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September 18, 2014September 18, 2014  0 comments  Biblical Archaeology

The Israel Antiquities Authority a Byzantine era compound in Ramat Bet Shemesh containing an oil press, wine press and mosaics.

 

Beit Shemesh dig site

Griffin Aerial Photography Company, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to Irina Zilberbod, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, "This was very likely a monastery".


Remarkable finds, including blocked cisterns, a cave opening and the tops of several walls were visible on the surface during an archaeological survey conducted on foot along the hills south of Bet Shemesh. The archaeological dig that ensued underground exposed numerous articacts indicating a prosperous lifestyle dating to the Byzantine period which was previously unknown.


The Israel Antiquities Authority press release described the findings as a compound continaining two regions - an industrial area and an activity and residential area. Within the industrial area a large and impressive olive press was exposed and a large winepress was revealed outside the compount containing two treading floors where the grape juices likely flowed to a collecting vat. The findings indicate that wine and oil production were important industries for the communities living in this area.


The impressive construction which includes magnificent mosaic floors, window and roof tile artifacts are similar to those found in contemporary monasteries indicating that it was a likely home for monastic life.

 

Surrounding Ella valley area
Photographic credit: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Photograph of the mosaic. Photographic credit: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

 

The Israel Antiquities Authority has undertaken measures to preserve and develop the site as a landmark.

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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah-Holy Land tours, the largest Christian travel network focused on Holy Land tours. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.

 


March 16, 2009March 16, 2009  0 comments  Music

Deep in the heartland of Israel, in the area known as the Elah Valley, close to open fields and the JNF's Britain Forest, there is an old Turkish building which was once a Khan or way-station for travellers.

The building houses a musical family. The mother, Kochava Taragan, an accomplished flautist, arranges chamber concerts which are held on the terrace or in the large living room every Saturday at noon. Before the concert everyone is treated to a bowl of nourishing soup with home-made croutons. The chamber ensembles, often including Kochava herself, play a selection of pieces for an hour or two, often interspersed by some words of explanation. Sometimes the birds outside add their own contribution to the music. Afterwards most of the audience repairs to one of the local restaurants for lunch, though if you have not booked a table in advance you might find yourself obliged to go home. Great restaurants nearby include Pa'amon (meat) and Tavlin (Dairy). Both are located on Route 38, near Beit Shemesh.

 

Performances are held almost every  Saturday at 12:30 p.m., and soup begins at 12 p.m. The next performance is on March 27th.

Call 02-9915786 for reservations.

 

 

 


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