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Author Topic: Recent Archaeological Finds  (Read 99440 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #495 on: January 03, 2011, 03:49:50 PM »

A flax merchant from Egypt! Owner of 4th century New Testament papyrus identified


A Princeton University researcher has identified the owner of a New Testament papyrus that dates to the time of Constantine the Great.
Constantine was the Roman emperor who allowed Christians to practice freely, ending hundreds of years of persecution. His decision led people throughout the empire to convert and disseminate the New Testament.
Now, thanks to this new discovery, we know the story of one of these Christians.
“It is the first and only ancient instance where we know the owner of a Greek New Testament papyrus,” writes Professor AnneMarie Luijendijk in an article recently published in the Journal of Biblical Literature. “For most early New Testament manuscripts, we do not know where they were found, let alone who had owned them.”
The papyrus was discovered in the late 19th century at the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, located roughly 160 kilometres south of Cairo. The document contains the first seven verses of Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
“There are several mistakes in spelling and part of verse 6 is omitted” wrote site excavators Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt in 1899. They concluded that the papyrus was “no doubt a schoolboy’s exercise.” 
Who owned it?
To find the ancient owner of this papyrus Professor Luijendijk engaged in some archaeological detective work. Grenfell and Hunt mentioned in 1899 that “the papyrus was found tied up with a contract dating to 316 AD.” Unfortunately they did not specify which document this is.
“They were not particularly interested in the social context of the texts they had unearthed, or perhaps they were too busy editing their enormous find,” writes Luijendijk.
To find this missing document Luijendijk turned to a modern day papyrus database called the Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis or HGV. She searched for examples from Oxyrhynchus that date to AD 316.
She found 13 examples but only two of them were contracts. One discussed a “lease of a plot of land” while the other was “a contract for the sale of a donkey.”
Luijendijk determined that the donkey sale could not be the missing contract. “Grenfell and Hunt cannot have referred to the latter papyrus, for it did not come from their excavations.”
This left only the land lease document. Further investigation revealed that it was excavated during the same field season as the New Testament papyrus. This meant that it had to be the one.
From there the discovery got even more interesting.
The land lease contract had a name on it - that of a man named Aurelius Leonides, a flax merchant from Egypt. He must have owned both the contract and the New Testament papyrus.
Further research revealed that there are more than a dozen papyri from Oxyrhynchus that belonged to Leonides. This gave Luijendijk the opportunity to reconstruct this man’s past – and give some clues as to how Christianity may have spread in his community.
Aurelius Leonides
We don’t know much about Leonides family life. His father’s name is Theon, while his mother remains nameless. It is unknown whether he had a wife or children. Luijendijk said that the man’s earliest document dates from AD 315 and the latest is from AD 334. It “is likely that the New Testament papyrus was written early in the second quarter of the fourth century, that is, in the 320s or 330s,” she writes.
This is a date that puts the document in the time of Constantine.
Luijendijk also writes that Leonides “probably came from a somewhat well-to-do family.” We know this because his documents include at least one letter that he penned with his own hand saying “I, the same Leonides, have signed.”
In the modern world we tend to take literacy for granted. But in the ancient world only a small proportion of the population was able to read and write. “Leonides was thus a literate man, who had enjoyed an education,” writes Luijendijk.
The documents reveal that Leonides did business in two villages in the area. “Most documents in the archive are applications for the lease of land for the cultivation of flax; another records Leonides' purchase of flax,” said Luijendijk in her article.
They also indicate that Leonides was a leader in the local guild. He “even occupied a rotating leadership position in this professional association, for he functioned repeatedly as its monthly president.” The relationships he formed in this guild may have helped spread Christianity throughout the community.
Ammonius
The documents reveal a business relationship Leonides had with a member of the early church.
They say that Leonides did business with a man named Ammonius. Together the two of them “leased five arouras of land for cultivating flax in the upper toparchy of the Oxyrhynchite nome in the year 318.”
Records indicate that 14 years prior to this deal, in AD 304, Ammonius was caught up in persecution against the early church.  “This same Ammonius appears in another document, which pertains to the confiscation of church property during the so-called Great Persecution,” writes Luijendijk. He is identified as "Ammonius, son of Copres, lector of the former church of the village of Chysis." The job of a lector was to “recite biblical passages during worship.” This is a job that would have required Ammonius to be literate.
“Thus, through his business relationship with a church reader, we detect another, albeit more indirect, connection between Leonides and Christian manuscripts,” writes Luijendijk.
It also opens up another possibility – that Leonides could have been a lector himself, using his literacy skills to read the gospel to a church congregation.
Did Leonides write the New Testament papyrus himself?
We cannot know for sure if Leonides wrote it. Just underneath the scripture there is a name scribbled in, that of someone named Aurelius Paulus. None of Leonides other documents mentions this man.
It is unknown why his name appears just below the first seven verses of Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Luijendijk suggested several possibilities in her article. “Was it penned in relation to the apostle Paul's letter quoted above? Was a fourth-century Paul himself the writer of the scribbles, or was he the subject of a document that the scribe was about to compose?”
Indeed we may never know who wrote this papyrus. But, thanks to this bit of detective work, we now know who owned it, a first for an ancient New Testament text.

