Saturday, March 10, 2012

More on the CIIP

THE CORPUS INSCRIPTIONUM IUDAEAE/PALESTINEAE is covered in a long article in Haaretz:
The writing on the wall, tablet and floor
An ambitious international project led by two adventurous Israeli classicists aims to analyze and catalog every ancient inscription that has been made in Israel. Their meticulous work includes crawling through caves and cellars and Indiana Jones-style adventures.

By Ofer Aderet Tags: Palestinians Palestinian Authority West Bank Gaza

Over the last few years. Hannah Cotton-Paltiel and Jonathan Price have spent much of their time far from the comfortable confines of the Ivory Tower, crawling through caves with flashlights in their hands, squeezing into crowded old basements and storage spaces, and rummaging through piles of old stones in private collections, churches and museums around the world. Cotton-Paltiel, who holds the Shalom Horowitz Chair in classics at the Hebrew University, and Price, who chairs the parallel department at Tel Aviv University, are part of the Israeli arm of a unique international project that bears the scientific title Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae.

The article is so richly detailed (a must-read-it-all) that it is hard to excerpt further. But this snippet seems timely.
The instincts that Price and Cotton-Paltiel have developed allow them to easily recognize and weed out attempted forgeries. For example, Cotton-Paltiel has learned from experience that "there is no such thing as a complete inscription on a stone that is broken on all sides."

Other cases demand more careful scrutiny. "Occasionally you read in the paper about sensations such as inscriptions connected to the brother of Jesus, and so on," explains Cotton-Paltiel. "We will go check them out for ourselves. In many cases we found that in a place where other people found riches beyond the imagination, there were merely worthless stones."

Last week, a front-page story in this newspaper included a photograph of an inscription that was discovered recently in a cave beneath a residential building in Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. The person who made the discovery is Simcha Jacobovici, a journalist and filmmaker who deals in archaeology. The article said that he believes the discovery is earth-shattering and could potentially change everything we know about Christianity and its founder.

As in similar cases, Price is maintaining a guarded suspicion for now. "I won't believe it until I see it for myself," he says.
Again, read it all.

Background on the project is here and links. Background on that ongoing front-page inscription story is here and links

Million dollar shekel sold

THE MILLION DOLLAR SHEKEL has sold for more that 1.1 million dollars. Art Daily:
Ancient Jewish coin brings record $1.1+ million at Heritage Auctions sale in New York

NEW YORK, NY.- The first silver shekel struck in Jerusalem by Jewish forces rebelling against Roman oppression in the first century CE, one of only two specimens known, brought a world record price of $1,105,375 at Heritage Auctions on March 8 as part of the auction of The Shoshana Collection of Ancient Coins of Judea. The coin sold to an anonymous overseas collector. The collection, consisting of more than 2,200 coins in total, is expected to realize more than $10 million over multiple auctions this year, the first of which began Thursday.

The article also has news on some of the other big-ticket items at the auction. No word if any are being donated to a museum.

Background here and links.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Philly DSS exhibit, plus replicas in Colorado

THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE has issued a press release about its upcoming Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition (which is moving from Discovery Times Square): Turbulent and Inspiring Period of History that Determined Course of Western Culture to Come to Life at The Franklin Institute: Unique and Moving Exhibition on View From May 12, 2012 to October 14, 2012 .

An earlier notice of this exhibition is here. For much more on the Discovery Times Square exhibition in New York City, see here and links.

Also, facsimiles of some of the Cave One Scrolls are to be displayed in Colorado: Display offers insight into Dead Sea Scrolls: Reproductions of manuscripts to visit Calvary Chapel Castle Rock.
The facsimiles were reproduced from photos of the original scrolls, which deteriorated after being removed from the dry climate of the Dead Sea region. The exhibit includes facsimiles of the Great Isaiah Scroll, a Commentary on the Old Testament book of Habakkuk, the Community Rule, a code of conduct for the Essene community, and various fragment scrolls.
More on the Isaiah Scroll facsimile here and links.

Hurtado on The Zealots

LARRY HURTADO has a reviewlet of the third edition of Martin Hengel's The Zealots.

