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Rome & Jerusalem
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Rome & Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations
Certainly traditional Jewish explanations of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE speak of it as something that had to happen. Most teachings maintain that causeless hatred was the reason for the disaster, citing the murderous factional fighting among Jerusalem's defenders prior to the city's fall. Others brood on the wickedness of "Edom," the code word for Rome, as something that meant a violent collision with Jews sooner or later.
Not, so, claims Martin Goodman, professor of Jewish studies at Oxford University and a specialist in the period. Jerusalem's fall, and the consequent loss of status of Jews in the Roman Empire, was mostly sheer bad luck.

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L

Posts: 131433
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Jerusalem
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Infrastructure work for the Jerusalem Light Railway uncovered a Roman-era Jewish community in the northern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat. The Israel Antiquities Authority is conduction rescue excavations of the site. The infrastructure work is for the second part of the railway line to the neighbourhood of Neve Yaakov.
The town dates from the period immediately after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. A 400-dunam (100-acre) area of the town has been uncovered, including a network of streets and alleys, public buildings, residences, and mikvot. The town is east of the Roman road from Jerusalem to Nablus, and is the largest Jewish town discovered in the proximity of Jerusalem from this time.

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A UN report is calling for an immediate halt to work by the Israeli authorities at a Jerusalem site holy to both Muslims and Jews.
Excavation works close to the Haram al-Sharif/the Temple Mount compound have sparked angry Muslim protests.
The report published today says Israel must draw up a new work plan for the contested site.
It also calls for consultation between Israel, the Muslim authorities and Jordan over the excavation works.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Al Mughrba gate
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Islamic officials stepped up their calls for Israel to stop excavation acts at Al Mughrba gate which leads to Al Aqsa mosque saying that they are resented because they were not informed by the discovery of Remains of an ancient Muslim prayer room in the site three years ago.
Israeli Yeodit Ahranot newspaper reported Sunday that the Israeli officials kept the discovery of the prayer room traced back to the Al-Ayyubi Period.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Jerusalem excavations
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The Israeli authorities have installed cameras to film excavation work being carried out near the Temple Mount or Haram Sharif in East Jerusalem.
The footage will be broadcast live on the internet.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Al-Aqsa mosque excavation
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An Israeli archaeological dig near Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque will continue, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said yesterday, despite a freeze on plans to build a walkway to the compound housing the shrine.
The Haaretz newspaper’s website had reported the Jewish Quarter Development Company, a government agency, had withdrawn its request for a permit to build a pedestrian bridge to the complex known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Second Temple
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Archaeological remains point to exact location of Second Temple, says Hebrew University professor
While scholars have put forth various assessments for the location of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, a Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor says that archaeological remains that have so far been ignored by scholars point to the exact location, which is in a spot that differs from prevailing opinion. .
The location identified by Prof. Joseph Patrich of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology places the Temple and its corresponding courtyards, chambers and gates in a more southeasterly and diagonal frame of reference than have earlier scholars.
In spotting the Temple in this way, Patrich concludes that the rock, over which the Dome of the Rock mosque was built in the 7th century C.E. is outside the confines of the Temple. The rock is considered by Moslems to be the spot from which Muhammad ascended to heaven and for Jews the place at which the binding of Isaac took place.
Patrich basis his proposal on a study of a large underground cistern on the Temple Mount that was mapped by British engineer Sir Charles Wilson in 1866 on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
The giant cistern, 4.5 meters wide and 54 meters long, lay near the southeastern corner of the upper platform of the Temple Mount. It had a southeasterly orientation with branches extending north and south

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Jerusalem
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Israel Wednesday continued public works under heavy police guard near Jerusalem's volatile mosque compound despite hefty Arab-Muslim protests slamming the project for endangering the holy site.
In the first high-profile detention since Israel began initial excavations Tuesday, police arrested the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel when he refused to stop a public protest in Jerusalem's Old City.
Some 2,000 police officers have fanned out across the Old City and around what is the most contested holy site in the Middle East, revered by Muslims as their third holiest site and by Jews as the Temple Mount.

