Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "Christianity"

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’”

The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”

The finding was made public in Rome on Tuesday at an international meeting of Coptic scholars by the historian Karen L. King, who has published several books about new Gospel discoveries and is the first woman to hold the nation’s oldest endowed chair, the Hollis professor of divinity. Read more.

Now that the word about “the Jesus Discovery” is out in the open, outside experts are weighing in — and many of them look upon the robotic exploration of a 1st-century Jerusalem tomb as a technological tour de force resulting in an archaeological faux pas.

On one level, the “Jesus Discovery” investigators saw this project as a follow-up on the sensational claim they made five years earlier in "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," that Jesus and members of his family were buried in what is now a southeast residential neighborhood of Jerusalem. On another level, they set forth what they said were the earliest known evidence of Christian references in the Holy City — in the form of an inscription referring to resurrection on one casket, and a fishlike design on another casket.

Today, several experts specializing in 1st-century Christianity said the investigators failed to make their case on either level. Read more.

unique runestone that is the first to mention Norway as a country and that documents the establishment of Christianity there, has been placed on a list of world heritage documents of international importance.

The “Kuli Stone” is the oldest object in the newly launched register of Norway’s list of documents to be included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme. The programme is an international register of documents that are seen as important aspects of our shared international heritage. The Norwegian version was launched on 8 February 2012 and lists documents that are especially important in Norway’s history and to its cultural heritage.

The text on the Kuli Stone is the first known occurrence and use of the term “Nóregi” – “Norway” – in the country it names.  The stone has additional importance as it also dates to the establishment of Christianity in the country in a phrase that is often transcribed as:

“… twelve winters Christianity had been in Norway”. Read more.

Early Christian remains have been uncovered by contractors working on the largest energy project in the country.

The medieval burial ground was discovered on farmland in Rush, north Dublin, in June as EirGrid laid piping for a high voltage direct current (HVDC) underground power line.

Radiocarbon tests at Queens University, Belfast, have revealed the site dates back to the seventh century, from between 617 to 675 AD.

Archaeologists would not speculate on the number of remains on the site but confirmed they were pre-Viking and from the conversion period of Christianity.

John Fitzgerald, project director with Eirgrid, said: “It is an interesting historical discovery for the project, local archaeologists and the local community. Read more.

AERIAL photographs showing a faint line in fields around a village in Highland Perthshire have mystified archaeologists for decades. Crop marks in the village of Fortingall, famous for its 5,000-year-old yew tree, seem to indicate an ancient boundary long since buried and forgotten.

Now an archaeological dig may have uncovered the secret: the site is believed to have been a royal monastery dating from the time when the Picts were converting to Christianity more than 1,300 years ago.

Dr Oliver O’Grady and a band of local volunteers opened up two exploratory trenches to reveal a wide bank faced with large upright stones that may have once stood as high as two metres.

O’Grady believes the bank to be the remains of a Pictish monastic enclosure, also known as a vallum monastery, possibly dating somewhere between the 6th and 8th centuries AD. “It’s in a beautiful state of preservation,” said O’Grady, “and one of the best upstanding pieces of Pictish archaeology that I’ve ever seen. Read more.

In the cool living room of a stone-built house in Northern Israel I might just have held in my hands the keys to the ancient mysteries of Christianity.

And then again, I might not have.

With the blinds shuttered against the glare of the midday sun my host, Hassan Saeda, lays out a collection of extraordinary books which he says are about 2,000 years old.

Flowing of hair and neat of beard, he bears a distracting resemblance to an illustration of Christ from an old children’s Bible. It lends the scene an air of extra gravity.

The books - bindings, pages, covers and all - are made entirely of various metals.

They are inscribed - or engraved, stamped or embossed - with various simple pictures and writing in a variety of languages including Greek and Old Hebrew.

And they are astonishingly heavy. Some are no larger than a credit card but some are the size of large-format modern paperbacks. The largest that I handled probably weighed 4 or 5kg (about 10lbs).

You can see why the publishing industry was eventually won over by the flexibility and portability of paper. Read more.

Archeologists have unearthed remains of a church in an ancient city in the Mediterranean province of Isparta, head of the team said on Monday.

Archeologists have unearthed remains of a church in an ancient city in the Mediterranean province of Isparta, head of the team said on Monday.

Associate Professor Mehmet Ozhanli, the head of Suleyman Demirel University’s Archeology Department who heads excavations in the ancient city of Pisidian Antioch, said they had discovered remains of a church during their excavations.

"We have found the remains of a three-nave church one and a half meters below the surface," Ozhanli told AA correspondent.

Ozhanli said the building was constructed as a Pagan temple, however it was converted to a church after the spread of Christianity.

"This is the fifth church we have brought to daylight in this ancient city," Ozhanli said.

Ozhanli said this recently found church was also below the Men Temple, and the number of churches in the area rose to six.

"This indicates that this area was an important center for Christianity, and it was the capital of Pisidia," Ozhanli said. Read more.

Hidden number 15 key to authorship and dating claims expert

Rome - The Holy Shroud of Turin, one of the most venerated objects of Christianity, was made by Italian pre-Renaissance artistic great Giotto, an Italian expert says.

Luciano Buso, who has written a book on his sensational claim, says several veiled appearances of the number 15, hidden in the fabric by the artist, indicate Giotto created the shroud in 1315.

This would coincide with carbon dating, contested by religious experts, which dates the shroud to the early 14th century, Buso contends.

“I have examined extremely clear photos of the Shroud and spotted a number of occurrences of the number 15, in the face (of Christ), the hands, and in one case even shaped to look like a long cross,” said Buso, a painter and art restorer from Treviso.

The great late-Gothic artist did not mean to perpetrate a hoax when he created the Shroud, Buso contends.

“He wasn’t trying to fake anything, which is clear from the fact that he signed it ‘Giotto 15’, to authenticate it as his own work from 1315”.

Countless pilgrims visit the Shroud, believed to be the sheet Christ’s body was wrapped in after the Crucifixion, in a Turin church every year. (source)