Wednesday, 18 September 2013
During new excavations at Jerusalem's storied Mount Zion, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a possible mansion that's 2,000 years old. The dig leaders think the building and its contents could shed light on the wealthy class of Jerusalem during Jesus' day.
Artifacts and other clues suggest the mansion may have been the home of an elite Jewish family during the early Roman period, the researchers said. The building would have been located close to the expansive complex of Herod the Great, and inside, excavators found traces of an exceptional bathroom and the shells of sea snails that were valued for their rich purple dye.
"If this turns out to be the priestly residence of a wealthy first-century Jewish family, it immediately connects not just to the elite of Jerusalem — the aristocrats, the rich and famous of that day — but to Jesus himself," James Tabor, the dig's co-director, said in a statement. [Proof of Jesus Christ? 7 Pieces of Evidence Debated]
The archaeological finds could add to knowledge about this elite class that researchers have gleaned from the Bible, as well as the writings of Titus Flavius Josephus and later rabbinical texts.
"Jesus, in fact, criticizes the wealth of this class," added Tabor, who is a scholar of early Christian history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. "He talks about their clothing and their long robes and their finery, and, in a sense, pokes fun at it. So for us to get closer to understanding that — to supplement the text — it could be really fascinating."
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A town dating back more than 2,000 years has been discovered on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee, in Israel's Ginosar valley.
The ancient town may be Dalmanutha (also spelled Dalmanoutha), described in the Gospel of Mark as the placeJesus sailed to after miraculously feeding 4,000 people by multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread, said Ken Dark, of the University of Reading in the U.K., whose team discovered the town during a field survey.
The archaeologists also determined that a famous boat, dating to around 2,000 years ago, and uncovered in 1986, was found on the shoreline of the newly discovered town. The boat was reported on two decades ago but the discovery of the town provides new information on what lay close to it.
The evidence the team found suggests the town was prosperous in ancient times. "Vessel glass and amphora hint at wealth," Dark wrote in an article published in the most recent edition of the journal Palestine Exploration Quarterly, while "weights and stone anchors, along with the access to beaches suitable for landing boats — and, of course, the first-century boat … all imply an involvement with fishing."[Photos: 4,000-Year-Old Structure Hidden Under Sea of Galilee]
The architectural remains and pottery suggest that Jews and those following a polytheistic religion lived side by side in the community. In addition, the researchers found that the southern side of the newly discovered town lies only about 500 feet (150 meters) away from another ancient town known as Magdala.
Tel Maresha Caves Reveal Lost World of the Idumeans
“Dig for a Day” & Israel Antiquities Authority excavate subterranean metropolisfor the rest of the article, pls go to the url below: