8/3/12: The Mystery of the Skeletons and the Fall of JerusalemAn archaeological scandal stirs Jerusalem this week: Who were the thousands of people whose skeletons were filmed by journalist Benny Liss at the foot of the eastern wall on Temple Mount? Were they victims of a Second Temple-era massacre or simply corpses buried in a Byzantine gravesite?
St Paul`s tomb unearthed in Rome ROME, GA, Italy (UPI) — Archaeologists unearthed a sarcophagus containing what they believe to be the remains of St. Paul the Apostle. The tomb, dating back to at least 390 A.D., lay in a crypt under a basilica in Rome.
Treasures looted by Rome ‘are back in the Holy Land’ “A COLLECTION of sacred artefacts looted by the Romans from the Temple of Jerusalem and long suspected of being hidden in the vaults of the Vatican are actually in the Holy Land, according to a British archaeologist. He has discovered that it was taken to Carthage, Constantinople and Algeria before being hidden in the Judaean wilderness, beneath the Monastery of Theodosius. “The treasure’s final hiding place – in the modern West Bank . . . deep in Hamas territory – will rock world religions.”
Jpost: Early Settlement Perhaps Roman Administrative Center – “An archaeological dig, about five kilometers north of the Old City, has uncovered a complete community that existed during the two generations between the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE and the Bar-Kochba Rebellion in 132 CE. It is not easy to determine the nature of this settlement, said Avni. Two Roman bathhouses were found during the dig, possibly serving soldiers of the Tenth Legion stationed not far away – so perhaps, for example, the settlement had a working relationship with the Romans. Perhaps the Jewish population was engaged in these tasks under the supervising Romans. Jewish mikva’ot (ritual baths) were not found, much to Sklar-Parnes’ regret.”
Ancient Village Discovery Raises Questions – “A three-month long archaeological excavation at the site – which archaeologists date back to the second temple period and was abandoned during the days of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans — uncovered the remains of homes made of ashlar stone, courtyards and two Roman bathhouses in the village.”
9/10/7: Story and pictures of “Escape Hatch” discovered in Jerusalem / more The archaeological team thinks it leads to the Kidron River, which empties into the Dead Sea.
God’s Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem
Buried Treasures “Many Jews believe – almost as an article of faith – that the Temple artifacts remain there in Rome, secreted away in vaults beneath the Vatican.”
Archeological Finds that Made the Desert Bloom, Question Old Theories at Qumran “Generally known as the site of the Jewish sect named the Essenes who are said to have written the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, Yizhak Magen and Yuval Peleg of the Israel Antiquities Authority now say the site had nothing to do with the scrolls or the Essenes.”
Norman Golb may be right after all “Whosoever severs the link between the site, its Essene community and the scrolls found in the caves, of necessity also undermines all previous ideas about the nature and provenance of the scrolls,” Magen and Peleg wrote. Those words constitute a great vindication, if not total victory, for Golb, noted Robert Eisenman, a professor at California State University at Long Beach. “Magen and Peleg have done professor Golb a great service,” said Eisenman.”
Archaeologists Find Ancient Israel Tunnels – “Underground chambers and tunnels used during a Jewish revolt against the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago have been uncovered in northern Israel, archaeologists said Monday. The Jews laid in supplies and were preparing to hide from the Romans during their revolt in A.D. 66-70, the experts said. The pits, which are linked by short tunnels, would have served as a concealed subterranean home. | Ancient Jewish Town From Solomonic Era Discovered
HISTORY OF EXCAVATIONS IN PALESTINE
1887: Schumacher conducts a survey of the site for the Palestine Exploration Fund.
1933: A topographical plan of the site is produced for the Palestine Department of Antiquities by John Richmond.
1958: Robert W. Funk and H. Neil Richardson place two brief soundings in the centre of the main tell, exposing Iron Age and Hellenistic remains.
1963-1964: The Department of Antiquities instigate a rescue project, directed by Sami Rashid, to dig a number of Late Bronze Age tombs discovered on the slopes of Tell Husn, the mound directly to the north of Pella which acted as a cemetery for the bronze age city. This material is currently being studied for publication by Dr Stephen Bourke.
1966-7: A team from Wooster College, Ohio, under the direction of Professor R.H. Smith prepare a topographic map of the site, and commence excavations in the following year.
1978: A joint project is instigated between Wooster College and a team from the University of Sydney, led by Professor J.B. Hennessy and Dr A. McNicoll.
1978-1985: Wooster continue excavations at the site, exploring the western church (Area I), Roman and Bronze age tombs in the eastern cemetery (Area II), a Roman cemetery southwest of Tell Husn (Area VII), the west cut (Area VIII), the Byzantine civic complex (Area IX), another Roman cemetery on the northeastern slopes of Tell Husn (Area X), a Hellenistic fort on Jebel Sartaba (Area XIII), south slope of the main tell (Area XXV). Wooster ceases excavations in 1985 to concentrate on publication of their work.
1979-present day: the University of Sydney has conducted twenty field seasons to date, investigating occupation from the Epipalaeolithic down to the Islamic period. Between 1978 and 1985, now Emeritus Professor J.B. Hennessy and the late Dr A.W. McNicoll co-directed excavations, responsible for the pre-classical and classical/Islamic periods respectively. After McNicoll’s premature death in 1985, Hennessy took as his co-directors Dr P.C. Edwards (Palaeolithic), Dr T.F. Potts (Bronze and Iron Ages, 1984-1988), Dr S.J. Bourke (1988-present day), Dr J.C. Tidmarsh (Hellenistic), Dr P.M. Watson (Roman/Byzantine), Kate da Costa (Roman/Byzantine 1997), and Dr A.G. Walmsley (Islamic).
1994-1996: The Pella Hinterland Survey conducted a detailed investigation of the immediate area around Pella, to establish regional land use and settlement patterns beyond the urban frontier. This is a joint project between Dr Pam Watson of the BIAAH and Dr Margaret O’Hea of the University of Adelaide.
Excavations by a team from the University of Sydney continue, usually every second year. (source: Australian Expedition)
The Burnt House
Ezra Ben-Meir, History: #252, December, 1984.
A whitened bone
Leans on the balustrade of history
With the Roman spear nearby.
Jars of ceramic, blackened by the fire
That tore up the Temple walls
And destroyed the hegemony of a people.
The start of a spiral dispersing through the history books.
Pages leaf, scarlet and black thrust their hands forward,
Mists shroud the missing stones,
Powdery dusts cover footsteps long silent.
We remain awhile,
Peer through the beams of time.
Ghosts slip off our clothes as we climb the stairs To daylight