More Archeology

Hello All,

Lets cite some more great discoveries made in the world of archeology that were recently published.

During an exploratory dig relating to new building, a treasure trove of Roman coins and jewelry was discovered.

Around 140 silver and gold coins have been discovered - some in pristine condition.

The discovery of coins is always important because it not only confirms rulers but defines power and economic bases and their influences.

This discovery was made under a layer of floor which could imply something as simple as the owner hid their wealth - or alternately the thief hid their horde.  

The archeological team linked it by theory to the Jewish revolt of the time in their publications.

But wether it was politics or bad luck, the individual who collected this apparently didn't get to enjoy it but fate has gifted us to a beautiful look into their world.

The item that stuck me most was the simple gold ring with a red ruby - and carved into the ruby is some symblum or design.  It really is beautiful...

And this is our link to the second discovery I'll mention - and that is from a time even older than the Romans - the Cannanite Period.

Near Megiddo, a collection of 3,000-year-old jewelry including earrings, beads, and another ring was hidden in a ceramic jug that was unearthed.

Because someone obviously put them in this jug implies again that the items were being hidden.

But this find is being described as one of the most important discoveries at a Biblical site.

Authorities are particularly excited about one piece of jewelry which they say is unmatched - a gold earring decorated with molded ibexes or wild goats.

The heads of the dig are suggesting that the find offers us a rare glimpse into ancient Canaanite high society - believing that their discovery suggests that the owner was well to do.

And this may explain another important fact... the raw materials used in these precious items are not from the area.

Megiddo was a center of commerce and trade, and with the techniques and traditions employed in creating the goods - we find that these items came from outside this area at that time.

Pretty exciting stuff - and it barely scratches the surface of what's buried under millennia of history here in the holy land.

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSea Broadcasting

Discoveries!

Hi friends,

I trust everybody is doing fine.

Let's talk about a couple of discovers made in the dirt of Israel this week!

Both tie right to my neighborhood here in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The first discovery was announced out in the Elah valley - a place traditionally associated with David's defeating of Goliath, and relates to the Temple here in Jerusalem.

For a while archeologists have been unearthing things they say tie the site to one of King David's fortified cities.

There is very little material to date that can be verified as coming from the Davidic Kingdom.

However now there are some clay and stone containers that have been uncovered that some academics are claiming are from the first Temple period and actually bear the symbolence of what King Solomon's temple looked like.

There is a logic there, that if this container was meant to hold something sacred, or was connected to Jewish worship at the Temple, that it depict that most important place.

The other impressive find was a stone column made from red rock lying in situ within the ground not all that far away from the Old City.

This was uncovered after the demolition of a building to make way for a new one.

What's exciting about this is that the column matches precisely to the description left by a historian who witnessed the construction of the Nea church during the days of the Emporer Justinian

This church was the largest ever built in Jerusalem. It was named after Jesus' mother Mary. It stood where the road now runs through the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. The church ran north from there and was largely built over during the reconstruction of the Jewish Quarter after the 1967 war.

All that remains visible today of this magnificent structure is the foundation to one of the naves of the church.

The historian of Justinian's day noted the red hard stone from which the church was built. From what I gather it was three stories tall with a mostly open wall to the south in order to look out to the Hinnon valley and Mt. Zion.

This newly discovered column is cut to the size that other columns were made to for the massive building.

Discoveries such as these encourage me in this Land of the Bible because it brings it's pages alive!

You too can see countless things from the scriptures if you come over here on a LeSEA tour! Why not go to: www.leseatours.com and have a look at what you can experience here in the Holy Land - the things I'm privileged to see and walk amongst daily!

Brian Bush Middle East Corespondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Crusader Inscription

Hi Friends,

Well... Chuck wants it – Chuck gets it!

Yesterday he suggested I write about what I spoke on regarding the unique archaeological discovery recently made in Tel Aviv of a Crusader inscription in Arabic.

It bears the name of Frederick II, "King of Jerusalem" and is the only Crusader inscription in the Arabic language ever found in the Middle East.

Frederick II was a Holy Roman Emperor who led the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) to the Holy Land.

Without violence, Frederick II secured major territorial gains for the Crusader Kingdom. Of course the most significant was the handing over of Jerusalem to the Crusaders by the Egyptian sultan al-Malik al-Kamil as a result of an armistice agreement the two rulers that was signed in 1229.

