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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Dec 2018, 10:46 pm

Archaeologists: We’ve located biblical city of Sodom
 December 10, 2018
Archaeologists: We’ve located biblical city of SodomThe destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by John Martin, 1852 (Wikipedia)

Archaeologists believe they have found the ancient city of Sodom, whose destruction is described in the Bible. They say it was caused by a meteorite.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Archaeologists excavating the Bronze Age city of Tall el-Hammam in Jordan believe it to be the biblical city of Sodom, destroyed some 3,700 years ago.

According to the Bible, God obliterated the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the plain upon which they stood by raining down on them “brimstone and fire.”

A report last Tuesday on the Universe Today website, which publishes space and astronomy news, quotes archaeologists as saying there are clear indications that a meteorite exploded in the air above what is now the Middle Ghor plain, wiping out a civilization that existed there for over 2,500 years.

Archaeologist Phillip Silvia of Trinity Southwest University presented the findings on November 15th at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research. He and colleague Steven Collins say that the damage to the structures as well as to the 100-foot-thick and 50-feet-high walls around Tall el-Hammam was directional, which supports the theory of an immensely strong shock wave hitting the city from a mid-air explosion.

The huge magnitude of the blast destroyed an area of no less than 500 square kilometers. It is estimated to have been the equivalent of a 10-megaton nuclear warhead exploding about one kilometer above the ground.

A thick layer of ash that covers the site indicates that a fire had consumed the city. However, the discovery of a pottery shard with one side melted to glass shows that it was no petro-chemical blaze, perhaps set off by an earthquake, which was the prevailing theory as to what had destroyed the ancient city.

A study of the glass side of the shard shows that it had been exposed to a temperature of 8,000-12,000 degrees Celsius. In addition, the glass layer was only one millimeter thick, meaning that the concentrated burst of heat must have happened quickly, taking less than a few milliseconds.

Another proof that the city was destroyed by a meteorite explosion, the archaeologists say, is the discovery of a “melt rock” – three different rocks melted together, about a pound in weight and, like the shard, covered in glass. It, too, must have been exposed to intense heat, though for a few seconds longer than the clay piece.

The final proof that a meteorite had destroyed the city, according to the archaeologists, is the fact that the area – described in both the bible and historically as rich agriculturally – was not reinhabited for the next 700 years because the soil’s consistency had completely changed. Soil samples below and above the ash level were analyzed geochemically and found to contain three to four times the salt content allowing for the growth of wheat and barley.

The scientists theorize that the shock wave from the meteor blast spread a layer of salt from the nearby Dead Sea throughout the area, making the land agriculturally useless for centuries.

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Post  Admin on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 5:35 pm

Inscription confirms ancient ring belonged to Pontius Pilate, man who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion
Published time: 29 Nov, 2018 12:49
Edited time: 30 Nov, 2018 10:34
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Inscription confirms ancient ring belonged to Pontius Pilate, man who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion
Workers from the Israeli Antiquities Authority work in the Herodium fortress. File Photo: ©️ Global Look Press / Gil Cohen Magen
The name of Pontius Pilate, the Roman official who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ according to Christian scripture, has been deciphered on a bronze ring discovered some 50 years ago near Bethlehem.
READ MORE: ‘Flying pastor’ swings off church ceiling to portray Jesus’ return (VIDEO)

The ancient ring was found in the late 1960s during an archaeological dig at the site of the Herodion fortress, built by Herod the king of Judea.

His name was deciphered on the ring after it, and thousands of other finds, were handed over to the team currently working on the historical site. Pilate was an infamous Roman governor of Jerusalem in the years 26 to 36 who also allegedly ran Jesus’ trial.

After a thorough cleansing, the ring was photographed using a special camera at the Israel Antiquities Authority Labs, revealing the crucial name. The stamping ring bears a picture of a wine vessel surrounded by Greek writing that translated into “Pilatus.”

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A stamping ring was also a hallmark of status in the Roman cavalry, to which Pilate belonged. Researchers believe it was either used by Pilate in his day-to-day work as governor or by his team to sign his name on official documents.

“I don’t know of any other Pilatus from the period and the ring shows he was a person of stature and wealth,” Professor Danny Schwartz told Haaretz.
Pilatus, the name linked to Pontius Pilate in the New Testament as the man who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion, was rare in Israel during that era, says Schwartz. It’s also not the first find at the site inscribed ‘Pilatus.’ In the 1960s, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Gideon Forester Forster also unearthed a stone decorated with the name.

Herodian was built by King Herod and after his death it became a huge burial site, however Roman officials ruling over Judea used the upper tier as their administrative headquarters.
Research into the ring was led by Professor Shua Amurai-Stark and Malcha Hershkovitz. They published their findings in the new issue of the Israel Exploration Journal.

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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 9:17 pm

Ancient ship, animal etchings found in Beersheba
November 7, 2018
Ancient ship, animal etchings found in Beersheba(Israel Hayom/Screenshot)
The 2,000-year-old illustrations of ships and animals were found in a huge water cistern at an archaeological dig.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Israel Antiquities Authority has discovered a Roman-era water cistern in the southern city of Beersheba decorated with drawings of several ships, a sailor and animals, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.

The reservoir, measuring about 5.5 meters round and 12 meters deep, had been plastered to keep water from escaping, which some artist or artists from long ago used as a canvas on which to trace images of over a dozen sailing vessels, among the other etchings.

1st-2nd Century
Dr. Davida Eisenberg-Dagan, an expert in engraving and rock art at the antiquities authority, who is in charge of the dig along with Avishai Levy-Hevroni, dated the find to the first or second century.

“As soon as we started cleaning away all the mud and sand that had collected and filled the pit, we saw lines etched in the walls, in the plaster,” she said. “We start looking, and suddenly identify a ship. We keep looking, and find more lines, another ship, and another. … Until we have thirteen ships – Roman ships.”

The etchings weren’t the work of children, Eisenberg-Dagan said, “They reflect a knowledge of a ship’s structure, there’s technical understanding here. … This is someone who really knew – maybe he worked on ships, did business or built [them].”

But they are not functional drawings, she noted, nor were they in a place where people would come appreciate the artwork. “It’s really just the urge of a person who wanted to draw, and this is the result,” she said.

The cistern was evidently used by a village that was also uncovered less than a kilometer away, she said.

The dig is taking place as part of the Beersheba municipality’s plan to establish a new neighborhood in the area.

The find will be cleaned, preserved, and opened to the public, joining other local attractions like the Tel Beersheba National Park, an archaeological site believed to be the remains of the biblical town where Abraham lived.

The dig was initiated and financed by the Beersheba Economic Development Company.

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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Oct 2018, 11:21 pm

What’s In A Mezuzah?
By ONE FOR ISRAEL (Messianic Jews In Israel)
Mezuzah is the Hebrew word for doorframe. It is also the name of the little ornament you often see attached to Jewish doorframes, and there is a powerful part of the Bible hidden inside every Mezuzah, known as the Shema.
“It’s wonderful when Gentiles say the Shema to us!” exclaimed a Jewish friend here in Israel. “It says “Hear, O Israel, the Lord YOUR God, the Lord is one”, she explained. “It’s as if it’s supposed to be said to us”.

Nearly every Jewish person is familiar with the first line of the Shema (shema means ‘Hear’ – the first word of the verse), but there is so much more to this important command in God’s Torah, or law.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4

“The Lord is one” bit seems straightforward enough for most Jewish people, but there is a wonderful treasure hidden in the Shema…

The verse (Deut 6:4) is written on a small bit of paper, rolled up and inserted in a “mezuzah” which is attached to every Jewish door frame (Almost every doorframe!) in accordance with the instruction in the verses following it to write it,

“…on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:9)

Very often you will see the first letter of the Shema on the mezuzah. Shema means “Hear”, and the first letter is the “Sh” sound. It looks like this: ש.  It is also the first letter of Shaddai which is usually translated “Almighty” – El Shaddai means Almighty God. He is the God of the forefathers of Israel, and so the ש of Shaddai is usually written on the mezuzahs.

This letter is called “shin” and although it is one letter, it has three prongs, so to speak.

Three in one
Every Mezuzah quietly declares that our Lord is one, but with three persons united in a singular Godhead.

Equally the name of God (YHWH – יהוה) is mentioned three times:

“Hear O Israel, YHWH your God, YHWH is one, you shall love YHWH your God…”

And how about loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and might? Here is a challenge indeed. What does that look like? The Jewish religion is all about deed, rather than creed – doing rather than believing, as a way of honouring God in the best way they know how. Following the Torah. Obedience, doing all that is required.

But even though Yeshua says,“If you love me, you will keep my commandments”  in John 14:15, it is possible to obey with no love at all.

Heart, soul and might
Parallel to the command of loving God with all our heart, soul and might is this verse in Jeremiah 17:

“I the Lord search the heart

and test the mind, (the Hebrew for this word is literally “the kidneys” – the innermost parts, or the hidden motivations)

to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

God knows very well if our hearts and souls are in it – he searches our hearts, he tests our innermost thoughts, and he gives to us according to the fruit of our actions. This verse comes right after a wonderful passage on how we can keep God at the core of our lives, and avoid putting our love and trust anywhere else. How often do we find it easier to put our trust in human beings around us, who are visible, touchable, but fallible?

Immediately before this verse (verse 10) is a passage warning us not to trust in human beings but to keep our trust in God. Cursed is the man who trusts in man, Jeremiah says, and blessed is the man who trusts in God:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

What a contrast! When we trust in human beings instead of God himself, it does us no good, and we can’t even see the good that is there. But when we trust in God, even in dry times we don’t have to worry! We are plugged into the unstoppable, endless water of life. Jeremiah speaks a lot about this problem – God’s sorrow that the people of Israel had forsaken him; the the spring of living water, and had instead dug around elsewhere – hoping that their broken and useless water cisterns would do the trick.

Trusting in the wrong things
How had it come to that? The same way it happens in our hearts today –

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Bemoans Jeremiah in verse 9, right before he tells us that God is searching our hearts and testing our minds. We keep moving away from God in our hearts, deceiving ourselves, and ending up putting our trust elsewhere before we even know it!

An advert just appeared in the newspaper here in Israel1, disguised as a proper article, saying that on the anniversary of the death of Rachel the matriarch (Isaac’s wife) a Kabbalist rabbi had performed a ceremony over hundreds of mezuzahs, imbuing them with special powers!

For the special price of 84 shekels in 24 easy payments (that’s ₪2016, $550) you can get salvation! Health! Miracles! Fertility! An ideal marriage partner! What a con.

These mezuzahs are (very expensive) lucky charms, and Jewish people are being tricked into trusting in them, instead of trusting in God for help and salvation.

It’s an extremely grievous situation.

No wonder God insisted that we needed to be reminded about what’s important, which is why he suggested keeping a reminder on the doorframes in the first place:

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 7-9)

You could use the Shema to guide your prayers today for Israel. Take time to check in your heart and mind and action whether you are loving God first, and put things right with him where you have moved away from that spring of living water. Then pray the Shema over the people of Israel, praying that God would be their first and highest love, and that they would come to love the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as one.


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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Oct 2018, 1:55 pm

Seal Of King Hezekiah And Of Isaiah Discovered
By ONE FOR ISRAEL (Messianic Jews In Israel)
The seal of King Hezekiah was recently discovered close to Hezekiah’s tunnel in the City of David, and earlier this year, yet another significant seal surfaced with what appeared to be the name of Isaiah the Prophet!

However, the seal was missing a piece and it is not clear whether it in fact was Isaiah the Prophet or another Isaiah. Experts are still arguing about it. However, we can say for sure that Isaiah was not only a contemporary of Hezekiah, but according to the Bible, the two men knew each other, met together, and Isaiah gave Hezekiah counsel. We can see this in Isaiah 38 and also in 2 Kings chapter 19:

Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.’ (2 Kings 19:20)

According to Eilat Mazar, the fact that the two seals were found within ten feet of one another does “…seem to leave open the possibility that, despite the difficulties presented by the bulla’s damaged area, this may have been a seal impression of Isaiah the prophet, adviser to King Hezekiah.”[1] It’s true that the writing is indeed typical of eighth century BC Hebrew, and there is also strong evidence of the Biblical events of this era, according to Haaretz:

“During Hezekiah’s reign, the kingdom was invaded by King Sennacherib of Assyria, an event described in Isaiah 36-37 and corroborated by the extra-biblical account inscribed in the Annals of Sennacherib Prism, the Rassam Cylinder and also Histories, written by the 5th century B.C.E. Greek Herodotus”.

The article tells us that expert Alan Millard, professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Liverpool University, “sees no reason to doubt that Isaiah was a real person who lived in the reigns of Sargon II, then Sennacherib – that being the Assyrian king who marched through Judah, conquering 46 of King Hezekiah’s fortified cities, but who mysteriously withdrew after reaching Jerusalem just as victory over the cowed Judahite king seemed assured.” [2]

Rather amazingly, the Israeli broadsheet also comments on the content of Isaiah’s prophetic writings, reporting that,

“Isaiah foretold a number of details about the coming of the Messiah.”

