archaeology

Ancient mug workshop found near site of Jesus wine miracle

Israeli archeologists on Thursday unveiled a 2,000-year-old workshop for making stone vessels similar to those Jesus is believed to have used to miraculously turn water into wine. Located near the Galilee village of Reineh in northern Israel, the site is walking distance from Cana, the site of a wedding where the Gospel of John says Jesus performed the miracle, his first. The workshop and an adjoining quarry were discovered by chance during the construction of an access road for a new sports centre, excavation director Yonatan Adler said. Since the discovery two months ago, Adler and his team have uncovered fragments of chalkstone mugs and bowls along with thousands of cylindrical chalk cores discarded in the process of hollowing out the vessels with a lathe. They are typical of a period from the second half of the first century BC to the middle of the first century AD. Jews of the period used stoneware for reasons of religious observance, Adler said. “According to ancient Jewish ritual law, vessels made of pottery are easily made impure and must be broken. Stone, on the other hand, was thought to be a material which can never become ritually impure,” he said. That practice was noted in John’s New Testament account of the Cana wedding, which described larger vessels: “There were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews.” “So far at this site we haven’t found production of these large jars,” Adler said. “But presumably the stone jars that would have been used at Cana would have been produced at a site like this, probably in the area.” He said that prior to the Reineh excavation two similar sites had been excavated, both near Jerusalem. “What’s exciting here is that for the first time we have physical evidence of production of stone vessels here in Galilee,” he said. “There has always been a question amongst scholars regarding the nature of Judaism in Galilee,” something particularly important when studying early Christianity, he said. “The question is, who are these people that are living in Galilee?”

Fascinating!!   🙂

Archaeological find in Jerusalem ‘proves Bible passage is historically true’

Archaeologists excavating in Jerusalem have found burned artifacts dating from 2,600 years ago – which prove that a passage in the Bible is true. Researchers uncovered charred wood, grape seeds, fish scales, bones and pottery while digging in the City of David in Jerusalem. The find provides evidence that the Babylonians ‘burned all the houses of Jerusalem’, described in the book of Jeremiah. Researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority found the artifacts beneath layers of rock in the City of David – along with jars with seals which enabled the researchers to date the artifacts. ‘These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period,’ said Dr Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ‘Used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty.’ The fire damage can be dated to 2,600 years ago – which ties with events described in the Bible. The book of Jeremiah says, ‘Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire.’

Fascinating!!  To see the video, click on the text above.   🙂

Hoax or not? 3-fingered ‘humanoid’ mummy reportedly found in Peru, sparks skepticism

A three-fingered mummified body has been reportedly found in Nazca, Peru, with video of the purported body appearing on YouTube. However, researchers have expressed doubt about the discovery, with some calling it a “hoax.” According to website Gaia, the body, which stands 5’6″ tall and appears to look like a human, has three long fingers, an elongated skull and does not have ears or a nose. In a Gaia YouTube video, Professor Konstantin Korotkov of Saint Petersburg University in Russia described the body as belonging to “another creature, another humanoid.” “We’re going to let you know if it’s human, if it’s non-human,” said a Gaia representative, in the video. Jaime Maussan, an investigative journalist from Mexico, introduced the discovery to Gaia filmmakers, who then investigated it further with a larger team. Doubts about the credibility of the body popped up immediately. “Respect my opinion, this is FAKE!,” wrote one commenter on the YouTube video. “Reported to the MIB,” quipped another, referring the famous sci-fi comedy movie “Men in Black.” In an interview with The Express, British UFO author Nigel Watson, described the body as “a plaster cast model,” dubbing it “110 perfect fake.” Fact-checking and research site Snopes.com also questioned the credibility of the discovery. Though examples of elongated skulls have been found in Peru, dating back thousands of years, experts attribute this to an ancient practice of artificial cranial deformation, according to Snopes.com. This body in the Gaia video appears to be covered in a white powder to preserve the remains. Carbon dating from the body appears to show it being from 245-410 AD, according to the Gaia video, but additional tests are underway, including DNA sequencing, as well as a CAT scan.