http://www.unreportedheritagenews.com/2011/01/flax-merchant-from-egypt-owner-of-4th.html
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« Reply #496 on: January 03, 2011, 03:52:55 PM »

A Triage to Save the Ruins of Babylon

The damage done to the ruins of ancient Babylon is visible from a small hilltop near the Tower of Babel, whose biblical importance is hard to envision from what is left of it today.

Across the horizon are guard towers, concertina wire and dirt-filled barriers among the palm trees; encroaching farms and concrete houses from this village and others; and the enormous palace that Saddam Hussein built in the 1980s atop the city where Nebuchadnezzar II ruled.

Something else is visible, too: earthen mounds concealing all that has yet to be discovered in a city that the prophet Jeremiah called “a gold cup in the Lord’s hands, a cup that made the whole earth drunk.”

On the hillside during one of his many visits to the ruins, Jeff Allen, a conservationist working with the World Monuments Fund, said: “All this is unexcavated. There is great potential at this site. You could excavate the street plan of the entire city.”

That is certainly years away given the realities of today’s Iraq. But for the first time since the American invasion in 2003, after years of neglect and violence, archaeologists and preservationists have once again begun working to protect and even restore parts of Babylon and other ancient ruins of Mesopotamia. And there are new sites being excavated for the first time, mostly in secret to avoid attracting the attention of looters, who remain a scourge here.

The World Monuments Fund, working with Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, has drafted a conservation plan to combat any further deterioration of Babylon’s mud-brick ruins and reverse some of the effects of time and Mr. Hussein’s propagandistic and archaeologically specious re-creations.

In November, the State Department announced a new $2 million grant to begin work to preserve the site’s most impressive surviving ruins. They include the foundation of the Ishtar Gate, built in the sixth century B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar’s father, Nabopolassar, and adorned with brick reliefs of the Babylonian gods Marduk and Adad. (The famous blue-glazed gate that Nebuchadnezzar commissioned was excavated in the early 20th century and rebuilt in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.)

The objective is to prepare the site and other ruins — from Ur in the south to Nimrud in the north — for what officials hope will someday be a flood of scientists, scholars and tourists that could contribute to Iraq’s economic revival almost as much as oil.

The Babylon project is Iraq’s biggest and most ambitious by far, a reflection of the ancient city’s fame and its resonance in Iraq’s modern political and cultural heritage.

“This is one of the great projects we have, and it is the first,” Qais Hussein Rashid, the director of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, said in an interview in Baghdad. “We want to have it as a model for all the other sites.”

The task at hand is daunting, though, and the threats to the site abundant. In the case of some of the Hussein-era reconstructions, they are irreversible. The American invasion and the carnage that followed brought archaeological and preservation work to a halt across the country, leaving ruins to wither or, in the case of looting, much worse.

