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Author Topic: Recent Archaeological Finds  (Read 106283 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #45 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.

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« Reply #46 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.

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« Reply #47 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.

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« Reply #48 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.”

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« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2006, 09:37:13 PM »

I'm suprised you didn't post this Pastor Roger. Undecided

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
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« Reply #50 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.



« Last Edit: January 24, 2006, 10:53:19 PM by Pastor Roger » Logged

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« Reply #51 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



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
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« Reply #52 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!
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« Reply #53 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
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« Reply #54 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
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« Reply #55 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
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« Reply #56 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
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« Reply #57 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.

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« Reply #58 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."

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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)


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