In addition to its significant archaeological relevance, Shiloh is important
for being mentioned in the Bible as being the site of the Jewish Tabernacle for
369 years. Dr. Stripling supports
this claim though some archaeologists disagree. The claim is
difficult to prove since the Tabernacle was a portable structure and had few
elements that would remain intact to this day.
Three altar horns were discovered during ABR’s excavations at Shiloh, Israel
this season. Horn one: 38 cm long and 23.5 cm wide (15” x 9.25”). One of the
few elements that would stand against the sands of time was the stone
horn-shaped edge of an altar the researchers believe dates to the Iron Age
(1200–586 BCE ). The horns were an essential part of the altar and used in the
Slaughter the bull before Hashem, at the entrance of the Tent of
Meeting, and take some of the bull’s blood and put it on the horns of the mizbayach
with your finger; then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the mizbayach.
The horns also the means of obtaining sanctuary, though this was not always
effective. Yoav attempted to use this as a means of obtaining sanctuary from
King Solomon but was struck down anyway by order of the king.
When the news reached Yoav, he fled
to the Tent of Hashem and grasped the horns of the mizbayach—for Yoav
had sided with Adoniyahu,
though he had not sided with Avshalom…
So Benaiah son of Yehoyada
went up and struck him down. And he was buried at his home in the wilderness. I Kings
The horns were also described as an essential element of the soon-to-be
And the height of the mizbayach hearth shall be 4 amot, with 4
horns projecting upward from the hearth: 4 amot. Ezekiel
According to Biblical accounts, the Tabernacle stood in Shiloh until the
First Temple was built in Jerusalem. The age of the find is significant as
archeologists have discovered a change of cultures in the region, transitioning
in the period between 1200 BCE – 1000 BCE from a Canaanite culture to the
Tribes of Israel and the Philistines.
Last year, the team uncovered a ceramic pomegranate, a motif that has been
found at other sites connected with the priests. Dr. Stripling believes the
ceramic ornament fitted with hooks hung from the hen of the priestly garments
as described in the Bible.
On its hem make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, all around
the hem, with bells of gold between them all around:a golden bell and a
pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. Exodus
“The pomegranate is a sacred motif,” he said. “The only sites in Israel
where we have found pomegranates like this one have been Levitical sites.”
They also discovered many pithoi, a Greek term for large clay containers
commonly used among the civilizations that bordered the Mediterranean Sea in
the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the succeeding Iron Age for storing fluids
and grains. In an interview with the Jerusalem
Post, Dr. Stripling theorized that the pithoi were used to store
the tithes that were brought to the tabernacle.
“The artifacts and materials we have found are consistent with the
Tabernacle but the Tabernacle itself was made of animal skins,” Stripling
explained. “Very little of the Tabernacle would remain for us to find.”
“I can tell with 100 percent certainty that there were Israelites in Shiloh
because of the many indicators we have,” Dr. Stripling told Breaking Israel
News. “The pottery shows that they were there when the Bible says they were
there. I cannot yet say that I have 100 percent archaeological evidence the
Jewish Tabernacle stood at Shiloh. We do find many reasons to seek confirmation
of the Biblical text. There are indications, like the large amount of animal
bones that are consistent with the Biblical sacrificial system, and the large
east-west walls we are excavating.”
Pseudo archaeology , and some of its more controversial claims, have long been the subject of extensive debate among mainstream scholars and the general public. From ancient aliens , creation myths, and races of giants, these subjects are part of a very obscure niche of historical research. But why is it so? Why are these stories so out of the realm of the possible?
Today we’ll try to answer that
question, as we dig into the story of the Brewer Cave – a purported discovery
of an ancient giant burial in Ohio, USA. When it first
appeared, this sensational story opened up a whole new level of connections
with other similar discoveries, furthering the possibility that there actually
might be some truth to the hard-to-believe story of ancient giants.
Join us as we descend into the world
of old Native legends, covered up archaeology finds, and the most shocking hoax
stories of the 20th century. Will we discover the truth? I think it’s certainly
somewhere out there.
the Brewer Cave
The story of the Brewer Cave begins
in the 1950’s. The cave, which remains unidentified, is claimed to be located
somewhere close to Manti, Utah. It gets its name from one Mr. John Brewer, who
discovered this cave sometimes around 1955, when he was only 22 years old.
According to the “legend”, as many
now describe it, Mr. Brewer was immediately attracted to the cave as he noticed
telltale details of soot on the ceiling, and he knew that something more was to
be found within. That was the case – the cavern opened into a rectangular
chamber in which Brewer allegedly discovered an ancient burial site , a chamber filled with grave goods and two Caucasoid (white)
mummies, which were of such a great size that they were recognized as giants.
The problem with the story of Brewer
Cave is the fact that this burial chamber was witnessed only by John Brewer and
his son, and seemingly no one else. An avid researcher, Brewer didn’t want to
share his discovery with the Smithsonian Institute and other official sources,
fearing the magnitude of such a discovery wouldn’t be received as properly as
Still, Brewer left behind him
detailed sketches of the burial chamber, drawings of the mummies, and a collection of highly
unusual and well preserved items, which even today remain a matter of much
heated debate. Numerous stone artifacts, finely carved, were discovered,
alongside copper spearheads, arrowheads, jewelry, pottery, and numerous
Brewer heard of this cave
beforehand, from an elderly man by the name of George Keller. Keller visited
the chamber in his youth, when it was shown to him by the local Native, Lone
Eagle. It was located in the mountains which the Natives lived in, and was considered a
sacred site, called the “Cave of the Great Spirit”.
Keller, many decades after, in the
50’s, shared that story with John Brewer, immediately stirring his interest.
Brewer originally intended to search around this location in order to unearth
arrowheads, which he collected. But after his initial discoveries, Brewer
realized that he was on the verge of discovering something much more than
John Brewer claimed to have
discovered this chamber behind the Temple Hill at Manti, Utah, more precisely at a hill behind
it. After his initial surveying of the chamber, he made repeated returns to it,
making it a sort of “in situ” research place. He kept a detailed journal of his
discoveries, logging all items after careful studying.
Now, this journal, much like the
whole story, is subject to great doubt, leading to claims that it is not
authentic and in fact fabricated. This stems from the claim from Brewer
himself, who stated that no one saw his journal = he kept it secret.
Terry Carter, a leading researcher
of the Brewer Cave story, from the Ancient Historical Research Foundation,
stated that : “..I have come to the confident conclusion that this is indeed
John Brewer’s own excerpts, from his own personal journal.”
Princely Grave – The Artifacts of Brewer Cave Burial Chamber
The burial chamber was accessed
through a 30 foot (9 meter) entrance. At its end were five steps that led to
the doorway and into the chamber. According to Brewers own detailed sketches of
the site, there was a trap at the entrance – a hole of unknown depth that was
present after the fifth step of the stairs. The trap was traversed by a hidden
side passage that went around it.
