside and on the exterior show that they were placed there in an attempt to convince Christians that remained after the Christian Crusades that there was only one God and that Jesus was not Him nor His Son. The Al Aqsa was supposedly built over this rock to take the attention of those remaining Christians off of the rock. Excerpts of those inscriptions translated into English follows:

Inner Face: South Wall. In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no God but Allah alone; he has no co-partner. He is the Kingship and His the praise. He giveth life and He causeth to die, and He hath power over everything.

South-East Wall. Verily Allah and His angels pronounce blessing upon the Prophet. O ye who have pronounced blessings upon Him and give Him the salutation of peace. O, People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians, always referred to as such by the Muslims -Ed.) do not go beyond the bounds in your religion and do not say about Allah anything but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is but a messenger of Allah and His word which he cast upon Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe only in Allah and of his messenger, but do not say "Three" (Trinity) and it will be better for you. Allah is only one God. Far be it from His glory that he should have a son.

North Wall. The Messiah will not deign to be in the service of Allah nor will the angels who stand in his presence. O Allah; pray upon Thy messenger "the servant Jesus - (N-W Wall) the son of Mary and peace be upon him the day of his birth, the day of his death and the day of his being raised alive." That is Jesus, son of Mary - a statement concerning which YOU are in doubt. It is not for Allah to take for Himself any offspring, glory be to Him.

West Wall. Allah bears witness that there is no God but Him, likewise the angels and the people possessed of knowledge (S-W WALL) - Upholding justice. There is no God but He, the Almighty and All wise. Verily, the religion in Allah's sight is Islam.

Outer Face: West and North-West Walls. In the name of Allah the Merciful and Compassionate. There is no God but Allah alone. Praise be to Allah who hath not taken to himself offspring. To Him there has never been any person in the sovereignty. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah, may God pray upon Him and accept his intercession.

Praise be God who has not taken unto himself a son and who has no partner in sovereignty nor has He any protector on account of weakness.

They also concocted the story of Mohhamed rising to heaven from that rock in order to change the significance of the rock.

* Correction = With the recent find of the City of David it is now believed that the second temple was more south than what the Al Aqsa is now because the scripture tells us that the temple was adjoined to the old City of David.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on October 14, 2007, 05:15:03 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

GOD will fulfill Bible Prophecy most perfectly at HIS Appointed time. Christians already know about the absolute reality of GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT - the HOLY THREE being unique but ONE for eternity past and eternity future. We also know that it isn't a matter of the ONE ALMIGHTY GOD taking an offspring, rather of being ONE with no beginning and no end.

Allah is not the almighty anything, but JESUS CHRIST IS ALMIGHTY GOD - ONE WITH GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. ALMIGHTY GOD has allowed mankind to disobey HIM and reject HIM, but HIS patience will end one day soon. I think that day is soon. We hear things almost every day now about things coming together to fulfill Bible Prophecy. I look at threads like this as encouraging and strengthening. Absolute PROOF for many portions of the Holy Bible are being provided as we speak. Maybe it's GOD giving mankind a message:  HIS WORD is TRUTH and it always has been. The Holy Bible is PROOF for itself in many amazing ways from cover to cover. HOWEVER, additional scientific PROOF for the Bible is being discovered almost every day now. I don't need the additional scientific PROOF, but maybe it will cause many to stop and take another look at the BIBLE as being completely REAL AND GOD'S UNDENIABLE TRUTH!


Love In Christ,
Tom

John 1:14-17 NASB
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 14, 2007, 05:22:05 PM
Quote
JESUS CHRIST IS ALMIGHTY GOD - ONE WITH GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.

AMEN!


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 14, 2007, 05:42:32 PM
Israel to Resume Dig Near Temple Mount

Israel will resume archaeological excavations near a Jerusalem holy site that has often been a flashpoint for violence, Israeli officials said Sunday. The decision drew Palestinian charges that Israel is trying to scuttle next month's U.S.-sponsored peace conference.

Fearing an outbreak of violence, an Israeli Cabinet minister said he stalled construction for at least two weeks. But officials said they remained determined to push forward with the project.

The dig is located outside the Old City compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, and is home to the gold-capped Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Israel captured the site from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War and it has since served as a symbol of the two sides' competing claims to Jerusalem. Day-to-day administration of the site remains in Muslim hands.

When the dig began in February, it caused an uproar in the Islamic world, with some Muslims alleging that Israel was plotting to undermine the foundations of the site's mosques.

Israel termed those charges ludicrous, saying the dig was meant to clear the way for construction of a pedestrian walkway up to the compound, replacing one damaged in a 2004 snowstorm. But digging work at the site was quietly halted in June without explanation.

The government's Committee on Jerusalem Affairs voted two weeks ago to resume archaeological work at the site, Jacob Edery, a Cabinet minister and committee member, told The Associated Press. Edery said the dig had been held up since early summer for bureaucratic reasons related to planning permits.

"I'm sorry the work was held up at all, because the walkway was supposed to be almost finished by now," Edery said. He said some aspects of the plan have been modified, but no major changes were made.

After Edery's announcement, Raleb Majadele, the only Arab Cabinet minister, filed an appeal to block the project, which will halt progress for two weeks.

"I want the excavations delayed because it is very bad timing under the present political conditions," he said, citing an upcoming U.S.-hosted peace conference next month and the current Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

But Roni Dahan, a spokesman for Edery, said "the idea is definitely to continue excavations there."

When work began, Palestinians charged that Israel did not have the right to make alterations around the holy site, which houses Islam's third-holiest shrine.

Palestinian officials were outraged by Israel's latest decision, saying it endangered the U.S.-sponsored peace conference scheduled to be held in Annapolis, Md., next month.

"Always, whenever there is an important move toward peace, they do something to enrage Palestinians," said gotcha98 Husseini, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 21, 2007, 09:09:09 PM
Jerusalem artifacts point to first jewish temple

 Archaeologists have uncovered artifacts under Jerusalem's contested Al-Aqsa mosque compound that may shed light on the first Jewish temple.

Archaeologists have uncovered artifacts under Jerusalem's contested Al-Aqsa mosque compound that may shed light on the first Jewish temple, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Sunday.

