Bible Archaeology

Biblical-Era Jug Found in Mediterranean Sea

3,000-year-old earthenware was first brought up in fisherman’s net many years ago.

Haaretz:

The ancient jugs that were found at sea.

A unique collection of ancient earthenware vessels found in the Mediterranean Sea has been turned over to the Israel Antiquities Authority, following the death of the fisherman who originally brought them up in his nets many years ago. The oldest vessel in the collection is estimated to be about 3,000 years old.

Osnat Lester of Poriya Ilit contacted the Antiquities Authority a few days ago to say that she had several old jugs in her storage closet that had been left to her by a relative who was a fisherman. Two archaeologists from the authority went to her house to check out the collection, and were stunned to discover a real archaeological treasure.

The cloth-wrapped vessels displayed the characteristic pitting of artifacts that have been underwater for many years. The archaeologists said they probably came from some of the ships that have been wrecked off the coast throughout history.

Among the most stunning findings was a unique storage vessel characteristic of the late Biblical period, some 3,000 years ago. It has high basket handles and impressive dimensions. There were also vessels from the Roman period, some 2,000 years ago, as well as the Byzantine period, about 1,500 years ago. The vessels held wine and other products.

“He was a naïve fisherman whose entire world was fishing,” Lester said. “He loved whatever he drew from the water. The fish he ate, and the vessels he kept. He thought they were pretty and could perhaps decorate the house. He never imagined that they were ancient vessels.

“When I saw them, I also thought they were perhaps 100 years old,” she continued. “The only thing we’ve asked of the Antiquities Authority is to tell us where the vessels are going, so that we can visit them with the grandchildren.”

Seaborne trade along what is now the Israeli coast began in the Bronze Age, some 5,000 years ago. Throughout most of history, the eastern Mediterranean has served as a maritime passage between Egypt and Lebanon, and many vessels have sunk there. It’s rare to find a relatively intact wreck from which antiquities can be removed. But fisherman who use nets occasionally dredge up pieces of these wrecked ships.

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Culture

It’s Taken an American to Expose the Brutal Truth of Britain’s Military Decline

The Telegraph:

Harrier on aircraft carrier
None of these, any more. (Photo: EPA)

Robert Gates’s devastating critique of Britain’s military decline since the Government’s ill-considered 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review is as long overdue as it is welcome.

The former US Defence Secretary, who served under both the Bush and Obama administrations having previously enjoyed a glittering career at the CIA, says the “fairly substantial reductions” to the defence budget undertaken by the Coalition mean that Britain can no longer viewed as a “full partner” by the US.

So far as our national security is concerned, this is simply devastating. Close military cooperation between Britain and the world’s only superpower if essential if we are to stand any chance of defending ourselves, as well as protecting our interests overseas.

But – as I have argued consistently since the SDSR cuts were announced – the Government has blithely pressed ahead with cutting the MOD’s budget without giving the slightest consideration to the damage it has inflicted to our defence capabilities, and the disastrous effect this would inevitably have on our standing as a leading military power.

In response to Mr Gates’s comments, the Ministry of Defence has trotted out its usual formula for defending the indefensible – Britain still has the fourth largest defence budget in the world,  still retains powerful military capabilities, blah, blah, blah…

 

Church

Faces of Death

Lapham’s Quarterly:

…  Christian art adopted the iconography of the rich pantheon of Greek daemons, and we can see echoes of Thanatos in paintings with religious subject matter. Evelyn de Morgan’s 1890 oil on canvas, The Angel of Death, merges Biblical subject matter with an Arcadian landscape and neoclassical figures. The scythe and long cloak signal the angel’s status as an agent of death, but the dappled light on the folds of his robe and the feathers of his wings, the gentle touch of his hand, and his serene facial expression all identify him as a benefactor of divine grace rather than a merciless reaper. Christianity’s promise to the believer of a blessed afterlife strips death of its macabre quality, and this is reflected in de Morgan’s rendering.

angelofdeath.jpg

Evelyn de Morgan, The Angel of Death, c. 1890. (Wikimedia Commons)

More on the history of the depiction of death here.

Church

I don’t think… I don’t know… I don’t care… I am too busy…

Over at Fr Z’s place:

Here are the “7 National Crimes” by William John Henry Boetcker published, as far as I can tell, in the early 20th c.:

  1. I don’t think.
  2. I don’t know.
  3. I don’t care.
  4. I am too busy.
  5. I leave well enough alone.
  6. I have no time to read and find out.
  7. I am not interested.

These might be easily translated into “7 Ecclesiastical Crimes”.

I don’t mean that just for clerics, by the way.  I mean that also for lay people…