Once inside, the relatively small
chamber was roughly squared shape with a protruding T-shape area which remained
unexplored by Brewer. After initial surveys, Brewer discovered a number of
artifacts and elements in the chamber. The basic discoveries were arrowheads
and pottery objects.
This was followed by a number of
quite odd items – a small “book”, measuring 2.25 x 3.25 x 4 inches (5.7 x 8.3 x
10.2 centimeters), which was a binding of several copper plates that resembled
a book. This was bound in copper strips and encased in a mud cover, supposedly
to preserve it. After the painstaking removal of mud, Brewer discovered that
the copper pages were inscribed with
numerous undecipherable writings – strange symbols and “letters” consisting of
many little lines.
plates purportedly discovered in the Brewer Cave. (Terry Carter / YouTube)
There were also stamped scorpion symbols and many other
details, all of which were stamped. The tools with which these were stamped
were also discovered. This was followed by a good deal of other small plates,
this time not bound.
Some were copper and some were made
of gold. All of them were covered in what looked like texts, although in an
unknown writing system.
Another find was a small object that
looked like a bell. It was roughly made out of lead and covered with more of
the writings. It was followed by a number of lead plates, once more, covered
with strange inscriptions and diagrams. Brewer also discovered several large
stone tablets, incised with the odd symbols.
One of these he accidentally struck
with his pick during his excavations. Photographs of all these items exist –
and many were gifted to friends. Most of them seem genuine – i.e. seemingly of
an ancient origin, possessing the patina, the wear and tear that is generally
ascribed to ancient findings.
The next major discovery in the
chamber was a set of stone boxes. These were overlooked at first by Brewer,
since they were carefully covered in a layer of mud and thus camouflaged into
the walls. When mud was removed, Brewer discovered several stone boxes which
were carefully covered in juniper bark and resin – seemingly for preservation.
Beneath the bark were perfectly
carved rectangular boxes with lids – inside were housed elongated copper
tablets with inscriptions. The outside of the boxes were carved with intricate
designs, displaying images that are oddly out of place for the North American
continent – or are they?
One box, entirely covered with
symbols, writings, and drawings, had a large engraving of a boat – with
displayed oars, a swelled sail, and a (dragonhead ?) prow. Another box was
adorned with a carving of a chariot with horses and a winged man, among other
The tree bark in which the boxes
were preserved in, was radiocarbon dated – Steven E. Jones,
Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University stated: “With a radiocarbon
age of 5 BC to 390 BC, the Brewer bark sample is thus scientifically
demonstrated to be very old. […] The bark used to cover the stone box in
question is indeed ancient.”
But the most controversial discovery
lay hidden behind the wall itself. Sometime after the initial discovery of the
chamber, John Brewer and his son stumbled upon a pair of sarcophagi – stacked one on top the
other. The lower one held the preserved body of a woman, while the top one held
the body of a man. Brewer, wishing to preserve them as much as possible and not
cause excess disturbing of the remains, made careful examinations and his son
drew detailed sketches, since photography was not at their disposal at the
were covered with woven “straw-like” blankets, and three more subsequent cover,
all covered with resin which could have led to partial preservation of the
bodies. According to the sketches and Brewer’s writings, the mummies were
preserved to a good extent, and of very great size.
The male was around 9 feet 2 inches
(2.80 meters) tall, and 4 feet (1.21 meters) across the shoulders and had red
hair and beard. The female mummy was 8 feet 10 inches (2.46 meters) and had
blonde hair. Both were elaborately decorated with golden items – crowns and
breastplates and shoulder pads. The female had a much more elaborate crown of
great size and golden coverings on her breasts.
– the Conquered Red Haired Giants
The story of the Brewer Cave is not
the only of its kind. It connects directly to the numerous other documented
excavations of a similar nature, which are oddly always obscure and considered
on the fringe of modern archaeology. Most of those professional or amateur
archaeologists and researchers often claim that their findings, and other such
discoveries through the 20th and 19th centuries, were actively suppressed and
kept secret by the Smithsonian Institute and the government. Why? We might
But the stories of copper plates
inscribed with strange writings, of advanced objects and out of place carvings,
and of giant red haired mummies are numerous across the United States and often
partially documented, so much so, that they cross deeply into the realm of
In fact, similar writings on copper
and gold plates were discovered all across America: Among the Shawnee and Creek
Indians of Alabama in 1791, in New York in 1923, All over the Upper Midwest in
the 1800’s, among the Ojibway Indians of Lake Superior in 1850, in Illinois in
1843, and the list goes on. Moreover, discoveries of giants – both mummified
and skeletons – were reported from as
early as 17th century all the way to the modern age – all over the USA.
All were reported 9 feet (2.7
meters) and taller, and most of them bearing Caucasian features and red hair.
Discoveries from Kanab, Salt Lake City, the Santa Catalina island, the Belt
Mountains in Montana in 1889, West Virginia in 1883, Mississippi 1884, Nevada
1947, etc. – all of these giant mummy discoveries bear striking resemblance
to the documented finds in Brewer Cave, since they too were accompanied by
varied metal plates bearing inscriptions.
One similar find that made the
headlines is of the famous Lovelock
Cave in Nevada. This is perhaps one of the single most
important archaeological sites in North America, yet its finds are oddly
obscure and difficult to trace. There were over 10,000 ancient discoveries
under several feet of bat guano (excrement) which were quite old and fit
strangely with a particular Native myth.
Among the many interesting
discoveries of Lovelock, were also the mummified remains of red haired giants,
and remnants of human bones which were cannibalized. This discovery, made in
the early 1910’s, fit with uncanny precision with the ancient legend of the Northern Paiute
The oral history of this tribe,
passed down for generations, is centered around the Si-Te-Cah – a race
of red haired giants as described by the Paiute myth. The myth speaks of the
arrival (by migration) of the Paiute into the Great Basin region. Here they
encountered the Si-Te-Cah and were since constantly at war with them.
These giants were cannibalistic and
consumed the Paiute. They were also called Numa Ticutta by the Paiutes,
which meant “People Eaters”. After a prolonged conflict, a coalition of Paiute
bands drove the remaining Si-Te-Cah into the Lovelock Cave , trapping them there.
