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 archeologisch en geologisch nieuws:

Archaeologists find rare bronze mask near Sea of Galilee

Artifact found outside ancient city depicts Greek god Pan, is said to be of extraordinary size

BY JTA March 20, 2015, 

An archaeological dig in northern Israel has unearthed a large bronze mask of the god Pan.

The mask was found outside the limits of the ancient city of Hippos, according to a press release issued on Monday by the University of Haifa archaeological team that made the discovery. According to Michael Eisenberg, the team’s head, the mask, which is larger than a human head, is extremely rare in its size and in its depiction of the mythological satyr.

The mask was found aspart of the excavation of a basalt structure at Sussita National Park, two kilometers east of the Sea of Galilee. 

The mask features small horns, long pointed ears, a goat beard and other features that helped the archaeologists to identify the mask as being that of Pan or Faunus, the half-man, half-goat Greek-Roman deity.

The archaeologists theorized that the structure had originally been built as a hangar or other fortification and was later converted into a place of worship.

“Because they included drinking, sacrificing and ecstatic worship that sometimes included nudity and sex, rituals for rustic gods were often held outside of the city,” said Eisenberg, who is leading the excavation on behalf of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.

Hasmonean Jerusalem Exposed in Time for Hanukkah

Hasmonean era no longer absent from Jerusalem’s archaeological record

Noah Wiener   •  12/04/2013

The Hanukkah announcement of the discovery of this large structure in Jerusalem's City of David fills in the missing Hasmonean era of Jerusalem's history. Credit: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

During this winter’s holiday season, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologists announced the discovery of Hanukkah-era history in Jerusalem. Excavations in Jerusalem’s Givati parking lot in the City of David revealed a large structure with coins indicating its early second-century construction and occupation into the Hasmonean era.

Hanukkah celebrates the successful Maccabean Revolt, a second-century B.C.E. campaign to cleanse the Temple from desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, an event recorded by Josephus, the books of 1 and 2 Maccabees and the Heliodorus inscription. The Jewish Hasmonean dynasty ruled Judea for a century following the revolt before Roman intervention led to the establishment of the Herodian dynasty in 37 B.C.E. Despite the extended and celebrated rule of the Hasmoneans, they left few extant architectural traces in Jerusalem. In the IAA press release, excavation directors Doron Ben Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets state that there is a “conspicuous paucity of buildings from the Hasmonean city of Jerusalem in archaeological research … this discovery bridges a certain gap in Jerusalem’s settlement sequence. The Hasmonean city, which is well-known to us from the historical descriptions that appear in the works of Josephus, has suddenly acquired tangible expression.”

Archaeologists Find Ancient Temple and Sacred Vessels Near Jerusalem (Israel Antiquities Authority December 27, 2012)
A temple and a cache of sacred vessels some 2,750 years old, dating back to the early days of the Kingdom of Judah, have been discovered at Tel Motza, west of Jerusalem.
The excavation has revealed part of a large structure from the early days of the monarchic period. The walls of the structure are massive, said the archaeologists.
The finds provide rare archaeological evidence for the existence of temples prior to the religious reforms at the time of Hezekiah and Isaiah which abolished all ritual sites, concentrating ritual practices solely at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Massive Reservoir Discovered Beneath Western Wall - Melanie Lidman (Jerusalem Post September 7, 2012)
    Recently, part of a floor collapsed in a massive underground drainage ditch deep below the Western Wall as archeologists were taking it apart. Archeologist Eli Shukron looked into the hole and was blown away by the size of the room they had uncovered.
    Based on previous research and excavations in the area, Shukron was immediately convinced they had stumbled on an enormous underground well from the First Temple Period, the first evidence of stored water next to the Temple.
    The reservoir measures 12 meters by 5 meters by 4.5 meters and uses the same type of plaster as other reservoirs from the First Temple Period.
    The handprints of the laborers who added the plaster are still visible.
A monumental synagogue building dating to the Late Roman period (ca. 4th-5th centuries C.E.) has been discovered in archaeological excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee.

