Archaeology

Israel’s rich biblical history can be found in the country’s archaeology. The Jerusalem Post shares the latest on archaeological excavations at significant biblical and historical sites in Israel and the region.

Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysterious scribe wrote eight diverse scrolls, scholars find

“The main purpose of my work has been using artificial intelligence, an extraction algorithm and statistical analyses to test 51 manuscripts which share a particular handwriting style.”

A chimpanzee eats the traditional Matza (unleavened bread) in preparation for Passover

Humans and apes could have more shared history than we thought - study

New research into a fossil from 3.67 million years ago has indicated that early humans were still swinging from trees alongside apes, long after they had already developed the ability to walk.

By SHIRA SILKOFF
03/05/2021

Rome's Colosseum to get new hi-tech floor

An Italian engineering firm, Milan Ingegneria, won the 18.5 million euro ($22.2 million) contract to design the new flooring and has committed to complete the project by 2023.

By REUTERS
03/05/2021

Archaeologists finally date mysterious 'Plain of Jars' in Laos

It is not known for certain what the original purpose of the megalithic jars were, with the researchers saying that "remains a mystery."

This undated photo released by the Egyptian Suprem

Egyptian mummy thought to be a priest actually pregnant woman - study

In the only known instance of a fetus being embalmed, a mummy mistakenly thought to be a priest for over 150 years was actually a pregnant woman.

Archaeologists discover remains of Viking rituals in Iceland

A boat-shaped structure was discovered, as well as dozens of beads, some of them having their origin directly traced to Iraq.

Suggested reconstruction of elephant hunting by using close-range thrusting spears.

Meet the elephants living in Israel 500,000 years ago

“Throughout hundreds of thousands of years, people were eating elephants,” Tel Aviv University Prof. Ran Barkai explained. “For this purpose, they developed specific tools.”

A handaxe from the Achelean layers at Wonderwerk, South Africa. In the background is the cave entran

Israeli scholars find millions-year-old human traces in ‘Miracle’ Cave

“We can now say with confidence that our human ancestors were making simple Oldowan stone tools inside the Wonderwerk Cave 1.8 million years ago."

1600-year-old mosaic uncovered in Yavne.

1600-year-old colorful mosaic unearthed in Yavne

The artifact was revealed during a salvage excavation in preparation for the construction of a new neighborhood.

A fragment from the Dead Sea Scrolls that underwent genetic sampling to shed light on the 2,000-year

How old are the Dead Sea Scrolls? Carbon-dating project to offer answers

The project and some preliminary results were presented at a conference at the university last week: while in many instances, some scrolls might be more ancient than previously thought.

Adolfo Roitman, curator of the Dead sea Scrolls, points at the original Isaiah Scroll, one of the De

Dead Sea Scrolls: Artificial Intelligence sheds new light on their authors

An artificial intelligence-based paleographic project carried out by scholars in the Netherlands found a way to replace the human eye of with artificial intelligence.

Paleo-start up nation: Prehistoric Israelis exchanged technology - Study

In order to understand what kind of exchanges occurred between them, the archaeologists looked at their utensils and the way they manufactured them.

Lachish archaeological site.

Israel uncovers 3,500-year-old inscription from biblical Canaan

The writing, a combination of six letters on two distinct lines, is featured on a pottery sherd found in the site located in the Shephelah region in south central Israel.

A 1st century AD Terracotta Roman lamp from Turkey, depicting two women engaged in oral sex, general

First ever ancient Roman complex discovered in Britain, broken into

At some point overnight between April 14 and 15, the newly discovered site was broken into, the Gazette & Herald reported on Friday morning.

A facial reconstruction of a 5600 year old skull found on the Maltese island of Gozo is seen during

Job association to biological sex began 5,000 years ago - study

The findings support the claim that the source of gender inequalities are partially rooted in the Neolithic period and its colonization of Europe by farmers.

16/04/2021

800-year-old toilet reveals: British Jews ate herring, chicken, no pig

“We found that in the Jewish phase, there was no pig processing whatsoever. But in the Anglo Saxon phase, there was pig processing.”