"An apparently sealed archaeological level dating to the first temple period was exposed in the area close to the southeastern corner of the raised platform surrounding the Dome of the Rock," it said in a statement.

The finds include ceramic table ware, animal bones, and pottery shards from the 8th to 6th centuries BC, when Jewish kingdoms reigned over much of the area of modern-day Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The finds could "aid scholars in reconstructing the dimensions and boundaries of the Temple Mount during the first temple period", the statement added.

Much remains from the time of the second temple which was razed in AD 70, including the Western Wall, Judaism's most revered site, but almost nothing remains from the first temple period, considered the peak of Jewish history.

The area of the excavations, which Jews refer to as the Temple Mount and Muslims refer to as the Haram al-Sharif, is the most sacred site of Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.

Because of its religious importance, the site in the Old City of Jerusalem has been a frequent flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 21, 2007, 09:15:37 PM
Finds on Temple Mount from First Temple

The unauthorized dig of a trench this past summer by the Moslem Waqf on the Temple Mount, in the course of which it was assumed that precious findings were destroyed, apparently had a thin silver lining. Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) personnel monitoring the trench-digging have, for the first time, found traces of the First Temple.

The IAA studied an archaeological level dating to the First Temple Period, exposed in the area close to the south-eastern corner of the raised platform surrounding the Dome of the Rock.

Archaeological examination of a small section of this level, led by Jerusalem District Archaeologist Yuval Baruch, uncovered fragments of ceramic table wares, animal bones, and more. The finds date from the 8th to 6th centuries BCE; the First Temple existed between the 9th and 5th centuries BCE, having been built by King Solomon in 832 and destroyed in 422.

The archaeological team - Baruch of the IAA, Prof. Sy Gitin, Director of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, Prof. Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University and Prof. Ronny Reich of Haifa University - reached the conclusion, after examining the finds and archaeological data, that their characteristics and location may aid scholars in reconstructing the dimensions and boundaries of the Temple Mount during the First Temple Period.

The finds include fragments of bowl rims, bases and body sherds, the base of a juglet used for the ladling of oil, the handle of a small juglet, and the rim of a storage jar. The bowl sherds were decorated with wheel burnishing lines characteristic of the First Temple Period.

The IAA announced that it will hold an archaeological seminar concerning these finds and their archaeological interpretation at a later date.

Muslim and Jewish Claims

Muslim scholars often deny any Jewish claim to the Temple Mount, and it is often charged that Arab excavations there are employed for the purpose of throwing out truckloads of artifacts that would prove otherwise. Moslem claims to the Temple Mount, on the other hand, have been debunked even by other Moslems. A commentator for the official Egyptian government weekly, of all places, has written that the entire Moslem claim on Jerusalem and the El-Aksa mosque is based on a mistaken reading of one chapter of the Quran. Ahmed Mahmad Oufa wrote that the verse that mentions a night journey by Muhammed to a mosque has nothing to do with Jerusalem, as is generally claimed, but with a mosque near the holy Moslem city of Medina.

Prof. Moshe Sharon, Middle Eastern expert in the Hebrew University, expressed great surprise at the fact that such an article would be published in Arabic and in an Arabic-speaking country. He told Arutz-7 at the time, "All in all, this is not a new claim. We must remember that Jerusalem is not mentioned at all in the Quran [though it is mentioned hundreds of time in the Bible - ed. note]. The verse in question is in Sura [chapter] 17, which states that Muhammad was brought at night from one mosque to a 'more distant' - aktsa, in Arabic - mosque. The first Moslem commentators did not explain this as referring to Jerusalem at all, of course, but rather as a miraculous night journey or night vision or some such. In the beginning of the 8th century, however, they began associating this with Jerusalem, because they had a need to start giving sanctity to Jerusalem, and so they started connecting this verse with Jerusalem... Originally, however, the Moslems recognized the area of the Dome of the Rock as holy because of the Jewish Temple of King Solomon."



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 21, 2007, 09:16:42 PM
Archaeologists Find Link To First Temple

Archeologists overseeing contested Islamic infrastructure work on Jerusalem's Temple Mount have stumbled upon a sealed archeological level dating back to the First Temple period, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Sunday.

The find marks the first time that archeological remains dating back to the First Temple period have been found on the contested holy site, the state-run archeological body said.

No archeological excavations have ever been carried out on the Temple Mount, which is Judaism's holiest and Islam's third-holiest site, due to opposition from religious leaders.

The sealed archeological level, dated from the eighth to the sixth centuries BCE, was exposed at the end of August in the area close to the southeastern corner of the raised platform surrounding the Dome of the Rock, and includes fragments of ceramic tableware and animal bone.

"The layer is a closed, sealed archeological layer that has been untouched since as early as the eighth century BCE," said Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem District archeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

But independent Israeli archeologists from the nonpartisan Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, who have repeatedly lambasted the Antiquities Authority for allowing Islamic officials to carry out the infrastructure work this summer, downplayed the findings.

The archeologists said the maintenance work, which was carried out with a tractor, had left a 100-meter-long and roughly 1-1.5-meter-deep trench and had badly damaged antiquities at the site.

"The Antiquities Authority is standing behind the barbaric Islamic destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount, and then presents the results of the destruction to show just how important the finds are," said Hebrew University archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, a leading Temple Mount expert. "This is a smoke screen for the destruction of antiquities."

According to decades-old regulations in place at the Temple Mount, Israel maintains overall security control at the site, while the Wakf, or Islamic Trust, is charged with day-to-day administration of the ancient compound, which is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute over control of Jerusalem.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 23, 2007, 11:15:30 AM
More on Ancient seal belonged to Queen Jezebel

Utrecht Old Testament expert finds conclusive evidence

Utrecht University Old Testament scholar Dr Marjo Korpel has discovered that a seal found in 1964 and dating from the 9th century BCE belonged to the biblical figure Queen Jezebel. The seal's symbols served as the basis for Korpel's conclusion. The results were published in the Journal for Semitics.