The American military turned Babylon into a base. It was later occupied by Polish troops and, though it was returned to the control of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in 2004, the detritus of a military presence still scars the site.

The World Monuments Fund has been carrying out what amounts to archaeological triage since it began its conservation plan in 2009. It has created computer scans to provide precise records of the damage to the ruins and identified the most pernicious threats, starting with erosion caused by salty groundwater. “What we’ve got to do is create a stable environment,” Mr. Allen said at the site in November. “Right now it’s on the fast road to falling apart.”

The wicking of groundwater into mud bricks, compounded by a modern concrete walkway and the excavations conducted by the German archaeologist Robert Koldewey more than a century ago, have already eaten away some of the 2,500-year-old brick reliefs at the Ishtar Gate’s base.

“They took care of Ishtar Gate only from the inside, because you had visiting leaders and dignitaries who would come,” said Mahmoud Bendakir, an architect who is working with the fund, referring to the site’s caretakers during the Hussein era. “The outside is a disaster.”

The grant from the United States will pay for repairs to channel the water away from the gate’s foundation, which stands several yards beneath the surrounding area. Similar repairs are planned for two of Babylon’s temples, Ninmakh and Nabu-sha-Khare, the most complete sets of ruins, though they too suffer from erosion and harmful restorations with modern bricks.

“It’s difficult to say which is doing more,” Mr. Allen said, “but the two together are nearly toxic for the preservation of monuments.”

The American reconstruction team has refurbished a modern museum on the site, as well as a model of the Ishtar Gate that for decades served as a visitors’ entrance. Inside the museum is one of the site’s most valuable relics: a glazed brick relief of a lion, one of 120 that once lined the processional way into the city.

The museum, with three galleries, is scheduled to open this month, receiving its first visitors since 2003. And with new security installed, talks are under way to return ancient Babylonian artifacts from the National Museum in Baghdad.

The fate of Babylon is already being disputed by Iraqi leaders, with antiquities officials clashing with local authorities over when to open it to visitors and how to exploit the site for tourism that, for the most part, remains a goal more than a reality. Even now they are clashing over whether the admission fee should go to the antiquities board or the provincial government.

Another of the more dire threats to the site has been unchecked development inside the boundaries of the old city walls, enclosing nearly three square miles. The fund’s project has plotted the old walls on a map, causing trepidation among Iraqis who live along them now.

They fear the preservation of Babylon’s ruins will force them from their homes and farmlands, as when Mr. Hussein expelled residents of a local village to build his palace. “They took them from their lands,” said Minshed al-Mamuri, who runs a civic organization for widows and orphans here. “It’s psychological for them.”

Mr. Allen, who oversees the fund’s work, said the preservation of Babylon would require collaboration among competing constituencies that is extremely rare amid Iraq’s political instability.

“We’re looking at not just archaeology,” he said of the project. “We’re looking at the economic opportunities and viability for local people. They need to see something out of this site. That’s possible, and possible at the same time to preserve the integrity of the site.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/arts/03babylon.html?_r=2
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« Reply #497 on: January 03, 2011, 05:13:11 PM »

Interesting articles - Thanks! I find the world attention to ancient Babylon fascinating.
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« Reply #498 on: January 03, 2011, 05:45:14 PM »

Yes, I do also especially since many want to rebuild it.
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« Reply #499 on: February 03, 2011, 08:50:28 AM »

Tomb of  Zechariah?

A major archaeological discovery during salvage excavations conducted at Horbat Midras revealed an impressive mosaic floor.

Part of a 1,500-year-old Byzantine church, the  mosaic floor was decorated with  images of lions, foxes, fish and peacocks.

The excavation, conducted on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority was necessary due to the site being the target of robbers, trying to access its underground tunnels.

The ruins are built on top of another structure which is believed to have been in use in Roman times. Its underground tunnels were thought to have been used by Jewish rebels around the 2nd century AD. Horbat Midras is believed to be the site of a large  Jewish settlement that dates from the Second Temple period until its destruction during the Bar Kokhba uprising in 135 CE.

The later basilica comprises a large flagstone courtyard from which worshippers passed into a corridor. Entering into the nave there were eight breathtaking marble columns that bore magnificent capitals which were  imported from Turkey.

There is a theory that  this site holds the tomb of the biblical prophet Zechariah. Analysis of Christian sources, including the Madaba Map from Jordan, leads researchers to conclude that Horbat Midras may be a memorial church marking the tomb of  Zechariah.

For the past month the Israel Antiquities Authority has been engaged in exposing the magnificent structure, unravelling its secrets and preserving the mosaic floors. In the coming days the spectacular mosaics will be covered and the planning process will begin for the conservation of the site and its future presentation to the public.

http://www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/02/2011/salvage-excavations-in-israel-uncover-an-impressive-mosaic-floor

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« Reply #500 on: February 03, 2011, 02:24:27 PM »

Great story - thanks for sharing this with us Pastor Roger. It's one amazing discovery after another, and each one adds evidence that the Holy Bible is the absolute truth.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #501 on: March 30, 2011, 01:20:35 PM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12888421

(click on the link for pictures)


Jordan battles to regain 'priceless' Christian relics

They could be the earliest Christian writing in existence, surviving almost 2,000 years in a Jordanian cave. They could, just possibly, change our understanding of how Jesus was crucified and resurrected, and how Christianity was born.

A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol.

A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, and what he found inside might constitute extremely rare relics of early Christianity.

That is certainly the view of the Jordanian government, which claims they were smuggled into Israel by another Bedouin.

The Israeli Bedouin who currently holds the books has denied smuggling them out of Jordan, and claims they have been in his family for 100 years.

Jordan says it will "exert all efforts at every level" to get the relics repatriated.
Incredible claims

The director of the Jordan's Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, says the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion.

"They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls," says Mr Saad.

"Maybe it will lead to further interpretation and authenticity checks of the material, but the initial information is very encouraging, and it seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery, maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology."

They seem almost incredible claims - so what is the evidence?

The books, or "codices", were apparently cast in lead, before being bound by lead rings.

Their leaves - which are mostly about the size of a credit card - contain text in Ancient Hebrew, most of which is in code.

If the relics are of early Christian origin rather than Jewish, then they are of huge significance.

One of the few people to see the collection is David Elkington, a scholar of ancient religious archaeology who is heading a British team trying to get the lead books safely into a Jordanian museum.

He says they could be "the major discovery of Christian history", adding: "It's a breathtaking thought that we have held these objects that might have been held by the early saints of the Church."

He believes the most telling evidence for an early Christian origin lies in the images decorating the covers of the books and some of the pages of those which have so far been opened.

Mr Elkington says the relics feature signs that early Christians would have interpreted as indicating Jesus, shown side-by-side with others they would have regarded as representing the presence of God.

"It's talking about the coming of the messiah," he says.

"In the upper square [of one of the book covers] we have the seven-branch menorah, which Jews were utterly forbidden to represent because it resided in the holiest place in the Temple in the presence of God.

"So we have the coming of the messiah to approach the holy of holies, in other words to get legitimacy from God."
Location clues

Philip Davies, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies at Sheffield University, says the most powerful evidence for a Christian origin lies in plates cast into a picture map of the holy city of Jerusalem.

"As soon as I saw that, I was dumbstruck. That struck me as so obviously a Christian image," he says.

"There is a cross in the foreground, and behind it is what has to be the tomb [of Jesus], a small building with an opening, and behind that the walls of the city. There are walls depicted on other pages of these books too and they almost certainly refer to Jerusalem."

It is the cross that is the most telling feature, in the shape of a capital T, as the crosses used by Romans for crucifixion were.

"It is a Christian crucifixion taking place outside the city walls," says Mr Davies.

Margaret Barker, an authority on New Testament history, points to the location of the reported discovery as evidence of Christian, rather than purely Jewish, origin.

"We do know that on two occasions groups of refugees from the troubles in Jerusalem fled east, they crossed the Jordan near Jericho and then they fled east to very approximately where these books were said to have been found," she says.

