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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ashkelon
Also known as Tel Ascalon, Tel Ashqelon, Ascalon, Ashqelon, 'Askalan, Askalon, Askelon, 'Asqalan, 'Asqelon

Philistine Beach

The Philistines who migrated to the coastal plain of Israel about 1200 B.C. settled in five major cities. Three of these were along the coastal branch of the International Highway leading from Egypt, but because of the presence of sand dunes, only Ashkelon was built on the shore. At 150 acres, the tell of Ashkelon is the largest Philistine city and one of the largest tells in all of ancient Israel.

Excavations

Since 1985 Harvard University has been excavating Ashkelon under the director Lawrence Stager. More than a century earlier, Ashkelon was the site of the first "archaeological excavation" in the Holy Land when Lady Hester Stanhope conducted a small dig. Excavations have uncovered remains from nearly every period from the Neolithic Age until the 13th century A.D.




Fortifications

Fallen columns protrude from the eroded tell as waves have gradually washed away ruins on the shoreline. The Canaanite city was surrounded by a large rampart on three sides of the city and the fourth side was protected by the sea. Later fortifications took advantage of the rampart and walls were constructed on top of it. The city had no springs but a number of good wells and fertile soil.




Canaanite Gate

One of the earliest intact gates in Israel was excavated at Ashkelon in the 1990s. The Middle Bronze mudbrick structure is contemporary with the well-known one at Dan. This photograph was taken of the excavation area before the gate was uncovered. The gate is now protected by a large metal awning and has not yet been opened to visitors. Outside the gate a bronze calf was discovered, apparently once worshipped at the city entrance.


Later History

Ashkelon was an important city after the Babylonians destroyed the city and wiped out the Philistines. An important seaport in the Hellenistic period, Ashkelon became a free city in 104 B.C. and the birthplace of Herod the Great shortly after. Herod rebuilt the city and it flourished in the Roman and Byzantine periods. The Crusaders later re-fortified the city but Saladin captured it and destroyed it upon the approach of Richard the Lion-hearted.












 

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Discussion Starter #2
Megiddo- Armageddon
Also known as , el-Lejjun, Tel el-Mutesellium, Tell el-Mutesellim, Tel Megiddo, Campus Legionis, Har Megiddo, Har-Megeddon, Harmagedon, Isar-Megiddo, Legio, Lejjun, Megiddon




Megiddo Aerial

Inhabited from the Chalcolithic period, Megiddo has approximately 26 levels of occupation. American excavators from the Oriental Institute worked from 1925 with the ambitious goal of excavating every level in its entirety. The made it through the first three levels before concentrating the work on certain areas.




Megiddo Pass

From the earliest times (EB) to the earliest historical records of the area (Thutmose III) to the future (Revelation 16), Megiddo assumes a prominent role. This is largely owing to its strategic location astride the Megiddo Pass (Wadi Ara) and inside the busy Jezreel Valley. The modern road follows the ancient one; the tell is just off the bottom right corner.










Middle Bronze Gate

Strongly fortified throughout the ages, Megiddo boasted a stone Syrian-type gate in the days of Canaanite inhabitation.

This gate is later than the bent-axis gate (straightened to accommodate chariots) and earlier than the famous "Solomonic" gate, part of the construction of King Solomon described in 1 Kings 9:15.




Early Bronze Altar

Part of a large religious complex from the third millennium B.C., this sacrificial altar is striking in its size (10m diameter) and location (behind the temple).

A staircase leads up to the altar, a small temenos fence surrounded it, and large concentrations of animal bones and ashes were found in the vicinity.




Iron Age Watersystem

Needing secure access to its water supply, Megiddo utilized different watersystems over its history.

In the 9th c. B.C., Ahab constructed a massive system with a 30 meter deep shaft and a 70 meter long tunnel. This continued in use until the end of the Iron Age.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Capernaum
Also known as Tell Hum, Khirbet Karazeh, Bethsaida, Capharnaum, Chorazin, Kefar Nahum, Kafarnaum, Kefar Tanhum, Talhum, Tanhum


In existence from the 2nd c. B.C. to the 7th c. A.D., Capernaum was built along the edge of the Sea of Galilee and had up to 1500 residents.