The excavations are being conducted by Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and David Amit and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority, under the sponsorship of UNC, Brigham Young University in Utah, Trinity University in Texas, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Toronto in Canada. Students and staff from UNC and the consortium schools are participating in the dig.

Huqoq is an ancient Jewish village located approximately two to three miles west of Capernaum and Migdal (Magdala). Thissecond season of excavations has revealed portions of a stunning mosaic floor decorating the interior of the synagogue building. The mosaic, which is made of tiny colored stone cubes of the highest quality, includes a scene depicting Samson placing torches between the tails of foxes (as related in the book of Judges 15). In another part of the mosaic, two human (apparently female) faces flank a circular medallion with a Hebrew inscription that refersto rewards for those who performgood deeds.

“This discovery is significant because only a small number of ancient (Late Roman) synagogue buildings are decorated with mosaics showing biblical scenes, and only two others have scenes with Samson (one is at another site just a couple of miles from Huqoq),” said Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the department of religious studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Our mosaics are also important because of their high artistic quality and the tiny size of the mosaic cubes. This, together with the monumental size of the stones used to construct the synagogue’s walls, suggest a high level of prosperity in this village, as the building clearly was very costly.”


    Dr. G. H. Cohen Stuart (1938) is theoloog en in Israël gediplomeerd gids.
    Hij studeerde in Leiden wis - en natuurkunde (kandidaats – BSc, 1960) en theologie (doctoraal – MA, 1968).  Leerde tijdens een jaar studie in Jeruzalem Marian Jumelet kennen die als verpleegkundige in Tiberias werkte. Zij deelt zijn liefde voor het Joodse volk en doet als hobby mee aan zijn specialisatie in het rabbijnse en moderne jodendom. Zij hebben 3 gehuwde kinderen en 13 kleinkinderen.
    In 1984 promotie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam in de Letteren op het proefschrift The Struggle in Man between Good and Evil. An Inquiry into the Origin of the Rabbinic Concept of Yezer Hara`.
    Van 1969-1982 gemeentepredikant in de ‘Oude Mijnstreek’ (Zuid-Limburg) en Poortugaal (Zuid-Holland).
    Van 1982-1994 Theologisch Adviseur der Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk in Jeruzalem met als opdracht bijdragen te leveren aan verbe­tering van het begrip tussen Joden en christe­nen, ook als bestuurslid van diverse organisaties. Door deze unieke functie kon hij intensief bijbel en rabbijns jodendom studeren bij verschillende Joodse le­ra­ren (van ortho­dox tot liberaal) en (ook als leraar) deelnemen aan cursus­sen en seminars.
    Sinds 1994 wordt zijn tijd verdeeld tussen Nederland en Israël.
    In voor – en najaar in Israël als gediplomeerd gids. Bij voorkeur voor groepen en enkelingen die meer diepgang willen.
    In Nederland is hij van de tweede helft van november tot de eerste helft van maart beschikbaar voor lezingen over onderwerpen op het raakvlak van jodendom en christendom. Boeit zowel deskundigen als andere belangstellenden.

    archeologisch en geologisch nieuws:
    Ynet  Published: 06.05.12
    Worth its weight in gold: An impressive hoard of jewels, silver and gold coins from the Roman period was recently discovered at a rescue dig carried out by the Antiquities Authority in the Kiryat Gat area. 
    The dig exposed the remnants of a structure from Roman and Byzantine times. When excavating near the structure's courtyard the archeologists noticed a pit that was dug out and refilled. 

    To the archeologist's surprise, the pit revealed an incredible treasure wrapped in cloth – scraps of which still remained among the findings.

    According to the Archeologist Emil Aljam, the excavation manager on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, "The spectacular hoard includes gold jewelry, including a hand made earring with a floral pattern and a ring with a  precious stone imprinted with a winged goddess, two silver sticks which may have been used in the application of makeup as well as 140 gold and silver coins. 

    "The coins are from the era of Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan who ruled the Roman Empire between 54-117 AD. The coins have the emperors' portraits on them with descriptions of the emperor's religious rituals… gods from the mythology like Jupiter on his throne or Jupiter holding a lightning bolt." 

    The hoard which was excavated through the funding of Y.S. Gat Ltd., the company that manages the Industrial Park in Kiryat Gat, was taken away from the site and was transferred to the care of Antiquity Authority labs in Jerusalem, later it will be put on display in one of Israel's museums. 
    Published: 6 Jun 12 07:44 CET German translates oldest known Hebrew

    The oldest known written ancient Hebrew other than the Bible has emerged as laws to protect slaves, widows, orphans and foreigners, according to the German theologian who translated the script. 
    The five lines of ancient Hebrew were painted onto a clay pot about 3,000 years ago. Their author is thought to have been a trainee court official – they were instructed to write out important laws over and over again to improve their writing skills. 
    Archaeologists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem discovered the inscription-covered clay slab in 2008 while excavating the site of a ancient city known to have existed in 10 BC, Khirbet Qeiyafa, which lies 25 kilometres south-west of Jerusalem. 
    They sent copies to experts in ancient languages, who all had a go at translating the ancient scripture. 
    Professor of Protestant theology at the University of Münster, Dr. Reinhard Achenbach's final interpretation was published recently in the French-language Hebrew studies journal Semitica.  
    "The language seems to be ancient Hebrew, but it is closely related to other west-semitic canaanite languages," the Old Testament expert told The Local in an email.  
    The tablet’s significance lay in its instructions to take care of the disadvantaged of ancient Israeli society. 
    This is visible in the second and third lines which read: “Give rights to slaves and to widows! Give rights to orphans and foreigners! Protect the rights of the poor and protect the rights of minors!”
    These were likely to be some of the first laws implemented, he said, adding that the tablet was probably a copied version made by a royal official given the task to learn the laws. 
    The Hebrew version of the Old Testament, legal texts from the Tora and accounts from prophetic teachings all contain stark criticism of the common mistreatment of minority groups. 
    "The form of the letters is older than the oldest Israelite text we have known until now, the "Gezer calendar". This points to the 10th century BC," Achenbach added. 

  • Ha-aretz 10-1-2012 Israeli archaeologists find 1,500-year-old kosher 'bread stamp' near Acre
  • A 1,500-year-old seal with the image of the seven-branched Temple Menorah has been discovered near the city of Acre. 
    The ceramic stamp, which dates from the Byzantine period in the 6th century CE, was found during ongoing Israel Antiquities Authority excavations at Horbat Uza, east of Acre, which are being undertaken before the construction of the Acre-Carmiel railroad track. 
    It is thought the stamp was used to mark baked goods, and is known as a “bread stamp.” 
    “A number of stamps bearing an image of a menorah are known from different collections. The Temple Menorah, being a Jewish symbol par excellence, indicates the stamps belonged to Jews, unlike Christian bread stamps with the cross pattern which were much more common in the Byzantine period,” said Gilad Jaffe and Dr. Danny Syon, the directors of the excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority,  “The stamp is important because it proves that a Jewish community existed in the settlement of Uza in the Christian-Byzantine period. The presence of a Jewish settlement so close to Acre - a region that was definitely Christian at this time - constitutes an innovation in archaeological research,” Syon said.
    “Due to the geographical proximity of Horbat Uza to Acre, we can speculate that the settlement supplied kosher baked goods to the Jews of Acre in the Byzantine period,” Jaffe and Syon added. 
    Horbat Uza is a small rural settlement where other archaeological finds, a Shabbat lamp and jars with menorah patterns painted on them, have alluded to it having been a Jewish settlement. 
    The stamp bears the image of a seven-branched menorah, and the handle of the stamp is engraved with Greek letters. According to Dr. Leah Di Segni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, this is probably the name Launtius, which was common among Jews of the period and has appeared on other Jewish bread stamps. 
    “This is probably the name of the baker from Horbat Uza,” Jaffe and Syon said.