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Tag Archives: King David

Ancient city gate from the time of King David discovered in Israel

The find was made during an excavation at the ancient city of Bethsaida. “There are not too many monumental discoveries dating from the reign of King David,” Rami Arav, associate professor at the University of Nebraska and Bethsaida excavation director, told Fox News via email. “This is absolutely a significant contribution to biblical archaeology and biblical studies.”

Arav explained that Bethsaida was founded in the 11th century B.C. as a pre-planned city and the capital of the Biblical kingdom of Geshur. “The city included a place, granary, city walls, city gate, a high place in the city gate, and a cobblestones courtyard in front of the gate,” he said.

The city was destroyed in 920 B.C. “Since this is the period of time of King David and since the Bible narrates that King David married Maachah the daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur, it is reasonable that King David walked on these very cobblestones when he visited the city,” Arav added.

King David bearing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem depicted in the early 16th century. From a private collection.

King David bearing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem depicted in the early 16th century. From a private collection.(Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

An ancient stele, or monumental stone slab, was discovered adjacent to the gate’s tower. The stele depicts the Moon-god worshipped by the ancient Aramean people.

Arav explained that the discoveries were made during the 32nd season of excavations in the ancient city. The project was initially sponsored by Israel’s Haifa University, then by the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It is now sponsored by the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Post reports that a gate discovered at the site last year likely dates from the First Temple period when the city was known as Zer.

In a separate project, last year archaeologists in Israel uncovered an ancient site that may offer fresh insight into the biblical kingdom of David and Solomon.  The kingdom is described in the Hebrew Bible but has long divided historians.

While some experts believe that it existed in the 10th century B.C., others have questioned its existence, citing a lack of evidence of royal construction at the center of the region where the kingdom is said to have existed.

However, part of the building at Tel ‘Eton in the Judean foothills has been dated to a period in history that coincided with the supposed joint kingdom, according to a study published in the journal Radiocarbon.

In another project, soldiers at a paratrooper base in Southern Israel recently uncovered a Biblical-era watchtower.

The watchtower, which dates back to the 8th century B.C., was revealed during recent excavations by Israel Defense Forces troops working under the direction of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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Israeli archaeologist uncovers ancient treasure trove

Israeli archaeologist uncovers ancient treasure trove

Published September 09, 2013

FoxNews.com
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    A 10-cm gold medallion discovered in Hebrew University excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Etched into the medallion are a menorah (Temple candelabrum), shofar (rams horn) and Torah scroll. (Ouria Tadmor/Hebrew University)

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    A few of the thirty-six gold coins found by Israeli Archaeologist, Eilat Mazar, near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (HebrewUniversity/Youtube)

JERUSALEM –  An Israeli archaeologist says she has uncovered a rare trove of ancient gold coins and medallions near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University says among the finds are jewelry and a gold medallion with the Jewish menorah symbol etched into it. Other findings include items with additional Jewish symbols such as a ram’s horn and a Torah scroll.

“I have never found so much gold in my life!” Mazar said at a press conference on Mount Scopus, the Times of Israel reported. “I was frozen. It was unexpected.”

Excavators uncovered a total of 36 gold coins marked with images of Byzantine emperors ranging 250 years from Constantine II to Mauricius. The Byzantine Empire ruled over Israel until Muslim leader Umar ibn Khattab conquered the city in 634.

Mazar said the treasure, which can be dated back to the seventh century, was discovered in a ruined Byzantine public structure a mere 50 meters from the southern wall of the hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount — where the two biblical Jewish Temples once stood.

The site is also considered holy by Muslims who call it the Haram as-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary.

At the same site, Mazar in July uncovered a 3,000-year-old inscribed piece of an earthenware jug dating back to the time of King David.

The ancient inscription is the earliest alphabetical written text ever found in Jerusalem, dating to the 10th century B.C. It is engraved on a large “pithos,” a type of ceramic jar, along with six others at the excavation site.

The inscription is written in the Canaanite language, which was spoken by a Biblical people who lived in the present-day Israel, and is the only of its kind to be found in Israel. The artifact predates the previously oldest inscription found in the area by 250 years and predates the Biblical Israelites’ rule.

Reading from left to right, the text is composed of a combination of letters that translate to m, q, p, h, n, (possibly) l, and n and have no known meaning in west-Semitic languages.

The meaning of the text remains a mystery but Mazar suspects it relates to the jar’s contents or the name of its owner.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/09/09/israeli-archaeologist-uncovers-ancient-treasure-trove/?intcmp=obinsite#ixzz2ej6PZ6bX

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Earliest alphabetical inscription from Biblical times found in Jerusalem

Earliest alphabetical inscription from Biblical times found in Jerusalem

Published July 10, 2013

FoxNews.com
  • eilatmazar1.jpg

    Archaeologist Eilat Mazar shows off her 3,000-year-old Biblical find. (Key to David’s City/Youtube)

  • inscription.jpg

    Reading from left to right, the text is composed of a combination of letters that translate to m, q, p, h, n, (possibly) l, and n and have no known meaning in west-Semitic languages. (Key to David’s City/Youtube)

A 3,000-year-old inscribed piece of an earthenware jug dating back to the time of King David has archaeologists stumped.

The ancient inscription is the earliest alphabetical written text ever found in Jerusalem, according to researchers from Hebrew University who discovered the artifact.

Working near the Temple Mount, head archaeologist Eilat Mazar uncovered the 10th century B.C.E inscription, engraved on a large pithos, a necklace ceramic jar, along with six others at the Ophel excavation site.

The inscription is written in the Canaanite language, a Biblical people who lived in the present-day Israel, and is the only of its kind to be found in Israel. The artifact predates the previously oldest inscription found in the area by 250 years and predates the Biblical Israelites’ rule.

Reading from left to right, the text is composed of a combination of letters that translate to m, q, p, h, n, (possibly) l, and n and have no known meaning in west-Semitic languages.

The meaning of the text remains a mystery but Mazar suspects it relates to the jar’s contents or the name of its owner.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/07/10/earliest-alphabetical-inscription-from-biblical-times-found-in-jerusalem/?intcmp=features#ixzz2Yxr6jrgz

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