Today the ruins are owned by two churches: the Franciscans control the western portion with the synagogue and the Greek Orthodox's property is marked by the white church with red domes.


Jesus made Capernaum his home during the years of his ministry: "Leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum" (Matt 4:13).

Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen living in the village. Matthew the tax collector also dwelt here.

Capernaum is one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith.








The Synagogue

The dating of this synagogue is debated, but it is clearly later than the first century. Excavations have revealed a synagogue from the time of Jesus with walls made of worked stone and 4 feet thick.

These earlier walls were preserved up to 3 feet high and the entire western wall still exists and was used as the foundation for the later synagogue.




The Synagogue

Jesus was confronted by a demoniac while teaching here (Mark 1:21-27).

In Capernaum, Jesus healed the servant of the centurion. This Roman official was credited with building the synagogue (Luke 7:3).

In this synagogue, Jesus gave sermon on the bread of life (John 6:35-59).
























The House of Peter


Excavations revealed one residence that stood out from the others. This house was the object of early Christian attention with 2nd century graffiti and a 4th century house church built above it. In the 5th century a large octagonal Byzantine church was erected above this, complete with a baptistery. Pilgrims referred to this as the house of the apostle Peter.


2000 years old boat, from the time of Jesus
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sepphoris Zippori
Also known as Autocratoris, Diocaesarea, Eirenopolis Neronias, Le Sephorie, Saffouriya, Safuriyah, Safuriyye, Seffarieh, Sephoris, Sippori,

From the Air

Josephus called Sepphoris “the ornament of all Galilee.” Herod Antipas chose this site in 4 B.C. as the capital of his government. He most likely built the theater as well. Josephus said Sepphoris was the largest city in Galilee and an exceptionally strong fortress at the time of the First Revolt in 66 A.D. The people of Sepphoris supported Vespasian in the Jewish Revolt, surrendering to the Romans and thus preventing the destruction of the city (War III.2.4). They even minted coins in honor of Vespasian as the “peace maker.”






Excavations

This aerial view gives an interesting perspective of the archaeological work. Modern archaeologists typically excavate in squares (approximately 5 meters on each side), leaving the sides (balks) as a vertical record of the excavations. Some archaeologists remove the balks after they have served their purpose; others choose to leave them indefinitely. Sepphoris was first excavated by L. Waterman of Michigan University in 1931. In 1983, J. F. Strange of the University of South Florida began a survey of buildings, cisterns, and burial systems. A joint team from Duke University, North Carolina, and The Hebrew University began work in 1985.








Colonnaded Street

Sepphoris was rebuilt and fortified after Galilee came under the rule of Herod Antipas. He made Sepphoris his capital until he built Tiberias in 19 A.D. Some scholars believe that Joseph and Jesus may have helped in the reconstruction of Sepphoris. Since Herod Antipas rebuilt the city about 4 B.C., and since stone is the main building craft of the area, Joseph, living in the nearby Nazareth, was probably a builder in stone as well as wood. Sepphoris was about an hour’s walk from Nazareth. This colonnaded street was built in the Roman period and was one of the main streets of city.







Nile Mosaic

In one large building are many mosaic floors, including the Nile mosaic in the largest room. This mosaic shows festivities in Egypt when the Nile reached its peak. The lighthouse from Alexandria, the Pharos, is also depicted. This was one of the seven wonders of ancient world. The tower in the center of the hunting scene is a Nilometer, which was used to measure the rise of the Nile during the inundation.




"Mona Lisa"

At the summit near the theater is a large dining room floor from the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. The house was built around a colonnaded yard and had two floors. The building included a central triclinium and was most likely the home of an important Gentile person. It might have been the city or district governor. The triclinium mosaic includes 1.5 million stones in 28 colors. The beautiful woman in the mosaic is known today as the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee.” She is depicted wearing a laurel garland and earrings. A similar figure was on the southern side of the frame and can still be partly seen today.

























 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Herodium

Also known as el-Fureidis, Har Hordos, Herodeion, Herodion, Jebel Fureidis


Herodium is 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem and 8 miles south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2460 feet above sea level.

Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 B.C.




Herod's Herodium

Constructed over a small pre-existing hill, the Herodium was a fortress for Herod to quickly flee to from Jerusalem and a luxurious palace for his enjoyment.

He chose to be buried here and the mountain is the shape of a tumulus. Herod's tomb has not been discovered in the recent excavations.
















The Palace

Herod built the mountain by first erecting a double-walled cylinder with an outer diameter of 200 feet. There were seven stories in the cylinder including two or three at the top which no longer exist. Afterwards a massive fill of earth and gravel was placed against the cylinder. The four towers are located at the points of the compass.








The Bathhouse

Another symbol of Herod's extravagance in building, this full-size Roman bathhouse had the typical design of four rooms - apodyterium (changing room), tepidarium (stretching room), caldarium (steam room) and frigidarium (cold bath).

The floor was paved with white and black mosaics and the walls were decorated with frescoes of many colors and geometric designs.


The Synagogue

Probably a triclineum (dining room arranged with three tables) in Herod's day, this room was transformed into a synagogue by the Jewish rebels who took over the Herodium in 70 A.D.

First century A.D. parallels to this synagogue exist at Masada and Gamla, two sites also captured and held by Jewish fighters in the war against Rome.

 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Masada

Also known as es-Sebbeh, Horvot Mezada, Mesada, Mezada, Sebbeh, The Stronghold

The summit of Masada sits 190 feet (59 m) above sea level and about 1500 feet (470 m) above the level of the Dead Sea. The mountain itself is 1950 feet (610 m) long, 650 feet (200 m) wide, 4250 feet (1330 m) in circumference, and encompasses 23 acres. The climb up the "Snake Path" is 900 feet (280 m) in elevation. From the west, the difference in height is 225 feet (70 m).









Masada Storehouses

Fifteen long storerooms kept essential provisions for time of siege.

Herod filled with them with food and weapons.

Each storeroom held a different commodity. This was attested by different storage jars and inscriptions on jars in rooms. Wine bottles sent to Herod from Italy were found.








1st Century Synagogue

This synagogue was found in the first season of Yadin’s excavations. No Second Temple period synagogues were known at the time.

Many coins from the Jewish Revolt were found here. An ostracon was found on the floor with inscription, “priestly tithe.”

The back room served as a genizah.






Herod's Bathhouse

Herod had several private bathhouses built at Masada. The caldarium depicted here had a heavy floor suspended on 200 pillars.

Outside the room a furnace would sent hot air under the floor. When water was placed on the floor, steam was created. Pipes were built into the walls to help to heat the room.







 

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Discussion Starter #8
Samaria (Sebaste)
Also known as Sebastia, Sebastiya, Sebastiyeh, Sebastos, Sebustiyeh, Shamir, Shomeron, Shomron, "house of Khomry"

City on a Hill

The hill of Samaria was in the tribal territory of Manasseh, but apparently was not significantly inhabited until the time of King Omri (Ahab's father). For the next 160 years, the city was the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, apparently reaching a size of 150 acres (as large as Jerusalem in Hezekiah's time). Samaria is well situated with steep slopes on all sides. This geographical reality is reflected in the history, as Samaria withstood sieges by the Arameans (2 Ki 6), Assyrians for 3 years (2 Ki 17), and Hasmoneans for one year.






Israelite Acropolis

Omri bought the Hill of Shemer for two talents of silver and made this his capital (1 Ki 16:24-28). His son Ahab was married to the Phoenician princess Jezebel, and they made Baal worship widespread in Israel. Ahab built a temple of Baal here which was later destroyed by Jehu, together with the priests of Baal (1 Ki 16:32; 2 Ki 10:18ff). Excavations here have revealed the acropolis of the kings, with a collection of ivories and ostraca. Much was destroyed by construction of a temple by Herod the Great.