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L

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Building a housing complex or a road in the Holy Land can often have grave implications.
Ancient cemeteries, burial caves from biblical times and centuries-old artefacts have been unearthed during construction work in Israel over the years, forcing contractors by law to call in archaeologists and sometimes halt building projects.
In Holyland Park, a complex of apartments being built on a hill in Jerusalem, archaeologists will soon finish removing bones and other remnants from a field of 40 tombs estimated to be 3,700 years old.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Bronze Age Jerusalem
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Near one of modern Jerusalem's most exclusive residential projects and largest shopping mall, an archaeological dig is shedding light on the living, shopping and eating habits of the residents of a Bronze Age city. A newly discovered ancient burial site in Bayit Vagan has proved to be an invaluable find. Atop the hill where the Holyland Park Project is being expanded, the cemetery is believed to have belonged to the Canaanite settlement situated where the Malha mall now stands. Research archaeologist Dr. Ianir Milevski, who has overseen the excavations since the outset, believes the cemetery dates back to the Middle Bronze Age IIB period, around 1750-1550 BCE.

"The site appears to have been a burial ground in the Early Bronze Age IV (2200-2000 BCE) but was then reused by the locals 300 years later" - Dr. Ianir Milevski.

The graves consist of a shaft bored two meters down into the rock leading to an oval chamber dug underground which housed the bodies. Since the site was last used as a cemetery, there is evidence that the area was then quarried, probably by workers during the Roman period. The discovery of around 40 graves on the site during a dig that began in June and ended last week "came as a surprise," according to Milevski. He predicts that they could discover as many as 100 graves by the time the whole area has been excavated.
In the Middle Bronze Age period, unlike countries such as Egypt where the whole country was ruled by one central government, the Holy Land was divided into city-states. Jerusalem was the political fulcrum of one such state, with its own water system and fortified city walls. The settlements dotted around the city relied on agriculture and animal husbandry to survive, though evidence suggests that those buried at the Bayit Vagan site were not living on the breadline.

"We found intricate bone inlays as well as beads and other jewellery, which suggests that the residents owned more than just rude implements. The carnelian and amethyst used to make many of the beads are not from the region. Neither is the copper which is present in many of the weapons and tools - the nearest source of copper was in South Jordan. We also found evidence of asphalt, which most likely came from the Dead Sea area" - Dr. Ianir Milevski.

Much of the pottery and weapons found contained materials that must have been acquired by trade, rather than locally made.
There is also evidence to suggest that, while most of the pottery was made locally, the inhabitants also had special sets of Tel Yehudieh ware, which could have been made in Afula. These finer utensils would have been used for special occasions or religious ceremonies.
Due to the reburial of the remains found on the site, the archaeologists were not able to take DNA samples which could have helped them map the genealogy of the previous inhabitants. DNA testing could also have been used to study which diseases were prevalent at the time. However, the additional discovery of animal remains gives the archaeologists a better picture of the kind of farming the residents did.

"We found the bones of what appear to be sheep, goats and pigs. We also found evidence that the locals cultivated cereal crops as well" - Dr. Ianir Milevski.

The settlement was definitely a permanent one - the excavations in Malha showed that the people lived in multi-roomed houses and farmed in the area around the buildings. One of the disinterred bodies appeared to have been dressed in full warrior uniform - axe, dagger and metal belt - which suggests that some of the residents may have been fighters while the others spent their time doing more sedate work in the fields. Each settlement would likely have had its own security team, to repel any hostile invaders from outside the village.
Milevski is ambivalent about the role of private building contractors in the discovery of the cemetery.

"On the one hand it is a good thing that they were working here, so that the burial ground was discovered. On the other hand, once we have mapped the site and excavated the remains, the builders will destroy what remains" - Dr. Ianir Milevski.

He agrees that without the construction work many unearthed sites would lie undiscovered, because the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) does not conduct archaeological excavations on sites that will not be destroyed by development projects. Licenses are often granted to local or foreign universities, who pay their own costs to excavate new sites, but in the case of builders discovering remains, the cost is split between the contractors and the state.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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