Indiana Hoenlein & the Lost Pottery Shard Writing of the First Temple Period, 600 BCE
A corpus of 91 ink-on-clay shards (or ostraca) written on the eve of the Kingdom of Judah’s destruction by Nebuchadnezzar was unearthed at Tel Arad, west of the Dead Sea, in the 1960s. A remarkable find, the shards were found together on the floor of a single room, and what legible writing was discerned was thoroughly deciphered by top scholars. For the past 50 years, they have been prominently displayed in the Israel Museum.
Containing lists of supplies and orders from military quartermasters, the shards’ value to the study of the Hebrew language, the sociology and the economy of the time period is immeasurable.
Now, though, with the discovery of previously “invisible” words, and even sentences on the “blank” verso side of one of the first shards to be examined with the new technology, the pieces have become still more important.
It is speculated that the majority of correspondence and literature of this historical period was written on biodegradable papyrus. Therefore, most surviving biblical-period Hebrew inscriptions are on ostraca. Once unearthed, however, ink on clay fades rapidly; many shards previously thought of as “blank” have been summarily disposed of at digs or during artifact recording.
The new, user-friendly multispectral imaging technique, developed by a team of applied mathematicians, archaeologists and physicists — co-directed by archaeology Prof. Israel Finkelstein and physics Prof. Eli Piasetzky — will give these “blank” pottery pieces the chance to reveal any hidden treasures.
Indiana Hoenlein & the Lost Crusader Escape Tunnel of Tiberias. @elalusa Report w/Malcolm Hoenlein @conf_of_pres. @thadmccotter
Tunneling through time: An archaeological excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority has unearthed an 800-year-old tunnel that researchers think served as an escape route from a Crusader fortress in Tiberias to the Sea of Galilee.
The tunnel, which appears to have been constructed by Crusaders some 800 years ago, runs underground for 7 meters (23 feet) and is exposed at one end near the promenade in the Old City of Tiberias. The tunnel, built from carved basalt rocks, was unearthed as part of a program to rehabilitate and preserve the heart of the old city.
"The tunnel we discovered may very likely have been a secret passage leading to the harbor of Tiberias, which we know about from Crusader historical sources," said Joppe Gosker, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Gosker said the sources "describe the siege imposed by the Muslim ruler Salah a-Din on the citadel in July 1187, in which Princess Eschiva, wife of the knight Raymond of Tripoli, was confined."
"We know from the sources that Raymond directed his wife to escape to the harbor and board a ship where she would stay until he came to rescue her," Gosker said. "It seems that the tunnel we revealed led from the citadel to the sea, and probably provided a safe route for a maritime escape in times of danger. The general plan of the citadel built by the Crusaders on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in the 12th century is known from previous excavations, and today one can see the citadel's gate and the remains of several of its walls in Tiberias."
The events in Tiberias led to the Battle of Hattin on July 4, 1187, in which Salah a-Din's army defeated the Crusader kingdom.
Tiberias Mayor Yossi Ben David visited the excavation site and is planning to feature it in a development plan for the area that the Tiberias Municipality is promoting in conjunction with the Israel Government Tourism Company.
BRUCE ISMAY, CHAIRMAN OF THE WHITE STAR LINE, DESPERATE AND ASHAMED FOR HIS COWARDLY ESCAPE AS A LIFEBOAT STOWAWAY ON THE SINKING TITANIC. HE SPENT THE REST OF HIS LIFE BESEIGED WITH SURVIVOR'S REGRET, BOTH TRAUMATIZED AND EMOTIONALLY PARALYZED; BECAME THE MOST HATED MAN IN THE WORLD FOR THAT DECISION.
A brilliantly original and gripping new look at the sinking of the Titanic through the prism of the life and lost honor of J. Bruce Ismay, the ship’s owner.
Books have been written and films have been made, we have raised the Titanic and watched her go down again on numerous occasions, but out of the wreckage Frances Wilson spins a new epic: when the ship hit the iceberg on April 14, 1912, and one thousand men, lighting their last cigarettes, prepared to die, J. Bruce Ismay, the ship’s owner and inheritor of the White Star fortune, jumped into a lifeboat filled with women and children and rowed away to safety.
Accused of cowardice and of dictating the Titanic’s excessive speed, Ismay became, according to one headline, “The Most Talked-of Man in the World.” The first victim of a press hate campaign, he never recovered from the damage to his reputation, and while the other survivors pieced together their accounts of the night, Ismay never spoke of his beloved ship again.