Hellenistic Tower

This tower is considered to be the finest Hellenistic monument surviving in Palestine. It connected to a Hellenistic wall which protected the acropolis in the time of Alexander the Great. The way that the stones are laid is unique as is the bevel cut on the outer face. Nineteen courses of stone are preserved. The Hellenistic remains at Samaria also include a fortress, city wall near the west gate, coins, and stamped jar handles.




Roman City

Herod the Great rebuilt the city and named it after the emperor (Augustus' name in Greek is Sebaste). Six hundred columns lined a half-mile street of Herodian Sebaste (pictured at right). The Roman forum was a large open area where people assembled for commerce and governmental activity. On the edge of the forum, archaeologists excavated a Roman basilica. Before being adopted by Christians for church buildings, basilica-type buildings were used for economic and judicial functions. Herod also built a large stadium on the northern slope of the city.




Herodian Temple

On the acropolis of Samaria, and on top of the location of earlier administrative buildings of the Israelites, Herod the Great constructed a monumental temple dedicated to Sebaste. In the process, he destroyed much of the earlier remains from the Israelite period. Herod also built temples in Caesarea (also dedicated to the emperor) and in Jerusalem (dedicated to the Lord God of Israel). The monumental steps pictured at left date to a rebuilding of the temple during the reign of Septimus Severus (193-211 A.D.)

 

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Discussion Starter #11
ancient synagogues in Israel (1 cen.BC- 5 cen.AD)

Gush halav synagogue




chirbat shema synagogue




Bara'am synagogue






Katserin synagogue





Beit alfa synagogue








Hamat Tiberius synagogue






 

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Discussion Starter #12
Shivta
ancient Nabatian city in the Negev






Water Supply

The Nabateans built where no one had settled before. The Israelites' territory stretched "from Dan to Beersheba," but not further south (except for military posts). The annual precipitation is too little to support a settled population. The Nabateans proved this wrong and built cities in the highlands. They were able to prosper because of the rich trade that passed through the cities and their ability to carefully manage the water supply. Elaborate drainage systems were constructed to collect every ounce of rainwater and channel that into family or public cisterns.


Churches

The Nabateans converted to Christianity following Constantine's conversion in the 4th century.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Caesarea Maritima

Also known as “Caesarea as near Sebastos,” Caesarea of Straton, Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesariensis, Herodian Caesarea, Horvat Qesari, Kaisariyeh, Kessaria, “Metropolis of the province Syria Palaestina,” Migdal Shorshon, Qaisariya, Qaisariyeh, Qaysariyah, Qesari, Qisri, Qisrin, Strato's Tower, Straton's Caesarea, Straton's Tower, Turris Stratonis








Herod's Harbor

This site was insignificant until Herod the Great began to develop it into a magnificent harbor befitting his kingdom. The harbor was built using materials that would allow the concrete to harden underwater. The three-acre harbor would accommodate 300 ships, much larger than the modern harbor existing today.




The Theater

Herod the Great also constructed a theater with a seating capacity of 3500. According to Josephus, this is where the death of Herod Agrippa occurred, as recounted in Acts 12. The theater was covered with a skin covering (vellum), and visitors probably brought cushions with them to soften the stone seats.




















Promontory Palace

Josephus called this a "most magnificent palace" that Herod the Great built on a promontory jutting out into the waters of Caesarea. The pool in the center was nearly Olympic in size, and was filled with fresh water. A statue once stood in the center. Paul may have been imprisoned on the grounds of this palace (Acts 23:35).




The Aqueduct

The lack of fresh water at Herod's new city required a lengthy aqueduct to bring water from springs at the base of Mt. Carmel nearly ten miles away. In order that the water would flow by the pull of gravity, the aqueduct was built on arches and the gradient was carefully measured. Later Hadrian and the Crusaders would attach additional channels to Herod's aqueduct.











the hypodrom










































































 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
the dead sea scrolls & Qumran Caves