"[Another] one of the things that is most likely pointing towards a Christian provenance, is that these are not scrolls but books. The Christians were particularly associated with writing in a book form rather than scroll form, and sealed books in particular as part of the secret tradition of early Christianity."

The Book of Revelation refers to such sealed texts.

Another potential link with the Bible is contained in one of the few fragments of text from the collection to have been translated.

It appears with the image of the menorah and reads "I shall walk uprightly", a sentence that also appears in the Book of Revelation.

While it could be simply a sentiment common in Judaism, it could here be designed to refer to the resurrection.

It is by no means certain that all of the artefacts in the collection are from the same period.

But tests by metallurgists on the badly corroded lead suggest that the books were not made recently.

The archaeology of early Christianity is particularly sparse.

Little is known of the movement after Jesus' crucifixion until the letters of Paul several decades later, and they illuminate the westward spread of Christianity outside the Jewish world.

Never has there been a discovery of relics on this scale from the early Christian movement, in its homeland and so early in its history.
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« Reply #502 on: March 30, 2011, 02:58:03 PM »

Fascinating article and pictures - thanks for sharing them with us Pastor Roger. It would be great to get them into hands that can translate them and share them with the world.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #503 on: April 02, 2011, 11:54:20 AM »

Fascinating article and pictures - thanks for sharing them with us Pastor Roger. It would be great to get them into hands that can translate them and share them with the world.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Yes!  Thanks PR!  I was just coming here with the same story to post and you beat me to it!
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« Reply #504 on: April 08, 2011, 08:17:13 AM »

Report: Portrait of Jesus May Have Been Found in Jordan
 
by Elad Benari

Historians are trying to determine whether a portrait found buried within a cave in a remote village in Jordan is authentic and if it is the first-ever discovered portrait of Jesus.

According to a report on Monday in Britain’s The Daily Mail, the portrait was found on a lead booklet, slightly smaller than a credit card. It was part of an astonishing hoard of 70 books said to be found on the site, each with between five and 15 cast lead pages bound by lead rings.

The discoveries were supposedly made between 2005 and 2007, after a flash flood exposed two nooks inside the cave, containing the booklets, metal plates and scrolls.

The speculation is that the picture, which shows a man wearing a crown of thorns, was created in Jesus’ lifetime by those who knew him. If true, it would be the first ever portrait of Jesus. However, a crown of thorns is not limited only to the story of Jesus.

The booklet, say finders, has been buried for 2,000 years and the features are barely distinct as that of a human face, reported The Daily Mail.

Some historians believe the book collection was made by followers of Jesus in the decades immediately after his crucifixion. The most convincing evidence that the books are Christian might be that one plate appears to show a map of Jerusalem with crosses outside the city walls, if that symbol was in use at the time.

The director of Jordan’s Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, told The Daily Mail that he believes the booklets were made by Jesus’ followers shortly after his death.

“They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than the Dead Sea Scrolls,” said al-Saad. “The initial information is very encouraging and it seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery – maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology.”

According to the report, the booklets are currently in the hands of a Bedouin trucker named Hassan Saida who lives in the village of Shibli-Umm Al-Ghanam, a Bedouin village in northern Israel. He has refused to sell them, claiming the books have been in his family since they were found by his great-grandfather. Two samples, however, have been sent to England and Switzerland for authenticity testing.

Some claims have been made that Saida’s Bedouin business partner bought the books from a villager in Jordan five years ago, and took them to Saida in Israel. The Jordanian government said that it would make efforts at every level to return them to Jordan.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/143377
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« Reply #505 on: April 08, 2011, 04:52:04 PM »

Fascinating - yet another amazing find as if God is giving more evidence for the lost to believe. I hope and pray that is exactly what happens. The discoveries are getting more spectacular by the year now. It would be nice if this particular find was in hands that would share more with the world.
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« Reply #506 on: July 18, 2011, 03:20:19 PM »

Goliath of Gath found?