In the Titanic’s mail room was a manuscript by that great narrator of the sea, Joseph Conrad, the story of a man who impulsively betrays a code of honor and lives on under the strain of intolerable guilt. But it was Conrad’s great novel Lord Jim, in which a sailor abandons a sinking ship, leaving behind hundreds of passengers in his charge, that uncannily predicted Ismay’s fate. Conrad, the only major novelist to write about the Titanic, knew more than anyone what ships do to men, and it is with the help of his wisdom that Wilson unravels the reasons behind Ismay’s jump and the afterlives of his actions.
Using never-before-seen letters written by Ismay to the beautiful Marion Thayer, a first-class passenger with whom he had fallen in love during the voyage, Frances Wilson explores Ismay’s desperate need to tell his story, to make sense of the horror of it all, and to find a way of living with the consciousness of lost honor. For those who survived the Titanic, the world was never the same. But as Wilson superbly demonstrates, we all have our own Titanics, and we all need to find ways of surviving them.
“Wilson gives an absorbing account of the disaster and its cultural associations.. . her approach yields a rich meditation on the mere moment’s hesitation that separates cowardice from courage.” (Publishers Weekly )
“It is a pleasure to read a book…that offers something new on this topic. Titanic completists will certainly want this, and also…readers of biography and Edwardian-era history.” (Library Journal )
“The author demonstrates an impressive knowledge of that night to remember. ” (Kirkus )
“Wilson herself casts a Conradian spell…finds submerged truths, unravels riddles, listens to echoes. This book is a deep reading of the catastrophe through one hapless, inert man.” (Hermione Eyre, Evening Standard )
“A haunting story…A meticulously researched and eloquently written account of one of the twentieth century’s most iconic disasters [that] explores a man ‘mired in the moment of his jump.’” (Lucy Scholes, Daily Beast "Must Reads" )
“A gripping retrospective on the Titanic disaster seen through the eyes of the wealthy ship’s owner…and an inspired interweaving of the moral themes of guilt and responsibility” (Richard Holmes, Wall Street Journal )
“A gripping account…Wilson brings a bright new perspective to the event raising provocative moral questions about cowardice and heroism, memory and identity, survival and guilt.” (Forbes )
“Persuasive…examines the disaster afresh through the prism of Ismay’s life…Ultimately, Wilson’s portrait-empathetic rather than sympathetic-depicts Ismay as an Everyman troublingly suited to our own uncertain times.” (BusinessWeek )
A 4,000-year-old table-like stone structure, known as a dolmen, inscribed with unprecedented mysterious art, was recently discovered next to Kibbutz Shamir in the Upper Galilee.
According to the Antiquities Authority, the structure from the Bronze Age was initially found by Prof. Gonen Sharon of Tel Hai College’s Galilee Studies Program.
“What makes this dolmen so unique is its huge dimensions, the structure surrounding it, and most importantly, the artistic decorations engraved in its ceiling,” the Antiquities Authority said on Sunday.
Archeologists from Tel Hai College, the authority, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem published a study on the find last weekend in the scientific journal PLOS One.
A dolmen is a millennia-old megalithic structure built of huge stones. The basic shape of the dolmen resembles a table and most of them are surrounded by a heap of stones.
Dolmens have been found elsewhere in the world, from Ireland to Korea. Thousands of dolmens are scattered across the Middle East, from Turkey to Yemen. On the Golan Heights, thousands of types, scattered in concentrations known as “dolmens fields,” have been identified.
Although they are very common and stand out quite prominently in the landscape of ancient Israel, the mystery surrounding the dolmens’ age and their purpose have still not been resolved.
“It is just one of more than 400 huge stone structures dating to the Intermediate Bronze Age (over 4,000 years ago) that are located in the dolmen field around Kibbutz Shamir,” the Antiquities Authority said. “When Prof. Sharon entered the chamber built beneath the largest dolmen, he was surprised to discover rock drawings engraved in its ceiling.”
The discovery of the engravings led to a joint research project of the dolmen and its environs, which produced new revelations concerning the dolmen phenomenon in Israel.
“This is the first art ever documented in a dolmen in the Middle East,” said Uri Berger, an archeologist with the Antiquities Authority and partner in the study.
“The engraved shapes depict a straight line going to the center of an arc. About 15 such engravings were documented on the ceiling of the dolmen, spread out in a kind of arc along the ceiling. No parallels exist for these shapes in the engraved rock drawings of the Middle East and their significance remains a mystery.”