The secular newspaper proceeds to give a rundown of Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy to its Israeli audience! Here’s what they wrote:

“It is a paragraph by Isaiah that has become one of the most controversial passages in the Old Testament. As the King James Version translates Isaiah 7:14:

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son”…

“Isaiah also foretold that the Messiah would be a descendant of David (Isaiah 11:1-5). He predicted that the Messiah would not be accepted by the majority of Israel and instead be a “stone of stumbling” to them (Isaiah 8:14,15). In the book of Isaiah, the Messiah prophetically says:

“My back I gave to the strikers
my face did not conceal from humiliating things and spit” (Isaiah 50:6).

“He even gave details of the Messiah’s death, foretelling:

“He will make his burial place even with the wicked ones,
and with the rich class in death” (Isaiah 53:9).

“Finally Isaiah spoke of the meaning of the Messiah’s death:

“The righteous one, my servant, will bring a righteous standing to many people;
and their errors he himself will bear” (Isaiah 53:8,11).

“Many Christians today identify the Messiah with Jesus Christ, and view Isaiah’s prophecies regarding the Messiah as fulfilled by the works and life of Jesus Christ.”[3]

Well amen to that. Whether or not that seal actually belonged to the prophet or not, the truth of the Scriptures is coming to light more and more all the time with every archaeological dig. Moreover, Isaiah’s words about the Messiah are still speaking to Israel today – even through the daily paper.


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Post  Admin on Thu 30 Aug 2018, 9:35 pm

Is This Where the Israelites Camped on Their Way to Canaan 3,200 Years Ago?
Stone structures found in the Jordan Valley wasteland may have been erected by the Israelites crossing, very slowly, into Canaan, archaeologists postulate
By Philippe Bohstrom and Ruth Schuster Aug 30, 2018
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How did ancient Israel come to be? Did the early Israelites reach Canaan from the eastern wilderness by crossing the Jordan River opposite Jericho, as the Book of Joshua says? Or did the Israelites originate in Canaan in the first place, as part of the indigenous population?
No archaeological evidence has ever been found of the migration of the Israelites from the wilderness of Sinai via the Jordan Valley to the fertile land of Canaan, as described in the Bible. Nor has evidence of the pitched battles the Israelites were said to have had, as described by the Prophet Joshua, with the locals, whether in Jericho or elsewhere.
It is not odd that a migrating people would not leave evidence behind. By definition, nomads travel light and don’t build permanent structures. Except that some of the Middle Eastern ones did exactly that – live in tents themselves, but make stone fencing for their beasts. Today’s Bedouin tend to do the same thing.
And now archaeologists are excavating strange ruins previously found in inhospitable parts of the Jordan Valley, hoping to prove or disprove the theory suggested by the late archaeologist Prof. Adam Zertal of Haifa University: That the stone structures found there were erected by the ancient Israelites as they slowly crossed into Canaan 3,200 years ago.

Interestingly, if the Israelites did build these structures, they may have done so not to shelter themselves but their livestock, says Prof. David Ben-Shlomo of Ariel University.

A horrible place to live

The Jordan Valley is a stretch along the Dead Sea Transform, the yawning crack in the earth formerly known as the Great Rift Valley. Stretching over 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee, the valley is long, narrow, deep – and hot and dry. One side of the valley is in Israel and the West Bank, the other in Jordan.

This is not an inviting place to live on a permanent basis. Temperatures in the Jordan Valley can easily reach 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer and annual rainfall is wretched, at 100 to 200 millimeters (4 to 8 inches) a year.

Archaeologists therefore assumed that, given other options, people would not choose to settle in the Jordan Valley, except in spots fed by oases like Jericho – which is one of the oldest-known cities in the world. But north of it is precious little settled life, because the conditions are so nasty.

Yet a meticulous survey of 1,000 square miles of the western part of the valley, headed by Zertal and his team from 1978 onward, found the remains of hundreds of ancient settlements in the Jordan Valley. (One seems to be shaped like a foot, with toes and all.)

Of the hundreds, Zertal estimated that about 70 had been erected in the early Iron Age. That is, about 3,200 years ago, which is when the ancient Israelites were said to have been led by the Prophet Joshua from the wilderness to fertile Canaan, where summer temperatures were more likely to be in the 30s.

Khirbet el-Mastarah: Could have provided convenient place to rest for a whole people on the move The Jordan Valley Excavation Project
No signs of the builders’ identity have been found as yet. The only reasons to associate the structures in the bitterly inhospitable valley with the ancient Israelites are their location and the estimated timing of their erection.

But Ben-Shlomo and Ralph K. Hawkins of Averett University, Virginia, are continuing where Zertal left off: they are excavating the sites, hoping to find more clues to their provenance and use.

They began with a large and very strange settlement called Khirbet el Mastarah (which could be loosely translated as “hidden ruins”).

While today the only sign of life there is the occasional Bedouin shepherd passing by with their herd, Mastarah seems to have once housed a large Iron Age village, says Ben-Shlomo.

It is the oddity of the settlement’s location that begs thoughts about its founders.

A small structure excavated at Khirbet el-Mastarah with walls made of standing stones: Maybe it corralled the ancient Israelites' domestic animals The Jordan Valley Excavation Project
And how exactly does a significant village with stone houses square with the idea that the builders were a people on the move?

Strangely empty structures

The ancient mound of Jericho (Tell e-Sultan): It was built on a water source and there's precious little settlement in the arid wastes to the north of it in the Jordan Valley The Jordan Valley Excavation Project
Khirbet el Mastarah is 8 kilometers north of Jericho and 2 kilometers from the outlet of a spring named 'Uja (or 'Auja). The whole Jordan Valley area north of Jericho is pretty miserable, says Ben-Shlomo: No reason for people to have decided to spend their lives eking out a living there. So there were few “fixed” towns. Yet one was Mastarah.

The mysteries at Mastarah are multiple. One is that it wasn’t built by a spring, as far as we can tell, yet seems to have developed into a respectable hamlet, some 2.5 acres square.

An aerial view of an early Iron Age site in the Jordan Valley found by Prof. Adam Zertal, nicknamed ‘Sandal’ site due to the shape of its confining wall: A sign of the Israelite crossing into Canaan? The Jordan Valley Excavation Project
A second oddity is that no sign of human habitation was found inside the stone structures, with the exception of grain grinding stones that could have been placed there later, or kept there.

What few pottery sherds were found lay outside the structures – which is spectacularly unhelpful to archaeologists trying to date a site. “Maybe somebody came by 1,000 years later and left them there,” Ben-Shlomo points out.

The archaeologists are, therefore, tapping other advanced techniques to date the site: they sampled soil beneath the walls to test with optically stimulated luminescence analysis – a technology used to date ancient materials based on the buildup of electrons that get trapped over the years and are released by exposure to light – and expect to get the findings in some months.

In normal towns, broken pottery sherds are found inside the houses, not outside. Yet that anomaly could be explained in a number of ways.

A domestic structure at the site of Uja el-Foqa, near Khirbet el-Mastarah The Jordan Valley Excavation Project
The less likely possibility is theft over the generations since the town’s abandonment: robbing sites of antiquity goes back to, well, antiquity. However, Ben-Shlomo points out that thieves might steal whole pots but wouldn’t help themselves to fragments. Those would have remained behind.

A second possibility is that the pottery remains were washed away: a hot dry valley area is a recipe for flash flooding and the ruins had been on the surface, not buried under sand, the archaeologist notes.

A third possibility is that the structures were occupied by people for a short time, which fits with the theory of a migratory people taking a break for a decade or two.

A fourth possibility is that stone structures were for the animals, while the people themselves, as befits nomads, lived in tents.

The archaeologists hope to see whether the “homes” actually housed goats and the like by chemical analysis of the ground inside. Theoretically, if dung had accrued in them, the ground will, even thousands of years later, be richer in phosphorus.

There is precedence. Ancient and modern Near Eastern Bedouin, who tended to nomadic lifestyles, also seem to have lived in tents but to have housed their animals in stone compounds – to protect their precious livestock from rustlers.

But Mastarah’s key anomaly is where it was built. It nestles between a small hill to the south and the foothills in the northwest. It was built on a low spur 40 meters below sea level between two small tributaries of Wadi Nabiris, which is now dry.

In short, the settlement was topographically isolated. Its very name, Mastarah, means “hidden” in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Locating a new settlement not adjacent to a water source or a main land route and concealed from its surroundings is highly unusual. It could imply its inhabitants were a new population in the region, possibly hiding from a local hostile population.

The Jordan River, in the Jordan Valley, near the modern Abdallah Bridge: Away from water, the land is inhospitable The Jordan Valley Excavation Project
So it is possible that the ancient Israelites did come from the wilderness, did cross the Jordan Valley – and then stayed awhile, Ben-Shlomo explains. While the environs were not paradisal, at least there were not many people. The weary Israelites could rest, even for a generation or two, build up strength and then continue on.

Fortified city on a hilltop

Next year, the researchers plan to excavate the nearby site of ‘Uja el-Foqa, which lies on a prominent hill overlooking the Jericho Valley, from which the 'Uja spring can be controlled, Ben-Shlomo says.

The survey showed the site to be fortified, meaning it had strong syrrounding walls designed to drive any besieging enemy to despair.  It has been dated it to the Iron Age as well – around 1,000 to 586 or 587 B.C.E. It seems to have had at least two phases of occupation.

'Uja el-Foqa has dozens of structures, some up to two meters in height, as well as a casemate wall. The ancient town could reasonably have been a regional administrative center for the Kingdom of Judah, since it controls an important water source and is one of the only large fortified sites from this period in the region.

Based on its location, Zertal suspected that 'Uja el-Foqa was the biblical town of Ataroth, which is mentioned in the description of the Manasseh-Ephraim boundary in Joshua 16:5 (note, tellingly, that it is on a hilltop and the Hebrew word ateret means “crown”).

“We plan a large-scale excavation of the site and will try to examine the nature of the site, it inhabitants, and the date of its founding, and to determine whether it could also be linked to the early Israelite settlement of the region in biblical times,” Ben-Shlomo says.

Thus, the answer to the puzzle of early Israelite origins may yet remain hidden in the sands.

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Post  Admin on Mon 20 Aug 2018, 11:27 am

Mysterious 6,500-year-old Culture in Israel Was Brought by Migrants, Researchers Say
Genetic analysis shows ancient Galilean farmers warmly embraced blue-eyed, fair-skinned immigrants from Iran and Turkey in the late Copper Age
By Ariel David Aug 20, 2018
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Around 6,500 years ago, an advanced new culture surfaced in what is today Israel. Spectacular pottery, exquisite tools and enigmatic works of art appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. The culture would flourish for about 600 years during the late Copper Age, then disappear as inexplicably as it arose.

Secondary burial vessels with human features, over a meter in height and dating to about 6,500 years ago, found in Peki'in Cave yoav dothan
Now archaeologists believe they have deduced its origins: migrants from across the Middle East and Eurasia, who were actually warmly welcomed by local farmers.

At least one of these outsider peoples seems to have included blue-eyed, fair-skinned immigrants, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Communications.

These conclusions are based on the analysis of DNA extracted from the bones of these nearly-forgotten people, found in a burial cave uncovered in the mid 1990s in Peki’in, a village in the Western Galilee.

Comparing their DNA to other samples from previous and later periods, and to samples from different regions, showed that the ancient ‘Peki'inese’ were an admixture between local populations and two additional groups: one from Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia, and one from Iran, the Nature paper says.

Eye-color and skin tone aren't controlled by single genes: they are genetically complex. But it can be said that gene variants associated with blue eye-color in Europeans, and light skin, appeared among these ancient immigrants, suggesting that baby blues were possibly even common among them.

Secondary burial vessel with two faces, Peki'in yoav dothan
In other words, the genome analysis doesn’t prove that blue-eyed migrants flocked in, but it strongly indicates as much.

If so, the newcomers would have struck an unusual figure among the Levantine farmers of the Copper Age (a period also known as the Chalcolithic), as blue eyes and light skin in the Middle East were even more uncommon back then than they are today.  

Despite their differences, the three groups appear to have mingled peacefully, says Israel Hershkovitz, a physical anthropologist from Tel Aviv University and co-author of the study.

Reconstructed secondary burial vessel with human features found in Chalcolithic-era burial cave at Peki'in, Israel yoav dothan
“These small groups of migrants were welcomed, and influenced the local culture to create something new that didn’t exist anywhere else, either here or in the north,” says Hershkovitz.

Buried twice in the Chalcolithic

In 1995, construction workers accidentally cut an opening into a natural cave in Peki’in (also spelled Peqi’in), and called in the archaeologists, who were astounded by what they found inside.

At least 600 people, including men women and children, had been interred in the cave, which was fairly small, just 17 by 8 meters. Their remains lined the floors and walls, some strewn around the cave, others collected in vases or beautiful pottery ossuaries that had been decorated with paint and haunting representations of human faces or animals.

Child burial at Peki'in, Israel, around 6,500 years ago Ariel David
Radiocarbon tests dated the bones to the late Chalcolithic, between 4,500 and 3,900 B.C.E., making this the largest burial from the period ever found in the Levant.

