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4 August, 20114 August, 2011 1 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

A team of Italian archaeologists has announced the discovery here of what they believe to be the tomb of Philip, one of Jesus' 12 apostles, at the ancient Asia Minor city of Hierapolis in Turkey's Aegean province of Denizli, and are planning to excavate the unopened grave soon.

The discovery of the grave of the New Testament saint, who came to Hierapolis - known today as Pamukkale - nearly 2,000 years ago to spread the Gospel and was crucified upside down by the Romans, will attract immense attention around the world, said excavator Francesco D'Andria, director of the Institute of Archaeological Heritage, Monuments and Sites at Italy's National Research Council in Lecce.

Philip's tomb has traditionally been associated with the martyrium church built at the site, though no evidence of the ancient burial was ever found. In July, however, D'Andria and his team located a smaller church less than 150 feet away from the martyrium that appears to contain the grave of the apostle.

"As we were cleaning out the new church we discovered a month ago, we finally found the grave," said D'Andria. "With close examination, we determined that the grave had been moved from its previous location in the St. Philip Church to this new church in the fifth century, during the Byzantine era."

D'Andria has been leading archeological excavations at the ancient city for 32 years. Hierapolis was founded around 190 BC by Eume

25 July, 201125 July, 2011 2 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

A rare gold bell from the second temple period was discovered in the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden, adjacent to the Western Wall, last week. The bell was apparently sewn to the garment worn by a high official in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period, making it approximately 2000 years old. The excavations are being conducted at the site on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and underwritten by Ir David Foundation.The drainage channel  begins in the Shiloah Pool and continues from the City of David to the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden, near the Western Wall.


According to the excavation directors, archaeologists Eli Shukron and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, "It seems the bell was sewn on the garment worn by a high official in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period (first century CE). The bell was exposed inside Jerusalem's main drainage channel at that time, among the layers of earth that had accumulated along the bottom of it. This drainage channel was built and hewn the length of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, on the bottom of the slope descending to the Tyropoeon Valley. This drainage channel conveyed rainwater from different parts of the city, by way of the City of David and the Shiloah Pool, to Nahal Kidron".


The main street of the Jerusalem is in the region of the excavation, above the drainage channel. This road

25 July, 201125 July, 2011 0 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

NABLUS, West Bank - What happens when biblical history and modern turmoil collide?


Archaeologists in the tumultuous Palestinian Territories are digging up the ruins of Shekem, where Abraham once stopped, Jacob once camped -- and today litter is strewn.


The biblical ruin lies inside a Palestinian city in the West Bank, where modern researchers are writing the latest chapter in a 100-year-old excavation that has been interrupted by two world wars and numerous rounds of Mideast upheaval.


Working on an urban lot that long served residents of Nablus as an unofficial dump for garbage and old car parts, Dutch and Palestinian archaeologists are learning more about the ancient city of Shekhem -- and preparing to open the site to the public as an archaeological park next year.


The project, carried out under the auspices of the Palestinian Department of Antiquities, also aims to introduce the Palestinians of Nablus, who have been beset for much of the past decade by bloodshed and isolation, to the wealth of antiquities in the middle of their city.


"The local population has started very well to understand the value of the site, not only the historical value, but also the value for their own identity," said Gerrit van der Kooij of Leiden University in the Netherlands, who co-directs the dig team.


"The local people have to feel responsible for

12 October, 201012 October, 2010 1 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology


The ancient city of Jericho is literally older than history itself. Recorded history started in the 4th millenium BC with the advent of written language. By that time, Jericho had already existed as an ancient walled city for 4,000 years.


During its long 10,000 years, Jericho has seen much. If the city's ancient stones could talk, they would fill several libraries with their stories. Empires have come and gone, but still the ancient city of Jericho thrives as an oasis in a dry and arid region.

8 August, 20108 August, 2010 0 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

While not the exact temple destroyed by Samson, archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a Philistine temple that dates back to the 10th century BC that could typify the type of structure Samson brought down with his God-given supernatural strength as told in Judges 16.
Prof. Aren Maeir of Bar Ilan University said he and his team of international volunteers have discovered a Philistine temple and a number of ritual items dating back to the Iron Age.

“We found a structure that we have been slowly exposing over the last few seasons,” Maeir told Travelujah, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. “What is unique about this temple is there are two large pillar bases situated 2 meters away from each other. That immediately rings the bell of the story of Samson.”

The temple of Dagon, the one Samson knocked over, was located in present-day Gaza, Maeir said. Finding this temple, however, is reminiscent of the time of Samson and the biblical narrative.