ONE OF the ancient Egyptian stone slabs inscribed with the name Ahisamach, from Exodus 31:6, used by

Could this stone slab be the oldest known map of Europe?

However, researchers are uncertain what the other carvings of the stone represent, but hypothesize that they reflect other unknown settlements dating back to the Bronze Age.

10/04/2021

Stoned in the Stone Age: Prehistoric humans got high - Israeli scholars

The altered state of mind caused by hypoxia also affected the practice of drawing in the caves.

A new archaeological discovery is seen in Luxor, Egypt, in this undated handout photo.

Archaeologists unearth 'ancient Egyptian Pompeii' near Luxor

The city was built more than 3,400 years ago during the opulent reign of Amenhotep III, one of Egypt's most powerful pharaohs.

By REUTERS
08/04/2021
Aerial view of excavations at Itanos in Crete

2,500-year-old building dedicated to worship rewrites history of Crete

The lack of burial sites in 6th century BCE Crete was not the result of a decline on the island, but a shift in funerary practices, archaeologists say

BEAUTY AND archaeology: Apollonia National Park in Herzliya.

Early humans from 100,000 years ago collected crystals, eggshells

The ostrich shells found in the study were certainly collected, but they were common to the area, leading the researchers to believe that they were the remains of water containers.

Ancient Arabian coins could solve mystery of the King of the Pirates

Henry Every is the most successful pirate in history, terrorizing the Red Sea. But after pulling off arguably the greatest heist in piracy, he vanished.

01/04/2021

6,000-year-old salt production house found in UK rewrites ancient history

The salt production facility found in North Yorkshire predates Stonehenge, and is the oldest found in Britain, and possibly even Western Europe.

31/03/2021

Coin from 2nd Temple Mount era found during Tower of David conservation

Tyrian shekels are often mentioned in historical accounts from the Second Temple Period, but a very few have actually been found.

Egypt to open a replica factory to spread awareness of Egyptian culture

The project is not meant to be commercial, but instead intended to spread awareness of Egyptian industry and heritage.

29/03/2021

Did medieval Jews observe kashrut?

New findings suggest that medieval English Jews in Oxford followed a kosher diet.

Maya ruins in Belize offer peek at ancient wealth inequality

The researchers gauged wealth inequality based on the mix of large and smaller homes, along with the size and nature of the structures.

By REUTERS
28/03/2021

Giant Roman mosaic discovered by archeologists in southern Spain

Within the villa, a 9 meter by 18-meter mosaic, consisting of geometric designs and guilloche patterns has been discovered.

3,000-year-old mask found in China sheds light on mysterious civilization

Historians know little about the ancient state of Shu, though findings indicate it could have been around during the 12th and 11th centuries BCE.

23/03/2021

Lost biblical scroll may have been 2,700 years old, Israeli scholar says

“The text is very reminiscent of the book of Deuteronomy, and anyone who is familiar with it would feel it. But there are also some differences,” Dershowitz said.

Bronze bull idol unearthed at the archaeological site of Olympia

Bronze idol, gift to Zeus, unearthed in ancient Olympia archaeological dig

A mini-statue believed to have been used as a gift for Zeus between 1,050 and 700 B.C. was discovered at the archaeological site of Olympia, a sanctuary site dedicated to the god of thunder.

By REUTERS
20/03/2021
The site of the Qumran Scrolls, known as the Dead Sea Scrolls

Are the newest Dead Sea Scrolls just the beginning?

Some 600 Judean Desert caves surveyed so far, Israeli Antiquities Authority's Eitan Klein tells 'Post' a day after discovery of first fragments in some 60 years unveiled

A team of archaeologists, led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Insti

Archaeology: Israel's national pastime - analysis

Embers still burn from the country’s once great passion for excavations.

17/03/2021
Sections of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets scroll discovered in the Judean Desert expedition

New Dead Sea Scroll fragments, world's oldest basket found in desert cave

6,000-year-old child skeleton also found in Judean Desert cave. It is the first such discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 and the early 1950s.