Among the dead were countless artifacts including ritual chalices, jewelry, flint tools and other items.

Looters had disturbed and smashed some of the remains, possibly in search for metal items, of which very few were found by archaeologists. But the cave had become naturally sealed after that and the bones and artifacts were covered in thick layers of limestone that preserved them like a time capsule.

The limestone layers also put a date on the thefts: they too happened thousands of years ago, at the end of the Copper Age.

Like other, smaller sites connected to this culture found across Israel, the Peki’in finds displayed some similarities with other Middle Eastern peoples of the period, but also some unique features.

Chief among these was the use of secondary burial: the body is left to decompose, after which the bones are collected and reinterred in a vase, box or other container.

Secondary burial vessel, possibly with human features or maybe depicting an owl, found in Chalcolithic-era burial cave at Peki'in, Israel Neri Bar-On
While the practice has been documented across the world at different times, it is quite rare to find it in the Middle East during the Chalcolithic, says Dina Shalem, an archaeologist for Kinneret College in the Galilee and the Israel Antiquities Authority, who participated in the original dig of the cave as well as the new DNA study.

“You can see the same kind of vessels, the same kind of art in other areas like in Jordanian sites and so on, but secondary burial has only been found in Israeli sites so far,” she tells Haaretz.

Secondary burial vessel with two faces, Peki'in yoav dothan
The use of ossuaries, rectangular boxes made of pottery or stone to store the bones, is also very unusual, and is only documented in Israel in two very distant and unrelated eras: in the late Chalcolithic – and in Jewish burials of the Second Temple period, more than 4,000 years later.

While some scholars, including Shalem, already suspected that some of the artistic traditions of the Chalcolithic Galileans had come from somewhere to the north of Israel, there was no hard proof.

“Every time we see a cultural change, the question arises: did they make it up themselves; did they copy the idea from somewhere else or did new people come and bring it?” says Hershkovitz. “Until today there were no tools that could answer this question, and that’s where the DNA comes in.”

Marks of love, not war

Extracting DNA from ancient bones buried in Middle East was no small accomplishment, as the region’s hot climate tends to destroy the fragile molecule over time, explains David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard medical school and one of the world’s top experts in researching the genetics of ancient people.

In their investigation, scientists were helped by the cool, stable conditions in the sealed Peki’in cave as well as the fortuitous 2015 discovery that the petrous bone (part of the human inner ear) contains up to 100 times more DNA than other bones, says Reich.

Secondary burial vessel with female features, found in Chalcolithic-era burial cave at Peki'in, Israel yoav dothan
Sampling mainly from this ear-bone, the researchers reconstructed the genome of 22 individuals from Peki’in, one of the largest sets of ancient genetic data from the region.

By comparing that data to bits and pieces of Neolithic and Chalcolithic DNA that had been collected previously across the Near East, the researchers concluded that the Peki’in people could trace 57 percent of their ancestry to local Neolithic groups, while 26 percent of their genome matched that of Anatolian Neolithic populations and 17 percent originated in the Iranian Chalcolithic.

Burial vessel found at Peki'in, Israel, showing human face and arms Neri Bar-On
Based on the results of the study, Shalem says it is possible that this three-way admixture may explain the development and use of secondary burial. Ethnographic studies indicate that this custom tends to be performed publicly, during seasonal ceremonies, and often serves to unify a community, she says.

The cave in Peki’in could have served as a cemetery for several villages in the Galilee. The villagers may have gathered there periodically for religious ceremonies that could have helped create a sense of unity between locals and newcomers, the archaeologist says.

But how do we know the admixture was the result of peaceful coexistence rather than war, conquest and enslavement by one group over the others? While the DNA doesn’t answer that question directly, there are various elements that point to a marriage of equals, notes Hila May, a second Tel Aviv University anthropologist involved in the study.

For one thing: The outsiders were a minority but evidently had an outsize impact on the local culture, so it is unlikely they were slaves.

Physical anthropologist Hila May next to a pile of bones and artifacts in the Peki'in cave Israel Hershkovitz
Also, the immigrants interbred with the locals and shared the same burial place, which suggests they were not conquerors or an exploitative foreign elite.

Finally, the anthropologists found no obvious signs of war or violence on the bones themselves. Though the researchers caution that a specific study on the pathologies and causes of death in Peki’in has not been done yet, when a war has taken place, the bodies tend to tell the tale.

Drama and extinction

The DNA analysis also offers clues to the ultimate fate of this population. Samples from Lebanon and Jordan dated to the early Bronze Age, the period immediately after the late Chalcolithic, show very little contribution from the DNA of the Peki’in people.

In other words, at some point around 3,900 B.C.E., this group of Chalcolithic Galileans went almost completely extinct.

This is consistent with what archaeologists see across the Levant during the transition between the Copper and Bronze Age: large-scale abandonment of settlements, reduced production of symbolic artifacts and sudden cultural changes, including the disappearance of secondary burial (until the Jews would revive it thousands of years later).

“It’s clear that at the end of the Chalcolithic there was some kind of drama happening in our region,” says Hershkovitz. The radical genetic transformations point to the arrival of new populations that replaced the previous culture in the area, he says.

Though they are long gone, the people of Peki’in stand as a testament to a much broader and crucial phenomenon that involved all of humanity at this early stage of civilization.

Ossuaries and other artifacts embedded in the flowstone over nearly 6000 years in the sealed Peki'in cave Hila May
During the Neolithic, when agriculture was first developing, human groups tended to be isolated and genetically diverse from each other, the study published in Nature Communications notes. Previous studies have shown that at the time, populations from Anatolia, Iran and the Levant displayed roughly the same level of genetic differentiation that Europeans and East Asians have today.

But by the time the Bronze Age rolls in, we see much less variation, already very close to what we have in the present, when genetic diversity within members of a same group is larger than across different human groups. So for example, notes Hershkovitz, today we find, on average, greater genetic diversity among two Caucasians than between Caucasians and blacks – which is why most scientists consider the concept of human races to be biologically baseless.

This all means that a global process of human admixture started sometime between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age – that is, during the Chalcolithic period – and the data from Peki’in offers us a clear window into those events.

The use of metals, which began in the Copper Age, may have played a major part in starting these transformations, as it forced human groups to travel farther and extend their trade routes to source rare and precious ores, says Reich, the Harvard geneticist.

“This was a period of profound population mixture and movement, and what we see in Peki’in is a microcosm of those movements,” he tells Haaretz. “They might have not survived to contribute much to later generations – but others certainly did.”

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Post  Admin on Wed 15 Aug 2018, 2:55 pm

Secret manuscript revealing Jesus’ teachings to his brother James re-writes The Bible
A SECRET manuscript which claims to detail Jesus Christ’s teachings to his brother James has been unearthed.
PUBLISHED: 11:11, Mon, Apr 16, 2018 | UPDATED: 11:35, Mon, Apr 16, 2018
jesusGETTY • PH
Secret manuscript revealing Jesus’ teachings to his brother James re-writes The Bible
Fragments of the forgotten heretical document have been discovered at the University of Oxford library by Biblical scholars from the University of Texas at Austin.
The fragments come from 13 leather-bound vellum codices which had been buried in Egypt and found in 1945.
The documents detail the ‘First Apocalypse of James’ in which Jesus passes on knowledge of Heaven and future events to his brother, or possible step-brother, James, including the death of the younger sibling.
However, the documents were “forbidden” by early Christians as they would have had to have been added to the New Testament which was not permitted 1,600 years ago when the text was originally written.
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The documents detail James' eventual death
Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in his “Easter letter of 367” that defined the 27-book New Testament: “No one may add to them, and nothing may be taken away from them.”
The manuscript is from an early Christian form known as Gnosticism which still remains a mystery to researchers.
The documents were not allowed to be added to the New Testament
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Study co-author Dr Geoffrey Smith, a scholar of Biblical Greek and Christian origins, said: “To say that we were excited once we realised what we had found is an understatement.
“We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.
Discover how Archaeology can bring the Bible to life
Tue, March 7, 2017
These are the top biblical archaeology discoveries
Mona Lisa of the Galilee: 16 centuries after an earthquake destroyed the Roman city of Sepphoris, a mosaic portrait of an unnamed woman was discovered among the ruins DE AGOSTINI/GETTY IMAGES1 of 9
The Siloam Pool in Jesus’ Time: A rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, carried there by two aqueducts
“Yahweh and His Asherah”: Painted sherds were discovered in the eastern Sinai desert, within the shattered fragments were an inscription that referred to “Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah.” 
Stepped Stone Structure: Name given to the remains at a particular archaeological site on the eastern side of the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem
St. Peter’s House: More than 25 years ago, archaeologists discovered a simple first-century A.D. home in Capernaum that may have been inhabited by Jesus during his Galilean ministry
The Nag Hammadi Library: Two peasants discovered a 13-volume library of Coptic texts hidden beneath a large boulder near the town of Nag Hammadi in upper Egypt
Ashkelon Arched Gate: The oldest known monumental arch, found in southern Israel in 1992
“The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus’s life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and James — secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus’s death.”
Brent Landau, a lecturer in the UT Austin Department of Religious Studies, added: “The scribe has divided most of the text into syllables by using mid-dots. Such divisions are very uncommon in ancient manuscripts, but they do show up frequently in manuscripts that were used in educational contexts.”

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Post  Admin on Wed 15 Aug 2018, 2:47 pm

BIBLE BREAKTHROUGH: Lost city of Zer where Jesus fed masses UNCOVERED
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered the gates to a biblical city where it is believed that Jesus fed the masses.
PUBLISHED: 13:28, Mon, Jul 9, 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32, Mon, Jul 9, 2018
bible city
BIBLE BREAKTHROUGH: Lost city of Zer where Jesus fed masses UNCOVERED (Image: GETTY)
Experts excavating a site in Jerusalem are convinced they have found the gates to the ancient city of Zer – a site mentioned in the New Testament where Jesus Christ supposedly fed thousands with just five loaves of bread and two fish.

A team of 20 archaeologists say they have found a series of brick works which they believe are gates and date back to the First Temple period – 1000 BC to 586 BC.
The researchers add that the size, wealth and impressive fortifications indicate Zer – now in an area called Bethsaida – was a major city.
Lead archaeologist Dr Rami Arav said: “There are not many gates in this country from this period.
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“Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer.
“The fortified towns were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth.”
Avi Lieberman, director of the Jordan Park in which Bethsaida is located, believes the discovery will lead to Christians from all over the world coming to visit the site.
He said: “The staff at the Jordan Park and the Golan Tourism are happy for the tens of thousands of visitors who visit the park every day.

Does the discovery give more evidence that the accounts of the Bible were true? (Image: GETTY)
“The wonderful park is also an impressive archaeological site. I amazed each time by the arrival of thousands of evangelical visitors to Bethsaida.
“I am confident that the latest discoveries will bring more visitors to the park from around the world and from Israel.”
The site has been under excavations by Dr Arav and his team for more than 30 years now.
Jesus Christ's burial place revealed for first time
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During that time, archaeologists have found coins, beads, jugs and house keys as well as a shield that belonged to a Roman soldier.
One of the most significant findings was one of a coin which dated back to 35 BC.

Biblical story PROOF: Ancient palace of King David DISCOVERED in historic find
ARCHAEOLOGISTS believe they have found a lost biblical city once belonging to King David – the supposed first monarch of all the Israelite tribes.
PUBLISHED: 13:53, Wed, May 2, 2018 | UPDATED: 13:57, Wed, May 2, 2018
Ancient palace of King David DISCOVERED in historic findPROFESSOR AVRAHAM FAUST

Ancient palace of King David DISCOVERED in historic find
Debate has raged for centuries as to whether King David actually was a real person.

However, a major discovery in Israel has archaeologists and biblical scholars thinking he was the real deal.