In Israel in 1964, archaeologist Nahman Avigad found a seal engraved with the name yzbl in ancient Hebrew. It was initially assumed that the seal had belonged to Queen Jezebel (Izebel), the Phoenician wife of the Israelite King Ahab (9th century B.C.). However, because the spelling of the name was erroneous and the personal seal could just as easily have belonged to another women of the same name, there was uncertainty regarding the original owner. A new investigation by the Utrecht Old Testament scholar Marjo Korpel demonstrates that the seal must have belonged to the infamous Queen Jezebel. Korpel reached this conclusion after more careful investigation of the symbols that appear on the seal.

Seal characteristics
The seal not only bears symbols that indicate a woman but also symbols that designate a royal female owner. Furthermore, the seal is exceptionally large compared to the seals commonly possessed by ordinary citizens. With regard to the name, Korpel demonstrates through comparison with similar seals that the upper edge of the seal must have carried two broken-off letters that point to Jezebel as owner and lead to a correct spelling of Jezebel’s name (in mirror image). The seal is included in the ‘Israel Antiquities Authority Collection’ of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, which thus vouches for the authenticity of the object.

Queen Jezebel
Jezebel was the Phoenician (and therefore foreign, and according to the Bible also pagan) wife of the Israelite King Ahab (9th century BCE). The Bible portrays Queen Jezebel as a woman who, in the background, exerted enormous influence, including on her husband (1 Kings 21:25). She sees the opportunity to bend the country's affairs to her will by devious means, including using her husband's seal (1 Kings 21:8) to forge letters. Nonetheless, she now appears to have possessed her own seal, which enabled her to deal with matters independently of Ahab. Eventually, Jezebel came to a bad end. The prophets of Israel accused her of prostitution, murder, idolatry and sorcery.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 29, 2007, 04:48:31 PM
Newly Discovered Tunnel May Once Have Carried Dead Sea Scrolls 

Accounts released last month of a newly discovered Jerusalem tunnel state that the passage was the very one used by those fleeing Jerusalem during the siege of 70 C.E., as described by Josephus. However, Josephus identifies not one tunnel but an elaborate network of them. That said, this most recent discovery, and others like it, have served to support Josephus’s underlying version of events.

Reports have described the discovery, by a team led by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, of an “escape hatch” or “drainage tunnel” under the main street of ancient Jerusalem. The archaeologists featured in the report are to be congratulated for their underground discovery, as are those news writers responsible for calling it to the public’s attention.

A September 9 Associated Press report, upon which most subsequent news accounts have been based, specifies that, two weeks earlier, archaeologists discovered the tunnel while searching for the city’s main road. Shukron is quoted as saying that workmen engaged in the search “happened upon a small drainage channel that led to the discovery of the massive tunnel.” The same report states that “the walls of the tunnel … reach a height of 10 feet in some places,” and a photograph of the site would appear to confirm that, while not necessarily 10 feet high throughout, it was high enough to accommodate many people in an upright position.

According to the large group of stories based on the AP report, “Archaeologists think the tunnel leads to the Kidron River, which empties into the Dead Sea.”

The Nahal (or Wadi) Qidron does indeed lead eastward to the sea, but about halfway toward that body of water it bifurcates, the one main branch, under the same name, continuing east-southeast to the sea — while the other bends slightly northward and, bearing the name of Nahal (or Wadi) Qumran, leads to Khirbet Qumran and was the main source feeding the large water-reservoirs that distinguish this site. The report of the Israel Antiquities Authority, focusing on the items found in the tunnel, states: “pottery shards … and coins from the end of the Second Temple period, prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in … 70 C.E., were discovered in the channel.”

The archaeologists are quoted, in the same group of reports and others, as saying: “According to Josephus, the historian who recorded the siege, occupation and destruction of Jerusalem, people found refuge in the drain until they managed to escape through the city’s southern gate.” Further clarifying this interpretation, Reich is described as estimating that the tunnel stretched northward “from the Shiloah [Siloam] Pool at Jerusalem’s southern end to … the Temple Mount.” Most of the reports have an additional observation, by Shukron, to the effect that the tunnel “was a place where people hid and fled from burning, destroyed Jerusalem.”

While no statement in Josephus’s “The Jewish War” describes a specific tunnel or refuge, leading to the Siloam pool, by which refugees were able to flee Jerusalem at the time of the Roman siege of 70 C.E., Josephus does indeed refer several times in his “Jewish War” to underground passages used by them for this purpose.

Putting the various statements of the archaeologists and of Josephus together, we have the following picture:

The archaeologists have discovered a Jerusalem tunnel that could accommodate many individuals and which led, at the least, from the Temple Mount to the Siloam Pool situated in the southern extremity of the ancient city. The pool, in turn, led directly to the Nahal Qidron, which, as the news reports indicate, led eastward down to the Dead Sea.

While no description in Josephus’s “Jewish War” actually makes mention of a particular locus, he does indeed state that various inhabitants of Jerusalem hid in the city’s underground passages (plural), and at one point he describes an important group of rebels whom he calls “the tyrants” as having secured temporary refuge in “the ravine below Siloam,” by which he undoubtedly means the opening gorges of the Nahal Qidron. It is thus a fair inference or assumption on the part of the archaeologists that the tunnel they uncovered was one of those used by Jerusalem’s inhabitants to hide and flee from the Romans. However, if we follow Josephus, not only one but several escape routes could be and were used by the refugees. No available indications appear to confirm the archaeologists’ suggestion that the drain-tunnel discovered by them is a particular one uniquely referred to by Josephus.

Tunnels of this type, moreover, were discovered by explorers of Jerusalem’s past in the 19th-century; see particularly the accounts given by Charles Warren in his 1876 “Underground Jerusalem”.

Warren’s findings, together with the discovery of Reich and Shukron described in the recent news reports, fully support Josephus’s statements relating to the tunnels beneath Jerusalem and the use to which they were put during the Roman siege of 70 A.D. These underground passages enabled many inhabitants of Jerusalem to exit the city and flee both south to Masada and, via Nahal Qidron and other wadis heading from Jerusalem eastward toward the Dead Sea, to the Machaerus fort lying just east of that sea, which was actually closer to Jerusalem than was Masada. (Josephus describes the large number of refugees who gathered at Machaerus.)