Postdoc research fellowships

Six five-year postdoctoral research fellowships

The European Research Council funded project

The Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture


Applications are encouraged with regard to any relevant field including history, art history, classics, literary studies, Jewish studies, history of archaeology, history of education, cultural history, history of scholarship, theology, history of biblical interpretation, philosophy, history of science, Egyptology, Assyriology.

Applicants are asked to submit a proposal on any relevant aspect of the five major themes of the project: the bible in and as history; the bible in and as fiction; the bible and its institutions; the material bible; archaeology and the bible. The proposal should be no more than 1,200 words and must indicate the work the candidate intends to complete during the fellowship and how this work is integrally related to one or more of the themes of the project. Candidates whose proposal does not do this will not be considered. Proposals may be from within any single disciplinary field or may combine fields or may be interdisciplinary, but the candidate should also indicate how such a proposal relates to the wider themes of the project.

Follow the link for full details.

(Via the H-Judaic list.)

Temple Studies Group meeting

Temple Studies Group
Sixth Annual Syposium

The Temple in the Johannine Writings
Saturday June 16th 2012.
10.00 am- 4.00 pm
Temple Church, London EC4Y 7BB

Confirmed speakers:
Prof Robert Hayward, Durham:
The Temple and the Word. Light on St John’s Gospel from the Aramaic Targumim.

Dr Dominic Rubin, Moscow,
Russian Orthodox Cosmists on the Jewish Temple, the Divine Liturgy and the Johannine Writings.

The Rev. Robin Griffith Jones, Master of the Temple.
‘“One at the head and one at the feet” (John 20.12). John’s Easter Audience attains the Edenic Holy of Holies’.

Dr Margaret Barker, Temple Studies Group.
First Temple Imagery in St John’s Gospel. Who were “the Jews?”’

Please bring a packed lunch. Coffee and juice are provided
Cost £35.00. Students with proof of status £5.00
Pay on the day, cash or cheque only. We have no means of accepting card payments.

Booking essential, to prepare handouts etc.
Book via
Final details of the programme will be sent to you mid-May.

Jesus Discovery/Talpiyot tombs latest

FOR YOU, SPECIAL DEAL! NEA issue (from 2006) that discusses Talpiot Tomb available for free for a limited time (ASOR Blog).
ASOR is pleased to announce that it has made an issue of Near Eastern Archaeology (NEA 69:3/4 [2006]) available for free on JSTOR for the next month. This issue of NEA contains articles by leading scholars that examine the hypothesis that a Talpiot Tomb belonged to Jesus’ family. The issue contains articles by Eric M. Meyers, Shimon Gibson, Sandra Scham, Christopher Rollston, and Stephen J. Pfann. The issue also contains an extensive response by James D. Tabor.
Follow the link for a TOC and links.

For other recent blog posts, see James McGrath's latest: Round-Up on the Talpiot Patio Tomb (to fish or not to fish – that is the question). Also, Christopher Rollston: James Tabor’s Iota: A Palaeographic Problem for his Inscriptional Reading, in response to a reading by Tabor (followed by Bauckham, although his overall interpretation is very different from Tabor's).

Thursday, March 08, 2012

More on those early NT mss

DANIEL WALLACE is interviewed by Hugh Hewitt and reveals a little more about those early New Testament manuscripts. Excerpt:
HH: I’ve got to tell you, Professor, you turned a lot of heads when you alluded in your recent debate with Bart Ehrman to a new manuscript, or fragment of a manuscript concerning the Gospel of Mark. I know you’ve got scholarly restrictions on what you can and cannot say, but can you tell the audience what you’re allowed to disclose about that?

DW: I’ll be happy to. First of all, there is a fragment of Mark, and it’s a very small fragment, not too many verses, but it’s definitely from Mark. And the most amazing thing about this is that it’s from the 1st Century. We don’t have any other New Testament manuscripts that are written within the same century that the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament were written in. This is the first. And it’s dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers, whose name I’m not allowed to reveal yet. It will be published in a book with six other manuscripts that are either probably or definitely from the 2nd Century in about a year from now. And this is very, very exciting news, frankly. To have a fragment from one of the Gospels that’s written during the lifetime of some of the eyewitnesses to the resurrection is just astounding.

