Wednesday, 21 January 2015

king david's palace?

Did I Find King David’s Palace?

This article was originally published in the January/February 2006 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. In the September/October 2012 issue of BAR, Avraham Faust re-examines Eilat Mazar’s excavations in the article “Did Eilat Mazar Find David’s Palace?” Read a summary of Faust’s article in Bible History Daily or read his full article in the BAS Library or with a digital subscription.

Photo of area by Eilat Mazar; photo of statue by Erich Lessing/Art Resource, N.Y.

In this composite electronic image, a statue of King David seems to hover above a building that may have been his palace.
There can be little doubt that King David had a palace. The Bible tells us that Hiram of Tyre (who would later help King Solomon build the Temple) constructed the palace for David: “King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David, with cedar logs, carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a palace for David” (2 Samuel 5:11). Nine years ago I wrote an article in BAR suggesting where, in my opinion, the remains of King David’s palace might lie.1 I proposed looking in the northern part of the most ancient area of Jerusalem, known as the City of David.
I was struck by this idea while engaged in other research on the archaeology of Jerusalem. I had noticed the findings of the well-known British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon, who dug here in the 1960s. In her Area H, at the northern end of the City of David, Kenyon discovered a section of a massive public structure that she considered to be part of a new casemate walla built by King Solomon. She dated the wall, on the basis of the pottery associated with it, to the tenth century B.C.E., the time of King David and King Solomon, according to the Bible. Kenyon was quite knowledgeable about Jerusalem pottery of the First Temple period, and, although she could not distinguish with assurance between pottery sherds of the tenth and the ninth centuries B.C.E., she was quite capable of distinguishing pottery sherds from those centuries (which belong to the period archaeologists call Iron Age IIa) from sherds of the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E (Iron Age IIb). The pottery sherds she excavated in Area H were not of the later types. Perhaps this casemate wall, I speculated, was part of David’s palace.

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Saturday, 17 January 2015

egyptian fortifications on way of the sea

Ancient Egyptian fortress unearthed in Sinai

Ancient Egyptian fortress unearthed in Sinai
Foundation Of The Fortress Discovered At Tell Haboa - Photo Courtesy Of Antiquities Ministry's Facebook Page
CAIRO: The 3,000 year-old ruins and foundations of the largest known fortress in Egypt were unearthed at the ancient fortified city of Tell Habua near the Suez Canal, said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al- Damaty Saturday.
The fort, also known as the Wall of the Prince, was part of a defensive line in the form of a series of fortresses and military cities. The fortress is one of other fortifications that have been discovered earlier in the site of Tell Habua, the old Tharu, as mentioned in the inscriptions of Pharaoh Seti I at Karnak temple, describing the Horus Military Route, said Damaty.
“The discovery is significant as it reflects the details of the ancient Egyptian military history. It is a model example of Ancient Egypt’s military architecture, as well as the Egyptian war strategies through different ages, for the protection of the entirety of Egypt,” chief of the excavation team archaeologist Mohammed Abdel-Maqsoud told The Cairo Post Saturday.
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Thursday, 18 December 2014

olive oil in ancient israel

Olive oil traces dating back 8,000 years found in Israel

Clay sherds uncovered in Lower Galilee may mark oldest evidence for use of oil in entire Middle East

One of the clay pots reconstructed from sherds found at the site near En Zippori at the Lower Galilee. (Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)
One of the clay pots reconstructed from sherds found at the site near En Zippori at the Lower Galilee. 
(Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)

Olive oil was used in the Land of Israel as early as 8,000 years ago, archaeologists working at an antiquities site in the Lower Galilee said Wednesday, heralding the earliest evidence for use of the staple in the country and possibly the entire Middle East

Monday, 8 December 2014

dead sea cave robbers

Six busted for plundering artifacts from Dead Sea cave

Palestinian antiquities thieves caught digging for scroll fragments in Judean Desert’s Cave of Skulls could get 5 years

 December 7, 2014, 5:07 pm 1
An official at the Cave of Skulls in an undated photo provided by the IAA. (photo credit: courtesy IAA)
An official at the Cave of Skulls in an undated photo provided by the IAA. (photo credit: courtesy IAA)
Six Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of stealing ancient artifacts from a cave near the Dead Sea, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Sunday.
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Friday, 28 November 2014

where did the ark land?

Where Noah Landed?

As published in Strata in the November/December 2014 issue of BAR

Still another group is looking for Mt. Ararat, where the Bible says Noah landed after the flood. This group is looking to confirm the tradition that nearby Mt. Cudi (Judi Dagh) is really Mt. Ararat, as recorded in the Quran, Sura 11.44.
They have not uncovered much scientific evidence to date, but they do have an intriguing Assyrian relief, which may explain why a local tradition regards Mt. Cudi as Mt. Ararat.
Assyrian relief on the slopes of Mt. Cudi near the Turkish village of Sah. Photo: Courtesy Professor Ibrahim Baz of the University of Sirnak, Turkey.
This photo was taken some months ago on the slopes of Mt. Cudi near the Turkish village of Sah. The figure, who has not yet been identified, dates to a period earlier than Sennacherib (who ruled 705–681 B.C.); there is no accompanying inscription. He has his right hand raised in a gesture of reverence and holds a staff of office in his left hand.
Alan Millard, Emeritus Rankin Professor of Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages at the University of Liverpool, offers a possible identification for the figure: Shamshi-ilu. Millard explains that since the figure is not wearing any headdress, as might be expected of an Assyrian king, it is more likely that he represents a powerful prefect, such as Shamshi-ilu, who held sway over much of Northern Syria from c. 780 to 745 B.C. Shamshi-ilu left inscriptions in his own name at Til Barsip (modern Tell Akhmar) on the Euphrates, in which he tells of his victorious campaign against places in southeastern Turkey and the kingdom of Urartu, which would have taken him into the vicinity of Judi Dagh.

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