The circumstances as now known leave little doubt that, quite likely beginning even before the siege had begun, groups engaged in hiding the Temple treasures, the books and other items listed in the Copper Scroll — as well as those ancient writings of the Palestinian Jews known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found centuries later in caves near the wadis leading out of Jerusalem.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: nChrist on October 29, 2007, 09:27:41 PM
AMEN - Thank you Brother!

I just wish that the entire world could know about these discoveries. I think it would cause the lost to take another serious look at the Holy Bible and know that it is the ULTIMATE TRUTH - GOD'S WORD! In reality, GOD has provided enough evidence for an army of scientists to conclude that the HOLY BIBLE is REAL and TRUE! All Glory must go to ALMIGHTY GOD!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Romans 10:13-15 NASB
for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 29, 2007, 10:18:26 PM
AMEN!



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Littleboy on October 30, 2007, 06:09:38 PM
AMEN Brothers,
Isn't it great, "The times we live in"
Praise be to God!
If people won't believe the Bible & ALL the other things like this as Proof of The God of Isreal and ALL the things written within?
Only the Wrath of God will make them see...
They could see if they would just open their eyes, Most people like that just want to stay in that world they have created for themselves...
Well, It's just like you can take the Encyclopedia and the Book of Daniel,
And you can clearly see in the Encyclopedia that The Babylonians ruled then the Medes & Persians then the Greeks
after them the Romans.
The Book of Daniel says the samething and then after them the Iron mixed w/Clay would come to power(E.U) ect.ect.
And a Stone(1948), That would rise up and grind them All to powder...
Daniel 2:
28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

31Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

He talks about this somemore but he uses animals in his interpitations this is also we're he mentions the Medes and Persians ruling next....
Clearly The Babylonians we're the head of Gold, Medes & Persians arms of Silver, the Greeks Belly & thighs of Brass,
Romans the legs of Iron, the E.U the feet of Iron & Clay w/10 toes that has grown to 27, soon the world....
And Last but not least The Stone that becomes a Great Mt. AFTER smiting the feet of Iron & Clay,
Is our Lord and the Great Mt. is his Kingdom of which their shall be no end...
Your Loving Brother Duane

 


Title: Landmark Criminal Suit Against Waqf for Temple Mount Destruction
Post by: Shammu on November 06, 2007, 01:59:54 PM
Landmark Criminal Suit Against Waqf for Temple Mount Destruction
25 Cheshvan 5768, November 6, '07
 
by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) A group of 150 Israeli citizens have filed a class action suit against the Moslems who run the Temple Mount site for having destroyed Jewish antiquities there.

The suit, brought by the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, charges that Islamic Waqf officials have engaged in the deliberate destruction of ancient Jewish relics on the Temple Mount. The indictment was filed in the Jerusalem District Court last week, and Shurat Hadin sources say it is the first of its kind in Israeli legal history.

"We are utilizing a seldom-applied section of the penal code," Shurat Hadin director Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner explained, "that allows private citizens to bring a criminal complaint in certain areas. If we win, the Waqf officials could face years in prison."

"Why has this never done before," IsraelNationalRadio's Yishai Fleisher asked.  "Many things have never been done before," Darshan-Leitner said. "You have to think and be creative in order to do these things.  Basically, it’s something that the government should have done... There are certain areas of the penal code in which private citizens are permitted to file a private criminal complaint... The Israeli government has been notified of our suit, and it has 15 days in which to decide whether it wants to pursue it on its own.  If not, then we will do so on our own."

She explained that the 150 plaintiffs are acting as representatives of the Jewish People, who are the owners of the Temple Mount and therefore the injured party as a result of the Waqf actions at the holy site.

"In 1967," Darshan-Leitner said, "after the Six Day War, Israel made a terrible mistake in allowing the Jordanians to continue to run the Temple Mount.  It now continues to be under the custody of the Islamic Trust (Waqf), but is not owned by the Waqf; it is still owned by the Jewish people.  King David purchased it, King Solomon built the Temple there, and the Jewish People have longed to return there ever since the Exile began nearly 2,000 years ago.  Our regaining it in 1967 was the pinnacle of Zionism.  Because it has long been the heritage of the Jewish people, anyone who violates our rights there must be stopped and punished."

The suit accuses members of the Waqf of intentionally demolishing priceless Jewish artifacts, including remains from the Second Temple.  In recent months, the Waqf brought in bulldozers and heavy digging equipment to dig a long trench on the Mount, supposedly to replace electrical cables.  "Israeli archaeologists who sifted through the discarded earth," the Law Center reports, "were shocked to discover a great number of Jewish artifacts brutally trashed by the bulldozers. A wall from the outer courtyard of the Second Temple is believed to have been completely pulverized."

"The recently accelerated destruction is part of a four-decade-long campaign by the Waqf to eradicate all evidence of the historical Jewish connection and claim to the Temple Mount," the suit maintains.

Shurat HaDin alleges that the Israeli government, in its "political cowardice," has "consistently refused to undertake any concrete actions to stop the criminal activities of the Waqf."

Darshan-Leitner says, "This private suit is an unprecedented response to the brutal attempt by the Waqf extremists to eradicate any Jewish claim over the Temple Mount. The Waqf leaders belong in prison for their actions, and since Israel's government is refusing to protect Jewish heritage and property, we will prosecute the Waqf ourselves. This legal action is a moral obligation, not only for the Jewish people, but also for the Christian community, which has significant interests in safeguarding the Temple Mount as well."

Landmark Criminal Suit Against Waqf for Temple Mount Destruction (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/124158)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Littleboy on November 08, 2007, 08:20:34 PM
Ancient Hebrew text to return to Israel By REGAN E. DOHERTY, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 24 minutes ago
 


JERUSALEM - For six decades, Sam Sabbagh carried a good luck charm — a parchment he found on the floor of a burned synagogue.

 
Turns out that parchment likely is more than 1,000 years old, a fragment of the most authoritative manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. His family plans to present it to a Jerusalem institute next week, officials said Thursday.