Things that make ya’ go, “hmmm…”  To see the video, click on the text above, and you be the judge.    🙂

Egyptologists examine ‘sensational’ discovery: a fake toe

Think losing a toe in ancient Egypt meant you’d be forever without one? Not so, at least in one case. Egyptologists from Switzerland’s University of Basel have since 2015 been studying what a press release calls an “ancient Egyptian elite cemetery” near Luxor, and one of its finds was small but big: one of the oldest prosthetic devices ever found, which served to replace the right foot’s big toe and was made with incredible skill. The 3,000-year-old prosthesis was discovered in the upper-class tomb of a priest’s daughter at plundered burial site Sheikh ‘Abd el-Qurna and has now been re-examined. Not only is it attractive and functional, but “the mobility of the prosthetic extension and the robust structure of the belt strap” show it was made by an artisan who was “very familiar” with the human form. At the Conversation, Jane Draycott of the University of Glasgow notes prostheses have also been found in ancient Greece, and advancements in this field likely followed war as soldiers with missing extremities returned home. It isn’t clear what happened to the priest’s daughter, but researchers believe her toe was amputated and a pricey prosthetic fitted in its place. Using microscopy and X-rays, they determined the wooden toe was actually refitted at least three times, per UPI. It shows “she had a certain living standard,” researcher Andrea Loprieno-Gnirs tells Swiss Info. Ancient Egyptians “often wore sandals, so you can imagine that a well-formed foot was important,” she adds, calling the prosthetic an “extraordinary” and “sensational find.”

Fascinating!!  To see a photo of this, click on the text above.

Scientists find oldest known specimens of the human species

The bones of ancient hunters unearthed in Morocco are the oldest known specimens of the human species, potentially pushing back the clock on the origin of modern Homo sapiens, scientists announced Wednesday. Found among stone tools and the ashes of ancient campfires, the remains date from about 300,000 years ago, a time when the Sahara was green and several early human species roamed the world, the scientists said. That makes them about 100,000 years older than any other fossils of Homo sapiens—the species to which all people today belong. “These dates were a big wow,” said anthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Leipzig, Germany. He led an international team of scientists who reported the discovery Wednesday in Nature. “This material represents the very roots of our species—the very oldest Homo sapiens found in Africa or anywhere.” Until now, most researchers believed that modern humankind emerged gradually from a population centered in East Africa around 200,000 years ago. Previous discoveries of early Homo sapiens fossils have been concentrated at sites in Ethiopia.

‘King’ polar bear skull found in northern Alaska may solve mystery

Archeologists studying the existence of “king” polar bears find information on these bears elusive. There is little information available from the indigenous people in northern Alaska. But scientists say that they recovered the fourth largest polar bear skull ever recorded after a storm in 2014, the website Western Digs reported. The skull is just over 16 inches long and forms a bit of a cone in the back. It is believed to be 1,300 years old and may offer a glimpse into the past ecosystem in the region. Archeologists are searching around Walapka, which is just south of Barrow. She said that 4,000 years ago their residents may have lived alongside the mammoth bear. Dr. Anne Jensen told the website that those living in the area, descendants of the indigenous people, talk about mythological stories of “king bears” that were 12 feet long. She said the skull belonged to a fully grown bear because “all the cranial sutures” are fused together. “The front part of the skull, from roughly the eyes forward, is like that of typical polar bears,” Jensen told the magazine. “The back part of the skull is noticeably longer than other bear skulls to which we were able to compare it.” Polar bears, as we know them today, are generally between 4’4 to 6’6. Jensen said it was possible that this skull belonged to a “subspecies.” She was asked if there is likely more polar bears this size wandering around in the arctic and she said “certainly.”

Fascinating!!   🙂

Biblical king’s palace uncovered beneath shrine destroyed by ISIS

Archaeologists in Mosul have made a stunning find beneath the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah that was destroyed by Islamic State militants in 2014: the long-hidden palace of ancient Assyrian King Sennacherib. Experts were documenting the jihadists’ destruction of the tomb’s ruins when they located the palace, which dates back to 600 B.C. ISIS had dug tunnels into the site in a search for ancient artifacts to plunder, according to media reports. The Telegraph reports that Iraqi archaeologist Layla Salih found a marble cuneiform inscription of Assyrian King Esarhaddon inside one of the tunnels. The inscription is believed to date to 672 B.C. when the palace was part of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. One of the earliest forms of writing, cuneiform harnesses wedge-shaped marks and was widely used in ancient Mesopotamian civilizations. The palace was built for the Assyrian King Sennarcherib, expanded by his son Esarhaddon, and renovated by his grandson King Ashurbanipal, according to the Telegraph, which notes that the palace was partly destroyed during the sack of Nineveh in 612 B.C. Sennacherib’s invasion of the ancient kingdom of Judah is extensively documented in the Bible. Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal are also mentioned in scripture, although feature less prominently. Elsewhere in the tunnel, archaeologists found ancient Assyrian stone sculptures of a demi-goddess, the Telegraph reports. The Tomb of Jonah, or Nebi Yunus in Arabic, is located on a hill in Eastern Mosul. The site was recaptured from ISIS by the Iraqi army last month during its Mosul offensive. Jonah is revered in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions. The Prophet’s tomb, which was located within a Sunni mosque, was destroyed by ISIS militants in July 2014.

Just awful..  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.