Frederick knew Arabic and maintained a close relationship with the Egyptian royal family and, despite having been excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX, crowned himself king of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

It is known that before this happened, Frederick fortified the castle of Jaffa and as a memorial, placed within its walls, two inscriptions - one in Latin and the other in Arabic.

The date on the inscription is "1229 of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus the Messiah",

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is toughing this as a rare archaeological find – the only one of its kind.

The 800-years-old inscription was fixed into a wall of a building in Tel Aviv.

While the Latin text is fragmented, the Arabic inscription is almost completely intact. It lists all of the titles of Frederick II, and as a Crusader inscription, there's nothing else like it anywhere in the Middle East or Europe - not even in Sicily where Frederick's main royal palace was.

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Hercules!

Hi Everyone!

Lets take a break from the news of the Middle East and talk about a discovery of a rare statue made soon after the time of Christ.

The marble cutting was exposed in the Jezreel Valley which is below Galilee and tword the coast.

Archeologists are excited about it because it is actually thought to be a statue of Hercules.

The hero Hercules, is found in both Greek and Roman mythology. The story goes that Hercules was born in Thebes. He is the son of the god Zeus and the mortal Alcmene, a woman from Electryon.

Hercules is considered the strongest man in the world, a symbol of power, courage and superhuman strength. He is also one of the most famous legendary heroes of ancient Greece who battled the forces of the netherworld on behalf of the Olympian gods.

Hercules is described as hot tempered, and he often times acted impetuously and with uncontrollable rage.

Greek mythology has it that Zeus' wife, Hera, expressed her jealousy and fierce hatred of Hercules from the day he was born because he was the product of her husband's infidelity.

While he was just a baby Hera placed two poisonous snakes in his bed, but he managed to overpower them.

Later, in a fit of madness brought on by Hera, Hercules killed his three sons and his wife Megara, whilst she attempted to protect the smallest of them.

In order to atone for his terrible sin, the Oracle of Delphi ordered Hercules to go to Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, and perform whatever the king commanded him to do. Among the king's commands were twelve superhuman feats known as the 'Labors of Hercules'.

Depictions of the labors of Hercules are among the most common themes in ancient art and the statue that was discovered portrays Hercules' first task.

This discovery is indeed rare in this part of the Middle East. The statue probably stood in a niche as part of the decoration to a bathhouse pool.

It is about a foot and a half tall and is made of smoothed white marble and is of exceptional artistic quality.

Hercules is depicted as a naked figure standing on a base. His big bulging muscles stand out, and he is leaning on a club to his left. On the upper part hangs the skin of the Nemean lion, which according to Greek mythology Hercules slew as the first of his twelve labors.

The Israel National Roads Authority is preparing new train tracks in the area and ran across a Roman or perhaps Byzantine pool. But after the pool was no longer being used it was filled in with a layer of earth that contained numerous potsherds, an abundance of broken glass vessels and the marble fragment of the statue of Hercules.

There's always something to report from this land – and it's a pleasure to be here bringing you all the latest.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Lesson from the Past

Dear Friends,

Today here in Israel is Tisha B'Av – the day commemorating the destruction of the two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.

You will recall that the second Temple was destroyed by the Romans a few years after Christ's Ascension into Heaven.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has released a notice that they obviously kept for this important day – and that is a discovery of a Roman sword in it's leather scabbard that belonged to a soldier and an engraving of (what may be the Temple's menorah – the branched candelabrum on a small stone object.

The Israel Antiquities Authority discovered the objects during the course of it's work in Jerusalem's ancient drainage channel, which begins in the Siloam Pool and runs to the archaeological garden located near the Western Wall.

One piece is a 2,000 year old iron sword still in its leather scabbard.

The sword's state of preservation is surprising for two reasons; for it's length (c. 60 cm or 24 inches), but also the preservation of the leather scabbard. Leather generally disintegrates quickly over time and some of it's decoration can still be seen.

The stone object is a lot smaller but bears significance. It too has two reasons for notability; first, it is the closest find of a depiction of a menorah to where the original tangible objects once stood.

Secondly, even though it is a depiction of the seven-branched candelabrum, only five branches appear here. The portrayal of the menorah's base is extremely important because it could be interpreted by some to present what the base of the original menorah looked like.

These are two powerful symbols of time passed that collided in this spot.

And on this day of memorial – they are poignant reminders from man of old that can teach us a lesson from the past... if we will listen.