HH: Now when you say verses, can you tell us how many verses are in the fragment?

DW: Well, not really. I can say we have fragments, some of our fragments are so small that it might be part of one verse. This is bigger than that. And we have some of these early papyri, this is on papyrus, that are as much as, well, P-46, which is our oldest manuscript, or was our oldest manuscript for Paul’s letters, has nine of Paul’s letters in it almost intact. That’s a pretty large papyrus. So all of our papyri are fragmentary because of the nature of the material, and because of the age of the material. There’s leaves that just got eaten away or just eroded. But this is one leaf, I should say, or part of one leaf. So it can’t be very many verses on it.
That "one of the world's leading paleographers" is still keeping his head behind the parapet. Again, it's very odd that a scholar would announce a conclusion like this by proxy and not want to be named as the source. I wonder what that is about.

Professor Wallace also talks a little about the six other NT manuscripts that are supposed to be dated to the second century. Four are of Pauline letters (he declines to say which), one is of the Gospel of Luke, and one is a homily on Hebrews. (This paragraph was incomplete at first and I have now corrected it.)

Read it all. Via Larry Hurtado.

Background here and links.

NPR interviews Pagels

ELAINE PAGELS is interviewed by NPR about her new book:
Book Of Revelation: 'Visions, Prophecy And Politics'

Visions, Prophecy, And Politics In The Book Of Revelation
by Elaine H. Pagels
Hardcover, 246 pages
Faith & Spirituality

March 7, 2012

The Book of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament, has some of the most dramatic and frightening language in the Bible.

In her new book Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Princeton University religious professor Elaine Pagels places the Book of Revelation in its historical context and explores where the book's apocalyptic vision of the end of the world comes from.

"The Book of Revelation fascinates me because it's very different than anything else you find in the New Testament," Pagels tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There's no moral sermons or ethical ideas or edifying things. It's all visions. That's why it appeals so much to artists and musicians and poets throughout the century."

Follow the link for interview highlights as well as a link to listen to the whole interview. And you can read an excerpt of the book here.

HT reader Gerald Rosenberg.

Background here.

Palmyra a war zone

THE SITE OF PALMYRA in Syria is reportedly being used by the Syrian Government as a military camp and sniper nest, with any movement in the ruins bringing down gunfire: Syria's ancient desert city besieged: residents (AFP).

If the reports are true, this is barbaric.

More on Palmyra here, with lots of links.

Jesus Discovery latest

ASOR BLOG: The Talpiot Tomb and the Beatles (Mark Goodacre). No, really.

There continues to be a lot of discussion in the biblioblogosphere. For a recent roundup, see James McGrath here.

UPDATE: ASOR Blog: The Four-Line Ossuary Inscription from Talpiyot Tomb B – an Interpretation (Richard Bauckham)

Reflections on Haman

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS for Purim: Would Israel's Courts Hang Haman?

Another Footnote review

MOVIELINE: REVIEW: Israeli Comedy-Drama Footnote Makes Talmudic Scholarship Seem Almost Dynamic.

What's this "almost?"

More reviews etc. here and links.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Happy Purim

THE FESTIVAL OF PURIM begins tonight at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating.

Top seven Bible verses in the Talmud

THE TALMUD BLOG reveals the top seven scriptural verses quoted in the Babylonian Talmud: The Bible in the Bavli: Some First Numbers- Guest Post by Michael Satlow. They aren't the first ones you would guess. Or at least that I would have guessed.

Background here.

Coptic manuscripts of John

SOME ACTUAL ANCIENT GOSPEL MANUSCRIPTS IN AN ORIENTAL LANGUAGE (not like this one) are profiled at Alin Suciu's blog: Guest Post: Christian Askeland on the Coptic Versions of the Gospel of John.

The Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palestinae (CIIP)

CURIOUSLY, this article never gets around to giving the name of the project:
Ancient 'Graffiti' Unlock the Life of the Common Man

ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2012) — History is often shaped by the stories of kings and religious and military leaders, and much of what we know about the past derives from official sources like military records and governmental decrees. Now an international project is gaining invaluable insights into the history of ancient Israel through the collection and analysis of inscriptions -- pieces of common writing that include anything from a single word to a love poem, epitaph, declaration, or question about faith, and everything in between that does not appear in a book or on a coin.