“It adds flesh on the bones or color on the story to the biblical story,” he said. “Even if you don’t believe if it happened ... the story resonates cultural authenticity (through the archaeology).”

The excavations at Tel Zafit National Park have been ongoing for 15 years. This ye

21 June, 201021 June, 2010 1 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

Participating as a volunteer in an archaeological digs generally  comes with a nice price tag. But here's a deal that's really worth looking at. Magdala, the home of a 1st century synagague. This incredible archaeological site where several months ago the oldest known engraving   of a seven branch menorah from the 1st temple period was discovered, is situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee just south of Ginosar, will soon be hosting its own on site dig and is looking for volunteers. And get this - its free. Read on.


According to the magdala dig blog - The dig will finance accommodations (meals and transportation) for volunteers for up to one month, if you wish to stay more, a  special price will be made. The accommodations will be in Tiberias, a town 5km /3 mi from Migdal. According to our discussions with Father John Solana, director of the Pontifical Institute of Jerusalem, the entity that owns the project (which is being developed as a 120 plus rooms Christian guesthouse and multi media center, known as Magdala Center) -accommodations are being made for dig volunteers to reside in the center of town, within a home owned by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. . The Insitute has rented the home and is now refurbishing the quarter to include guest rooms which will come equipped with air conditioning, internet and a couple of small kitchenettes.


6 April, 20106 April, 2010 1 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

You can't drive for five minutes in Israel without seeing a sign directing you to a "tel." Tel is Hebrew for an archaeological hill. When a civilization died off or deserted an area, the new inhabitants built their town right on top of the old one. This pattern continued over thousands of years, leaving us with an archaeological gold mine; keep digging, and you will remnants of older and older civilizations.

One of the most intriguing of these sites may not be a tel at all. Tel Arad, located west of the Dead Sea, is located near the modern-day city of Arad. "Arad" first appears in the Bible in Numbers 21, as the Israelites are ending their 40-year sojourn in the desert. The "King of Arad" hears that they are approaching and attacks them; the Israelites fight back and destroy Arad. Arad is mentioned later in Judges 1, as the place where the Kenites settled. However, some archaeologists that Tel Arad is not an authentic tel, because two separate settlements have been found at the site, rather than one atop the other.

The upper settlement was an ancient Canaanite settlement. First inhabited around 4,000 BCE, it was an important t

11 February, 201011 February, 2010 0 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

 Upon entering Jerusalem's Old City through Jaffa Gate, you are enveloped in the bustling and colorful David Street, lined with souvenirs shops and local shopkeepers. Now, an archaeological dig has confirmed that this very street has been on the map, literally, for 1,500 years.


The Israel Antiquities Authority announced the find this week. At the time, the thoroughfare was 4.5 meters below the current street level. The road dates from the time when Jerusalem became a Christian city in the Byzantine era. While other locations on the Madaba Map have been discovered, the road had remained hidden until now.

21 December, 200921 December, 2009 0 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

The remains of a Jesus-era residence in what may have been a small hamlet housing approximately 50 homes. Remains included a wall, hideout and a cistern as well as an old convent courtyard, explained Yardenna Alexandre, an archaeogolgist with the Israel Antiquities Authority. Other discoveries included clay and chalk vessels used by Galilean Jews of the time - considered evidence that the home was inhabited by a simple Jewish family.

Photo by: API


"It was likely Jesus and his childhood friends would have known the house," said Alexandre.

"From the little written evidence available we know that first century Nazareth AD was a small Jewish village located in a valley," Alexandre said, adding that "until now a few Jesus-era graves were revealed, but never have we unearthed the remains of contemporary residences .

A pit made in the rock was also found, along with contemporary clay work. The archaeologists believe the pit was created as part of the Jewish peoples preparations prior to the Great Rebellion against the Romans, in 67C.E.



Article republished from: Haaretz News Service, Dec. 21, 2009




7 December, 20097 December, 2009 0 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

Megiddo prison, surrounded by prison guards on horseback supplemented by guard dogs, is not a place that many people would care to approach. But if a plan now in the final stages comes to fruition, it could become a tourist attraction drawing Israelis and tourists from around the world.

Behind the prison walls, the remains of the oldest Christian house of worship ever discovered were unearthed four years ago in the course of prison renovations. The plans that are coming together call for the relocation of the prison to a site a short distance away so that the archaeological site can be opened to the public.

Some prisoners, including both common criminals and security prisoners, were allowed to dig below the prison - jailbreak style - as part of the archaeological research. The ancient finds on the site have led to an agreement in principle involving the prison service, the Megiddo Regional Council and the Antiquities Authority for the relocation of the detention facility.

In 2005, work was undertaken to replace a tent encampment for pri

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