The panel depicting the art was scanned in the field by the Computerized Archaeology Laboratory of the Hebrew University, which created an innovative three-dimensional model of the engraving.
“The three-dimensional scan enabled us to identify engravings that otherwise could not be seen with the naked eye,” said Prof. Lior Grossman, the laboratory director. “The chamber inside the dolmen, where the engravings were found on its ceiling, is large, measuring two by three meters, and the stone covering it is also huge, weighing an estimated 50 tons at least. This is one of the largest stones ever used in the construction of dolmens in the Middle East.”
Grossman said the dolmen was enclosed within a large stone heap (tumulus) 20 meters in diameter, with stones estimated to weigh 400 tons.
“At least four smaller dolmens that were positioned at the foot of the decorated dolmen were identified inside the stone heap,” he said. “In other words, what we have here is a huge monumental structure built hierarchically [with a main cell and secondary cells]. This is the first time such a hierarchical dolmen has been identified in the Middle East.”
The large dolmen found at Kibbutz Shamir is just one of hundreds of enormous densely scattered structures in this region, he said.
“It bears witness to the existence of a significant and established governmental system in the region during the ‘Middle Ages’ of the Bronze Age,” Grossman said. “Archeologists tend to interpret the past based on material finds. The absence of cities, large settlements and monumental buildings attests to the collapse of the governmental and economic systems during a dark period in history.
“The dolmens tell a different story about the period – a story about a society that had a complex governmental and economic system that executed monumental engineering projects, but did not leave behind any other archeologist evidence.”
Sharon, who first discovered the structure, noted that the dolmen is undoubtedly an indication of public construction.
“[This] required a significant amount of manpower over a considerable period of time,” he said. “During that time, all of those people had to be housed and fed.
The building of such a huge construction necessitated knowledge of engineering and architecture that small nomadic groups did not usually possess.
“And even more importantly, a strong system of government was required here that could assemble a large amount of manpower, provide for the personnel and above all, direct the implementation and control of a large and lengthy project.”
Despite all this, the circumstances surrounding the construction of the dolmens, the technology involved in it and the culture of the people who built them, are still among the great mysteries of the archeology of Israel.
The dolmen field at Kibbutz Shamir was first surveyed by the late Moshe Kagan in the 1950s. More than 400 huge structures overlooking the Hula Valley have been identified in the field.
More than 3,000 years ago, King Tutankhamun’s desiccated body was lovingly wrapped and sent into the future as an immortal god. After resting undisturbed for more than three millennia, King Tut’s mummy was suddenly awakened in 1922. Archaeologist Howard Carter had discovered the boy-king’s tomb, and the soon-to-be famous mummy’s story—even more dramatic than King Tut’s life—began.
The mummy’s “afterlife” is a modern story, not an ancient one. Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant traces the mummy’s story from its first brutal autopsy in 1925 to the most recent arguments over its DNA. From the glamorous treasure hunts of the 1920s to today’s high-tech scans in volatile modern Egypt, Marchant introduces us to the brilliant and sometimes flawed people who have devoted their lives to revealing the mummy’s secrets, unravels the truth behind the hyped-up TV documentaries, and explains what science can and can’t tell us about King Tutankhamen.
“…But the apparent desecration of the shrine went even further: In the corner of the shrine, the archaeologists found a stone toilet. The Hebrew Bible describes other occasions on which toilets were placed in cultic areas in order to desecrate them. In the case of the earlier destruction of the cult of Ba’al in Samaria, ordered by King Jehu, the Bible stated: “And they demolished the pillar of Ba’al, and demolished the house of Ba’al, and made it a latrine to this day” (II Kings 10:27)
The gate-shrine at Tel Lachish marks the first time archaeologists have found evidence of such a desecration, outside of biblical narrative. As laboratory tests suggest the “latrine” was never used, the researchers concluded that it was likely placed there for symbolic purposes. After such desecration, the gate-shrine was then sealed, and remained sealed until its destruction by Sennacherib’s forces some years later.
The newly excavated gate is currently closed to the public, but Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority is working with the IAA in the hopes of opening it to visitors.”
“Some believe that the fabled mines of King Solomon were located among copper smelting camps in Israel's Timna Valley. The arid conditions at Timna have seen the astonishing preservation of 3,000-year-old organic materials, which have provided Tel Aviv University archaeologists with a unique window into the culture and practices of a sophisticated ancient society.