A team has spent the last decade digging at Tel Eton, in the Hebron hills of Israel, and have discovered what they believe to be ancient ruins of a castle-like home.
They discovered a large, four bedroom building which dates back to the 10th century BCE according to carbon dating.
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king davidGETTY
King David
Lead excavator Professor Avraham Faust says the construction of a large home on top of what was a mound and at the same time when there was huge growth of the size of the city at the same time shows that an important event was happening – such as the establishment of the first monarch.
Dr Faust told Breaking Israel News: "We, of course, did not find any artefacts that said ‘King David’ or ‘King Solomon’ but we discovered site signs of a social transformation in the region which are consistent with a change from Canaanite culture to a Judean culture.
“Since it took place at a time we believed the Kingdom of David began to spread into this region, it is clear this building was part of the events in the Bible ascribed to the Kingdom of David.
"The structure was excavated, almost in its entirety, and was composed of a large courtyard with rooms on three sides.
Discover how Archaeology can bring the Bible to life
Tue, March 7, 2017
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Mona Lisa of the Galilee: 16 centuries after an earthquake destroyed the Roman city of Sepphoris, a mosaic portrait of an unnamed woman was discovered among the ruins DE AGOSTINI/GETTY IMAGES1 of 9
The Siloam Pool in Jesus’ Time: A rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, carried there by two aqueducts
“Yahweh and His Asherah”: Painted sherds were discovered in the eastern Sinai desert, within the shattered fragments were an inscription that referred to “Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah.” 
Stepped Stone Structure: Name given to the remains at a particular archaeological site on the eastern side of the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem
St. Peter’s House: More than 25 years ago, archaeologists discovered a simple first-century A.D. home in Capernaum that may have been inhabited by Jesus during his Galilean ministry
"Hundreds of artefacts were unearthed within the debris, including a wide range of pottery vessels, loom weights, many metal objects, botanical remains, as well as many arrowheads, evidence of the battle which accompanied the conquest of the site by the Assyrians."
In the team’s findings published in the journal Radiocarbon, Prof Faust's team said: "The association with David is not based on direct archaeological evidence, but solely on circumstantial grounds.”
It adds: “If someone thinks that there was no king by the name of David, we should find another name to call the highland king in whose time the region was incorporated into the highland kingdom.”
Prophet Isaiah found? Archaeologists discover FIRST physical evidence

Prophet Isaiah found? Archaeologists discover FIRST physical evidence of biblical figure
ARCHAEOLOGISTS may have just found the first ever physical evidence of the prophet Isaiah – who is mentioned in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
PUBLISHED: 16:46, Thu, Mar 1, 2018 | UPDATED: 16:51, Thu, Mar 1, 2018
Prophet Isaiah found? Archaeologists discover FIRST physical evidence of biblical figure
The prophet Isaiah is said to have used his wisdom to help King Hezekiah protect the Kingdom of Judah from an Assyrian invasion.
Experts have now discovered a clay seal during an excavation in Jerusalem in the walled Temple Mount compound.
The small seal, which is about the size of a thumbnail, is broken and has been faded over millennia.
Researchers have been able to read the word “Yesha‘yahu”, the Hebrew name for Isaiah.
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isaiahEilat Mazar
The seal of Isaiah
This is followed by the word “Nvy” – a phrase that does not mean much on its own as it could be a surname.
But, the experts say in their paper published in Biblical Archaeological Review, if Nvy was once followed by “aleph”, before the seal was broken and eroded, then it would create the Hebrew word for prophet.
The team say that this would have acted as a signature - Isaiah the prophet.
Dr Mazar, an archaeologist from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said: “We appear to have discovered a seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, in a scientific, archaeological excavation.
Discover how Archaeology can bring the Bible to life
Tue, March 7, 2017
These are the top biblical archaeology discoveries
Mona Lisa of the Galilee: 16 centuries after an earthquake destroyed the Roman city of Sepphoris, a mosaic portrait of an unnamed woman was discovered among the ruins DE AGOSTINI/GETTY IMAGES1 of 9
The Siloam Pool in Jesus’ Time: A rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, carried there by two aqueducts
“Yahweh and His Asherah”: Painted sherds were discovered in the eastern Sinai desert, within the shattered fragments were an inscription that referred to “Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah.” 
Stepped Stone Structure: Name given to the remains at a particular archaeological site on the eastern side of the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem
St. Peter’s House: More than 25 years ago, archaeologists discovered a simple first-century A.D. home in Capernaum that may have been inhabited by Jesus during his Galilean ministry
The Nag Hammadi Library: Two peasants discovered a 13-volume library of Coptic texts hidden beneath a large boulder near the town of Nag Hammadi in upper Egypt
Ashkelon Arched Gate: The oldest known monumental arch, found in southern Israel in 1992
“We found the eighth-century B.C.E. seal mark that may have been made by the prophet Isaiah himself only 10 feet away from where we earlier discovered the highly-publicized bulla of King Hezekiah of Judah.

“Because the bulla has been slightly damaged at the end of the word Nvy, it is not known if it originally ended with the Hebrew letter aleph.
“The name of Isaiah, however, is clear.”
isaiahEilat Mazar
How the coin could have looked
Other clues the seal is the real deal is it dates back to the 7th century BCE when Isaiah reportedly lived.
It was also found near another seal which belonged to King Hezekiah, whose reign is documented in the Book of Isaiah.

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Post  Admin on Sat 11 Aug 2018, 6:46 pm

Advancing technology unearths 'lost city of ancient Israel'
Ilan Ben Zion July 23, 2018
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A military zone has long inhibited exploration of the ancient and massive site of Beit Lehi, but archaeologists are using technology to share its secrets with the world.
Ilan Ben ZionA researcher takes part in an exploration and documentation of the ancient city Beit Lehi in central Israel, July 2018.
A team of Israeli and American researchers is using cutting-edge technology to explore and document an obscure and inaccessible but increasingly significant archaeological site in central Israel.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Utah Valley University (UVU) are expected to roll out in August a one-of-a-kind multimedia guide integrating 3D imaging and virtual reality to bring the ancient city of Beit Lehi, touted as “the lost city of ancient Israel,” to life. The digital guide to the site is slated to be launched next month.

Beit Lehi, also known as Beit Loya, lies 37 kilometers (23 miles) southwest of Jerusalem in the rolling limestone foothills of the Judean Mountains not far from the UNESCO World Heritage site at Beit Guvrin. A closed military zone encompasses the entirety of the archaeological site, severely limiting civilian access and preventing development.

The site, which extends over a few hilltops, was occupied intermittently from the Iron Age down through the Mamluk period — nearly 2,200 years — before being abandoned around 1400 A.D. The surface bears the remains of a medieval mosque and village and an earlier Byzantine church, but below are a series of underground chambers carved out of the soft limestone. These include a massive columbarium (dovecote) with over 1,000 niches for birds, making it possibly one of the largest in the world, as well as stables, quarries with gigantic support pillars and escape tunnels, all dating from the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. to the 2nd century A.D.

Archaeologists have found over 50 different inscriptions at various places around the site in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic, including a 6th century B.C. Hebrew inscription bearing the name of Jerusalem and the Israelite god Yahweh.

First excavated in the 1980s, Hebrew University archaeologist Oren Gutfeld has returned in recent years with colleagues from the Israel Antiquities Authority and UVU to continue exploring and documenting the site.

“This area is untouched by archaeology, but it’s a gold mine,” Gutfeld told Al-Monitor as his jeep rumbled over the rocky track leading to Beit Lehi. He estimates that only around 10-15% of the site has been excavated. “We don’t have any idea how big it is. That’s the question.”

The UVU team has aided Hebrew University archaeologists in mapping and imaging the site using technology used by engineers to measure and map bridges and roads. Lidar — a laser imaging detection and ranging device capable of making 20 million measurements in 12 minutes — is being used to create three-dimensional maps of Beit Lehi’s vast caverns and tunnels. Advanced 360-degree cameras take photographs that are stitched together to create a high-quality image of these massive spaces that can be used in virtual reality applications.

Aboveground, the UVU researchers have deployed drones to create high definition aerial images of the ancient city’s structures. They not only document the site but have also helped discover previously unknown buildings. Michael Harper, a professor of digital media at UVU, explained that by using a technique called photogrammetry, the aerial photos taken by drones create topographically “flat” images that make the concealed outlines of structures “pop” out of the tawny scrubland.

Aerial images captured by the drones also revealed a previously unknown Iron Age settlement dating back nearly 3,000 years. Gutfeld’s team has started to excavate another discovery: an enormous Hellenistic period cultic complex — at least 40 meters long and 45 meters wide — perhaps to the Idumean god Qos.

“People thought it was a small community, but now we know it was a large urban center,” Gutfeld said.

The remains of imported luxury goods from as far afield as Rhodes and a subterranean oil press “are not indicative of modest, sleepy villages,” said Michal Haber, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority involved in the dig. Instead, Beit Lehi appears to have been a prosperous, interconnected town during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. “We feel that every [dig] season, there’s something new” that is discovered, Haber told Al-Monitor.

Michael Harper, a UVU professor of digital media who is heading the project, said that the various types of images being taken at the site by students from Utah are being used both for research and to create a multimedia guidebook and “interactive magazine” that provides users with information about Beit Lehi. The magazine integrates 3D images of artifacts found at the site, aerial photos and other types of media to let users explore and understand the site in a more comprehensive way than a rare visit would be able to.

The digital media element of the project is one of several opportunities for UVU students across multiple disciplines to participate in hands-on “engaged learning” and gain valuable experience, Harper said, from photography and publishing to graphic design.

The magazine, whose first issue is due online this fall, is expected to be updated annually and will include rolling updates about new finds and articles about different aspects of Beit Lehi’s history.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/high-technology-to-get-beit-lehi-out-of-obscurity.html#ixzz5NsLLYLTz

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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 8:20 am

Rare Coin Marking ‘Redemption of Zion’ Unearthed in Jerusalem
The Land of Israel constantly reveals hidden treasures, testifying to its rich history and the Jewish people’s deep and long-lasting ties to the land. This time, the discoveries have a seasonal significance as well.

By: United with Israel Staff

A rare bronze coin dating to the first century and minted during the fourth year of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans was recently discovered at the archaeological sifting project at Emek Zurim National Park in Jerusalem.

The source of the soil from which the coin was extracted is the City of David National Park in the heart of the Old City.

The coin, minted by Jews in the year 69 CE, right before the destruction of the Second Temple a year later, features the words “For the Redemption of Zion” in ancient Hebrew script, with an image of a goblet under the inscription.

On the other side of the coin is an image of the Four Species and the words “Year Four” – representing the fourth year of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans. Just a short time afterward, in the year 70 CE, the revolt was subdued by the 10th Legion and the Second Temple

From ‘Freedom’ to ‘Redemption’
“The Jews minted coins throughout the entire period of the revolt, but in the fourth year of the five-year rebellion, we see that instead of the words ‘Freedom for Zion,’ the coins were minted with the words ‘For the Redemption of Zion,” Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologist Eli Shukrun noted.

He explained that the difference between “freedom” and “redemption” expresses the change that took place “both in their mindset and in reality, at that time.”

“Coins that were minted in the second and third years of the revolt are plentiful and easier to find, but coins from the fourth year are much rarer,” he added.

The coin was found in soil extracted from an underground drainage canal at the City of David, which passed underneath Jerusalem’s main street at the end of the Second Temple period. According to the writings of Josephus Flavius and based on archaeological evidence, the last remaining Jewish rebels hid from the Romans in this canal.

Dropped from Someone’s Hand 2,000 Years Ago
“It is possible that this coin was in the pocket of one of the residents of Jerusalem who hid from the Romans in the tunnels underneath the city streets,” Shukrun said, “or perhaps it rolled into the drainage canal, dropped from the hand of someone walking down the streets of Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago.

The timing of the rare finding on Sunday was perfect. It occurred just as the Jewish nation began to commemorate the Three Weeks of Mourning on the fast of the 17th day of Tammuz on the Hebrew calendar, which corresponded with this past Sunday and is the date when Jerusalem’s walls were breached. The mourning period continues until the fast of the 9th of Av, the date that the First and Second Temples were destroyed.

The coins were discovered as part of the “Archaeological Experience” activity offered to the general public at the sifting project at Emek Zurim National Park. The activity invites participants of all ages to come and serve as archaeologists for the day. They sift through the artifact-rich soil from excavations held by the IAA at the City of David and throughout ancient Jerusalem and reveal Israel’s multi-faceted ties to the city.

Incidentally, despite vigorous attempts by historians, there has yet to be uncovered any evidence of any “Palestinian era” in the city.

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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Jun 2018, 9:54 pm

Britain condemns ‘anti-Israel bias’ at UN Human Rights Council
 June 18, 2018
Britain condemns ‘anti-Israel bias’ at UN Human Rights CouncilUK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson addresses the UN Human Rights Council (Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UNHRC’s dedicated agenda item on Israel was “disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace.”
By: AP 
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday urged the UN Human Rights Council to reform its treatment of Israel.
But while he joined the United States in demanding an end to what has been been described as the body’s bias against the Jewish state, he urged the US not to pull out of the UNHRC.
Addressing the opening of the 38th council session, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson criticized the council’s controversial Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule exclusively devoted to discussing Israel’s purported rights abuses.
Speaking to the Human Rights Council, Johnson said that its dedicated agenda item on Israel was “disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace.”
Johnson said: “But I stress that that does not mean that we in the UK are blind to the value of this council.”
Johnson said the council’s work on the Israel-Palestinian conflict could have value under the right conditions.
Diplomats have told The Associated Press that a US withdrawal from the 47-member council could come as early as Tuesday.
Washington, some European countries and Australia have sided with Israel in condemning Item 7 as prejudiced, noting that countries with worse rights records in recent years, like Syria, are spared such intense scrutiny.
MORE https://worldisraelnews.com/britain-condemns-anti-israel-bias-at-un-human-rights-council/?

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Post  Admin on Sat 16 Jun 2018, 2:12 pm

Tammuz: Forces of Nature
Jun 26, 2006
by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
Tammuz: Forces of Nature
What can happen when we see everything as being fully within our grasp and under our control.