The scrolls and scroll fragments recovered in the Qumran environs represent a voluminous body of Jewish documents, a veritable "library", dating from the third century B.C.E. to 68 C.E. Unquestionably, the "library," which is the greatest manuscript find of the twentieth century, demonstrates the rich literary activity of Second Temple Period Jewry and sheds insight into centuries pivotal to both Judaism and Christianity. The library contains some books or works in a large number of copies, yet others are represented only fragmentarily by mere scraps of parchment. There are tens of thousands of scroll fragments. The number of different compositions represented is almost one thousand, and they are written in three different languages: 95% in Hebrew, the rest in Aramaic, and Greek.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have been the subject of avid interest and curiosity for nearly fifty years. Today, scholars agree on their significance but disagree on who produced them. They debate specific passages of individual scrolls and are still assessing their impact on the foundations of Judaism and Christianity. For the public in this country and throughout the world, the scrolls have an aura of reverence and intrigue which is reinvigorated periodically by the media--journalists who report serious disagreements among well-known scholars, as well as tabloids which claim that the scrolls can predict the future or answer life's mysteries.











Cave 1
Allegedly discovered by a Bedouin shepherd chasing a stray, the initial Dead Sea Scrolls found here changed the study of the Old Testament.

The seven scrolls were the Manual of Discipline, War of Sons of Light, Thanksgiving Scroll, Isaiah A and B, Genesis Apocryphon and Habakkuk Commentary.
Cave 3

The Copper Scroll was found in this cave in 1952. This was the only scroll photographed in situ.

The Copper Scroll is on display in the Amman Museum and lists 63 treasures hidden in the Judean wilderness and Jerusalem area.
Cave 4

This most famous of the Dead Sea Scroll caves is also the most significant in terms of finds. More than 15,000 fragments from over 200 books were found in this cave, nearly all by Bedouin thieves. 122 biblical scrolls (or fragments) were found in this cave. From all 11 Qumran caves, every Old Testament book is represented except Esther. No New Testament books or fragments have been found.
Cave 4 Interior

The scrolls found in this cave were poorly preserved because they were not stored in jars. The practice of paying "per piece" led to the creation of multiple fragments from single pieces by the Bedouin thieves.

This cave was among those looted by the Bedouin in the free afternoons of the days they were in the employ of the Qumran archaeologists.
Cave 5 (foreground)

This eroded cave was discovered by the archaeologists (Bedouin found caves 1, 2, 4, 6, 11). It is one of those in the marl terrace close to the site of Qumran (also caves 4, 7, 8, 9, 10). Archaeologists estimate that there were originally 30-40 caves in the marl terrace.
Cave 6

This cave was not used for inhabitation, but only for the deposit of scrolls.

This is the most accessible of the Dead Sea Scrolls to visitors today (follow the aqueduct from Qumran to the hills and it's on the left).
Cave 7 (right), 8 (left)

Everything found in Cave 7 was in Greek. The cave collapsed shortly after the scrolls were hidden.

In Cave 8 were discovered 8QMezuzah, Genesis, and a hundred squares of small leather with strips. The guy who lived here had the job of making these strips.
Cave 10 (right)

Only one ostracon was found in Cave 10. Complete scrolls were found only in caves 1 and 11.

In all 11 caves, some biblical books were found in large numbers:

34 copies of Psalms
27 copies of Deuteronomy
24 copies of Isaiah
20 copies of Genesis
Cave 11

The last Dead Sea Scrolls found to date were found in this cave. Thirty scrolls were found including Leviticus and the Temple Scroll.

The Temple Scroll was held by the antiquities dealer Kando until 1967 when being put in jail by Yadin, he agreed to sell it "of his own free will" for $110,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jerusalem's City of David and Area GAlso known as Jebus, the Eastern Hill




City of David 3000 years old

The City of David was very narrow; about 80-100m wide. The east side has a steep slope of about 60 degrees.

Though smaller, steeper and more difficult for construction than the Western Hill, the City of David was chosen because of its water source, the Gihon Spring.




Stepped Stone Structure

Revealed in the excavations of Duncan and Macalister, Kenyon and Shiloh, this is one of the largest Iron Age structures in Israel.

18 m in height have been revealed and it apparently dates to the end of the Jebusite city.

The structure probably supported a royal building, such as the king's palace.








House of Ahiel

This is a typical Israelite four-room house. The outside stairway presumably led to the flat roof.