The parchment, about "the size of a credit card," is believed to be part of the Aleppo Codex manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, said Michael Glatzer, academic secretary of the Yad Ben Zvi institute.

It contains verses from the Book of Exodus describing the plagues in Egypt, including the words of Moses to Pharaoh, "Let my people go, that they may serve me."

In 1947, Sabbagh, then 17, picked up a piece of the manuscript off the floor of a synagogue in Aleppo, Syria. The synagogue had been burned the previous day in riots after the United Nations decided to partition Palestine, a step toward creating the Jewish state of Israel.

When Sabbagh later immigrated to Brooklyn, he carried the parchment around for years in a plastic pouch in his wallet, Glatzer said. Sabbagh used it as a good luck charm, even bringing it with him when he underwent open heart surgery.

About 20 years ago, a Jewish studies institute in Jerusalem named after Israel's second president, Yad Ben Zvi, learned of the fragment's existence. But it was unable to persuade Sabbagh to part with it.

After he died two years ago, his family decided to donate it to the institute.

The recovery "is important in the sense that we are getting the chance to unify the missing parts and put them in their original place," said Michael Maggen, who as head of paper conservation at the Israel Museum will oversee restoring the document.

The codex "is not just another manuscript — it's a landmark," Maggen said, mainly because it provides insights into key aspects of Hebrew grammar and pronunciation.

Portions of the codex that have already been retrieved are on display in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Sabbagh fragment would eventually join its counterparts there, Glatzer said.

Glatzer hopes that the parchment's recovery will encourage others to check their safety deposit boxes and attics for similar treasures.

"What (Sabbagh) did, others must have done," he said.

The codex, also known as the Masoretic Text, was written in Tiberias, next to the Sea of Galilee, in the 10th century and later brought to Jerusalem.

It then traveled to Cairo, after which, according to tradition, Moses Maimonides' grandson brought it to Syria. The elder Maimonides was a 12th-century Jewish scholar whose writings and rulings are still followed and studied.

"We have only about 60 percent of the codex — more than a third is still missing," said Aron Dotan, professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at Tel Aviv University. The missing part includes most of the Torah, or Pentateuch, he said. The codex comprised the books of the Old Testament.

Although only a tiny scrap, the find is still noteworthy, he said.

"Every find is something, every new piece is something," he said. "It is an addition to what we have."



Title: Muslims sued for destroying Jewish Temple artifacts
Post by: Shammu on November 09, 2007, 09:25:15 PM
Muslims sued for destroying Jewish Temple artifacts
Israeli citizens in court with landmark case over Judaism's holiest site
Posted: November 9, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

JERUSALEM – In an unprecedented legal move, Israeli citizens this week filed a criminal lawsuit against the Muslim custodians of Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount, alleging the Muslim trust destroyed Jewish antiquities, including a possible wall from the Second Jewish Temple.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government this summer allowed the Mount's Waqf Islamic custodians to use bulldozers and other heavy equipment to dig a massive trench on the Temple Mount which the Waqf claimed was necessary to replace electrical cables outside mosques on the site.

Allowing the use of bulldozers at any sensitive archaeological site is extremely unusual, particularly at the Temple Mount, which experts say contains sealed layers of artifacts as shallow as two to three feet below the surface.

The Mount has never been properly excavated. Heavy equipment could easily damage any existing artifacts, stress Israeli experts, who assert the area should be excavated slowly and carefully by hand.

In September, after bulldozers dug a trench 1,300 feet long and five feet deep, the Muslim diggers reportedly came across a wall Israeli archaeologists believe may be remains of an area of the Second Jewish Temple known as the woman's courtyard.

Israel, however, blocked leading archeologists from surveying the massive damage Islamic authorities are accused of causing to the purported wall.

According to top archaeologists, the Waqf dig resulted in the destruction of scores of Temple-era artifacts. At one point during the dig, WND obtained a photo of the Waqf trench. In view in the picture, obtained in conjunction with Israel's Temple Institute, are concrete slabs broken by Waqf bulldozers and what appears to be a chopped-up carved stone from Jewish Temple-era antiquity.

Eilat Mazar, a leading Temple Mount archaeologist, confirmed the slabs in the photo were antiquities with Temple-era attributes. She said inspection of the slabs was required to verify its authenticity.

The Waqf repeatedly denied it found or destroyed any Temple artifacts.

But this week, 150 Israeli citizens filed a criminal complaint against Waqf officials, utilizing a section of the country's penal code that allows private citizens to bring criminal suits against an individual or group that did wrong, including in cases in which the defendant is accused of destroying property.

"The Temple Mount is the property of Jewish nation and has been for thousands of years," Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the lead council for the lawsuit, told WND.

"What the Waqf did was clearly destroying property of the Jewish people by throwing away and chopping through artifacts; therefore the Jewish people have a right to indict Wafq officials," said Nitsana, director of the Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Center.

The suit has been passed to Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, who will consider whether to immediately file legal charges against the Waqf. If Mazuz declines, the Supreme Court will hear the case and then can decide whether to recommend criminal charges. Charges can result in prison time for Wafq leaders, explained Darshan-Leitner.

"The Waqf leaders belong in prison, and since Israel's government is refusing to protect Jewish heritage and property, we will prosecute the WAQF ourselves," she said. "This legal action is a moral obligation, not only for the Jewish people, but also for the Christian community, which has significant interests in safeguarding the Temple Mount as well."

History of destruction

The last time the Waqf conducted a large dig on the Temple Mount – during construction 10 years ago of a massive mosque at an area referred to as Solomon's Stables – the Wafq reportedly disposed truckloads of dirt containing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods.

After media reported the disposals, Israeli authorities froze the construction permit given to the Wafq, and the dirt was transferred to Israeli archaeologists for analysis. The Israeli authorities found scores of Jewish Temple relics in the nearly disposed dirt, including coins with Hebrew writing referencing the Temple, part of a Hasmonean lamp, several other Second Temple lamps, Temple-period pottery with Jewish markings, a marble pillar shaft and other Temple period artifacts. The Waqf was widely accused of attempting to hide evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temples.

Temples 'never existed'

Most Palestinian leaders routinely deny well-documented Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

Speaking to WND in a recent interview, Waqf official and chief Palestinian Justice Taysir Tamimi claimed the Jewish Temples "never existed."

"About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount)," said Tamimi, who is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

"Israel started since 1967 making archaeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city, and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s," said Tamimi.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and more than 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.

Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad's horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the wall predates the mosque by more than 1,000 years.

"The Western Wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque," he said. "It's where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah."

The Palestinian media also regularly claim the Jewish Temples never existed.

Judaism's holiest site

While the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, Muslims say it is their third holiest site.

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. It was expanded by King Herod in 19 B.C. shortly before the birth of Jesus. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The Dome of the Rock now sits on the site and the Al Aqsa Mosque is adjacent.

The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark where Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.


Title: Archaeologist uncovers Scriptures' famed wall
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 11, 2007, 10:05:51 AM
Archaeologist uncovers
Scriptures' famed wall 
Emergency dig finds tower
built by Bible's Nehemiah


Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may want to see Israel wiped off the map and its Jews sent to Europe or Alaska, but an archaeological discovery announced this week marks an event recorded in the Bible when his country – Persia, at the time – literally helped put the Jewish people back on the map in their capital city of Jerusalem.

Dr. Eilat Mazar, one of Israel's top archaeologists, ended her presentation Wednesday to the 13th Annual Conference of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies on "New Studies on Jerusalem," with a surprise announcement. She had discovered remnants of the fifth century B.C. wall built by Nehemiah, the account recorded in the Old Testament book of the same name.

According to the biblical account, Nehemiah served as cupbearer for the Persian King Artaxerxes in the city of Susa. The Persians had conquered the Babylonian empire that had destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and taken most of the inhabitants of Judah into captivity in what is now modern Iraq.

The account reads:

    In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence.

    And the king said to me, "Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart."

    Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, "Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"

    Then the king said to me, "What are you requesting?"

    So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' graves, that I may rebuild it."

Nehemiah's rebuilding of the city began with its walls, a project that was resisted by hostile neighbors who had occupied the area around Jerusalem in the Jews' absence.

    But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

With tools in one hand and weapons in the other, Nehemiah's workmen toiled dawn to dusk, completing the wall in a record 52 days.

Archaeological evidence for Nehemiah's project has been lacking. Jerusalem has been rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt in the almost 2,500 years since.

Mazar, who is perhaps best known for her recent excavation that many believe has revealed the palace of King David, was working on an emergency project to shore up remains of a tower long believed to date from the Hasmonean period, 142-37 B.C., that was in danger of collapsing.

According to an account of the conference in "The Trumpet," Mazar said, "Under the tower, we found the bones of two large dogs – and under those bones a rich assemblage of pottery and finds from the Persian period. No later finds from that period were found under the tower."

Had the tower been built during the Hasmonean dynasty, the Persian-era artifacts would represent an unexplained chronological gap of several hundred years. The tower, said Mazar, had to have been built much earlier than previously thought and the pottery data placed it at the time the Bible says Nehemiah was building it.

Todd Bolen, of BiblePlaces.com, noted that excavations in the Philistine city of Ashkelon during the same Persian era, found 800 dog burials like those uncovered by Mazar.

Nehemiah described 10 gates in the wall around Jerusalem as well as several towers designed to protect the entrances to the city, among them the Tower of the Hundred, the Tower of Hananel, the Tower of the Ovens, and an unnamed tower "projecting from the upper house of the king at the court of the guard" in the vicinity of Mazar's most recent dig.

WND reported Mazar's confirmation that what appeared to be chopped-up carved stone, unearthed by recent trenching on the Temple Mount by the holy site's Islamic custodians, were indeed antiquities with attributes of the Second Temple-era during the ministry of Jesus.

Mazar has urged Christians to help save the holy site.

"The Christian world and all those who care about safeguarding the Temple Mount must immediately join us in our efforts to protect the holy site and demand that the Israeli government stop the Waqf construction," she said.

"The Temple Mount is important to people of all religions. Now is the time to act before more antiquities are erased."


Title: Archaeologist uncovers Scriptures' famed wall
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 11, 2007, 10:08:41 AM
This is one of the most important finds to the Jewish people as well as Christians and one that will cause a great deal of problems in these times that we are in.



Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Littleboy on November 11, 2007, 11:33:22 AM
This is one of the most important finds to the Jewish people as well as Christians and one that will cause a great deal of problems in these times that we are in.



Praise God..


Title: Re: Archaeologist uncovers Scriptures' famed wall
Post by: nChrist on November 11, 2007, 05:10:08 PM
This is one of the most important finds to the Jewish people as well as Christians and one that will cause a great deal of problems in these times that we are in.



The Holy Bible is the ultimate TRUTH, and we always knew that it was. Many recent discoveries provide hard scientific PROOF that the Holy Bible is unquestionably TRUE. For Christians, this should serve to strengthen our faith. For unbelievers, it should cause them to take another look at the Bible and question their false religions.

However, it could also cause those from false religions to lash out at the TRUTH. After all, it isn't nice to be shown proof that everything you believe is false. It just isn't convenient.


Love In Christ,
Tom

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/verse/Verse012.gif)
   


Title: Majadle Justifies Destruction of Temple Remains
Post by: Shammu on November 14, 2007, 02:24:04 PM
Majadle Justifies Destruction of Temple Remains
4 Kislev 5768, November 14, '07
 
by Gil Ronen

(IsraelNN.com) The Jewish State's first Arab minister, Raleb Majadle, declared Wednesday that as far as Jerusalem's Temple Mount is concerned, Israeli sovereignty is nonexistent and Islam rules. The minister spoke in his official capacity as Minister of Science, Culture and Sport, from the Knesset podium, in response to a parliamentary question by MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP).

MK Eldad's question referred to the unsupervised digging carried out by the Muslim authorities (the "Wakf") on the Temple Mount during the summer, by means of heavy machinery. "I received a series of photographs of digs on the Temple Mount near the Dome of the Rock," the parliamentary question read. "The police are present on the scene but there is no supervision by the Department of Antiquities regarding finds taken out of the digs, and there is a serious concern that they could be destroyed by the Wakf. What will be done in the short term to stop the destruction of the remains of the Temple?"

