Still on the subject of Biblical Archaeology this is interesting:
A recent and ongoing excavation at the remains of an expansive Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace in the western Galilee region of present-day Israel is opening a new window on the possible presence of ancient Minoans at an ancient Canaanite palace, revealing what may be the earliest known Western art found in the eastern Mediterranean.
Known as Tel Kabri (located near its namesake kibbutz not far from historic Acco and the resort town of Nahariya on the coast of Israel), the site features an early Middle Bronze Age (MB I) palace dated to the 19th century B.C.E., making it, along with ancient Aphek and possibly Megiddo, the earliest MB palace discovered in present-day Israel. This conclusion was drawn as a result of excavations conducted there as recently as December 20, 2010 to January 10, 2011. But the tell-tale signs of an Aegean presence or influence at the site show up in a later developmental phase of the palace structure some 150 to 200 years later in the overlying MB II palace dated to the 17th century. Reports Dr. Eric Cline of George Washington University and Co-Director of the excavations along with Assaf Yasur-Landau of Haifa University, “Excavations conducted by [Aharon] Kempinski and [Wolf-Dietrich] Niemeier from 1986 to 1993 at the site of Tel Kabri — now identified as the capital of a Middle Bronze Age Canaanite kingdom located in the western Galilee region of modern Israel — revealed the remains of a palace dating to the Middle Bronze (MB) II period (ca. 1700 – 1550 B.C.E.). Within the palace, Kempinski and Niemeier discovered an Aegean-style painted plaster floor and several thousand fragments originally from a miniature Aegean-style wall fresco.”(1) The new excavations under the direction of Cline and Yasur-Landau have added to the discovery. Reports Cline, et al., “During the 2008 and 2009 excavations at Tel Kabri more than 100 new fragments of wall and floor plaster were uncovered. Approximately 60 are painted, probably belonging to a second Aegean-style wall fresco with figural representations and a second Aegean-style painted floor.”(2)
Three other archaeological sites in the Middle East are known to have yielded Aegean-style frescoes and paintings: Tell el-Dab’a in Egypt, Qatna in Syria and Alalakh in Turkey. The Tel Kabri fresoes and paintings are, however, the only evidence of Minoan or Cycladic-style artwork in present-day Israel (or among the ancient Canaanites) and they are dated as significantly older than those found at Tell el-Dab’a and Qatna. They are roughly contemporary with those at Alalakh, although, because it is still early in the investigations at Kabri and recent excavations have revealed an earlier palace structure 150 years older, the ultimate age relationship is still uncertain.
To be sure, identification of the painted plaster and fresco artifacts as distinctly Aegean in style hinges upon careful diagnostic analysis of the finds…
Your help is needed:
As part of our research in preparing to publish the finds of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, one of our great challenges is identifying and dating special artifacts since they have been found out-of-context. With our acquaintance with the material culture of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel throughout its generations, we manage to identify and date most of the finds, but many others are only partially identified or remain a total enigma. Since our current research is dealing with archaeological finds from the Temple Mount – these finds being the only material from the Temple Mount that is accessible for archaeological study – we concluded that, in order to increase our ability to identify them, we should enlist the help of the world wide community of scholars via the internet. Therefore, we have established a website in which we will upload from time to time images of artifacts about which we need more information.
On this website visitors are able to view photos of various artifacts found at the Sifting Project and comment on those about which they are familiar…
We have uploaded a preliminary collection of photos, and we will continue to upload from time to time more items from various types of finds. We would appreciate it very much if you would browse through the photo gallery and add your comments…
To do so, click here.
Looks like this could be fun…
HT: Bible Places
I keep having to ask myself, what business does an atheist have with the written Word of God?
… “The Good Book: A Humanist Bible,” subtitled “A Secular Bible” in the United Kingdom, was published this month. Grayling crafted it by using more than a thousand texts representing several hundred authors, collections and traditions.
The Bible would have been “a very different book and may have produced a very different history for mankind,” had it drawn on the work of philosophers and writers as opposed to prophets and apostles, says Grayling, a philosopher and professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, who is an atheist.
The full post is at CNN here.
A secular Bible? What a load of poppycock!
That’s if Pastor Terry Jones has his way:
Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Fla., was speaking with Klein on the latter’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on WABC 770 AM in New York City when the host asked if there was any truth to the rumor that Jones’ church would put Muhammad “on trial,” like it did with the Quran.
There is that possibility,” Jones said, before qualifying, “it is definitely not a possibility in the near future.”
Nonetheless, he continued: “As far as judging Muhammad, it would take place in the same way. We would try to obtain experts on both sides of the bench, and if Muhammad was found innocent . . . then we would issue a public apology to Islam, to the Quran, to the followers of Muhammad for our actions at insulting [them]. If he was found guilty, then we would do in the same manner as the Quran burning. We would offer probably four or five different forms of punishment, and then the form of punishment that the people voted upon, that would be the punishment that would be executed.”
Klein asked what kind of “punishment” Jones had in mind.
“Probably they would be forms similar to International Judge the Quran Day,” Jones said. “On that day we had four forms of punishment — they were burning, grounding, shredding and facing of a firing squad. We would probably pick some of those kinds of forms, and if Muhammad was found guilty . . . we would put together some type of picture or some type of dummy figure to represent him, and then the execution would be done on that particular object we created.”
The piece in full is here.
The man’s clearly a maniac!
HT and more here. Click above to open a printable pdf. doc.
Via Jewish Ideas Daily:
The most acclaimed Jewish Bible commentary opens with a question. Why, asks Rashi (1040–1105), does the Torah begin with the account of creation, when it should properly have begun with God’s revelation of His very first law to Moses on the eve of the Exodus from Egypt: “This month shall be for you the first of months”? After all, according to rabbinic tradition, this same law, establishing Nissan as the first month of the Jewish ritual year, constituted both a disclosure of the workings of the heavens to the great biblical prophet and an imperative to all Jews forever to “gaze and sanctify” the cycles of the lunar year on which their calendar is based.
In Temple times, the task of establishing those months—and of coordinating them with the solar year in order to ensure that Passover would never commence before the vernal equinox—fell not to all Jews but to the Sanhedrin. Its members alone were empowered to proclaim each new month on the basis of eyewitness testimony to the appearance of the very first sliver—the molad (conjunction with the sun; literally, birth)—of the moon.
After the destruction of the Second Temple and the disbandment of the Sanhedrin, rabbinic authorities saw to it that the calculation of the calendar was rendered an esoteric matter, strictly entrusted to experts like themselves…
Read on here.
Also out today at the same site is an introduction to the history, character, and science of the Jewish calendar from biblical to post-talmudic times. It can be read here. Interesting.