A Late Second Temple Period Jewish settlement with a trove of rare bronze coins inside one of its houses has been discovered in Israel.
The 114 bronze coins, which were found inside a ceramic money box and hidden in the corner of a room, date to the fourth year of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans — an uprising that destroyed the Temple on Tisha B’Av about 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported today (Aug. 5).
"The hoard, which appears to have been buried several months prior to the fall of Jerusalem, provides us with a glimpse into the lives of Jews living on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the end of the rebellion," Pablo Betzer and Eyal Marco, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, said in a statement. Read more.
An ancient skeleton unearthed in Israel may contain the oldest evidence of brain damage in a modern human.
The child, who lived about 100,000 years ago, survived head trauma for several years, but suffered from permanent brain damage as a result, new 3D imaging reveals.
Given the brain damage, the child was likely unable to care for himself or herself, so people must have spent years looking after the little boy or girl, according to the researchers who analyzed the 3D images. People from the child’s group left funerary objects in the youngster’s burial pit as well, the study authors said. Read more.
Archaeologists are now onsite at Tel Megiddo, in northern Israel, to continue large-scale excavations at what has often been called the “crown jewel” of archaeological sites of the Levant, or Eastern Mediterranean region.
Led by well-known archaeologists Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University and Eric Cline of the George Washington University, a team of archaeologists, students, volunteers and other specialists will be excavating where they left off in 2012, when they encountered a large building featuring 18 pillars dated to the Iron Age IIA period, (around 1000 BCE). South of the building they uncovered a hoard of six iron daggers and two bronze bowls, dating to the Iron Age I (1200 - 1000 BCE). Read more.
Teams of archaeologists, students and volunteers will return this month to the site of ancient Jaffa on the central coast of Israel to pick up where they left off in 2013, when they uncovered more of the sensational evidence of a fiery destruction at the site’s ancient Amarna period New Kingdom Egyptian fortress gate. The continuing investigations will also include new elements — the search for the ancient harbor complex, and excavation of evidence of a 14th century B.C. destruction layer at the remains of the site’s Lion Temple.
Under the direction of project co-directors Aaron Burke, Associate Professor of the Archaeology of Ancient Israel at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Martin Peilstöcker of the Isral Antiquities Authority, one team will continue the excavations at the famous fourteenth century B.C. Egyptian fortress gate complex, where in 2013 they uncovered the stark remains of an extensive violent destruction. Read more.
An archaeologist with Israel’s Antiquities Authority believes his team has uncovered a metal chisel that may have been used in the construction of the Second Temple, Israeli media are reporting, describing the finding as “extraordinary” and “astonishing.”
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is considered to be the most holy site in Judaism, which stands alongside the Western Wall — that is, the remaining structure of the Second Temple.
“It is a 15 cm [6 inches] long ancient chisel. For the first time, after 2,000 years, we are in the possession of a work tool used by the builders who built the Kotel, the Western Wall,” said Eli Shukron who heads the archaeological dig just south of the Western Wall. Read more.
One of the oldest surviving complete Roman mosaics dating from 1,700 years ago, a spectacular discovery made in Lod in Israel, will go on show at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, UK. The exhibition Predators and Prey: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel is presented in association with the Israel Antiquities Authority and in collaboration with the British Museum, from 5 June – 2 November 2014.
Measuring eight metres long and four metres wide, and in exceptional condition, the Lod mosaic depicts a paradise of birds, animals, shells and fishes, including one of the earliest images of a rhinoceros and a giraffe, richly decorated with geometric patterns and set in lush landscapes. Read more.
The remains of a 1,500-year-old monastery with intact mosaics covering the floor have been uneartehed in southern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday (April 1).
The Byzantine complex, which was discovered near Hura, a Bedouin village in the northern Negev Desert, measures 65 feet by 115 feet (20 by 35 meters). It is arranged on an east-west axis, a common feature in Byzantine churches, and a prayer hall and dining room are decorated with elaborate mosaics that show geometric patterns, leaves, flowers, baskets, jars and birds.
These tiles have managed to retain their vibrant blue, red, yellow and green colors over the centuries. Read more.
The Israeli Antiquities Authority unveiled 11 ancient burial boxes Monday that were recovered by the Israeli Police early Friday morning.
Officials say the boxes are 2,000 years old. Some are engraved with designs and even names, giving clues to their origin and contents. The boxes contain bone fragments and remnants of what experts say is pottery buried with the deceased.
The authority says the boxes were recovered last Friday in Jerusalem when police observed a suspicious nighttime transaction involving two cars, four individuals and the 11 boxes. Once police realized the boxes were of archaeological significance, they alerted the Antiquities Authority. It is not yet clear how the suspects got hold of the boxes. Read more.