Speaking before the Knesset plenum, Majadle replied that the digs carried out on the Mount were coordinated, accompanied and supervised by the Antiquities Authority. "I have worked in recent months to create understandings between the Antiquities Authority and the Islamic Wakf because I believe that this is the only way," he said.

MK Eldad asked Majadle pointedly from the plenum floor: "Does Israeli law apply on the Temple Mount or does it not?"

Majadle answered: "In my opinion, certainly not." Eldad reminded him that in answering parliamentary questions he speaks for the entire government, but Majadle was unfazed: "I will say my opinion. Before I am a government minister I am first and foremost a person and a citizen and a Muslim. With all due respect for the law, the law was meant to respect the religion, the person and the citizen and protect him, and not the other way around, enslave him," he explained. "Therefore I say clearly: Al-Aksa, Al-Haram al-Sharif [as the Temple Mount is called by Muslims – ed.], cannot be under the authority of Israeli law."

Eldad interrupted him repeatedly, reminding him that he had sworn allegiance to the State of Israel and its laws, but Majadle insisted: "I hereby inform you, esteemed MK Eldad, that I may be a minister for one, two or ten years but I was born a Muslim, and a Muslim I shall die.  I respect Israeli law...  but if there is a contradiction between the law and my deep faith as a Muslim, I announce that I will know what to choose."

Immediately after this exchange, MK Eldad wrote to the Prime Minister demanding that Majadle be fired from the government. In addition, he asked the Attorney General to open a police investigation against him, on suspicion of breach of trust.

Majadle's response was to repeat, this time in writing: "I respect Jewish law and recognize the sensitive situation in the Temple Mount and act accordingly, but I believe as a Muslim that in times of peace the holy places must be outside of the political dispute. My opinion is that they must be administered according to religious laws and not be placed under any earthly sovereign."

Majadle Justifies Destruction of Temple Remains (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/124246)


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 14, 2007, 08:27:46 PM
Roman street uncovered in Western Wall tunnels

The remains of an ancient terraced street dating back to the Roman Period have been uncovered in the Western Wall tunnels, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The street, which likely led to the nearby Temple Mount, dates back nearly 2,000 years to when the city was called Aelia Capitolina, during the second to fourth centuries.

The site, which was uncovered in archeological excavations over the past year, is a side street connecting two major roads in the area, said Jon Seligman, the Antiquities Authority Jerusalem regional archeologist.

The ancient street is paved with large flagstones and is amazingly well-preserved. It is demarcated on both sides by walls built of ashlar stones.

The recent finding is the latest indication that even after they destroyed the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Romans continued to value the Temple Mount as one of the main urban focal points of activity in the city.

Various artifacts were discovered in the excavations, including pottery, glass vessels and dozens of coins that all date to the construction of the street and the period after it was abandoned.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 15, 2007, 11:29:06 AM
Biblical Queen Jezebel's official seal confirmed
Hated woman accused of prostitution, murder, sorcery – tossed from window, ravaged by dogs

 Jezebel, the queen whose name became synonymous with all things lewd and wicked, probably wielded a fair bit of power in ancient Israel, suggests a stone document seal newly traced to the Biblical "bad girl."

Originally discovered in Israel in 1964, the intricate seal was suspected all along to belong to Queen Jezebel, but confusion over the letters engraved on the stone left some uncertainty.

Recently, closer scrutiny of the seal's engraving revealed markings characteristic of royal objects.

"The lion-sphinx with female head and female Isis-Hathor crown, which is unique, this clearly points to a queen," said Marjo Korpel, an Old Testament scholar at the University of Utrecht who conducted the research.

The seal confirms that Jezebel, who eventually met a gory demise, was a powerful figure in the ancient world who conducted business independent of her husband.

Complete results of the University of Utrecht study are published in a recent volume of the Journal for Semitics.

Royal symbols borrowed from Egypt

Jezebel, whose life in the 9th century B.C. is chronicled in the Bible, was married to King Ahab of Israel.

As a Phoenician, the Queen was considered pagan and attempted to sway the people of Israel to abandon their God and accept her chief deity Baal, partly through forging her husband's seal on documents, according to the scriptures.

The Bible says nothing of her own seal, but archaeologists have long believed that the stone discovered in 1964 was Jezebel's, despite the ambiguity of the symbols and the name depicted on it.

Multiple icons on the seal, as well as its above-average size, indicate that it belonged to a queen, the recent investigations concluded.

"The lotus (below the Horus falcon) was a symbol of gender definition and refers to a female owner," Korpel told LiveScience, "[while] the winged sun disk was a well-known symbol of royalty in and outside Israel."

Other symbols on the seal also reinforce the connection to a monarch, such as the Horus and double-cobra, a figure probably adopted from Egypt, she said.

A misspelling of the name "yzbl" — the queen's moniker in ancient Hebrew — also had archaeologists confused.

However, by comparing the seal to similar examples from the time, Korpel found that an upper edge that had broken off likely contained the two missing letters that would have correctly spelled Jezebel's name.

Pagan queen had power

With her own seal, Queen Jezebel was able to exert a powerful influence upon people around her, much like the Egyptian queens, Korpel said.

"The biblical texts already prove that she was a powerful woman. The queens in Egypt ... all have in common their prominent roles in religion, politics and representational art, and their status as principal wife. This also seems to count for Queen Jezebel," said Korpel.

Unlike Egypt, however, biblical Israel did not look favorably upon powerful women.

Jezebel was ultimately perceived as a threat and foreign idol worshipper, accused of prostitution, murder and sorcery and tossed from her window to be ravaged by dogs.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 16, 2007, 10:33:00 PM
Roman road, bath unearthed near Jewish temple site


Israeli archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a second century terraced street and bath house which provide vital clues about the layout of Roman Jerusalem.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the 30-metre (90-foot) alley was used by the Romans to link the central Cardo thoroughfare with a bath house and with a bridge to the Temple Mount, once the site of Jerusalem's ancient Jewish temple.