The outside of Ahiel’s house (east) was badly preserved, but the western side on the hill was well preserved.

Inside the house were found cosmetics and housewares all from the ruins of 586.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Beth Shean, Scythopolis

Also known as Scythopolis, Tel Bet Shean/Beth-Shean, Tel/Tell el-Husn, Tell el-Hosn, 'As'annu(?), Beisan, Bet Shan, Bet Shean, Beth Shan, Beth-shan, Beth-shean, Bethshan, Bethshean, Nysa, Scythopolis Nysa, Skythopolis



Beth Shean Area

Located 17 miles (27 km) south of the Sea of Galilee, Beth Shean is situated at the strategic junction of the Harod and Jordan Valleys. The fertility of the land and the abundance of water led the Jewish sages to say, "If the Garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, then its gate is Beth Shean." It is no surprise then that the site has been almost continuously settled from the Chalcolithic period to the present.














Beth Shean Excavations

Excavations were conducted in 1921-33 by the University of Pennsylvania under C. S. Fisher, A. Rowe, and G. M. FitzGerald. At that time, almost the entire top five levels on the summit of the tell were cleared. Yadin and Geva conducted a short season in the 1980s, and Amihai Mazar led a Hebrew University excavation in 1989-96. The main finds on the tell include a series of temples from the Middle and Late Bronze Ages.








Scythopolis

Pompey and the Romans rebuilt Beth Shean in 63 B.C. and it was renamed Scythopolis ("city of the Scythians;" cf. Col 3:11). It became the capital city of the Decapolis and was the only one on the west side of the Jordan. The city continued to grow and prosper in the Roman and Byzantine periods until it was destroyed on January 18, 749 A.D. by an earthquake. Evidence of this earthquake includes dozens of massive columns that toppled over in the same direction.

















Egyptian Residence

Beth Shean was the center of Egyptian rule in the northern part of Canaan during the Late Bronze Period. Monumental stelae with inscriptions from the reigns of Seti I and Ramses II were found and are now in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem. Also, a life-size statue of Ramses III as well as many other Egyptian inscriptions were found. Together these constitute the most significant assemblage of Egyptian objects in Canaan. The photo at right reflects recent reconstruction of the mudbrick walls.

the theater





























 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hisham's Palace

Khirbet El-Mafjar is located 3 km north of Jericho and commonly called Hisham's Palace because it was first thought to have been built by the Umayyad Caliph Hisham bin AbdulMalek (724-743 AD), who ruled an empire stretching from India to the Pyrenees.

Many from the Umayyad dynasty had such hunting lodges, which enabled them to recover the freedom and independence of the desert, which had been their birthright. But the unorthodox decoration of Khirbet El-Mafjar is incompatible with the character of the austere, righteous Hisham, and fits best with what we know of his nephew and successor; Al-Walid bin Yazid (743-744): "Banished from the court for wild living and scurrility, a passionate aesthete and drinker, habitual companion of singers, himself the best poet and marksman of the Umayyads".



Caliph Walid first built the bath, which shows signs of having been in use for a number of years. The bath and the great walled hunting park were his main interests. He was assassinated a year after coming to power, so the palace was never completed and, despite an attempted restoration in the 12th century (possibly by Salah Eddin's troops), it thereafter served as a quarry of cut stones for the people of Jericho.

The architecture and the motifs of the stucco decoration betray a strong Persian influence. Much of the ornate plasterwork is displayed in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem.














 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Tel Qasile - Tel Aviv


Tel Qasile lies within the city limits of Tel Aviv, at the mouth of the Yarkon River. In antiquity, the river at the foot of the tel (mound) served as an inner harbor, protected from the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. The settlement itself was on a kurkar (a kind of sandstone) hill on the northern bank of the river and, in its heyday, covered some four acres.

The first excavations at Tel Qasile were conducted from 1948 to 1950. Excavations were renewed between 1971 and 1974. The most significant remains include a Philistine residential quarter with a sacred area, dated to the beginning of the Iron Age (12th - 10th century BCE). The excavations provided evidence of continued settlement through the 10th century, when the area came under the control of the kings of Israel. Remains of settlement from the end of the Iron Age to the Early Arab period were also found.