Oldest woven basket in the world found in Israel, dates back 10,000 years

The basket was found empty and closed with a lid. Only a small amount of soil was retrieved in it and the researchers hope it will help identify what the vessel contained.

Biblical ‘fertility amulet’ found by 11-year-old in the Negev

The artifact depicts a stylized bare-breasted woman wearing a scarf with her hands folded under her chest and dates back to some 2,500 years ago.

A partial view of the ancient archaeological site of Pompeii is pictured in front of Mount Vesuvius

Archaeologists uncover ancient ceremonial carriage near Pompeii

Massimo Osanna, the outgoing director of the Pompeii archaeological site, said the carriage was the first of its kind discovered in the area.

By REUTERS
27/02/2021
Excavations of ancient copper mines as part of Tel Aviv University’s Central Timna Valley Project. C

Findings at Timna change what we know of biblical history

JPost One-on-One weekly 'Zoomcast': Rossella Tercatin with Tel Aviv University associate professor of archaeology, Prof. Erez Ben Yosef - Episode 7

Was a Pagan couple buried in ancient Bnei Brak some 1,800 years ago?

Two stone sarcophagi were uncovered at Ramat Gan Safari Park.

Joshua's Altar at Mt. Ebal

Is the site damaged by Palestinian road works Joshua's Altar?

"Even for those who do not believe that the altar was built by Joshua, in my opinion the site remains one of the most important in Israel from the period of the Iron Age I."

Gantz bans FADC from inspecting damage to Joshua's altar site

The Right has focused on the damage to the site, as a physical reminder of their larger concern that the PA is destroying Jewish archaeology in the West Bank.

How did ancient Egyptians bake? After 54 loaves, scholar finds answers

The technique implies covering the inside of the conical bread moulds with a layer of fine sandy clay, heating the moulds up horizontally and shaping the dough in advance into elongated pieces.

Prophet Joshua's Mount Ebal altar site harmed by Palestinian road work

News of the destruction caused an immediate outcry among right-wing politicians.

1800-year-old coin found by soldier offers look at ancient life in Israel

One of its sides reads: “of the people of Geva Phillipi,” [civic] year 217 (158–159 CE) together with the image of the Syrian moon god, Men.

Archaeologists discover friends of Caesars inside Vatican City

So far, 250 magnificent burials of the Roman elite have been unearthed inside the walls of the Vatican City.

The bone featuring the world's oldest symbols unearthed in Israel.

World's oldest ‘emojis’ unearthed at prehistoric site in Israel

The archaeologists believe that the bone belonged to an auroch, large cattle that is considered an ancestor of cows and ox.

Israeli teams discover ancient olive-eating practices below the sea

The discovery off the coast of Haifa made by a group of researchers from most major Israeli universities shows production of olives for eating started at least 6,600 years ago.

By DANIEL SONNENFELD/THE MEDIA LINE
03/02/2021

Biblical ‘royal purple’ found at Timna offers look at King David wardrobe

The color, a bright shade of purple, was extracted from mollusks fished in the Mediterranean Sea through a very expensive process.

Valeria Fenik works at a digging site in the Givati Parking Lot excavation grounds, at the City of D

Ancient marketplace in Tiberias may have been one of Islam's first mosques

The excavations estimate that what was unearthed underneath the structure — the outer layer of a mosque — might actually date back to 635 CE, possibly constructed by a friend of the Prophet Muhammad.

Hand grenade from World War I unearthed in Jerusalem

The grenade was uncovered in an ancient cistern by Oscar Becherno, director of the archaeological excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The building where the inscription “Christ born of Mary" was uncovered in excavation at et-Taiyiba

Ancient ‘Christ, born of Mary’ inscription unearthed in northern Israel

The region of the Jezreel Valley bears many testimonies of ancient Christian life.

A chopping tool from prehistoric site Revadim.

Prehistoric Ashdodites used chopping tools to eat bone marrow – study

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the ancient humans living in the area of modern Ashdod used a specific type of stone tools to break animal bones and extract the bone marrow.