"We find bits of Roman road all the time but this discovery helped us piece together a picture of Roman Jerusalem," Jon Seligman, Jerusalem regional archaeologist, told Reuters at the site. "It was a real Eureka moment."

The Romans razed the second Jewish temple during the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 AD but later built a colony in the area, and called it Aelia Capitolina.

Archaeologists say the street is remarkably well preserved. After clearing away mounds of earth, workers are painstakingly restoring the alley, which runs between walls of ashlar stone and is paved with large flagstones.

TUNNEL TOURS

The remains of the street, which now runs below a sewage channel and offices belonging to the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall remnant of the temple compound, will form part of Jerusalem's Western Wall tunnel tours for tourists.

Archaeologists also discovered the outside wall of a large building which they believe is a Roman bath house because of the latrines outside and pipes which appear to have operated an under floor heating system.

 They will start excavation on that site shortly.

The Antiquities Authority said the discovery of the alley, a stone's throw from the Western Wall, may add weight to the theory that the Temple Mount complex was a focal point of Roman life even after the destruction of the temple itself.

The complex is also revered by Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and houses Islam's third-holiest mosque, making it Jerusalem's most contested site and giving it a pivotal role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Seligman said the newly-discovered alley once led to an important bridge over a ravine known during the time of Jesus as the Valley of the Cheese makers.


Title: Re: Recent Archaeological Finds
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 29, 2007, 03:49:44 PM
Elusive biblical Jerusalem wall finally found, Israeli archaeologist says

A biblical wall that has eluded archaeologists for years has finally been found, according to an Israeli scholar.

A team of archaeologists in Jerusalem has uncovered what they believe to be part of a wall mentioned in the Bible's Book of Nehemiah.

The discovery, made in Jerusalem's ancient City of David, came as a result of a rescue attempt on a tower which was in danger of collapse, said Eilat Mazar, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research and educational institute, and leader of the dig.

Artifacts including pottery shards and arrowheads found under the tower suggested that both the tower and the nearby wall are from the 5th century B.C., the time of Nehemiah, according to Mazar. Scholars previously thought the wall dated to the Hasmonean period (142-37 B.C.).

The findings suggest that the wall is actually part of the same city wall the Bible says Nehemiah rebuilt, Mazar said. The Book of Nehemiah (chapters 3-6) gives a detailed description of construction of the walls, destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.

"We were amazed," she said, noting that the discovery was made at a time when many scholars argued that the wall did not exist.

"This was a great surprise. It was something we didn't plan," Mazar said.

However, another scholar doubted whether the wall was biblical.

The first phase of the dig, completed in 2005, uncovered what Mazar believes to be the remains of King David's palace, built by King Hiram of Tyre and also mentioned in the Bible.

Ephraim Stern, professor emeritus of archaeology at Hebrew University and chairman of the state of Israel archaeological council, corroborated Mazar's claim. "The material she showed me is from the Persian period," the period of Nehemiah, he said. "I can sign on the date of the material she found."

Another scholar disputed the significance of the discovery.

Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, called the discovery "an interesting find," but said the pottery and other remains do not indicate that the wall was built in the time of Nehemiah. Because the debris was not connected to a floor or other structural part of the wall, the wall could have been built later, Finkelstein said.

"The wall could have been built, theoretically, in the Ottoman period," he said. "It's not later than the pottery — that's all we know."


Title: Syrians discover ancient jar in ruins
Post by: Shammu on December 02, 2007, 07:25:28 PM
Syrians discover ancient jar in ruins

By ALBERT AJI, Associated Press Writer Sat Dec 1, 5:56 PM ET

DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian archeologists have discovered an ancient glass jar containing an infant's ashes at one of the Mideast's most famous archaeological sites.

The discovery of the 2nd century A.D. jar amid the ruins of Palmyra was the first of its kind, shedding light on previously unknown funeral practices common at the time, Khalil Hariri, a senior Syrian archaeological official, told The Associated Press late Friday.

Archeologists unearthed the jar from a newly discovered cemetery within Palmyra, said Hariri. The ashes inside the container, which measured 9.5 inches in height and 7 inches in diameter, revealed that the infant had been cremated, he added.

Hariri said the mission discovered pottery, furniture and lamps in the cemetery, as well as glass vials in which mourners put their tears. He could not provide further details, pending studies on the new discoveries.

Palmyra, located some 150 miles northeast of Syria's capital Damascus, was the center of an Arab client state to the Roman empire and thrived on the caravan trades across the desert to Mesopotamia and Persia, especially after the decline of ancient Petra in Jordan.

Under Queen Zenobia, the city rebelled against Roman rule and briefly carved out an independent desert Arab kingdom before being re-conquered and razed by the Romans.

Syrians discover ancient jar in ruins (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071201/ap_on_re_mi_ea/syria_antiquities;_ylt=ApeJ2Qken6h85a61c39RxJwLewgF)


Title: Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old palace in east Jerusalem
Post by: Shammu on December 05, 2007, 04:18:24 PM
Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old palace in east Jerusalem

7 hours ago

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli archaeologists said on Wednesday they have unearthed a palace complex dating back to the first century AD in an Arab neighbourhood just outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.

Archaeologists discovered a structure that is "relatively big in size and subdivided into main halls," said Doron Ben-Ami, the project director, adding that coins on site dated the structure to the time of the Jews' Second Temple.

Ben-Ami said more work was necessary but that there was a "high probability" that the structure was a palace built by Queen Helena, a wealthy Iraqi aristocrat who converted to Judaism and moved to Jerusalem around 40 AD.

The structure was destroyed 30 years later, when Roman troops violently suppressing a Jewish revolt razed much of Jerusalem to the ground, including the Second Temple of which only the Western Wall remains today, he said.

The excavation is being carried out in a car park just opposite the City of David, the site of Jerusalem in ancient times and now an outdoor archaeological museum in the densely-populated Palestinian suburb of Silwan.

The suburb is part of Arab east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed soon thereafter, a move not recognised by the international community.

Palestinians, who see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, have long accused Israel of confis