This month is named after the ancient Babylonian sun god (Ezekiel 8:12–18). I can't say that if I were selecting names for Jewish months that this is the first one that would have come to mind. In fact, it seems the opposite of what the entire concept the Hebrew calendar is about. Each month offers us the opportunity for growth and renewal. Idol worship is pagan and limiting. Invoking the name of a central figure in a cult that worshipped the sun as the source of all energy seems somehow retrogressive. It takes us back to archaic prehistory before our forefather Abraham made sense of nature and realized that there is a Divine, hidden hand that gives it unity, elegance of form, and purpose.

Sun worship may be prehistoric, but it's still "in."
Sun worship may be prehistoric, but it is still "in." Although no one uses the term anymore (except the most avid vacationers), that doesn't change the fact that the way we often relate to nature is not that far removed from the way the pagan sun worshippers did. We still think in terms of nature having its own rules that work autonomously and never change. We use axioms such as "possible" and "impossible" as though nature isn't subordinate to any force beyond itself.

It isn't hard to see why. Nature, as epitomized by the sun, is quite an awesome force. The sun may be eons away from the earth, but anyone who ever had heavy-duty sunburn knows how irrelevant that fact is in the face of the enormous heat, energy and light that it generates. When we harness its energy for the good or the opposite, we feel that we have mastered forces far greater than our own. We cook up an abysmal admixture of nature worship and self-worship. We use it to destroy the planet we live on, the people with whom we share it, and our own spiritual integrity.

The astral sign of the month is Cancer, the crab, and it represents an approach to life. The early mystics would talk about how the heat of the long summer days would stick to us and envelope us with its ennui to the point that we'd feel we can't do anything without it forcing us to acknowledge its grip. Our reliance on science, technology, and nature without seeing God as their underlying Source, eats away at our souls, until we are consumed by the spell of empowerment that they cast. Even when we seek God, what we see is shaded by our inability to think in terms that are above and beyond the constraints of the physical world.

Seventeenth of Tammuz

Five tragedies took place in this month. Each one of them gives us a glimpse into the abyss, of what can happen to us when we see everything as being fully within our grasp and under our control.

The first and most well known of the tragedies that took place is the destruction of what is arguably the most precious object that any human being could ever possess – the Tablets of the Law, written in God's own Hand. What was the sequence of events that made this disaster inevitable?

God gave the Ten Commandments on the sixth of Sivan. On the seventh, Moses climbed up Mount Sinai to learn the details and multi-leveled meanings of the entire Torah. He told the people to anticipate his return 40 days hence. His intent was not to include the day that he ascended the mountain since it was not a full 24-hour day (in the Hebrew calendar a new day begins when the sun sets on the previous one). The people assumed that he meant to include the day that he began his journey. This tragic technical misunderstanding had far reaching consequences.

When dawn broke on the 16th of Tammuz, an entire nation held their breath waiting to receive the Tablets of the Law and to begin learning its truth. This was one of the most significant events that we could ever anticipate. We define truth as "the entire picture". By the nature of things, the only possible way to access truth comes from beyond the limitations of human intellect and experience.

We want to know God, but we prefer to make Him "small" rather than making us "big."
To understand what happened next we have to digress for a moment. The Torah was given to humans, and we humans are full of complexities and contradictions. We want to go beyond our borders but we also love control and familiarity. We want to know God, but we would prefer to make Him "smaller" rather than making ourselves "bigger."

Our ability to visualize beyond the moment that we live in makes us yearn for a better world, and aspire to be among those who make it happen. Envisioning potential inspires us to make sacrifices for what we believe in. The same ability to visualize beyond the moment can also make us see things through the prism of false pragmatism. We think we are just being realistic and predicting how things are likely to be, when we fall into the trap of "awfulizing." As our imagery grows more vivid, we are paralyzed with despair or fear. The images that we conjure up are the source of our worst moments of silent terror.

When our mental imagery is in tune with God's vision of reality, it can move us toward what is known as Divine inspiration, "ruach ha-kodesh". This can only happen when we are not blocking out His truth with our own agendas (which are so subtle that even we are not always aware of their existence). When our filters are on, it creates inner chaos. Our fears promote fantasy and dread. Since the source of the falsehood that we project lies within us, it is referred to in the Talmud as "the Satan" which literally means "the accuser". The accuser is, of course, someone very familiar to all of us; it is the embodiment of our inner world as only God can see it.

"The Satan showed them Moses, dead lying on a bier," the Talmud tells us.

When he failed to arrive at the moment they expected to see him, the image that they saw was the face of doom. They were leaderless. They were in a desert, heading towards the unknown. Their journey had been fueled by Moses' vision, his Divine inspiration, the miracles that he brought about. Nothing made sense anymore. It was impossible to survive in this environment for more than a few days at best. All of this is completely true – if you are a sun worshiper and you think that the only possibilities are by definition ones that co-exist in cozy harmony with the axioms provided by your ability to describe the physical rules that govern our world.

Three Reactions

The Jews in the desert responded to this crisis in three different ways.

One group of people, Egyptians camp-followers and others who wanted to share the spiritual adventure that the Jews were on but also wanted everything to "make sense" to them, used the crutch that they had leaned on throughout their entire history. If what God does is "too big" to make sense to them, they will cut Him down to size, and force Him to fit into their pantheon of gods who represent various forces.

They no doubt thought that they could harness energy, make it work for them, and get on with life without seeking anything beyond themselves and their set of axioms. They pressured Aaron to form a representation of their spiritual autonomy, a calf that symbolized both newness and youth that had the potential one day to be an ox, the strongest of all the domesticated animals. They envisioned themselves as empowered and talked themselves into believing that faith in a man-made symbol can actually evoke a spiritual force. In the era of rampant idol worship, this way of thinking "made sense."

Aaron did not realize how far this group had gone. He demanded that people give him their gold and jewelry, hoping that he would be able to buy time. Using occult forces, one of the idolators took over the job of creating a symbol, and made the fabled golden calf. It seemed alive, real, and they believed that they had succeeded in making symbol that had vast spiritual power (similar perhaps to the Japanese Shinoists in World War II who believed that their emperor was God incarnate and that their flag had actual energy).

Group Two

The second group was composed of born Jews and sincere converts. When they heard God proclaim, "Have no other gods before Me," something deep inside of them was touched. They wanted truth more than comfort, and the very thought of any form of idol worship, or any deed that would block them from knowing and serving God, was completely abhorrent to them.

If they were left to their own devices, they would have probably managed to hold out until Moses' return, and later confront him with their fears that his prophecy had failed him since he didn't keep his word. When he would have explained his mistake, the air would clear, and their journey towards Israel would have continued as planned.

But they were not in isolation. The first group influenced them, as did their own conscience. Both sides seemed flat and untrue. They took refuge in cynicism towards Aaron and the Levites for remaining true to their "dead" leader rather than "being responsible" and "taking control" and "being realistic," and simultaneously mocked the passionate idolaters and satirized their devotions.

Group Three

The third group was made up of people who realized that they were witnessing an entire nation betray everything that God had shown them. The plagues. The splitting of the sea. The Ten Commandments. The manna that came down from heaven. God had forced them to look beyond their limited horizons. The people in this third group would neither reject what their own eyes had seen, nor would they take refuge in making skepticism a replacement for truth. But they, too, were caught up in illusion – an illusion far more insidious than the others. Their illusion was that there was no hope. The Jewish people were doomed. There was no point in trying to turn things around. The people they loved were choking by a noose that they had placed around their own necks: they were irredeemable.

They were caught in the insidious illusion of no hope.
They gave into one of the worst illusions that we have; the illusion that the force of evil generated by sin is greater than the force of good that is generated by teshuva (return to God). They, too, attributed too much force to the golden calf. They should have seen it as precious metal twisted into an interesting form that holds attraction to people who don't know better.

When Moses came down from the mountain, he took in the entire situation as soon as he saw it. He acted swiftly, and allowed the Tablets (which in any case were so heavy that it required a miracle for him to hold them) to crash to the floor. The stone "body" of the Tablets shattered and the spiritual luminescence of their message flew back to their creator.

Was he right?

The Talmud tells us that there is no doubt about the matter. He was right! He did the equivalent of tearing up a marriage license before anyone could formally accuse a new bride of betraying her husband. If we could not rise above worshipping nature, submitting to the tyranny of human-conceived options and the possibility of destroying the authentic bond that we were promised – so be it! It is not as though we rejected the Tablets; we never had them to begin with. The tragedy was muted, which opened the way for forgiveness.

Echoes of the Day

Four other traumatic events happened later in history that force us to think about who we are and who we want to be. To one degree or another, each event is an echo of the tragedy that took place on the 17th of Tammuz.

The Romans placed an idol in the sanctuary of the Holy Temple.
No sacrilege could be more vulgar. The reason God allowed this to happen is that He wanted us to see where our chosen path would take us. By this time, we had lost our collective identity, and had buried our consciousness in endless in fighting. Each group sincerely believed in their own cause. Each thought that they had a moral right to rule. Each took God out of the picture as they attacked each other with ever increasing savagery. The Romans had been conducting their public life like this for years. They believed in control, nature and power. We had the opportunity to see where this road leads. The end of the trail was the horror of and desecration of the sanctuary.

The walls around Jerusalem were breached.
This is the date recorded in the Talmud as the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem. A breach in the wall was the beginning of the end. It could only happen when our faith was fragmented, and the divine protection that we had been given in the past was no longer something we could count on. What this means concretely is that if we wish to abandon our reliance on God and replace this with belief in ourselves or in nature, we will have to pay the price.

The daily offerings could no longer continue.
In the time of both Temples a consequence of the battle for Jerusalem was that there was no possibility to continue the service as it had been conducted for hundreds of years. The symbolic meaning of the sacrifices (which are called korban, that which makes close, in Hebrew) is that it is up to us to elevate the world to God, not to create illusions that dwarf Him to make the "fit" more comfortable.

The Romans burned a Torah scroll. They believed in the rules made by man, not those made by God.
Does this mean that the month of Tammuz is "a bad month"? Far from it. It is a month of challenge and confrontation. Without challenge, there is no growth. Without confrontation, there is no way to see things as they are.

On the third of Tammuz something happened that broke all the rules of nature. Joshua was leading the Jews in battle in Givon against their enemies, the Emorites. As the day drew to a close, the battle had not yet reached an absolute conclusion. For the moment the Jews seemed to be winning, but if the battle would reach its inevitable end as darkness came, there would be no decisive victory, and the next morning they would face off against an enemy who would come at them with renewed vigor. Each moment was precious.

A miracle happened. The sun didn't set. The day stretched on for 12 more hours.

The rules were broken, the battle was won, and at least for the moment, no one worshiped the sun, but only its holy, infinite, unknowable Maker.

Article 10 of 12 in the series Hebrew Months
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About the Author

Rebbetzin Tziporah HellerMore by this Author >
Consummate educator and internationally acclaimed speaker, Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller has been a full-time lecturer at Neve Yerushalayim College in Jerusalem since 1980, impacting the lives of thousands of women worldwide. She is the author of six popular books, including Here You Are, Battle Plans, and This Way Up. She recently launched a daily video program based on the timeless Jewish wisdom of "Duties of the Heart." Learn how to channel your emotions to experience every day with purpose, meaning, and joy at: dutiesoftheheart.com

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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jun 2018, 8:15 am

An Archaeological Mystery: Which King’s Sculpted Head was Found in Israel?
Scholars are certain the figure unearthed in northern Israel represents royalty but are less sure which king it symbolizes or which kingdom he may have ruled.
By: AP
An enigmatic sculpture of a king’s head dating back nearly 3,000 years has set off a modern-day mystery caper as scholars try to figure out whose face it depicts.
The 5-centimeter (2-inch) sculpture is an exceedingly rare example of figurative art from the Holy Land during the 9th century BCE — the period of the biblical kings. Exquisitely preserved but for a bit of missing beard, nothing quite like it has been found before.
While scholars are certain the stern bearded figure wearing a golden crown represents royalty, they are less sure which king it symbolizes, or which kingdom he may have ruled.
Archaeologists unearthed the diminutive figurine in 2017 during excavations at a site called Abel Beth Maacah, located just south of Israel’s border with Lebanon, near the modern-day town of Metula.
Israelites, Arameans or Phoenicians?
Nineteenth-century archaeologists identified the site, then home to a village called Abil al-Qamh, with the similarly named city mentioned in the Book of Kings.
Arabic names of places in Israel are, in many cases, the preservation of the original biblical name, which was slightly changed after the Muslim conquest.
During the 9th century BCE, the ancient town was situated in a liminal zone between three regional powers: the Aramean kingdom based in Damascus to the east, the Phoenician city of Tyre to the west, and the Israelite kingdom, with its capital in Samaria to the south.
Kings 1 15:20 mentions Abel Beth Maacah in a list of cities attacked by the Aramean King Ben Hadad in a campaign against the Israelite kingdom.
“This location is very important because it suggests that the site may have shifted hands between these polities, more likely between Aram-Damascus and Israel,” said Hebrew University archaeologist Naama Yahalom-Mack, who has headed the joint dig with California’s Azusa Pacific University since 2013.
Yahalom-Mack’s team was digging through the floor of a massive Iron Age structure in the summer of 2017 when a volunteer who arrived for the day struck pay dirt. The layer where the head was found dates to the 9th century BCE, the epoch associated with the rival biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
In a rare move, archaeologists and curators at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem rushed to put the piece on public display. A detailed report is set for publication in the June edition of the journal Near Eastern Archaeology.
‘One of a Kind’ Discovery
Eran Arie, the Israel Museum’s curator of Iron Age and Persian archaeology, said the discovery was one of a kind. “In the Iron Age, if there’s any figurative art, and there largely isn’t, it’s of very low quality. And this is of exquisite quality.”
The royal figurine is made of faience, a glass-like material that was popular in jewelry and small human and animal figurines in ancient Egypt and the Near East.
“The color of the face is greenish because of this copper tint that we have in the silicate paste,” Yahalom-Mack said. But a crucial clue for identifying it as a Near Eastern monarch was its “very interesting hairdo,” she said.
The bearded figure’s hair is pulled back in thick locks that cover the ears, and is held in place by a striped diadem of gold. Its hairstyle looks similar to the way ancient Egyptians depicted neighboring Near Eastern peoples in art.
“The guy kind of represents the generic way Semitic people are described,” she said.
A ‘Hello from the Past’
Because Carbon-14 dating cannot give a more exact date for the statue’s creation other than sometime in the 9th century, the field of potential candidates is large. Yahalom-Mack posited it could be kings Ben Hadad or Hazael of Damascus, Ahab or Jehu of Israel, or Ithobaal of Tyre, all characters appearing in the biblical narrative.
“We’re only guessing here, it’s like a game,” she said. “It’s like a hello from the past, but we don’t know anything else about it.”
As scholars debate whether the head was a stand-alone piece or part of a larger statue, the Hebrew University team is set to restart digging this month at the spot where the mystery king’s head was found.

