Tag Archives: Archeology

Archeologists may have discovered evidence of earthquake during the reign of Uzziah

Archeologists may have discovered evidence of earthquake during the reign of Uzziah

(Photo Credit: Eliyahu Yanai/ City of David. From The Times of Israel caption: “Remains of tools discovered in Jerusalem’s City of David within a layer of destruction from the 8th century BCE, which coincided with a massive earthquake mentioned in the Bible. The tools were likely shattered during the quake.”)

Read the full article in The Times of Israel. Here is a section containing quotes from Aren M. Maeir of Bar-Ilan University on the dating of the find:

‘According to Bar-Ilan University Prof. Aren M. Maeir, the director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project, the proof of earthquake is “based on specific ways that walls collapse — in our case evidence of the ‘waves’ of energy that hit after an earthquake.”

Maeir was able to date the earthquake layer based on the levels below, including the securely dated Hazael destruction of 830 BCE. Above the ample signs of battle and conquest was “a period of abandonment with windblown sediments, then the earthquake, and then above it, two levels dating to the late 8th cent BCE.”’

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Earliest Alphabetic Writing

Earliest Alphabetic Writing

(Clay, finger-sized objects with engravings or inscriptions. Image credit: Courtesy of Dr. Glenn Schwartz)

Rachel Wallach writes in her online article, “Alphabetic writing may have begun 500 years earlier than believed: Inside one archaeologist’s mission to rewrite the history of writing“, that archeologist Glenn Schwartz believes discoveries at Umm el-Mara in modern Syria may mean that the history of alphabetic writing may need to be updated:

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Announcement of the Discovery of a Section of Wall in Jerusalem, possibly dating to the period of the Babylonian Invasion

Announcement of the Discovery of a Section of Wall in Jerusalem, possibly dating to the period of the Babylonian Invasion

(photo credit: KOBI HARATI/CITY OF DAVID, from The Jerusalem Post)

The Jerusalem Post and other outlets are carrying this news. The announcement comes on on the eve of the Ninth of Av, a day marking terrible calamities in Jewish history (the fall to the Babylonians in 587/586 BCE, the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, and several others), and this news release may have been timed due to the discovery’s connection with the first destruction of Jerusalem on that date.

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Jumping to Conclusions: ‘This’ does not necessarily mean ‘that’ in the discovery of an ancient name.

Jumping to Conclusions: ‘This’ does not necessarily mean ‘that’ in the discovery of an ancient name.

The Jerubbaal inscription. (photo credit: DAFNA GAZIT/ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)

This past week it was announced by the Israeli Antiquities Authority that a 3,100 year piece of pottery was excavated at Khirbat er-Ra‘i, near Qiryat Gat, in Israel. The excitement is that the name Jerubaal/Yerubaʿal is inscribed on the fragment, which is a name used for Gideon in the Book of Judges (Judg 6:32; 7:1; 8:29, 35-9:2; 9:5, 16, 19, 24, 28, 57; 1 Sam 12:11), and this is the first time that name has been discovered in material dating from the period of the Judges.

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Heel bone from Italy only the second set of physical remains bearing the marks of crucifixion yet discovered

Heel bone from Italy only the second set of physical remains bearing the marks of crucifixion yet discovered

Though there is no doubt that crucifixion, well attested in literature, was a form of torture and execution in the Roman Empire (and other cultures); however, there is almost no evidence, in terms of physical human remains, of the practice. Forbes has an article (using information from an article in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences) which highlights the discovery of only the second set of human remains bearing the marks of crucifixion. This discovery was made in Italy. Previously, the only other remains had been found outside of Jerusalem in 1968, in an ossuary bearing the name: Yehohanon ben Hagkol.

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Machaerus Ostraca being translated by Dr. Christopher Rollston

Machaerus Ostraca being translated by Dr. Christopher Rollston

Dr. Christopher Rollston is working on translating ostraca inscriptions found at Machaerus. Machaerus is the site where, according to tradition, John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded under the reign of Herod Antipas. The location is in Jordan. Read a tiny bit more about Machaerus, the ostraca, and the work at the George Washington University link.

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Israel Antiquities Authority showcases Beit Shemesh “Gloriorius Martyr” Church

Israel Antiquities Authority showcases Beit Shemesh “Gloriorius Martyr” Church

The Israeli Antiquities Authority showcased information about the excavation of a sixth-century Byzantine church in Beit Shemesh with an exhibit at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. The excavations were directed by Benjamin Storchan.

Here’s a snippet about the excavation of the church structure from the full article:

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