Did Qumran Jews use Torah scrolls 2,000 years ago? Plot thickens - study

Scrolls have been an essential part of Jewish life for millennia

A coffin, part of a recent discovery from the Saqqara necropolis, is seen south of Cairo

Egypt unveils 3000-year-old coffins in latest archaeological discovery

"All these discoveries will rewrite the history of Saqqara and the New Kingdom," said Hawass.

By REUTERS
17/01/2021

World's first food processor, from 350,000 years ago, found near Haifa

The food processor is the oldest abrasion tool ever found.

Weizmann scientists date Santorini eruption with modern olive branch

The annual growth of the olive tree is not a simple story.

Mine-free River Jordan shrine ends 50 year wait for Epiphany

Israeli de-mining efforts began in 2018 and included support from the Halo Trust, a Scottish-based mine clearance group.

By REUTERS
10/01/2021

Archaeological dig in Jaffa unearths 3,800-year-old baby buried in a jar

The jar was found in the Old City portion of the the 4,000-year-old port town, one of the oldest in the world.

Archaeologists find dance floor where John the Baptist was condemned

Josephus said that the assassination was carried out at Machaerus, a fort near the Dead Sea in what is now part of Jordan.

Ancient Greek inscription found by chance in the Negev

The stone was found by a "Project 500" worker from the Parks and Nature Authority while cleaning and preparing nature paths in the Nitzana National Park.

Siege ramp from Crusader era still protects Ashkelon

While this ramp may have been built originally as part of a war, its remains have served a very different and peaceful purpose: preventing sand from drifting into the city.

tel avvi beach summer

Archaeologists discover massive tsunami hit Israel during Neolithic era

The research team suggests that what may have happened to cause the tsunami was a reverberation effect of an earthquake occurring along the Dead Sea Transform.

30/12/2020
Drilling barge in the Dead Sea, 2010.

Israel to be soon hit by a destructive and deadly earthquake, study shows

"It could be in ten years or in several decades, but it could also be next week, and we need to constantly be prepared for that,” the researchers said.

Earliest evidence for stone grinding tool dates back 350,000 years

The discovery shows that our ancestors played games using rocks that were heated and used as different pieces.

The bronze sculpture of Boadicea and Her Daughters in London, created by Thomas Thornycroft.

War coin trove linked to ancient rebellion led by Queen Boudicca found in UK

The coins date to about 40-50 CE, matching up well with the timeline of the queen's revolt in eastern England in either 60 or 61 AD against the occupying Romans.

The tunnels beneath the Western Wall.

Jerusalem Old City tunnels receive international recognition

The tunnels earned the top spot in the "Oddities of the Underground" category unique to the 2020 ITA Tunneling Awards.

Jesus’ birthplace became a pilgrimage site earlier than previously thought

But when did Christians start traveling to places in Israel associated with events described in the Bible for religious reasons?

Sweet-toothed Canaanites imported exotic food to Israel 3,600-years ago

Analysis of teeth of individuals who lived in Megiddo then show that the Canaanites imported exotic food from India and Southeast Asia.

Archaeologists recreate tiles of temple where Jesus walked

Such is the understanding of Israeli archaeologists and masons who, drawing on relics and historical texts, have recreated the sacred flooring so it can be experienced today.

By REUTERS
21/12/2020

Amateur UK archaeologist: Holy Grail in secret crypt in West London river

Finding the Holy Grail is the Holy Grail of archaeological finds.

20/12/2020

Islamic-era candle molds found near Tiberias

Findings could add to historians’ understanding of those who lived near the Sea of Galilee in the early Islamic period.

Ancient oil-lamp workshop sheds light on Roman-era Jews and Christians

Hundreds of ceramic oil lamps – two bearing symbols of the menorah – and stone lamp molds for their production, were found along with terracotta figurines.

Seal imprinted with a figure of a roaring lion standing on all fours

2,300-year-old Iron Age seal found in Israeli market

Researchers revealed that a seal sold in a market for a couple of shekels to a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is in fact the earliest seal discovered in Israel.

Photo of two men sitting together shows Prof. Jeff Chadwick (BYU) and Prof. Aren Maeir (BIU) at the

Tall tales: Research examines Goliath's true height

While it is possible that Goliath was quite tall and even may have dwarfed most of his contemporaries, he was still a normally sized human being, at least by today’s standards.