An advanced military fortification—a well-defined gatehouse complex—unearthed recently at Timna, including donkey stables, points to the community's highly-organized defense system and significant dependence on long-distance trade. The research was recently published in The Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
The fortification dates to the reigns of Kings David and Solomon in the 10th century BCE. "While there is no explicit description of 'King Solomon's mines' in the Old Testament, there are references to military conflicts between Israel and the Edomites in the Arava Valley," says Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of TAU's Institute of Archaeology and one of the leaders of the Timna research and excavation team, along with his colleagues Dr. Lidar Sapir-Hen and Dr. Dafna Langgut.
"According to the Bible, David traveled hundreds of miles outside of Jerusalem and engaged in military conflict in the desert—striking down '18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt.' Now, having found evidence of defensive measures—a sophisticated fortification—we understand what must have been at stake for him in this remote region: copper."…”
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How Could a Coal Fire Sink the Titanic? Charles Pellegrino @charlespellegri, author, “Farewell Titanic.”
“…Mr. Molony’s potential breakthrough can be traced to an attic in Wiltshire, in southwest England, where a previously unpublished album of photographs chronicling the ship’s construction and the preparations for its maiden voyage had been gathering dust for more than a century.
The photographs were discovered by a descendant of a director of the Belfast-based company, Harland and Wolff, that built the Titanic. About four years ago, a collaborator of Mr. Molony’s acquired the rare photographs of the ship, meticulously taken by Harland and Wolff’s engineering chief before it left a Belfast shipyard.
When the two men looked closely at the images, Mr. Molony said, they were shocked to discover a 30-foot-long diagonal black mark on the hull’s front starboard side, close to where the ship was pierced by the iceberg. An analysis by engineers at Imperial College London subsequently revealed that the mark was most likely caused by a fire in a coal bunker of the ship.
Mr. Molony called the photographs “the Titanic equivalent of Tutankhamen’s tomb,” because of the richness of historical detail they conveyed, including the mark highlighting the extent of the damage.
Experts said the theory was compelling but were divided over how important a role the fire may have played….”
"Pellegrino has completed his twenty-five-year journey of Titanic exploration with this deeply detailed book that looks the horror and chaos of that disaster square in the eye, with human insights not previously brought to light. Pellegrino really is the king of connect-the-dots."
—James Cameron, Academy Award-winning director of Titanic.
“The Titanic For Dummies paints the whole picture of the most famous maritime disaster. It examines the building of the ship, life onboard during its maiden voyage, tragic decisions made that fateful night, the discovery of the wreck, and the many controversies that have emerged in the century since the sinking. Information includes:
• Theories behind the reason for the sinking (does the blame lie with the watertight doors, bad rivets, or crew negligence?), and when and where the ship split in two.
• A detailed look at how the lack of lifeboats — and the chaos that resulted in lifeboats launching before they reached capacity — resulted in lives lost.
• A Titanic “Who’s Who” identifying notable passengers, including those who were famous before the tragedy and those who gained fame because of it.
• Current thinking about reports of shots being fired onboard, the details of Captain Smith’s death, Murdoch’s possible suicide, and the band’s last song.
• Findings from the Titanic hearings on both sides of the Atlantic.
• A recounting of Robert Ballard’s discovery of the wreck in 1985 and the ongoing debate over whether to salvage the wreck or let the ship remain as a memorial to those who perished.
• A glimpse of the most fascinating artifacts salvaged from the wreckage.
• The Titanic in pop culture: from Broadway to one of the most highest grossing movies in history (being re-released in 3D in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary).”
“Israeli archaeologists have made public a fragment of an ancient text which they say is the earliest Hebrew reference to Jerusalem outside the Bible - a discovery the government swiftly enlisted as evidence of the Jewish connection to the holy city.
The 11 cm by 2.5 cm (4.3 by one inch) piece of papyrus, dated by the Israel Antiquities Authority to the 7th century B.C., was presented at a news conference in Jerusalem shortly after Paris-based UNESCO adopted a resolution that Israel said denied Judaism's link to the ancient city.
Two lines of ancient Hebrew script on the fragile and faded artifact suggest it was part of a document detailing the payment of taxes or transfer of goods to storehouses in Jerusalem "From the king's maidservant, from Na'arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem," it reads.
The Antiquities Authority said its investigators had recovered the document, described as "the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing", after it was plundered from a cave by antiquities robbers.