Just recently Archaeologists have claimed to find the Biblical city of Gath. Many giant skeletons have been unearthed there and although not certain it is thought that one of them is the remains of Goliath himself. Further forensic research is needed to determine if it is indeed Goliath's remains or not. Regardless of whether or not that determination is ever made positively this find still supports the Bible account of there being giants there.

These pictures were sent to Kimber Rn Bsn Mba here in the U.S. by her brother Davide Shalome who is currently in Jerusalem, Israel.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1991581827519&set=a.1991580747492.2104877.1182595814&type=1&ref=nf
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« Reply #507 on: July 18, 2011, 04:45:34 PM »

Quote from: Soldier4Christ
Regardless of whether or not that determination is ever made positively this find still supports the Bible account of there being giants there.

Amen! - Another piece of evidence to go on the mountain of evidence that the Holy Bible is completely accurate and is God's Word.
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« Reply #508 on: September 03, 2011, 10:15:27 AM »

2000-Year-Old Burial Box Could Reveal Location of the Family of Caiaphas

Rare, detailed inscription is genuine, says a TAU researcher

In Jerusalem and Judah, ancient limestone burial boxes containing skeletal remains — called ossuaries — are fairly common archaeological finds from the 1st century BCE to the 1st century AD period. Forgers have also added inscriptions or decorations to fraudulently increase their value. So three years ago, when the Israel Antiquities Authority confiscated an ossuary with a rare inscription from antiquities looters, they turned to Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology to authenticate the fascinating discovery.

Prof. Goren, who worked in collaboration with Prof. Boaz Zissu from Bar Ilan University, now confirms that both the ossuary and its inscription are authentic. The ossuary's inscription, which is unusually detailed, could reveal the home of the family of the biblical figure and high priest Caiaphas prior to their exodus to Galilee after 70 AD. Caiaphas is infamous for his involvement in the crucifixion of Jesus.

Prof. Goren's finding has been reported in the Israel Exploration Journal.

The ossuary marks the spot

Ossuaries have recently been in the news — an ossuary marked with a fraudulent inscription claiming the deceased to be James son of Joseph, the brother of Jesus, made worldwide headlines. Taking this recent hoax into account, it was imperative to establish whether the Caiaphas-related ossuary and its inscription represented a genuine artefact, Prof. Goren says.

Most ancient ossuaries are either unmarked or mention only the name of the deceased. The inscription on this ossuary is extraordinary in that the deceased is named within the context of three generations and a potential location. The full inscription reads: "Miriam daughter of Yeshua son of Caiaphus, priest of Maaziah from Beth Imri."

The Maaziah refers to a clan that was the last mentioned order of 24 orders of high priests during the second temple period, Prof. Goren explains. While there are some records of the clan in Talmudic sources that detail their lives after they spread into the Galilee in 70 AD, the reference to Beit Imri gives new insight into the family's location prior to their migration. Though it is possible that Beit Imri refers to another priestly order, say the researchers, it more probably refers to a geographical location, likely that of Caiaphus' family's village of origin.

The ossuary is thought to come from a burial site in the Valley of Elah, southwest of Jerusalem, the legendary location of the battle between David and Goliath. Beit Imri was probably located on the slopes of Mount Hebron.

A genuine among fakes

In the Laboratory for Comparative Microarchaeology, Prof. Goren conducted a thorough examination of the limestone box, which boasts decorative rosettes in addition to the inscription. "When a rock is deposited in the ground for millennia, it is affected by the surrounding environment and affects the surrounding environment," he notes. Processes such as erosion by acidic ground water and the accumulation of calcareous or siliceous coatings, biological activity such as the development of bacteria, algae, lichens, and the nearby activity of flora and fauna lead to a coating of the stone. Most of these features are impossible to replicate in the lab.

Conclusive evidence of these natural processes was found not only on the stone of the ossuary, but also above and below the inscriptions. "Beyond any reasonable doubt, the inscription is authentic," says Prof. Goren.

http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=15161
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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #509 on: September 03, 2011, 06:03:48 PM »

Another great find - thanks for sharing this with us.
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