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Uncovered

Hello Friends,

One of the joy's of living here in the Holy Land – and particularly here in Jerusalem, is discovering antiquity. It literally is everywhere – all you got to do is dig straight down!

Let's tell you about a recent discovery – literally about 100 yards from my house.

It is a spectacular arched bridge discovered just outside the Old City walls, part of an ancient aqueduct that carried water to Jerusalem from afar.

In some of the oldest photographs of Jerusalem, one could see this stone bridge. Apparently it got covered over and now it has reappeared suddenly in much of its grandeur!

Now how did it all work? Archeologists are saying that the route of the so called 'Low Level' aqueduct, that dates to the Second Temple period, began out near Bethlehem at the large water reservoirs of Solomon's Pools. Obviously it ended at the Old City and was partly connected to the Temple compound itself.

The aqueduct runs into a largely natural yet somewhat man adapted storm runoff area called the Sultan's Pool. In order to maintain the elevation of the path along which the water flowed, the bridge was erected above the ravine.

Now one of the great things about this discovery is that it can be clearly dated to 1320 AD. The dedicatory inscription of the bridge is set in it and clearly readable. During this time, the Mamlukes ruled Jerusalem, and are noted for their extensive building efforts. Archeologists are saying it was apparently constructed to replace an earlier bridge that was from the Second Temple period and, more than likely, part of the original aqueduct.

Just another one of the exciting things you may be able to see with your own eyes if you come and join us on a LeSEA Tour to the Holy Land! Check out: www.leseatours.com for more information.

Have a great day!

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

The Living Bible

Hello Friends,

Let me tell you today about an exciting discovery made about a week ago.

The so called 'City of David' is the original hilltop upon which Jebusite Jerusalem stood – the city King David conquered and made his capital for the Nation of Israel some 3000 years ago.

Deep underground, this special place is revealing some of the most exciting archeological finds of the ancient world,

An estimated 2,600 year old clay seal impression, or what is called a "bulla" that is about ½ inch round, bearing the name Gedaliah ben Pashur has been uncovered completely intact during archeological excavations.

This is highly interesting because this name appears in the Book of Jeremiah (38:1) together with that of Yehuchal ben Shelemayahu, whose name was also found on an identical clay bulla in the same area in 2005. The two men were ministers in the court of King Zedekiah, the last king to rule in Jerusalem before the destruction of the First Temple.

This allegedly is the first time in archeology that two clay bulla with two Biblical names, that appear in the same verse in the Bible, have been unearthed in the same location!

You see – this is why I love leaving here in the Land of the Bible – where it comes alive! You have a chance to come and witness such Biblical treasures with our LeSEA tour coming up in November.

Check out www.leseatours.com for more info!

Bye for now!

Brian

Discovery!

Hi there!

One of the great things about living in Israel is the history. Archeology plays a big role here in this land particularly, where man has lived for thousands of years.

An exciting discovery was made recently when ruins of a Roman temple from the second century AD have were unearthed in a place called Zippori. This is of interest to us because this may have been the %u218big city%u219 where Joseph may have worked his trade of carpentry from the nearby village of Nazareth. This idea implies that Jesus may have worked along side his father there as a boy.

Lets talk about what they found. Above the temple are foundations of a church from the Byzantine period. This then may indicated that Zippori, the Jewish capital of the Galilee during the Roman period, had a significant pagan population which built a temple in the heart of the city center. The central location of the temple, which is positioned within a walled courtyard, and its architectural relation to the surrounding buildings, help us understand the planning of Zippori in the Roman era. The temple, measuring approximately 24 by 12 yards, was built with a decorated fa%uFFDade facing the main street outside. The building of the church on the foundation of the temple may say a few things. It may testify to the preservation of the sacred section of the city over time. It also could be a demonstration of the new religious movement (Christianity) %u21Cdefeating%u21D the pagan Gods.

But this new finding demonstrates not only the religious life, culture and society in Roman and Byzantine Zippori, but also that this was a city in which Jews, pagans and later Christians lived together and developed their hometown with various buildings.

What kind of gods were worshiped there? They do not know as yet, however but some coins dating from the time of Antoninus Pius, minted in Zippori, depict a temple to the Roman gods Zeus and Tyche.

These types of discoveries really thrill me %u213 and it%u219s a part of the reason why I enjoy living here in the Holy Land!

Now as part of modern history - have a great time checking out the Pulse Festival (www.pulsefm.com) this weekend!

Brian

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