For Israel's government, the papyrus is a rebuttal to UNESCO, the UN scientific and cultural organization, which is regarded by many Israelis as hostile. Arab members of UNESCO and their supporters frequently condemn Israel.
"Hey UNESCO, an ancient papyrus dating to the 1st Temple 2700 yrs ago has been found. It bears the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew," Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote on Twitter.
Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, called Wednesday's vote in Paris by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee "a piece of rubbish"…”
“…The Palestinian Authority is planning to claim ownership of the Dead Sea Scrolls and demand that UNESCO order Israel to surrender the artifacts, Israel Hayom learned over the weekend.
Discovered in the Qumran Caves in the eastern Judean Desert between 1947 and 1956, the scrolls -- a trove of 981 different texts dating back to the time of the Second Temple -- are believed to be the work of members of a Jewish sect known as the Essenes.
The majority of the scrolls are written in Hebrew, some are written in the Aramaic dialects common to the area at that time, and a handful of parchments are written in Greek….”
The Twittersphere was alight with humor on Sunday after it was reported that the Palestinian Authority is attempting to lay claim to the Dead Sea Scrolls at the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Using the hashtag "#PalestinianClaims," hundreds of Twitter users posted pictures of famous historical figures, pieces of art and landmarks with a satirical description of its Palestinian roots. The hashtag quickly rose to the top of the trending list for Israel.
Researchers have discovered a new cave in Israel that they say once held Dead Sea Scrolls, making it just the 12th such cave of its kind found. The find is thus a milestone, according to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The cave was looted long before the archeologists excavated it, but inside they found telltale signs that scrolls had been there: broken storage jars and lids on its edges and in a tunnel in the back.
"This exciting excavation is the closest we’ve come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years. Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave,” Oren Gutfeld, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology and director of the excavation, said in a statement.
“Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we ‘only’ found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen.”…”
“A small city in northeast Portugal unveiled for the first time Friday a 400-year-old Torah scroll that a local contractor had found 10 years ago at a demolition site and kept wrapped up in linen.
The ancient scroll, written on parchment, was put on display in Covilha City Hall, Portugal’s Diario de Noticias reported. Measuring 98 feet in length and 2 feet in width, the Torah scroll is believed to have been used in secret during the Portuguese Inquisition by crypto-Jews, or so-called New Christians.
The scroll, which is in excellent condition even after centuries of storage in less than ideal conditions, will be taken for preservative storage at the end of the month, the paper reported.
It was discovered during a demolition carried out in 2006, according to the daily. A local contractor, who was not named, was intrigued by the scroll and took it from the site. He kept it rolled up in a bed sheet at his home until earlier this year, when he mentioned it to archaeologists working on a different project, who offered to help him figure out what the object was.
“A 1,500-year-old mosaic that might depict a meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest has been unveiled in full by National Geographic. The mosaic was unearthed during excavations of a fifth-century C.E. synagogue at Huqoq, a site in Israel’s Lower Galilee. Led by Jodi Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Huqoq excavations have each year revealed vibrant mosaic floors depicting a variety of scenes, from the exploits of the Biblical hero Samson to the Exodus and Noah’s Ark.
The possible depiction of Alexander the Great at Huqoq was first reported in 2014. In a Bible History Daily guest post, Magness and mosaics specialist Karen Britt described the magnificent scene:
The bottom register shows a dying soldier grasping his shield as he falls and a bull pierced by spears, with blood gushing from his gaping wounds. In the middle register, the arches of an arcade frame a seated elderly man and the young men who flank him. Lighted oil lamps are shown above each arch. The top register … depicts an encounter between two large male figures. One figure is clearly intended to represent a military commander and ruler: He is bearded and has a diadem on his head, is outfitted in ornate battle dress, and wears a purple cloak (see accompanying photo). This figure leads a large bull by the horns, and he is accompanied by a row of soldiers arranged as a Greek phalanx and by battle elephants with decorated collars and shields tied to their sides. The commander/ruler is nodding to a bearded, elderly man wearing a ceremonial white tunic and mantle. The elderly man is escorted by young men holding sheathed swords or daggers who are also dressed in ceremonial white tunics and mantles…”
“…The resolution, adopted at the committee stage, used only Muslim names for the Jerusalem Old City holy sites and was harshly critical of Israel for what it termed “provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity” of the area.
Twenty-four countries in the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization backed the document, while six voted against and 26 abstained at a meeting in Paris. UNESCO’s executive board is expected to approve it next week.