The myth states that brush was burned at the cave’s mouth, thus killing all the
Since then, the Paiute were named
the Say-Do-Carah – “The Conquerors”. When the discovery in the Lovelock
Cave was made, it certainly gave a lot of credibility to a seemingly whimsical
Native myth. One of the prominent Paiute figures, Sarah Winnemucca, described
an ancient family heirloom she owned, of a battle dress that was adorned with
red hair – seemingly a memorabilia of the earliest Paiute history.
the Pieces of the Puzzle
All the findings of giant mummies
are often quickly discarded, seemingly “disappearing” under very improbable
circumstances, and are immediately discredited as being “fringe” and
“fantastical”. But once we delve deeper into the (almost) countless discoveries
that were made and documented throughout history, after
we connect the dots and build upon the exhaustive research made by past
researchers, we can finally start seeing a much larger picture of a history
that remains hidden before the eyes of the world.
remains discovered at Lovelock Cave have disappeared. (The Giants Of The
Lovelock Cave / YouTube)
What at first seemed a hoax, quickly
gets the distinct features of a genuine archaeological discovery. And Brewer
Cave story bears all the signs of being genuine. Why does Smithsonian so
actively discredit these findings.
Why are remains – previously on
display – being removed from the eyes of society and policies actively changed
to cover them up? We might never know the true reason, but once the pieces of
the puzzle begin setting into place, we can realize that perhaps the history of
North America isn’t what we thought thus far.
Who were the original settlers of
this continent? Who were these fair skinned peoples of great stature that left
so many traces behind them. Could it be that they were the original mound
builder cultures? Who left a vast number of mounds, many of which were razed to
the ground –for reasons unknown to us.
Whatever the truth is, it remains
hidden in mist. It is up to us to discover it, and piece the puzzle of the
ancient history of North America.
Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest temple, is around 12,000 years old. It was built by hunter-gatherers in the pre-pottery Neolithic period, before writing and the wheel were invented. Göbeklitepe has rewritten the history of human civilization.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2018, the site began to
attract travelers and history enthusiasts from all over the world. The Turkish
Ministry of Tourism and Culture designated 2019 as the Year of Göbeklitepe with
over a million visitors expected.
As such, Göbeklitepe is
the most important archaeological site in the world. It is a small hill on the
horizon, 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) northwest of the town of Urfa in Southern
Anatolia. Called “the town of prophets” Urfa has been linked with the
biblical Abraham (some
claim that Urfa was the town of Ur mentioned in the Bible) and was known to
have hosted the Holy Mandylion.
Once also known as Edessa,
Urfa is on the edge of the rainy area of the Taurus
Mountains , source of the river that runs through the town and joins
the Euphrates. Urfa was (and still is) an oasis, which could explain why
Göbeklitepe was built nearby.
A life-sized limestone
statue found in Urfa, at the pond known as Balikli Göl, has
been carbon-dated to 10,000 – 9,000 BC, making it the earliest known stone
sculpture ever found. Its eyes are made of obsidian.
Some believe that Göbeklitepe was
a major step in the evolution of religion and the human connection with God –
that it marks the beginning of civilization and might be the root of the
world’s three great monotheistic religions. Göbeklitepe is a vast collection of
stone structures built by Stone Age hunter-gatherers.
Construction started about 12 millennia ago and continued for approximately
T-Shaped Pillars Symbolizing Humans Found at
A typical structure consists of a circle of standing pillars built from
stones up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) tall. These pillars each weighed as much as
20 tons (9.1 quintals) and each was carved out of a solid block of granite.
They were pried out and moved a few hundred feet using only wooden levers.
The pillars were then erected vertically into a base that had been carved
into the bedrock. Some researchers estimate this would have required many clans
to come together – perhaps 500 people at a time – to both build and feed the
Each circle is about 30 feet (9.1 meters) in diameter. One circle has 12
stones spaced around its perimeter and two stones in the middle. Only a few of
these circles have been excavated so far and the site is already massive. Every
circle has two massive T-shaped pillars at the center of the circle.
The T-shaped pillars at
Göbeklitepe. ( muratart / Adobe Stock)
Piled up stones serve as a wall to make this circle an enclosure. Smaller
pillars surround the area. Some think these T-shaped pillars once held up a
thatched roof or other material; others believe they symbolize humans.
This is what I also believe that the builders of Göbeklitepe wanted to attract
of the gods , above the stars, in order to interact with them.
Most of the pillar carvings are of animals. But there are also the ones that
are anthropomorphic or in the shape of a human. This was a project similar to
building the pyramids of Egypt. But building with stones that
weigh tons began here in Göbeklitepe, long before Egypt or England with
What Was the Reason Beyond…
Why was this huge project built?
One thing is clear to the excavators — this site was not a place to live.
There is no sign of food storage or farming and it has no evident purpose. Its
mission must purely be a religious one. It has been declared the oldest known
structure built as a temple.
My point of view for the mysterious Göbeklitepe, which harbors many secrets,
is as follows:
One of the most important changes in the history of humanity was taking
place in the area between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris about 12,000 years
ago. Humankind was just beginning to move from the forager lifestyle to a
settled way of living – from hunting and gathering to farming and production.
This transition period took maybe a few centuries or even a millennium.
Initially they witnessed a seed from a fruit turning into a crop, emerging from
the earth and blooming as a process of rebirth! This might have been the reason
for them to start burying their dead and hoping for a rebirth in due time.
Various types of gods with supernatural powers were interrupting their daily
life with climate changes and natural disasters. And there was one thing they
were sure of: that they must please the gods, behaving as the gods wished them
In order to save the lives of their loved ones – to see their deceased
family members re-born – and in order to start farming,
men believed that they must come to terms with all gods.
They thought that they needed the approval of supernatural powers to shift
to a settled life and start farming. When would it rain, when would it storm or
hail, or turn everything upside down with earthquakes? Would the sun god, moon
god, or other gods, which seemed sometimes to punish men and make them afraid,
allow them to farm, to cultivate and harvest?
Seeking the Permission of Gods for Farming
Men tried to placate the gods to avoid their anger and to keep them
satisfied. As the gods punished them with natural
disasters , taking many lives when they became angry, men sought a
way to mollify the gods, killing some of their own to ward off the gods’ rage,
thinking that the gods were satisfied when these people or animals were sacrificed.
Did they need to obtain the gods’ permission for farming when moving toward
permanent settlements? Would they be able to satisfy the gods and harvest the
crops if they sacrificed animals and humans – the youngest and most beautiful
ones – in rituals and ceremonies?
Perhaps the temples of Göbeklitepe were temples for sacrificial rituals that
were created as a result of these ideas! Who knows, maybe this was really so…
Maybe the animal and human bones, catching our eyes among the finds, and
beer or wine jugs – possibly used in rituals – do tell us about this, who
knows? Whatever the truth, Göbeklitepe temples, whose secrets have not yet been
completely discovered, are rewriting the history of humanity.
Ancient site of Göbeklitepe in
Turkey, the oldest temple in the world. (Teomancimit / CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Bribing the Gods!