The Residential Quarter
Excavations in the southern part of the tel revealed three distinct Philistine settlement strata dating to the beginning of the Iron Age.

Buildings of the lower Stratum (XII) were constructed directly on the kurkar ridge of the hill. Meagre remains from this stratum include depressions cut into the rock and some segments of walls and pavements. The first town, of Stratum XI, was surrounded by a strong brick wall, ca. 5 m. thick, remains of which were found on the western side of the tel. Next to a large building made of kurkar stones was a plaza, where two clay crucibles for melting copper were found.

In Stratum X, dwellings were found throughout the excavated area, surrounded by streets. The houses were built next to one another in a line, and access to them was from the street only. They consisted of a side courtyard with two long rooms along its two sides. In some instances, a row of columns was placed in the courtyard, evidence that it was partly roofed. The rooms were used for living, working and storage, and the varied assemblages of Philistine, Canaanite, and Israelite pottery attest to the composition of the population in the 11th century BCE, where for the first time, iron implements came into use. This settlement was destroyed in a great conflagration.

The Period of the Kings of Israel

The coastal region was annexed to the Kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Solomon. A public building (14 x 12 m.), probably the regional administrative center, was built in the southern part of Tel Qasile. It included an entrance hall, several rooms south of it, and a staircase leading to a second story. This town was destroyed in the campaign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak (924 BCE) and the tel was abandoned until the end of the Iron Age.

An ostracon with the ancient Hebrew inscription "Ophir gold to Beth Horon, 30 shekels" was found on the tel. This is a commercial document dealing with a shipment of 30 shekels of Ophir gold (fine quality gold or gold from a place called Ophir (see I Kings 9:28) to the town of Beth Horon (on the road from Tel Qasile to Jerusalem) or to an unknown temple dedicated to the Canaanite God Horon.















link to more pics and article
 

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Discussion Starter #19
news-"Mostar, Macao and Biblical vestiges in Israel are among the 17 cultural sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List "

The sites inscribed on the World Heritage List today are:

Israel - Biblical Tells – Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba
Tells, or pre-historic settlement mounds, are characteristic of the flatter lands of the eastern Mediterranean, particularly Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Eastern Turkey. Of more than 200 tells in Israel, Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheba are representative of tells that contain substantial remains of cities with biblical connections. The three tells also present some of the best examples in the Levant of elaborate Iron Age, underground water collecting systems, created to serve dense urban communities. Their traces of construction over the millennia reflect the existence of centralized authority, prosperous agricultural activity and the control of important trade routes.

Israel - Incense Route / Cities in the Negev
The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta, along with associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes in the Negev Desert, are spread along routes linking them to the Mediterranean end of the Incense and Spice route. Together they reflect the hugely profitable trade in frankincense and myrrh from south Arabia to the Mediterranean, which flourished from the 3rd century B.C. until to 2nd century A.D. With the vestiges of their sophisticated irrigation systems, urban constructions, forts, and caravanserai they bear witness to the way in which the harsh desert was settled for trade and agriculture.
 

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hebrewtext said:
Masada

Also known as es-Sebbeh, Horvot Mezada, Mesada, Mezada, Sebbeh, The Stronghold

The summit of Masada sits 190 feet (59 m) above sea level and about 1500 feet (470 m) above the level of the Dead Sea. The mountain itself is 1950 feet (610 m) long, 650 feet (200 m) wide, 4250 feet (1330 m) in circumference, and encompasses 23 acres. The climb up the "Snake Path" is 900 feet (280 m) in elevation. From the west, the difference in height is 225 feet (70 m).







Masada Storehouses

Fifteen long storerooms kept essential provisions for time of siege.

Herod filled with them with food and weapons.

Each storeroom held a different commodity. This was attested by different storage jars and inscriptions on jars in rooms. Wine bottles sent to Herod from Italy were found.



Masada really look like fortes unable to be conquered. I heard that Mell Gibson will made a movie about heroic defense of this hill.
 
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