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The Long Road Home

Archaeology in Review

Lighting the Ancient World

  An Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) excavation at Shivta [an ancient city in the Negev] has discovered a unique wick used to light lamps, dated to the Byzantine period 1,500 years ago. Dr. Naama Sukenik of the IAA said, “It seems that this rare find was preserved thanks to the dry climate in the Negev…Lamps

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Ancient Gold Coin Unearthed

Four high school students from Kibbutz Yifat in the Jezreel Valley spotted a gold coin glinting in the grass as they walked along the banks of the Zippori stream in the Galilee, adjacent to the Sanhedrin Trail (a 70-kilometer [43.5 mi] hiking trail that runs from Tiberias to Beit She’arim). After examining the coin, IAA

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1,700-Year-Old Inscription Discovered

A 1,700-year-old Greek inscription referring to the city of Elusa (Hebrew: Halutza) has been discovered in archaeological excavations at Halutza National Park in the Negev. The stone inscription is currently being studied by Prof. Leah Di Segni from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The name of the city of Elusa appears in several historical documents,

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Ancient Samaritan Estate Unearthed

A unique estate about 1,600 years old that seems to have been the property of a wealthy Samaritan has been uncovered in the southern Sharon Plain. The discovery also reinforced evidence that at one time the settlement was extensively populated by the Samaritans. The Samaritans claim they are descendants of the northern Israelite tribes of

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Horse Figurines Uncovered Following Heavy Rains

Recent heavy winter rains have revealed parts of two impressive clay figurines of horses that have been buried in the ground for well over 2,000 years. One of the figurines was found in the vicinity of Kfar Ruppin in the Beit She’an Valley. It was dated by Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologists to be about

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Rare Gold Coins Discovered

Excavations continue at Caesarea as archaeologists uncover some of the most exciting finds of recent times. With the financial backing of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, some US $40 million has been invested in uncovering hidden treasures under the ground and in the sea. Caesarea has connections with many periods of history, including the Roman

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An Ancient Bit between the Teeth

An international team of archaeologists has uncovered the earliest example of the use of a bridle bit with an equid (former species of the horse family) in the Near East. The discovery provides first evidence of the use of the bit to control an animal long before the appearance of the species of horse known

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Stone Mask Uncovered

A fascinating and rare stone mask was discovered recently, its characteristics and context testifying that the mask is 9,000 years old and dates to the Neolithic (new stone age) period. According to Ronit Lupu of the Israel Antiquities Authority Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit, “The mask is a unique finding in the archaeological world. The fact

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Remembering the Vilna Synagogue

In archaeological excavations that recently took place in Lithuania, archaeologists discovered the stage from which the Torah [Gen.–Deut.] was read to the Jewish community of Vilna for 300 consecutive years. This tradition stopped abruptly during the Holocaust, when the Great Synagogue, then the beating heart of the Lithuanian Jewish community, was looted and burned by

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2,000-Year-Old Burial Cave Found

A fine and complex burial cave, dating back some 2,000 years from the Roman period, came to light recently in Tiberias. A mechanical digger, excavating the site for a new neighborhood in the municipality, exposed the cave entrance, and the contractor informed the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) of the discovery immediately. The rock-hewn cave comprised

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