Human sacrifice was practiced by many ancient cultures. People would be
ritually killed in a manner that was supposed to please or appease a god or
spirit. Droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. were seen as a sign of
anger or displeasure by deities, and sacrifices were supposed to lessen the
The people of those prehistoric times, who wanted to start a settled life
with farming, believed they had to ask for the gods’ permission by sacrificing
some of their loved ones. Sacrifice meant that man made a gift to the gods and
expected a gift in return. They cut off human heads, defleshed and cleaned the
skulls, and hung them at an angle to face the gods.
They wanted the gods to see the huge, human-like pillars first, then the
sacrificed humans, especially the young and beautiful ones – and thus be
appeased, granting permission for settlement and farming under decent natural
conditions, no storm or hail but abundant rain and sunshine… Elucidating what
the gods wanted was the secret.
Human sacrifice is not just a ritual act designed to pacify the gods, divine
the future, or bring luck and prosperity to those offering the sacrifice. Human
sacrifice requires the exchange of a life – willingly or not – in return for
supernatural assistance or for a greater cause. And at these temples other,
inanimate offerings were also made.
A remarkable find was a limestone statue, referred to as the ‘gift bearer’,
a kneeling figure carrying a human head in its hands, the eyes and nose of
which are discernible.
Building D pillar. Image of the
‘Gift Bearer’ at Göbeklitepe. (Image: German Archaelogical Institute – DAI /
Many Bones But No Burials at Göbeklitepe
A considerable number of fragmented human bones have been recovered but the
evidence of human burials is absent from Göbeklitepe. One explanation is that
this particular variation of decapitation and skull modification was connected
to activities specific to the Göbeklitepe site.
It is the oldest site where carved skulls have been found and fragments of
three modified human skulls have
recently been discovered at Göbeklitepe. Skull carvings are the result of
multiple cutting actions, not related to defleshing or scalping, as defleshing must
be accompanied by other types of cutting marks on the skulls, and scalping can
be ruled out on the basis of the absence of typical markers.
All skulls found at the site
carry intentional deep incisions along their sagittal axes. In
one of these cases, a drilled perforation is also attested. These findings are
outstanding because they provide the very first osteological evidence of
Because no signs of healing could be detected, modifications were probably
performed shortly after death, which is a robust clue for us to believe that
sacrifice was the case. Skulls were carved no earlier than the perimortem
stage; this observation is confirmed by microscopic analyses: cut marks are
characterized by sharp edges, meaning that the bone was cut when still elastic,
that is, at an early state of decay.
Another outstanding feature of one of the skulls found is the drilled
perforation in the left parietal, the position of which was carefully chosen so
that the skull might hang vertically and face forward, looking at the gods,
when suspended. Drilled perforation at the top of the cranium is used to
suspend the skull with a cord. Carvings were used for stabilization purposes,
preventing the cord from slipping.
One of the 3 skulls found belonged to an individual, 25 to 40 years of age,
who was more likely female than male. These pieces of evidence have culminated
in the interpretation of Göbeklitepe as a sacrificial ritual center of early
hunter-gatherer groups living around Southeast Anatolia.
The people who gathered at these temples were not permanently living in that
area and they wanted the temples to stay safe until their next visit. It has
been discovered that these temples were hidden by the builders under soil, to
protect them until the next sacrificial ceremony – maybe till the next harvest
According to a recent study the ancestors of the people who built Stonehenge
traveled west across the Mediterranean before reaching Britain. Researchers in
London compared DNA extracted from Neolithic human remains found in Britain with
that of people alive at the same time in Europe.
The Neolithic inhabitants appear to have traveled from Anatolia
to Iberia before winding their way north. Maybe the recently discovered Dolmen
de Guadalperal ( so called the Spanish Stonehenge) at the
Valdecanas Reservoir in Spain – which is also believed to be a place where
religious rituals were performed – is another example that had been created by
the people that traveled from Göbeklitepe to Stonehenge.
They reached Britain in about 4,000 BC. Pieces of human bones in soil from
niches behind the stone pillars at the site, like those discovered in
Göbeklitepe, and the vast amount of animal bone discovered at the site, suggest
that ritual sacrifice regularly took place here.
There is perhaps a parallel here with the much later site at Durrington
Walls, close to Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England. Dating to around 2,600 BC,
Durrington Walls was a huge ritual timber circle where enormous amounts of
animal bone, primarily from pigs and cattle, were discovered.
So, maybe all these temples were the sites of sacrifices to please the gods
and seek their permission… and this was how mankind was trying to move from
‘hunting and gathering’ to ‘farming and production’.
“The study of this site at Ein Esur will change forever what we know about the emergence and rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.” The ancient settlement contained public and private buildings and areas, streets and alleys and was surrounded by a fortification wall.
A massive 5,000-year-old metropolis Ein Esur
that housed some 6,000 residents has been uncovered alongside Israel’s newest
city, Harish, during new roadworks.
The world of biblical archaeology in the Middle East is
buzzing right now with the news of the discovery of the largest ancient
settlement ever found in the region of Israel and trans-Jordan, a city called
Ein Esur that was so massive in its day that archaeologists are calling it
‘Israel’s NYC’, and only partially tongue in cheek. This scope of this find is
so large they really aren’t even sure exactly what they’ve found. Ein Esur
dates back to the time of the very first pharaoh in Egypt, that’s how old this
city is. Amazing.
“Hast thou not heard long ago how I
have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it?
now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced
cities into ruinous heaps.” 2 Kings 19:25 (KJV)
The article below goes on to say that they have also
discovered settlements that are ‘7,000 years old’, which would be a pretty good
trick considering the Bible only records a history of humans dating back around
6,000 years. Needless to say, we will be watching the developments of Ein Esur
very closely and will report to you as soon as new information becomes
available. But I will make one prediction right now. When they dig a little
deeper, they will find artifacts that will establish a direct connection with
matching accounts contained in the Holy Bible. That’s a virtual guarantee.
‘Israel’s ancient NYC’: 5,000-year-old
Canaanite megalopolis Ein Esur may rewrite history
FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL: The 160-acre (over 650 dunam) city is
the largest Early Bronze Age settlement excavated in Israel, the Israel
Antiquities Authority announced on Sunday. “It is much larger than any known
site in the land of Israel — and outside the land of Israel — in the region of Jordan,
Lebanon, southern Syria,” said excavation co-director Dr. Yitzhak Paz in an IAA
In addition, just ahead of the construction of a new
interchange over the Ein Esur (Ein
Asawir) archaeological site, IAA archaeologists also discovered
an earlier, 7,000-year-old Chalcolithic settlement under several of the
“This is a huge city – a megalopolis in relation to the Early Bronze Age,
where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived
and traded with different regions and even with different cultures and kingdoms
in the area… This is the Early Bronze Age New York of our region; a
cosmopolitan and planned city,” said excavation directors Itai Elad, Paz and
Dr. Dina Shalem in an IAA statement.