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History showing of 25 Jewish Communities Golan Heights Area

Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 2:11 pm

WATCH: Ancient Jewish Synagogue Rebuilt in the Golan
In Umm El Kanatir, archaeologists have restored the ruins of an ancient synagogue, providing a glimpse into a once thriving Jewish community.

The Golan Heights was the home of an expansive and affluent Jewish culture from the time after the destruction of the Second Temple until a massive earthquake in 749 CE destroyed many of the communities.
One of these communities is known today as Umm El Kanatir, Mother of Arches, and at its center awaits an elegant synagogue that was painstakingly reconstructed from the fallen ruins.

Come take a glimpse into this ancient community that inspired stories in the Talmud!
The Re-emergence of Umm El Kanatir

Published on 3 Jun 2018
HOLY LAND UNCOVERED | North Israel holds some of the most interesting places archaeologically. Um al Kanatir houses a reconstructed synagogue, dating back centuries to the affluent Jewish communities that lived in the area. Our Uri Shapira has the story.
WATCH 6.51 mins

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Post  Admin on Mon 28 May 2018, 2:09 pm

REVEALED: NASA technology finds hidden letters in 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls
ARCHAEOLOGISTS believe an undiscovered ancient manuscript may be buried among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
By Charlotte Ikonen / Published 2nd May 2018
Stephen Fry takes a look at the Dead Sea Scrolls
Play Video
The scrolls were discovered in the 1950s by archaeologists and Bedouin in caves near Qumran — on the West Bank near the Dead Sea — and include tens of thousands of parchment and papyrus fragments that are thought to belong to approximately 1,000 different manuscripts.

Researchers examining tiny fragments of the text with imaging technology built by Nasa found hidden letters invisible to the naked eye.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said examinations of some fragments that had not previously been sorted or deciphered due to their "small size and precarious physical state" uncovered new script and pointed to the existence of an unknown manuscript.

As part of a project to digitise the scrolls, researcher Oren Ableman examined a few dozen fragments and discovered "traces of ink on many fragments that appeared blank to the naked eye," the authority said in a statement.

dead sea scrollsAFP
EXCITING: An undiscovered ancient manuscript may lay buried among the Dead Sea Scrolls
One of those fragments could not be attributed to any known manuscripts, raising the possibility that it belongs to a still unknown text.

Other fragments have been identified as belonging to the Books of Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Jubilees.

One is from the Temple Scroll, while another has been identified as belonging to the Great Psalms Scroll.

The authority said the fragments "provide new insights" to researchers studying the scrolls.

dead sea scrollsAFP
REVEALED: A number of the newly deciphered texts belong to the Hebrew Bible
Do Dead Seas Scrolls Reveal Noah's Ark Was PYRAMID Shaped?
Newly-digitized fragments of the 2,000-year-old texts have offered a bizarre new interpretation of the well-known Biblical story.
1 / 12 
Two Dead Sea Scrolls pictured in the Qumran Caves. They were then removed for scholarly examination by archaeologistsPUBLIC DOMAIN
Two Dead Sea Scrolls pictured in the Qumran Caves. They were then removed for scholarly examination by archaeologists
Two Dead Sea Scrolls pictured in the Qumran Caves. They were then removed for scholarly examination by archaeologists Qumran cave 4 in the Judean Desert, where ninety percent of the scrolls were found Mount Ararat is also known as Agri Mountain 18th century woodblock print of Noah's Ark from a children's book Noah's Ark as seen in the Nuremberg Bible Noah's Ark by Nathaniel Currier Noah's Ark, from a Painting by Napoleon Sarony
“That leads me to believe we are dealing with a manuscript that we didn't know about”

“What was exciting about this particular fragment is that I could tell that the handwriting was not identical to other fragments of this type of script,” Mr Ableman told Israeli news.

“That leads me to believe we are dealing with a manuscript that we didn't know about.”

Discovered between 1946 and 1956, the scrolls include tends of thousands of parchment and papyrus fragments and in rare cases entire manuscripts.

The writing on most of these fragments is just a cluster of letters as opposed to complete words or sentences, making deciphering the texts a painstaking process. 

dead sea scrikksAFP
HISTORIC: The Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered in the 1950s
dead sea scrollsGETTY
MYSTERY: Many secrets remain in the Dead Sea Scrolls
The texts are of great historical and religious significance and include the earliest known surviving copies of the Hebrew Bible.

They also contain extra-biblical documents and feature evidence of diversity in late Second Temple Judaism.
Many of the texts include key texts from the Bible, including the oldest copy of the Ten Commandments.

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Post  Admin on Wed 09 May 2018, 10:58 am


New details of Dead Sea Scrolls emerge thanks to NASA tech
Antiquities Authority researcher finds never-before-discovered, invisible to naked eye writings on Dead Sea Scrolls; new texts deal with Temple worship, possible completely new text in ancient Hebrew.
Itay Blumenthal, Yael Freidson|Published:  05.03.18 , 19:41
An Israeli researcher has managed to extract new details from one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including a manuscript in ancient Hebrew discovered for the first time, a portion of the Psalms scroll and a segment dealing with Temple rituals—with the help of innovative photographing technology.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important archeological finds unearthed in Israel, were found some 70 years ago in the Judean Desert. The new findings were presented Tuesday evening at a conference marking 70 years since the scrolls' discovery held at Jerusalem's Israel Museum.
The scrolls before their examination through the special technology (L) and after (Photo: Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority)
In the seven decades that have passed since the discovery of the scrolls by Bedouin and archeologists near the remains of the ancient community of Qumran in the Judean Desert in the early 1950s, they have continued to astound researchers.

The thousands of passages, written on parchment and papyrus paper more than 2,000 years ago—during the period of the Second Temple—are still considered the oldest Hebrew manuscripts ever found.

One of the newly discovered writings (Photo: Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority)

While researchers were able to piece together some of the more prominent writings, many of the scrolls had to be placed in boxes without being sorted or studied due to their minute size and poor condition.
Recently, as part of a digitization project, select samples from the unsorted boxes were viewed using state-of-the-art photographic equipment, and turned up new markings understood to be handwriting on some parchments that seemed to the naked eye to be completely blank.
The digitization project, carried out by an Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) unit designated to work on the scrolls, was put in motion to track the preservation process of one of the 20th century's preeminent discoveries, and to make it more accessible to the public at large in the best possible quality.
IAA researcher Oren Iberman examining the Psalms scroll (Photo: Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority)

The previously unresearched portions of the scrolls were viewed using proprietary equipment developed based on technology from the American space agency NASA.
The new manuscript was revealed after Oren Iberman, an IAA researcher and doctoral candidate at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, performed an initial examination of several dozen passages found in "Cave 11" near Qumran.
Iberman's test turned up writings on a large portion of the passage, which were invisible to the naked eye. After painstaking research, Iberman was able to decipher the writing and recognize the manuscripts to which they apparently belonged.
Even though only a scant number of letters survived in some of the writings, in others the text could be recreated and attributed to the appropriate manuscript. Due to the writings' size, however, texts can only be recognized at a high degree of certainty, rather than absolute certainty.
Preservation work on the Dead Sea Scrolls at IAA's laboratories (Photo: Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority)
Among the recently uncovered texts is one that belongs to the Temple scroll, which deals with ritual protocol and ideal Temple worship. Academics still debate whether two or three copies of the larger text on the Temple existed in Cave 11. Recognizing the new writing strengthens the proposition that the third manuscript is also a copy of said scroll
Another text belongs to the Psalms scroll, which preserves the beginning of the first verse from chapter 147 in the Book of Psalms and has hitherto been missing.
 The ending of the same verse was found in a large manuscript that was purchased and originally published by Israeli politician and archeologist Yigael Yadin. The new writing sheds light on the fact that the version of chapter 147 read 2,000 years was most likely slightly shorter than the version read today.
(Photo: Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority)
Another piece of writing was found to have been written in ancient Hebrew and was not previously known to researchers, apparently making it part of a manuscript that has yet to be discovered.
Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls division of the Antiquities Authority said, "These are manuscripts that are two thousand years old. They are our heritage. Each tidbit we find actually completes the larger puzzle, which is endless and immensely exciting."

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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Apr 2018, 8:52 pm

3,300-Year-Old Ancient Egyptian Coffin Exposed in Israel (Photos)
By Aryeh Savir April 10, 2014 , 10:31 am
“Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.” (Isaiah 36:6)

image: https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/egypt-coffin-1.jpg
Egyptian Coffin
Parts of the coffin’s lid after an initial cleaning. (Photo: Clara Amit/ IAA)
image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/egypt-coffin-1.jpg
A 3,300 year old Egyptian coffin was exposed by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) containing the personal belongings of a wealthy Canaanite, possibly an official of the Egyptian Army. Among the items discovered is a gold signet ring bearing the name of the Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I.

The rare artifacts were uncovered during salvage excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority near Tel Shadud, prior to the installation of a natural gas pipeline to Ramat Gavriel by the Israel Natural Gas Lines Company (INGL), during which the fascinating and exceptional discovery was made.

Part of a burial site dating to the Late Bronze Age (thirteenth century BCE) was exposed in an excavation at the foot of Tel Shadud. According to the excavation directors, Dr. Edwin van den Brink, Dan Kirzner and Dr. Ron Be’eri of the IAA, “During the excavation we discovered a unique and rare find: a cylindrical clay coffin with an anthropoidal lid (a cover fashioned in the image of a person) surrounded by a variety of pottery consisting mainly of storage vessels for food, tableware, cultic vessels and animal bones. As was the custom, it seems these were used as offerings for the gods, and were also meant to provide the dead with sustenance in the afterlife.”

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/5.jpg
The gold scarab. (Photo: Clara Amit/IAA)
The skeleton of an adult was found inside the clay coffin and next to it were buried pottery, a bronze dagger, bronze bowl and hammered pieces of bronze. “Since the vessels interred with the individual were produced locally”, the researchers say, “We assume the deceased was an official of Canaanite origin who was engaged in the service of the Egyptian government”.

Another possibility is that the coffin belonged to a wealthy individual who imitated Egyptian funerary customs. The researchers add that so far only several anthropoidal coffins have been uncovered in the country. The last ones discovered were found at Deir el-Balah some fifty years ago.

According to the archaeologists, “An ordinary person could not afford the purchase of such a coffin. It is obvious the deceased was a member of the local elite”.

The graves of two men and two women who may have been members of his family were also located near the coffin. The discovery of the coffin at Tel Shadud is evidence of Egyptian control of the Jezreel Valley in the Late Bronze Age (thirteenth century BCE). During the period when the pharaohs governed the country, Egyptian culture greatly influenced the local Canaanite upper class.

Signs of Egyptian influence are occasionally discovered in different regions and this time they were revealed at Tel Shadud and in the special tomb of the wealthy Canaanite. A rare artifact that was found next to the skeleton is an Egyptian scarab seal, encased in gold and affixed to a ring. The scarab was used to seal documents and objects.

The name of the crown of Pharaoh Seti I, who ruled ancient Egypt in the thirteenth century BCE, appears on the seal.  Seti I was the father of Ramses II, identified by some scholars as the pharaoh mentioned in the biblical story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. Already in the first year of his reign (1294 BCE) a revolt broke out against Seti I in the Bet Shean Valley. Seti conquered that region and established Egyptian rule in Canaan.

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/6.jpg
A picture of the bronze dagger and bowl. (Photo: Clara Amit/IAA)
Seti’s name on the seal symbolizes power and protection, or the strength of the god Ra – the Sun God – one of the most important deities in the Egyptian pantheon. The winged Uraeus (cobra), protector of the pharaoh’s name or of the sovereign himself, is clearly visible on the seal. The reference to the pharaoh Seti on the scarab found in the coffin aided the archaeologists in dating the time of the burial to the thirteenth century BCE – similar to the burials that were exposed at Deir el-Balah and Bet She‘an, which were Egyptian administrative centers.

A cemetery dating to the reign of Seti I was previously discovered at Bet Shean, the center of the Egyptian rule in the Land of Israel, and similar clay coffins were exposed.  Evidence of an Egyptian presence was detected in archaeological surveys conducted in the Jezreel Valley in the past but the discovery of the impressive anthropoid at Tel Shadud surprised the archaeologists.

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/1.jpg
The clay coffin at the time of its discovery in the field. (Photo: Dan Kirzner/ IAA)
Tel Shadud preserves the biblical name ‘Sarid’ and the mound is often referred to as Tel Sarid. The Tell is situated in the northern part of the Jezreel Valley, close to Kibbutz Sarid. The city is mentioned in the Bible in the context of the settlement of the Tribes of Israel. Sarid was included in the territory of the tribe of Zevulun and became a border city, as written in the Book of Joshua

Tel Shadud is strategically and economically significant because of its location alongside important roads from the biblical period.

The Israel Antiquities Authority is currently looking into the possibility of sampling the DNA from inside the coffin to see if the deceased was originally a Canaanite or an Egyptian who was buried in Canaan.

image: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/3.jpg
A general view of the excavation area. (Photo: Skyview Company/ IAA)

Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/13572/ancient-egyptian-coffins-exposed-israel-photos/#l1ev4xokrTOjylAU.99

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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Apr 2018, 6:27 pm

Grade Schoolers Find Proof of Jewish Life in Samaria Dating Back 1,500 Years
Junior archaeologists uncover exciting find from Talmudic times of oil lamps made of clay during hands-on scientific project.

By Beth Stern, United with Israel

The Barkan industrial zone in Samaria is proving to be a more exciting place to study than a classroom for some of the region’s schoolchildren. As part of an educational project aimed at creating a bond between young students and their country’s past, the students of the Ben-Zion Netanyahu Elementary School – named for the prime minister’s father – in nearby Barkan get to work in an archaeological dig and see the fruits of their labors in real historical finds.

On Sunday, it was announced that the children had found two 15-centuries-old decorated oil lamps made of clay with the potter’s fingerprints still embedded in them.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samarian Regional Council, visited the dig and praised the success that comes from teaching students history “through their hands and feet.”

“This shows the long-lasting bond between the Jewish nation and the Samaria region, a 1,000-year-old bond to our land. If anyone wants to find our connection to this place, he can just start digging into the ground,” Dagan stated.

This was not the first major find the Barkan students have made. In January, some children uncovered coins and large amounts of mosaic stones that led researchers to believe that the area’s ancient residents were quite wealthy, since these kinds of stones were extremely expensive during that era.

The sight of the children, who naturally reacted excitedly to their discoveries, pleased Dagan then as well. “We’re sure that the students who are exposed to this project and the dig are not only learning a love of research and knowledge, but are also bonding emotionally to this land. And there’s nothing more important than that,” he declared.

The teacher who is leading this unique learning project, Malka Rothschild, pointed to another extremely important educational goal reached through the fieldwork. “The children want to learn more about the subject beyond the school hours…. We have awakened their curiosity to the world around them, to the study and love of science.”

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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 10:56 pm

caesarea philippi gates of hades
Mathew 16:18
Study Bible
Peter's Confession of Christ
…17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, I(pebble) and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”…
At the time Simon son of Jonah was speaking they were at a area where Pagan sacrifice of babies were made, at a place which was called Pit of Hell/ Some translation gates of hades./Gehenna?  This was the Rock area Jesus was standing on when making the statement to change name also to Peter (Little Pebble) 
Jesus is OUR ROCK.  Jesus was saying you recognise me and it is Him THE ROCK  this recognition who prevents us from entering Hell. 
Two rocks one pebble. 
Upon this rock I will build my church; and The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!
The Gates of Hell in Caesarea Philippi.

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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 10:54 pm

Polycarp: The Apostolic Legacy
Ivor C. Fletcher
Peter Nathan
Polycarp of Smyrna holds a very special and perhaps even unique position in the history of the Christian church. He was personally taught by the apostle John and therefore is important to the continuity of beliefs from the time of Christ through the apostolic age and beyond.
Polycarp is believed to have been born around the year 69 or 70. Not many details of his early life are known. According to Maxwell Staniforth’s Early Christian Writings, he is thought to have been a native and lifelong resident of the Roman proconsular province of Asia, which became a new center for the Christian world after the fall of Jerusalem in 70. Many followers of Christ, possibly including Polycarp’s family, left Judea to settle in the cities of Asia. In particular, writes Staniforth, the last surviving apostle, John, “had made his home in Ephesus, and his name and influence had become a magnet for all that was most vital in Christendom. The young Polycarp himself was one of his disciples, and in later life was fond of recalling his precious memories of the saint.”
Polycarp served as bishop of Smyrna for some six decades, from the closing years of the first century to the mid-second century. The early-third-century theologian Tertullian writes in chapter 32 of his Prescription Against Heretics that, according to “original records,” it was the apostle John himself who ordained Polycarp to that office.
His later years as bishop saw major changes begin to occur within the church. W.H.C. Frend, a prominent 20th-century church historian, describes the period from 135–193 as a period of “acute hellenization” of the church. It was a time noted for the “rise of orthodoxy.” As a link to the apostolic age, Polycarp vigorously sought to prevent both of these developments.
Irenaeus, a second-century theologian and student of Polycarp, recorded his memories of his mentor. The theologian wrote to a heretic known as Florinus about Polycarp’s dedication to passing on the teachings of the apostles. Although Irenaeus’s original account is lost to history, church historian Eusebius quoted a portion of it, including the following, in book 5 of his Ecclesiastical History: “When I was still a boy I saw you [Florinus] in Lower Asia in Polycarp’s company. . . . I can describe the place where blessed Polycarp sat and talked, his goings out and comings in, the character of his life, his personal appearance, his addresses to crowded congregations. I remember how he spoke of his intercourse with John and with the others who had seen the Lord; how he repeated their words from memory; and how the things that he had heard them say about the Lord, His miracles and His teaching, things that he had heard direct from the eye-witnesses of the Word of Life, were proclaimed by Polycarp in complete harmony with Scripture.”
Unlike those around him, Polycarp appears to have remained totally faithful to the teachings of the apostles.
Documenting this line of scriptural teaching through Polycarp to the apostles had become increasingly critical through the course of the second century. The final years of Polycarp’s life were already dominated by problems within the church over doctrinal changes and external persecution. Polycarp’s inestimable value to the church was that, unlike those around him, he appears to have remained totally faithful to the teachings of the apostles. Hence Irenaeus was able to write of Polycarp’s dedication to what he had learned:
“But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true” (Against Heresies 3.3.4).

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Post  Admin on Fri 16 Mar 2018, 2:52 pm

Discovery of 3,600-Y-O Burial Chamber in Biblical Book of Revelation City ‘Stuns’ Archaeologists
Mar 15, 2018 | 0  |     
Discovery of 3,600-Y-O Burial Chamber in Biblical Book of Revelation City ‘Stuns’ Archaeologists
Archaeologists say they are stunned by the discovery of a “magnificent and untouched” 3,600-year-old burial chamber in the ancient Canaanite city-state of Megiddo, which is mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible.  National Geographic reported Wednesday that the “extraordinary” find could offer potential clues into the royal dynasty that ruled the area south of Haifa, today part of Israel, before its conquest by Egypt in the 15th century B.C.  For nearly five millennia, from 3000 B.C. to 1918,
Megiddo served as an important strategic pass for international military and trade routes, offering the stage for numerous historic battles. It is described in Revelation 16:16 as a place called “Armageddon,” which derives from Har-Megiddo, or “Hill of Megiddo.” Archaeologists now say they have discovered a tomb there from the 15th century B.C., when Megiddo was besieged for seven months by the forces of Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III, eventually surrendering. Thutmose III then moved to incorporate Canaan as a province in his empire. 
READ MORE https://www.christianpost.com/news/discovery-3600-year-old-burial-chamber-biblical-book-revelation-city-stuns-archaeologists-221513/
Discovery of 3,600-Y-O Burial Chamber in Biblical Book of Revelation City 'Stuns' Archaeologists
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By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter | Mar 15, 2018 9:37 AM
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An archaeologist unearths a human skeleton dating back to the Canaanite period, around 1800 B.C. at an excavation site in Sidon, southern Lebanon August 5, 2008. Archaeologists have been working on the site for 10 years in a project undertaken with the British Museum.
Archaeologists say they are stunned by the discovery of a "magnificent and untouched" 3,600-year-old burial chamber in the ancient Canaanite city-state of Megiddo, which is mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible.

National Geographic reported Wednesday that the "extraordinary" find could offer potential clues into the royal dynasty that ruled the area south of Haifa, today part of Israel, before its conquest by Egypt in the 15th century B.C.

For nearly five millennia, from 3000 B.C. to 1918, Megiddo served as an important strategic pass for international military and trade routes, offering the stage for numerous historic battles.

It is described in Revelation 16:16 as a place called "Armageddon," which derives from Har-Megiddo, or "Hill of Megiddo."

Archaeologists now say they have discovered a tomb there from the 15th century B.C., when Megiddo was besieged for seven months by the forces of Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III, eventually surrendering. Thutmose III then moved to incorporate Canaan as a province in his empire.

Israel Finkelstein and Mario Martin of Tel Aviv University and Matthew Adams of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeology, who have been conducting excavations in Megiddo since 1994, first found a subterranean corridor near the Bronze Age palaces in the area leading to a burial chamber back in 2016.

The chamber contained the remains of three people, a man, a woman, and a child, who were adorned with elaborate gold and silver jewelry. The man had been crowned with a gold diadem, which suggested a high level of skill and artistry.
"We are speaking of an elite family burial because of the monumentality of the structure, the rich finds and because of the fact that the burial is located in close proximity to the royal palace," Finkelstein said.

What is more, archaeologists have found that other human remains had also been interred in the tomb at an earlier stage, following the practice of ancient funerary rites in the region.

Beside the jewelry, the undisturbed nature of the three bodies after their burial, in comparison to the others that were moved, gives credence to the theory that they were of high importance, according to excavation team member Melissa Cradic.

A DNA study of the bodies found buried in Megiddo is seeking to determine whether the common inhabitants of the Canaanite city-state are of the same background as the elite rulers.

The results could change perceptions on the populations of Canaan, as scholars have long believed that the Hurrians, a roving mountain people who emerged in the region in the fourth and third millennium B.C., could have played a big part in building the first cities in the Near East.

"These studies have the potential to revolutionize what we know about the population of Canaan, before the rise of the world of the Bible," said Finkelstein.

Human remains discovered at other ancient Canaanite sites have intrigued researchers as well.

Archaeologists revealed in July 2017 that the remains of an adult and a child were uncovered at the biblical site of Gezer in Israel. The victims apparently died some 3,200 years ago when a blazing building collapsed, and were buried under ash and mud-brick debris.

The discovery led researchers to confirm accounts by Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah about how he laid siege upon and conquered Gezer, burning down many of its buildings in his campaign for control.

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Post  Admin on Thu 15 Mar 2018, 4:10 pm

Hero pilot returns to Israel, 69 years after daring rescue of Yemenite Jews
 March 13, 2018
Hero pilot returns to Israel, 69 years after daring rescue of Yemenite JewsElgen Long. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Elgen Long is a decorated pilot with 15 aviation records. In Israel, he is remembered as the Alaskan Airlines pilot who flew nearly 2,000 Yemenite Jewish refugees to safety.
By: Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News

Elgen Marion Long is a world renowned pilot, best known for his accomplishment of setting 15 aviation records and firsts, starting with his 1971 flight around the world over both poles. Long was the first man to have crossed Antarctica alone via the South Pole, and first to use inertial navigation in crossing the Antarctic Continent. He received the prestigious FAI Gold Air Medal for his accomplishments.

In 1949, as Israel’s War of Independence was still raging, the Alaska Airlines pilot decided to volunteer his service to the newly formed, but under-equipped, Israeli Air Force. Long became a member of Mahal, (foreign volunteers in the IDF) and was given a top secret assignment that required him to fly 12 missions, one after the other, bringing desperate Jewish refugees from Yemen to Israel.

Those were the early days of the migration of the 50,000 strong Jewish community, under the code name “On Eagles Wings.” Now aged 91, Long visited Israel for the first time after 69 years. The trip was arranged by the Stand With Us organization and the Israeli Association for the Preservation of Yemenite Jewish Heritage.

