Archive for the ‘Archaeology’ Category
For the Book Festival.
Eric Cline talked about his book, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed. He spoke in the Science Pavilion of the 2014 National Book Festival, which was held August 30 by the Library of Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Profs Cline and Rollston say hello and lay out their plans here.
In January 2011, the David and Jemima Jeselsohn Epigraphic Center for Jewish History held its second international conference at Bar-Ilan University, dedicated to the memory of Professor Hanan Eshel, the founding academic director of the center who passed away on April 8th, 2010. This collection of articles, traces, when taken together, daily life in the land of Israel from the First Temple Period through the time of the Talmud, as seen in the various types of inscriptions from those periods that have been discovered and published.
Schiffman’s summary of Hanan’s work serves as an introduction to the book. Ahtuv discusses the language and religious outlook of the Kuntilet ‘Ajrud inscriptions. Mazar and Ahituv survey the quite large corpus of short inscriptions found in Mazar’s excavation of Tel Rehov, south of Beth-Shean. Maeir and Eshel deal with four very short more-or-less contemporary inscriptions found at Tell es-Safi, identified as the major Philistine city of Gath. Demsky deals with the theoretical aspects of literacy in ancient Israel. Grabbe discusses the functions of the scribe during the Second Temple Period. Zissu, Langford, Ecker and Eshel report on both an Aramaic-language graffito and a Latin one, inscribed on the wall of a first and 2nd century CE oil press from of Khirbet ‘Arâk Hâla in the Judean Shephelah. Rappaport’s survey of Jewish coins from the Persian Period through the Bar-Kokhba Revolt, focusing on the Hasmonean coins. Amit describes a group of bread stamps and oil seals, in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin, found in different parts of the country. Klein and Mamalya describe two Byzantine Period Nabatean Christian burial sites and their epitaphs.
Manfred Oeming writes
Am 4. September 2014 um 18:00 hält in der Alten Aula Heidelberg einer der führenden biblischen Archäologen unserer Zeit, Prof. Israel Finkelstein von der Universität in Tel Aviv, einen öffentlichen Vortrag über die neuesten Ergebnisse der archäologischen Ausgrabungen in Jerusalem und beleuchtet sie kritisch.
I’d love to be there.
Pottery sherds discovered by an Israel Antiquities Authority inspector several months ago, during extensive work by the Netivei Israel – National Transport Infrastructure Company on the new Highway 1 project, resulted in an archaeological excavation
in which a previously unknown settlement from the Late Second Temple period was discovered, as well as a rare hoard of coins that was found in one of its houses.
The hoard, which was kept in a ceramic money box, included 114 bronze coins dating to the Year Four of the Great Revolt against the Romans. This revolt led to the destruction of the Temple on Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the month of Av) c. 2,000 years ago.
According to Pablo Betzer and Eyal Marco, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The hoard, which appears to have been buried several months prior to the fall of Jerusalem, provides us with aglimpse into the lives of Jews living on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the end of the rebellion. Evidently someone here feared the end was approaching and hid his property, perhaps in the hope of collecting it later when calm was restored to the region”. All of the coins are stamped on one side with a chalice and the Hebrew inscription “To the Redemption of Zion” and on the other side with a motif that includes a bundle of lulavbetween two etrogs. Around this is the Hebrew inscription “Year Four”, that is, the fourth year of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans (69/70 CE).
Questions about Monotheism in Ancient Israel: Between Archaeology and Texts, by Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, is freely available at the link above.
Archaeologists offer different perspectives and new and multiple types of evidence to the discussion of emerging monotheism in late eighth to sixth century B.C.E. Israel. Two examples exemplify how archaeology clariﬁes the historical context in which texts were produced and received, and demonstrates the religious practices of the period. The ﬁrst example considers the effects of the later eighth century Assyrian campaigns on centralization of the cult in Jerusalem and in prophetic exhortations.
In the second example, excavation of the royal Judahite fort of Arad situated on the nation’s southern border revealed religious worship at a temple in a military outpost including animal sacrifice and the veneration of massebot (“standing stones”). These two archaeological studies contribute to our understanding of emerging monotheism both in practice and as depicted in biblical texts.
Read the essay.