“The study of this site will change forever what
we know about the emergence and rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and
in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change
what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the
archaeology of Israel.”
Salvage excavations have been taking place at the site for
the past two and a half years, financed by Netivei Israel – the National
Transport Infrastructure Company Ltd. Over 5,000 high school students and
volunteers from the area have participated in them.
Due to the importance of the site, Netivei Israel has
significantly increased the height of the planned interchange and will preserve
the excavations through high-tech documentation and physical conservation.
The digs have revealed an Early Bronze Age (end of the 4th
millennium BCE) planned city located near Wadi Ara, near two water springs, in
the Haifa district of northern Israel. According to Paz, the land is fertile
for agriculture and is close to important, central trade routes.
The Ein Esur ancient settlement contained
public and private buildings and areas, streets and alleys and was surrounded
by a fortification wall.
“The excavation at this site revealed two main settlements,” explained
Shalem in an IAA video. “The earliest one is about 7,000 years old. It’s a very
large agricultural settlement. Two thousand years later, another settlement
became one of the first cities known in this area of the world.”
The layout of the city, said Elad, the third co-director,
indicates it was very thoughtfully planned. During the excavation, the team
discovered a very large public building that was unlike any of the others. It
was, said Elad, most probably a temple or a shrine, inside which was found an
area containing burnt animal bones, presumably for sacrifices. In the temple
courtyard is large stone basin for liquids, which the archaeologists assume was
also used during religious rituals.
“These findings allow us to look beyond the material into the spiritual life
of the large community that lived at the site,” said the archaeologists.
For the 5,000 Israeli pupils and young adults — Jews and
Arabs — who participated in the excavations, their firsthand knowledge and
experiences may also change their perspective and their connection to the land
of Israel. As history books are rewritten, the students were on the frontlines
of early research.
“The study of this site will change forever what we know about the emergence
rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said
Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in
the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.
The tower, which was dated to the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah in the 8th century BCE, was likely part of a network of observation posts that used torches as means to send messages between communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Wednesday. The IAA said the watchtower, which was found on the Paratroopers Brigade training base, was built using especially large stones, some of which weighed as much as eight tons, and was located on high ground overlooking the Hebron Hills, Judean Hills and the coastal area around Ashkelon.
IDF soldiers recently uncovered a watchtower
from the First Temple period during an archaeological dig on their base in
To find this watchtower dating back to the time of King Hezekiah
is truly an amazing find, and yet another brick in the wall of solid, factual
archaeological evidence showing both the historical connection of the Jews to
the land, and to the accuracy of the Bible.
“And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the
shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten
degrees. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow
ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.” 2 Kings
King Hezekiah was a good king over Judah and Israel, and he
is a prominent figure in one of the most incredible accounts in the Bible. The
king was sore sick, and lay dying, and with prayers and tears besought the Lord
to heal him and extend his life. The Lord not only did that for King Hezekiah,
but certified with an absolutely mind-boggling sign. Isaiah the prophet cried
out to the Lord on behalf of King Hezekiah, and the sun was turn backwards by
ten degrees! Finding this watchtower that dates back to that time is a
priceless link to the rich biblical archaeological history of the Jewish people
in the holy land.
Troops uncover First Temple-era observation post on training base
FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The tower, which was dated to the
reign of King Hezekiah of Judah in the 8th century BCE, was likely part of a
network of observation posts that used torches as means to send messages
between communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Wednesday.
The IAA said the watchtower, which was found on the
Paratroopers Brigade training base, was built using especially large stones,
some of which weighed as much as eight tons, and was located on high ground
overlooking the Hebron Hills, Judean Hills and the coastal area around
“Some 2,700 years after Sennacherib’s campaign, Israel Defense Forces
soldiers uncovered a watchtower of soldiers from the Judean army, very similar
to the ones the army uses today,” the statement said.
The dig was carried out by soldiers on the base as part
of an IDF initiative to encourage commanders and soldiers to be
“responsible and actively involved in protecting the values of nature, the
landscape and heritage in their environment.”
Some 150 soldiers undergoing basic training and their
commanders took part in the project, the IAA said, and the project was overseen
by IAA officials Saar Ganor and Lifshitz Vladik. Ganor and Vladik said the
tower appeared to be part of the torch communications system, as described in the
“The strategic location of the tower served as an observation point and
warning [system] against the Philistine enemy, one of whose main cities was
Ashkelon,” said the IAA. “The Kingdom of Judah built a system of towers and
fortresses that were a communications, warning and signaling post, as a way of
passing messages and field intelligence,” they added.
According to the IAA, operations at the watchtower ceased
in 701 BCE, when the Assyrian King Sennacherib destroyed 46 cities and
thousands of villages and farms during his military campaign in Judah. During
the dig, the entrance to the tower was discovered to have been sealed, with the
IAA saying the soldiers stationed there likely went to a nearby fortified city
when the Assyrians invaded.
Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim. His bedstead, an
iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it is nine amot long and four
amot wide, by the standard amah! Deuteronomy
3:11 (The Israel Bible™)
On Sunday morning, a biannual astronomical event was marked on an ancient
structure in a remote section of northern Israel. The structure remains an
enigma to archaeologists but some link it to Biblical giants.
Stonehenge in the Golan
After the Six-Day War in 1967, archaeologists
studying an aerial map of Israel discovered a strange formation of five
concentric rings of loose rock located some ten miles east of the coast of the
Sea of Galilee, in the middle of a large plateau covered with hundreds of
single-chamber megalithic tombs called dolmens. The formation is not
recognizable from the ground, appearing as random piles of rocks, but from
above it is quite impressive, with an outer ring more than nearly 520 feet wide
and eight feet high. It is called Rujm
el-Hiri in Arabic, meaning the “stone heap of the wild cat”, and in
Hebrew as Gilgal Refaim,
or Wheel of the Giants.
At its center is a mound of loose stones over 65 feet in diameter and over
16 feet tall, covering a burial chamber almost 20 feet long. The entire
formation is composed of over 40,000 tons of loose basalt rocks. It was
estimated that the transportation and building of the massive monument would
have required more than 25,000 working days
Estimates as to when it was built vary widely but the site is believed to be
between 5,000-6,000 years old. In comparison, the Egyptian Pyramids were built
some 4,500 years ago and Stonehenge in England was built some 3,500 years
Og: the Giant King of the Bashan
It is interesting to note that the region is known as the Bashan, where Og
the king of came out against the Israelites at the time of their entrance into
the Promised Land but was vanquished in battle. Og was an Amorite king,
the ruler of Bashan, which contained sixty walled cities and many unwalled
towns, with his capital at Ashtaroth. Biblical scholars believe that the
Prophet Amos was referring to Og when he referred to a giant Amorite.
Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, Whose stature was like the cedar’s
And who was stout as the oak, Destroying his boughs above And his trunk below! Amos 2:9
In Deuteronomy and later in the book of Numbers and Joshua, Og is called the
last of the Rephaim,
a Hebrew word that is sometimes interpreted as meaning ‘giants.’ The Hebrew
name of the site, Gilgal Rephaim, hints at an ancient link to these
Only King Og of Bashan
was left of the remaining Rephaim. His
bedstead, an iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the
Ammonites; it is nine amot long and four amot wide, by the
standard amah! Deuteronomy
The Biblical measurement of an amah, literally the length of a forearm, is
generally considered to be 19.2 inches, which would mean that Og’s bed was over
fourteen feet long and over six feet wide.
Midrash explains that the “fugitive” who warned Abraham that Lot had been
captured was Og. Og had escaped the flood in the generation of Noah by clinging
to the side of the Ark.
If Og had been the leader of a nation of pre-Abrahamic giants in the region
of the Golan it would certainly explain the existence of the mammoth stone
An Archaeological Enigma
There is no consensus regarding its function. Since excavations have yielded
very few material remains, archaeologists theorize that the site was not a
defensive position or a residential quarter but most likely a ritual center.
In 2007, the site was excavated by Yosef Garfinkel and Michael Freikman of
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Freikman returned in the summer of 2010 for
further investigation of the site’s date and function. Freikman believes that
the center area was built at the same time as the rings.
“I wouldn’t call it a religious center,” Dr. Freikman told Breaking Israel
News. “It was more of a gathering place for rituals, though not for burials.”
Dr. Freikman noted that by the time of the Bible and the Patriarchs, the
site was already abandoned for several hundred years.
“They probably would have known of it as a prominent geographic feature but
they would not have known what it was used for,” he said. “There are at least
five other similar sites, albeit smaller, with outer circles about 60 meters in
diameter and also surrounded dolmans.”
Circles in the Ground Measuring the Sun and Stars
Dr. Freikman wrote about Gilgal Refaim in the Journal of the Institute of
Archaeology of Tel Aviv University in 2017, noting the astronomical aspects of
“Certain architectural elements of Rujm el-Hiri are aligned with celestial
phenomena, namely with the azimuth of sunrise on specific days of the year. For
instance, it was claimed that at both equinoxes a spectator standing in the
geometrical centre of the complex would see the sun rising exactly in the east
through the ‘gunsight’ created by two exceptionally large boulders installed in
the outermost wall. Due to the precession of the earth, which gradually changes
the azimuth of the sunrise, this phenomenon cannot be observed from the same
spot today. However, as this is a very slow process, the spectator must move
aside only slightly to witness the sunrise as the architect of Rujm el-Hiri
Archaeologists Yonathan Mizrachi and Anthony Aveni, studying the structure
since the late 1980s, believe the site was used as a celestial
observatory. The entrance way to the center opens on the sunrise of the
The equinox, the instant of time when the plane of Earth’s equator passes
through the center of the Sun, will be taking place on Monday morning. Notches
in the walls indicate the precise locations of the sunrise for both the spring
and fall equinoxes.
The walls at Rujm el-Hiri seem to have pointed to star-risings for the
period, and may have been predictors of the rainy season, a crucial bit of
information for the sheepherders of the Bashan plain.
Remote and Neglected
The rings of Gilgal Refaim contain more questions than answers. The site is
difficult to get to and neglected by the antiquities authorities but Dr.
Freikman prefers it that way.
“If it became part of pop culture and easily accessible to the general
public, it would become like Stonehenge or the Pyramids,” Dr. Freikman said.
“Fast food restaurants and souvenir shops would be built around it and the
crowds would destroy or steal anything worth studying. For the time being, it
is good that the general public doesn’t come in droves.”
But in addition to being a science, archaelogy in Israel has political and
“I would like to return and study the site,” Dr. Freikman said. “There is so
much to learn. But it is difficult to raise funds for sites in the Golan. Even
after President Trump recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan, many people
are still reluctant to archaeological research in the area.”
The untold story of a thriving and wealthy society in the Arava Desert – in parts of Israel and Jordan – during the 12th-11th centuries BC has been revealed by a Tel Aviv University study. “Using technological evolution as a proxy for social processes, we were able to identify and characterize the emergence of the biblical kingdom of Edom,” explained. Prf. Ezra Ben-Yosef of TAU’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, who led the study with Prof. Tom Levy of the University of California, San Diego. “Our results prove it happened earlier than previously thought and in accordance with the biblical description.”
The biblical kingdom of Edom has always been a significant puzzle for
biblical archeology. Although evidence of it is present in the Bible, the
archeological record has always had trouble interpreting the text, which said
that it existed as a kingdom long before the kings of Israel.
Of all the many exciting
discoveries in biblical archaeology that we have been bringing you
over the years, this one today about Edom is perhaps one of the most exciting.
Why? Because the prophet Daniel tells us that, in the time of Jacob’s trouble,
some of the only areas that Antichrist will not be able to get his grimy paws
on are Edom and Moab. And now, biblical archaeologists in Israel have found the
remains of Edom.
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and
many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand,
even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.”
Daniel 11:41 (KJV)
Why won’t Antichrist be able to get his hands on Edom and
Moab? Because that is also where the red
rock city of Selah Petra is, the place where the Jewish remnant
will flee to protection that we read about all through the Bible. How exciting
is this? We are getting closer and closer each and every day, keep your eye on the
Eastern skies. He is coming.
The Biblical Kingdom of Edom Has Always Been A Significant Puzzle For
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: The untold story of a thriving and
wealthy society in the Arava Desert – in parts of Israel and Jordan – during
the 12th-11th centuries BCE has been revealed by a Tel Aviv University study.
“Using technological evolution as a proxy for social processes, we were able
to identify and characterize the emergence of the biblical kingdom of Edom,”
explained. Prf. Ezra Ben-Yosef of TAU’s Department
of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, who led the
study with Prof. Tom Levy of the University of California, San Diego. “Our
results prove it happened earlier than previously thought and in accordance
with the biblical description.”
“Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela
to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall
be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest,so the
daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute
judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the
outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with
thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the
extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out
of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall
sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment,
and hasting righteousness.” Isaiah 16:1-5 (KJV)
According to the study, which was published Wednesday on
the open access scientific journal PLOS ONE, the kingdom’s wealth appears to
have been built on a “high-tech network” of copper, the most valuable resource
in the region at the time. Copper was used in ancient times to craft weapons
and tools, and the production process for copper is incredibly complex.
“Copper smelting was essentially the hi-tech of ancient times,” Ben-Yosef
told The Jerusalem Post.