The faint marks of one of the menorahs can be seen drawn in cistern at al-Alilyat cliffs near Mukhma

Rare menorah engraving dates back to Hasmonean era

The menorah was discovered in the 1980s in Judea and Samaria.

City of David‏

Israel wins international tunneling award for archaeology

Israel's project is very archaeologically focused, especially given the rich history that lies beneath the surface of much of the country, especially in cities thousands of years old.

Prof. hopes report on Jesus's home will focus attention on cave churches

The phenomenon of cave churches and how they influenced later Christian worship and architecture is just beginning to be studied seriously and in depth.

Altar to Greek god found in wall of Byzantine church raises questions

This excavation is now focusing on figuring out how this pagan altar came to be part of the church wall and what the inscription on it means.

3000-year-old temple-era gold bead found by 9-year-old Jerusalem boy

The bead was so well preserved, that when the boy brought the bead to the supervising archaeologist, he initially wrote it off as likely being an unidentified modern object.

Have archaeologists found Jesus's childhood home in Nazareth?

This spot was first suggested as the home of Jesus and his family in the 19th century.

How are archaeologists using hi-tech during the coronavirus era?

Archaeologists from Haifa and San Diego had to get creative to work on their collaborative excavation without actually travelling due to quarantines.

Pompeii's ruins yield scalded bodies of rich man and slave

"These two victims were perhaps seeking refuge when they were swept away by the pyroclastic current at about 9 in the morning."

By REUTERS
21/11/2020
Ofri Eitan of the Kfar Hanasi pre-military Academi next to the engraved stone

King David-era fort found in Israel's Golan Heights

The archaeologists think that the fort was built by the kingdom of Geshur, an ally of King David.

Seal with the image of Apollo.

2,000-year-old gem seal depicting Greek god Apollo found under City of David

Although Apollo is an Olympian deity of the Greek and Roman cultures, it is highly probable that the person wearing the ring with Apollo’s portrait was a Jew.

A replica of a find from Jerusalem, shows a heel bone pierced with an iron nail

Jerusalem geologist believes we have the nails used for crucifixion

Aryeh Shimron found out that the nails were the same ones taken from the Caiaphas site, and were also used to crucify someone. And they have bone on them.

Second Temple period jars and complete clay objects unearthed in Beit El

The ancient jars were discovered inside a water hole at the Khirbet Kafr Mer archaeological site at Beit El.

Einalem Mengesto, who works at the Faitlovitch Collection.

Ethiopian Jewry's biblical texts are disappearing. TAU is saving them.

The students who have just begun their studies in the 2020-2021 academic year are all Ethiopian Israelis with Bachelor's degrees, who are eager to preserve and study their heritage.

Negev trash mounds reveal secrets of ancient agriculture

The study explores how the detailed study of trash can lead to wide-ranging conclusions about the economic and agricultural life of a community.

Medieval Jerusalem latrine may hold secrets of modern-era gut diseases

The Jerusalem latrine was found in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 1996 during excavations of a cesspool in the courtyard of a Spanish school.

Israeli study finds ancient hominins used fire to make tools

The findings from the cave have been dated to between 420,000 and 200,000 years ago, or the Lower Paleolithic period.

Archaeologists dig at the site in Beersheba.

6,500-year-old 'furnace' discovered in Beersheba

“It’s important to understand that the refining of copper was the high tech of that period."

Abd Elghani Ibrahim of the Israel Antiquities Authority, at the site of the excavated mikveh near Ki

Ancient ritual bath makes journey to new kibbutz home

Kibbutz campaign triumphs in attempt to house ancient mikveh

Ortal Harush with one of the Iron-Age jars found in Khirbet Qeiyafa

Modern scans may show traces of the original dimensions of the ‘tefach’

The tefach, an ancient unit of measurement, was used by ancient Israelites.

Rare masthead from ancient shipwreck found in northern Israel

Rare masthead from ancient shipwreck found in northern Israel

Each artifact yielded information which can help unravel mysteries of this era.

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