Long’s 12 missions in a DC-4 managed to rescue nearly 2,000 hungry and desperate refugees who had walked through the desert for about a month to reach the gathering point in Aden. There was room for only 48 passengers in Long’s plane. So much could have gone wrong. The Yemenite Jews were frightened because they had never even seen a plane, there were no flight plans, and the lights were off at the Israeli landing strip. Yet Long managed to bring all of the refugees safely to Israel.

The pilot’s fist mission for the newly born Jewish State was to bring a group of stateless Jewish refugees from China to Israel. Shortly after landing, he received a cable instructing him to fly to Aden to meet a group that had crossed the desert on foot. He was told to get there as soon as possible because the group “was at risk of dying of disease and hunger.”

WIN: Are you the last surviving airman from the 1949 mission to bring Yemenite Jews to Israel?

ELGEN LONG: Well, there are a few still alive from later missions of “On Eagles Wings.” We arrived before the war ended and were the first mission in what was a secret operation. We were told to fly to an airfield in Aden, Yemen and the commanding officer would meet us there with further orders. When we got there the officer was on the ramp and said “I have 2,000 people here and it’s a matter of life or death that we get them to Israel as fast as we can.” Some of them were ill and very worn out. They had no food and had been sleeping in the desert. They were dying and we had to get them out of there as quickly as we could.

WIN: How many trips back and forth did you make from Aden to Israel?

ELGEN LONG: We made 12 trips all together. The officer wanted us to carry as many refugees as we could, but we only had 48 seats in the airplane. So we found out how much they weighed, and it was only weighed about 80 pounds each.

WIN: What did you know about your passengers?

ELGEN LONG: We knew nothing about our passengers. We got there on the morning of the Sabbath and they had already gotten permission from the rabbis to fly on the Sabbath because it was a matter of life or death. What we did was take all the seats out of the airplane to maximize passengers. We could carry 12,000 pounds and aimed at placing 150 people on each trip, including some children. All made the trip sitting on the floor.

WIN: What was the mood like on the plane? These were people from a very primitive society and now they were coming to a new world. Were they singing, happy, worried?

ELGEN LONG: They were very worried and desperate and some were afraid to get on the air plane. The rabbi told them, “In Exodus its written that ‘they will fly on the wings of a golden eagle.’ So get aboard!” That convinced them. We managed to get 150 on board. We flew nonstop to Israel via the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba to Um Rushrush (now Eilat), on to the airstrip in Lydda. When we arrived, there were no lights at the airport. The tower would not answer, but we knew we were over the airport. In the dark we managed a good landing.

WIN: Are you still flying?

ELGEN LONG: I have not been a pilot for 30 years. When I visited Beersheba this week, the air force put me in a flight simulator. I managed to take off, but could not figure out where I was.

WIN: You know that you are considered to be a great hero in Israel.

ELGEN LONG: Well it too long to get here. It’s been 69 years but I am enjoying every minute. It’s absolutely fantastic what you people have done here. I was really shocked to see what Ben Gurion Airport looks like now. The Lydda air strip no longer exists, but what a wonderful airport you now have made. I am pleased and honored to be here.

Dr. Yigal Ben Shalom, Director of the Association for Preservation of Yemenite Jewish Heritage told World Israel News, “The refugees were hungry, tired and scared and prayed the entire nine hour trip. Elgen came out more than once to see how they were managing. They greeted Elgen as thou he was a messiah. He took a huge risk for our sake and the Yemenite community owe him a debt of gratitude for the success of the clandestine immigration to Israel.”

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Post  Admin on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 6:01 pm

Jews and Native Americans: 7 Fascinating Facts
Like Julis Meyer, aka Box-Ka-Re-Sha-Hash-Ta-Ka, which means “Curly Haired White Chief Who Speaks with One Tongue.”
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller 
Herman Bendell, Superintendent of Indian Affairs
Would a Jewish Superintendent of Indian Affairs try to convert Native Americans to Judaism? Some feared that Dr. Herman Bendell, a New York doctor whom President Ulysses Grant appointed to be the Arizona Territory’s point man on Indian Affairs, would do just that. The newspaper The Boston Pilot fretted that Dr. Bendell would “undo” the work of Christian missionaries and start spreading Judaism among Arizona’s Native Americans.

Young Dr. Herman Bendell during the Civil War

In reality, Dr. Bendell’s Judaism was one of the reasons President Grant appointed him; he wanted to include someone who would not prioritize missionary work.

Dr. Herman Bendell as Indian Commissioner, 1871

Dr. Bendell quickly emerged as a champion of Native rights within the government, writing, “I feel it is a duty I owe to the people of the Country and the Indians under my charge to do something to relieve the pressures that surround them.” But after two years, intense opposition to Dr. Bendell’s religious faith made his job impossible. He resigned, returned to Albany, married his childhood sweetheart Wilhelmine Lewi, and practiced medicine.

When he died in 1932, few people realized that Dr. Bendell, longtime New York state ophthalmologist, had once worked to secure Indian rights in pre-state Arizona.

“Curly-Haired White Chief Who Speaks with One Tongue”
Julius Meyer was born in Prussia and moved to Omaha as a teenager in 1866, the year before Omaha was incorporated as a city and Nebraska was admitted to the Union as a State. He joined his older brothers Max, Moritz and Adolph who had founded a cigar store and a jewelry/music store.

Young Julius carved out his own business niche, trading his cigars and jewelry from his brothers’ stores with Native American tribes. He’d travel on horseback deep into Indian-controlled territory, living for weeks with Native American tribes and traders.

Julius Meyer and Native Americans outside his Indian Wigwam store

Julius mastered several Native American tongues, setting him apart from many European traders. He also treated Native Americans fairly, earning him the sobriquet “Box-Ka-Re-Sha-Hash-Ta-Ka”, meaning “Curly Haired White Chief Who Speaks with One Tongue,” a reference to his curly hair and also his straight, honest way of doing business.

Living with Native Americans for weeks at a time, Julius was also famed for another peculiarity: sticking to Jewish dietary rules. When he was invited to feasts with tribesmen, his hosts knew to serve him hard boiled eggs instead of the non-kosher meat that everyone else enjoyed.

Back in Omaha, Julius set up a popular “Indian Wigwam” store, selling Indian-made items. He died in Omaha’s Hanscom Park in 1909 at the age of 60 in highly mysterious circumstances. Ostensibly a suicide, it was reported at the time that he shot himself first in the temple, then in the chest, with his left hand, although Julius was right-handed. No alternative theory was ever put forward, and he was mourned throughout the American West as a tragic case of suicide.

Jewish Indian Chief
In 1869, Solomon Bibo, a teenager from Prussia, arrived in the tiny New Mexican town of Ceboletta to join two of his older brothers who’d come to the United States some years before. Like most Jews in the American West, the Bibo brothers worked as traders, but they were far from ordinary. Unlike many Europeans at the time, they quickly garnered a reputation for fairness and honesty when dealing with Native Americans.

Solomon Bibo quickly learned Queresan, the language of the local Acoma tribe, and immersed himself in their concerns, championing Acoma rights against Mexican and American ranchers, and against the U.S. Government, which Bibo and the Acoma accused of trying to cheat the Acoma out of their rightfully-owned lands.

This 1885 photo is listed as "Solomon Bibo governor of Acoma & his officers 1885 – 1886". Solomon is marked as #15.

In 1877, the U.S. Government offered the Acoma a treaty guaranteeing the tribe 94,000 acres of land, far less they felt they deserved. Determined to protect their remaining lands, in 1884, the Acoma leased their land to Bibo for 30 years, in exchange for an annual payment of $12,000 and assurances that Bibo would protect the land from squatters, ensure that coal on the tribe’s land was mined, and that the tribe would receive the proceeds.

Learning of the agreement, an Indian agent from Santa Fe, Pedro Sanchez, wrote to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, complaining about Bibo, “the rico Israelito” (rich Jew), and tried to get the lease invalidated on the grounds that the tribe as a whole had not agreed to the arrangement. Bibo found himself facing not only the loss of the Acoma lease, but the loss of his trader’s license as well. The Acoma nation quickly mobilized itself, providing a petition with a hundred signatures to the Bureau of Indian Affairs asserting they had confidence in Bibo.

In 1885, Solomon Bibo married Juana Valle, the granddaughter of Martin Valle, the Acoma Chief. He later became Chief of the nation himself, pushing for educational and infrastructure reforms. Juana began to adopt a Jewish lifestyle.

In 1898, Solomon and Jana moved to San Franciso in order to provide their six children with a Jewish education. Solomon died in 1934 and Juana in 1941. Their children said Kaddish for them in San Franciso.

Wolf Kalisher: Ally of Native Americans
Wolf Kalisher was born in Poland in 1826 and moved to Los Angeles, becoming a United States citizen in 1855. After the Civil War, Kalisher partnered with Henry Wartenberg in a tannery, one of the city’s first factories.

Kalisher quickly became an ally of Native Americans, going out of his way to hire Native American workers and championing Native American rights. He also became a pillar the developing LA Jewish community. He and his wife Louise raised their four children in the city, and helped establish one of the city’s first synagogues.

He became particularly close with Manuel Olegario, a leader of the local Temecula tribe, advising and assisting the Chief as he campaigned to protect his tribe’s land in San Diego County. Kalisher Street in Los Angeles memorializes Wolf Kalisher and his efforts on behalf of Native Americans to this day.

Jewish Genetic Link
Israeli cancer scientists have made an unexpected discovery: a group of Native Americans living the in Mesa Verde area of Colorado seem to have some genetic Jewish roots dating to the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492.

Researchers at the Sheba medical center near Tel Aviv studied various populations worldwide to identify carriers of the BRCA1 mutation, a genetic mutation that predisposes carriers to breast and ovarian cancer and is found in disproportionately in Jews of Ashkenazi origin. (Approximately 1.5% of Ashkenazi Jews carry the mutation.)

Noting that a group of Native American Colorado families who were descended from immigrants from Mexico carried the mutation, researchers conducted additional genetic testing, and identified a common ancestor: a Jew who came to South America from Europe about 600 years ago, about the time that Jews were forced out of Spain and Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. The mutation among the Native American population is identical to that found among Ashkenazi Jews, offering solid proof of a long-ago Jewish ancestor who came to present-day Mexico and intermarried with Native American tribes.

Supporting the Jewish State

Santos Hawk’s Blood Suarez, an Apache activist in New Jersey, brings fellow Native Americans to pro-Israel events and insists there are strong parallels between Native Americans and Jews. Both groups have lived in exile; Jews show that it is possible for a native people to return to their native land and revive their ancestral language, even after thousands of years. “I admire the people who” take a stand, Suarez explains: “That’s why I admire the people of Israel: They’re people who stand up to defend their homeland.”

Chief Anne Richardson is the first female Chief of the Rappahannock Tribe in Virginia since 1705. She’s also a strong supporter of the Jewish state. In 2013, she and another female Chief, Kathy Cummings-Dickinson of the Lumbee Tribes in North Carolina, visited Israel. Wearing their ceremonial robes, the Chiefs met with an Israeli Government Minister. “We are here to deliver a message to the residents of Israel,” the chiefs explained. “Stand firm and united against the threats and pressure… We want to encourage Israel not to give in to those who try to pressure them to give up parts of the homeland. Surrender to this pressure is not a recipe for peace, but rather war. We stand beside you.”

Celebrating Israeli Independence Day in Louisiana
Watching coverage of Israel’s 60th Independence Day festivities in May 2008 was a revelation for David Sickey, the Vice-Chairman of the Governing Council of the Sovereign Nation of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana. After learning more about the Jewish State, he realized there were some incredible parallels between Israel and his own nation.

When Sickey presented his idea of fostering relations between the Coushatta nation and Israel, his co-nationalists were enthusiastic: “They took an interest because the Coushatta value sovereignty and nationhood much like the Jewish people, and autonomy is something to be embraced.”

David Sickey, right, visiting Zion Oil & Gas

The Tribe reached out to then Israeli Consul of Houston, Asher Yarden. Consul Yarden visited the tribe for an official ceremony to establish formal ties. “My visit to the Coushatta for the affirmation event was very emotional, and I would even call it a life-changing experience. It was a highlight, if not the highlight, of my 25-year career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he explained.

The Coushatta adopted May 14, Israeli Independence Day, as a holiday called “Stakayoop Yanihta Yisrael”, meaning “The Day to Honor Israel”.

A Coushatta delegation visited Israel in 2009 to foster economic ties. The tribe is currently the American distributor of Aya Natural, an Israeli Druze-owned company that produces olive oil-based cosmetics in the north of Israel. Israeli engineers are also aiding Coushatta fish farmers in importing high-tech Israeli fish-farming technology. Sickey said, “Israel is a very dynamic nation, and it makes sense for the tribe to partner with a very robust nation and the only democracy in the region.”

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Post  Admin on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 6:34 pm

Approved May 14th 1948
Today's Israel Fact of the Day- The United States was the first country to recognize the State of Israel when President Harry Truman granted de-facto recognition eleven minutes after the proclamation of independence. LIKE and SHARE to teach your friends about Israel.

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