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Archaeology in Review

Arabic Gold Coins Uncovered

Two teenage students from the lower Galilee who were participating in an Israel Antiquities Authority dig in nearby Kfar Kama found some ancient coins. Included in the find was a 1,200-year-old gold coin inscribed in Arabic and mentioning the name of Muhammad and monotheism. The rare find shows that the people who lived at the

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Jerusalem’s Third Wall

Fascinating evidence of the breaching of the third wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period was uncovered last winter in the Russian Compound in the city center. Archaeologists discovered the remains of a tower jutting from the city wall. Opposite the tower’s western facade were scores of ballista and sling

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Fisherman’s House Discovered

Young residents of the city of Ashkelon and the surrounding area were given a project by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) to assist in archaeological excavations in the city. The youngsters uncovered some buildings that were originally used as a fisherman’s house and a lookout tower, possibly a lighthouse, dating to the Ottoman period around

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Shedding Light on the Philistines

The Leon Levy expedition in Ashkelon reported the first Philistine cemetery ever discovered anywhere in the world. Archaeologists and scholars have long searched for the origin of the Philistines, and the discovery of the cemetery is poised to offer the key to this mystery. Findings from the cemetery, dated to the 11th–8th centuries BC, may

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Rare Roman Period Frescoes Discovered

An archaeological team from the Hebrew University has discovered hundreds of fragments belonging to frescoes from the Roman period in the Zippori National Park. The fragments, which contain figurative images, floral patterns and geometric motifs, shed light on Zippori (Sepphoris), which was an important urban center for the Jews of the Galilee during the Roman

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Impressive Pottery Workshop Exposed in the Galilee

  A pottery workshop where jars were produced 1,600 years ago (Roman period) was uncovered in archaeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority [IAA] in the western Galilee. According to excavation director, Joppe Gosker, “What makes the pottery works so special is its unique kiln, which was hewn in bedrock and is unlike most of

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Saving Israel’s Jewish Heritage from Antiquities Bandits

Despite rigorous enforcement against antiquities robbers, acts of severe plundering are still possible in the large expanses of the Judean Desert. There are hundreds of cliff caves in the area that may contain ancient scrolls, access to which is both dangerous and challenging. In almost every cave examined there has been found evidence of illicit

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Sarcophagi Covers Seized in Old City

Two covers of ancient Egyptian sarcophagi were recently seized by inspectors of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, while checking shops in the market place of Jerusalem’s Old City. The sarcophagi covers are made of wood and coated with a layer of plaster and are ornamented with decorations and

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Israel was World Center for Glass Production

While overseeing infrastructure work on the Jezreel Valley Railway Project in northern Israel, IAA archaeologist, Abdel Al-Salam Sa’id, noticed chunks of glass and an ash layer inside a trench. He halted construction work at the site to allow for more investigation. Ancient glass kilns were discovered. Archaeologists have dated these kilns from the late Roman

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Roman Shipwreck Yields Spectacular Cargo

Two divers at the ancient port of Caesarea discovered the spectacular cargo of a merchant ship that sank during the Late Roman period some 1,600 years ago. A joint dive at the site with Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologists revealed the remains of a ship on the sea bottom: iron anchors, wooden anchors, and items

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