The tally was a slight improvement over a similar vote in April, which was supported by 33 countries, with six nations opposing and 17 abstaining.
Voting in favor were: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam.
Voting against were: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States.
The renovation of Solomon's Stables, which is, 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) and 36 feet (11 m) deep, entailed excavating layers of earth accumulated near its northern archways since medieval times. The project entailed the use of heavy earthmoving equipment.
About 60 truckloads full of stones and earth were taken to an organic garbage dump in nearby al-Eizariya, and could not be retrieved, but most of the debris (about 350 truckloads) was dumped in the Kidron Valley, near the north-eastern corner of the old city.
Under the supervision of Israeli archaeologists Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Dvira (Zweig) of Bar Ilan University, the soil is being sifted in search of artifacts.
Dore Gold has called the removal of archaeological material from the Temple Mount without archaeological supervision by the waqf a physical form of Denial of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The work is being carried out at a site in the Emek Tzurim National Park, at the foot of Mt. Scopus. Hundreds of artifacts have been found, including coins and jewelry, some with biblical links dating back more than three millennia. The workers use a technique called "wet sifting," similar to panning for gold. Every particle is examined, using wire filters that are rinsed under water.
The work is being done inside a large hothouse covered in plastic sheets. The contents of black plastic buckets filled with stones and pebbles are emptied onto wooden-framed screens, hosed down and sorted for items of potential importance.
“ A bronze penny minted by the Greek tyrant from the Hanukkah story was recently stumbled upon by archaeologists amid the ruins of Jerusalem’s Tower of David during routine cleaning of the site, the museum said in a statement Tuesday ahead of the commencement of the eight-day festival on Saturday night.
Orna Cohen, chief conservation officer at the iconic Jerusalem landmark, found the small bronze coin a few weeks ago during routine conservation work after a section of the Hasmonean-era city wall that runs through the citadel’s courtyard suffered minor damage (from either recent stormy weather or schoolchildren, nobody’s really sure).
The head of Antiochus IV Epiphanes appears on the front of the bronze penny, and the reverse has a goddess holding something — perhaps a torch — in her hand.
Antiochus IV was a Seleucid monarch remembered in Jewish history for his promotion of Hellenization and suppression of religious observances. While he was battling the rival Ptolemaic kingdom in Egypt for control of the Levant, Jewish zealots rose in revolt against Antiochus and the Hellenized high priest installed in the Jerusalem temple.
The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project has been on a mission to map out the floor of the Black Sea. The study was geared towards understanding how quickly sea levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age, some 20,000 years ago. So it was to the researchers’ surprise when they stumbled upon a Byzantine shipwreck that’s been remarkably well preserved by the ocean itself, with some of the vessels belonging to the Ottoman period.
Byzantine Wordpress Blog
National Geographic News
The crater lake of Guatavita (Colombia) is the source for the legend of El Dorado. Originally discovered by the Spanish captain Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada after having arrived from the Caribbean coast in 1537, he tortured and bullied his way savaging local tribes leading him into the interior for excavation.
Grave of Quesada http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=4562&PIpi=11035121
The last known European explorer to arrive seeking exploration was British officer Percy Fawcett (1867-1925?) Percy's adventure was to travel up to the source of the Amazon river in Peru. He began his expedition in the Atlantic, immediately north of present day French Guiana, his route moving west toward the Pacific.
Percy Fawcett died during his expedition; his companions were ill and died in route to the Pacific. In 1927, explorers discovered tribes deep in the Amazon that held name plates & compasses belonging to Fawcett's expedition. His body was NEVER FOUND.
David Grann writes a fascinating book about Percy Fawcett and the Lost City of Z. Mr. Grann not only gives a historical narrative about percy Fawcett's expedition, but he takes readers on a journey of adventure and discovery as he retraces the expedition in the Amazon searching for clues himself!
Wikipedia article Percy Fawcett https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Fawcett
THE MAP OF PERCY FAWCETT'S EXPEDITION
HEADLINES: PERCY FAWCETT VANISHED!!!
LAST PHOTO TAKEN; THE EXPEDITION VANISHED
RETRACING PERCY FAWCETT'S AMAZON EXPEDITION
PLEASE NOTE STICK IMMEDIATELY OFFSHORE: LOCATION OF TREASURE SHIPWRECK.
Hull of Spanish Golden Fleece Ship found in above photograph, Dominican Republic.