Using a methodology called the punctuated equilibrium
model, the research team analyzed findings from ancient copper mines in Jordan
and Israel to create a timeline of the evolution of copper production from
1300-800 BCE. They found a significant decrease of copper in the slag – the
waste of copper extraction by smelting – at the Arava site. This implies that
the process became more efficient and streamlined, something the researchers
say is a result of the military invasion of Pharaoh Shoshenq I of Egypt (the
biblical “Shishak”), who sacked Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE. Rather than
result in destruction in the region, the researchers argue that it instead
sparked a “technological leap” in regards to copper production and trade.
“We demonstrated a sudden
standardization of the slag in the second half of the 10th century BCE, from
the Faynan sites in Jordan to the Timna sites in Israel, an extensive area of
some 2,000 sq.km., which occurred just as the Egyptians entered the region,”
Ben-Yosef said. “The efficiency of the copper industry in the region was
increasing. The Edomites developed precise working protocols that allowed them
to produce a very large amount of copper with minimum energy.”
However, as Egypt was a weaker power at this time, it is
unlikely that they would have control over the copper trade, allowing it to
remain a local enterprise. Ben-Yosef explained that Egypt was primarily an
importer of goods at the time, so they had an interest in streamlining
efficiency in the region. In fact, this was not the only new innovation
introduced to the region by the invasion of Shoshenq I – the camel was first
introduced to the region at this time as well.
“Our new findings contradict the view of many archaeologists that the Arava
was populated by a loose alliance of tribes, and they’re consistent with the
biblical story that there was an Edomite kingdom here,” Ben-Yosef explained. “A
flourishing copper industry in the Arava can only be attributed to a
centralized and hierarchical polity, and this might fit the biblical
description of the Edomite kingdom.”
While archeology had never doubted the existence of the
Edomite kingdom, it was widely assumed to have emerged around the late eighth
century BCE in Edomite Plateau, located in Jordan near Petra and southeast of
the Dead Sea.
“Before they built their capital in the plateau, the Edomites were a complex
and organized kingdom, but they were still nomadic,” Ben-Yosef explained to the
Post. “They dwelt in tents. They didn’t have villages or cities, but they had
cemeteries and smelting sites.” The Edomites eventually did settle in cities on
the plateau and built settlements along the trade routes, but these findings
prove that they possessed a centralized system of organization long before they
Archaeologists in Israel may have discovered the Biblical
town of Emmaus, which is linked to Jesus’ resurrection and the Ark of the
Haaretz reports that archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a
2,200-year-old fortification at Kiriath-Jearim, a hill on the outskirts of Abu
Ghosh, a village near Jerusalem.
The fortification dates back to the Hellenistic period when ancient Greek
influence in the region was strong. Tel Aviv University Professor Israel
Finkelstein told Haaretz that the walls were repaired during the later period
of Roman rule in the first century A.D.
Finkelstein and his fellow researchers suggest that the site could be the
famous Biblical town, or village, of Emmaus. According to Christian tradition,
Jesus appeared to two of his apostles on the road to Emmaus after
his crucifixion and resurrection.
In Luke 24:13-35 Emmaus is described as being about 7 miles from Jerusalem. This
corresponds with the distance between Kiriath-Jearim, Abu Ghosh and Jerusalem.
Emmaus is also described in ancient histories as being a fortified town west
of Jerusalem. The Kiriath-Jearim site is west of Jerusalem.
Kiriath-Jearim is also mentioned in the Bible
as one of the places where the Ark of the Covenant stood. Last year Finkelstein
and his fellow researchers reported that the site of Kiriath-Jearim is the hill
on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh.
The latest research is described in a forthcoming paper published in the
journal “New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region.”
Other locations, however, have also been suggested as the site of Emmaus,
such as the ancient Byzantine town of Emmaus Nicopolis and the modern village
of Motza, according to Haaretz.
The dig at Kiriath-Jearim is a joint project of Tel Aviv University and the
College de France, supported by the Shmunis family in San Francisco.
Finkelstein, who leads the project with Thomas Romer and Christophe Nicolle of
the College de France, told Fox News that the latest discoveries offer a
fascinating glimpse into the site’s role in the ancient world.
“The finds at Kiriath-Jearim hint at its long-term role as guarding the
approach to Jerusalem,” he explained, via email. “This can be seen in the Iron
Age, Hellenistic and early Roman periods. The Hellenistic and Roman period
remains shed light on the much-debated issue of the location of the New
The prominent Israeli archaeologist is renowned
for taking an “evidence-based” approach to his research,
which acknowledges the complexity of Biblical texts. “Reading the Bible, it is
important to distinguish historical facts from the ideological/theological
stances of the authors,” he told Fox News in 2017.
“Adoniyahu is in fear of King Shlomo and has grasped the horns of the
mizbayach, saying, ‘Let King Shlomo first swear to me that he will not put his
servant to the sword.’ (Kings 1 1:51)
The “Adonayahu Asher Al Habayit” bulla (seal). Photo
Credit: Eliyahu Yanai, City of David
CITY OF DAVID, JERUSALEM (12/9/2019) A Bulla (seal) bearing a Hebrew name
from 2,600 years ago was uncovered from dirt excavated in 2013 beneath
Robinson’s Arch at the foundations of the Western Wall. The seal is inscribed
with the name of an individual with the most prominent role in the king’s court
in the kingdom of Judea. The Bulla (seal), which was used to sign documents,
bears the Hebrew name and title: “Adenyahu Asher Al Habayit” which literally
translates as “Adenyahu by Appointment of the House”- a term used throughout
the Bible to describe the most senior minister serving under a king of Judea or
According to archaeologist Eli Shukron, who conducted the initial
excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority just north of the
City of David at the Foundation Stones of the Western Wall: “This is the first
time this kind of archaeological discovery has been made in Jerusalem. The
Biblical title “Asher Al Habayit” was the highest-ranking ministerial position
beneath the king during reigns of the Kings of Judea and Israel, it is
undoubtedly of great significance.”
“This tiny bulla has immense meaning to billions of people worldwide. The
personal signet of a senior official to a Biblical King from the First Temple
Period. This is another link in the long chain of Jewish history in Jerusalem
that is being uncovered and preserved at the City of David on a daily basis.”
Said Doron Spielman, Vice-President of the City of David Foundation which
operates the site in which the bulla was discovered and the Archeological
Experience where it was uncovered.
The bulla is approximately one-centimeter-wide, and according to the type of
writing that appears on it dates to the seventh century BC – the period of the
Kingdom of Judea.
The term “Asher Al Habayit” describes the most senior role in the royal
hierarchy in the kingdom of Judah and Israel and it appears for the first time
on the list of ministers of Solomon. This role is mentioned in the Bible in
reference to a number of figures that have a considerable influence in the
kingdom and it describes a senior minister who was very close to the king.
For example, “Abdihu Asher Al Habayit,” in the Book of Kings I, is mentioned
as having served in that role in the Kingdom of Israel, under the reign of King
Ahab during times of Elijah the Prophet. As part of his tenure, Abedihu acted
against Isabel in administering the kingdom and even saved a hundred of the
prophets of the Lord after hiding them in a cave.
Also in this role in the Kingdom of Judea during the reign of King Hezekiah
was “Elyakim son of Partiah Asher Al Habayit”. According to the book of Isaiah,
Elyakim negotiated with Rabshka, one of the ministers of King Sennacherib King
of Assyria, who threatened to conquer Jerusalem.
The name Adenayahu that appears on the bulla appears throughout the Bible:
This name belonged to one of King David’s sons as mentioned in the Book of
Kings. Another individual with that name is mentioned as one of the Levites in
the days of Jehoshaphat. Lastly, in the days of Nehemiah, he is mentioned as
one of the “Heads of, the people…(Nehemiah, 9:16).
It should be noted that some 150 years ago, French archeologist Charles
discovered a burial cave with the inscription: “Tomb of …..yahu Asher Al
Habayit.” The beginning of the name had been erased, but the burial site, on
the outskirts of the City of David was also dated to the seventh century BC,
much like the recent bulla. Although discovered by Clermont-Ganneau, the
inscription was only deciphered by Prof. Nachman Avigad some eighty years
The bulla was covered in dirt that was excavated in 2013, until three weeks
ago, when it was uncovered as part of the City of David’s volunteer
Archeological Experience, by an Israeli teenager named Batya Howen, who
described the moments of the discovery: “I began sifting through the bucket of
dirt by washing it under a stream of water, and suddenly I recognized a small
piece of black colored piece of metal. To hold such a significant find from
2600 years ago, from the time of the Kingdom of Judah, is an amazing thing.”
The bullae stamps – were small pieces of tin used in ancient times to sign
documents, and were meant to keep the letters closed en route to their
“He burned the House of Hashem, the king’s palace, and all the houses of
Yerushalayim; he burned down the house of every notable person.” II Kings
25:9 (The Israel Bible™)
Archaeologists from the University of North Carolina made a remarkable
discovery while digging on Mount Zion in Jerusalem that is evidence of the
Babylonian conquest of the city in 586 BCE: a golden earring.
Dr. Rafi Lewis, co-director of the project, explained the importance
of the tiny earring.
“With finds like this, there is a material value but, more importantly,
there is a spiritual and emotional value,” Dr. Lewis told Breaking Israel
News. “On that level, this find is quite literally priceless. We can
establish the context as the destruction of the First Temple without any doubt.
We have made similar finds outside of the city but this is the first time we
made such finds inside the city.”
Gold Earring (courtesy: The Mount Zion Archaeological
Lewis noted that the earring hinted at many aspects of the era.
“It gives us an idea of the richness of Jerusalem at the time,” Dr. Lewis
said. “This is something aristocratic. It could have been a piece of jewelry or
hung from an article of clothing or even a bigger artifact. It was clearly
something important. If I had something similar, references, I would know more.
But this find was really unique.”
The dig has been conducted for over a decade by the Mount Zion Archaeological Project,
co-directed by UNC Charlotte professor of history Shimon Gibson, Dr. Lewis, a
senior lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College and a fellow of Haifa University,
and James Tabor, UNC Charlotte professor of religious studies.
“This is not proof of the destruction of the Temple since the dig is on
Mount Zion, some distance from the Temple Mount,” Lewis said, noting that there
has been no archaeological work permitted on the Temple Mount due to the
political and religious sensitivity. “But this is certainly proof of the
destruction of Jerusalem.”
The last time there were studies done on the Temple Mount were under
Charles Warren in 1867.
The earring was found in a layer of ash that also contained bronze and iron
arrowheads, Iron Age potsherds, and lamps. Lewis explained that the arrowheads
were of Scythian origin. The Scythians, believed to be Eurasian nomads, were
mercenary archers hired by the Babylonians. Such arrowheads have been found at
other archaeological conflict sites in Israel and outside dating from the 7th
and 6th centuries BCE.
“They were like the special forces since the Scythians were the best archers
of the time,” Lewis said. “Also from this, we know that this was a scene of a
Babylonian battle. We can say for certain that the archaeological context of
the site was the taking of Jerusalem.”
The researchers noted that the location helped identify the story
behind the find.
“We know where the ancient fortification line ran,” Dr. Gibson said in a
press release on Eureka
Alert. “so we know we are within the city. We know that this is not
some dumping area, but the south-western neighborhood of the Iron Age
city—during the 8th century BCE the urban area extended from the City of David
area to the south-east and as far as the Western Hill where we are digging.”
The ashen layer was a clear sign to the researchers that they were
investigating the scene of a battle.
“For archaeologists, an ashen layer can mean a number of
different things,” Gibson said. “It could be ashy deposits removed from ovens,
or it could be localized burning of garbage. However, in this case, the
combination of an ashy layer full of artifacts, mixed with arrowheads, and a
very special ornament indicates some kind of devastation and destruction.
Nobody abandons golden jewelry and nobody has arrowheads in their domestic
The researchers were able to date the layer by the potsherds found.
The disarray suggested that it coincided with a battle.
“It’s the kind of jumble that you would expect to find in a ruined household
following a raid or battle,” Gibson said. “Household objects, lamps, broken
bits from pottery which had been overturned and shattered… and arrowheads and a
piece of jewelry which might have been lost and buried in the destruction.”
The lamps were identified as the typical high-based pinched lamps of the
period and were typical of such sites but the jewelry, most notably the gold
and silver earring, was unusual for sites that had undergone a battle.
“Frankly, jewelry is a rare find at conflict sites, because this is exactly
the sort of thing that attackers will loot and later melt down,” Gibson said.
Gibson associated the site with a section of the Book of II Kings
describing the destruction of Jerusalem.
He burned the House of Hashem, the king’s palace, and all the houses
he burned down the house of every notable person. II Kings
“This spot would have been at an ideal location, situated as it is
close to the western summit of the city with a good view overlooking Solomon’s
Temple and Mount Moriah to the north-east,” Gibson said. “We have high
expectations of finding much more of the Iron Age city in future seasons of
The researchers were excited that their find was linked to an event
with such historical and Biblical significance.
Dr. Lewis noted that in the field of archaeology, the Bible and science
“The Bible is certainly one of our sources,” Dr. Lewis said. “You have to
treat it respectfully. It represents something spiritual and was not written as
a history book. It was written as a religious book but there is a historical
base and root. But we cannot reject the Bible when studying archaeology. I
would not rely on the Bible exclusively just like I would not rely on any other
source exclusively. We need as many sources as possible and the Bible can be
one of them.”
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