Such writing on the walls -- or column, stone, tomb, floor, or mosaic -- is essential to a scholar's toolbox, explains Prof. Jonathan Price of Tel Aviv University's Department of Classics. Along with his colleague Prof. Benjamin Isaac, Prof. Hannah Cotton of Hebrew University and Prof. Werner Eck of the University of Cologne, he is a contributing editor to a series of volumes that presents the written remains of the lives of common individuals in Israel, as well as adding important information about provincial administration and religious institutions, during the period between Alexander the Great and the rise of Islam (the fourth century B.C.E. to the seventh century C.E.).

These are the tweets of antiquity.

"The tweets of antiquity." Not bad.

More on ancient graffiti in Israel, as well as this particular project here and links.

More Footnote reviews etc.

THE ACADEMY AWARDS have come and gone, but the Footnote coverage continues to pile up:

Prize Fighters: Joseph Cedar’s Footnote pits a Talmudic scholar against his academic son in a tale equal parts midrash, riddle, and Israeli political tragedy (J. Hoberman, Tablet Magazine)

On The Oscars, Talmud Scholars And Risky Filmmaking: An interview with ‘Footnote’ director Joseph Cedar. (Eric Herschthal, The Jewish Week)

Movie Review: Footnote (Marshall Fine, Huffington Post)

Background here and here and links.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Green Collection (etc.) exhibition in Rome

THE GREEN COLLECTION is certainly getting around:
Interfaith Bible Exhibit Opens in St. Peter's Square (136)

Verbum Domini Runs Through Lent. A working Gutenberg press. Seeing early scriptural papyrus led one viewer to quip: ‘I feel like Indiana Jones.’

by TIM DRAKE 03/06/2012 (National Catholic Register)

VATICAN CITY — Visitors to Rome will have the opportunity to view a free, one-of-a-kind exhibition looking at the Bible at the Braccio di Carlo Magno Museum adjacent to St. Peter’s Basilica in St. Peter’s Square.

The exhibition, “Verbum Domini,” opened March 1 and runs through April 15, and offers a collaboration between the Vatican, the Green Collection (aka Museum of the Bible) and the American Bible Society.

It features more than 150 manuscripts and artifacts from the Catholic, Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox traditions.

The exhibit is the brainchild of business executive Steve Green, with the exhibit under the direction of Scott Carroll, both of whom were motivated by their love for the Bible.

“We wanted to make this exhibit available, on faith’s largest stage and one of the most visited religious sites in the world, to people of all faiths and no faith, to engage tourists and scholars alike,” said Green, president of the Hobby Lobby retail chain.

“Verbum Domini” features items “found nowhere else in the world,” arranged in eight galleries from different time periods, said Carroll, who chose the items for display. “They tell the story of how we got the Bible from an interfaith perspective.”

Among the items included in the exhibit are some the earliest fragments of the Book of Genesis from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, which is one of the earliest-surviving, near-complete Bibles containing the most extensive early biblical texts in Jesus’ language of Palestinian Aramaic. It also includes previously unpublished and never-before-exhibited biblical papyri, Torah scrolls from around the world and the Jeselsohn Stone, a 3-foot-tall, 150-pound sandstone tablet discovered near the Dead Sea in Jordan. Dating from 100 B.C., the stone contains 87 lines of Hebrew text prophesying the coming of a Messiah who will suffer, die and rise again.

Visitors said that they were struck by the diversity and quality of items found in the exhibit.

It certainly sounds that way. I edited the Cave Four manuscripts of Genesis from the Dead Sea Scrolls (in DJD 12). I wonder if the Genesis fragments mentioned above are from those, or does the Green Collection have something new I haven't heard of?

More on Codex Climaci Rescriptus and on the Green Collection in general here and links. More on the Jeselsohn Stone/Gabriel Revelation/Vision of Gabriel here and links.

Jesus Discovery update

THE JESUS DISCOVERY controversy over the Talpiyot tombs continues to generate blog posts etc.:

ASOR Blog: The Talpiot Tombs and New Testament Historical Criticism (James McGrath).

NT Blog (Mark Goodacre): Was there a predisposition to find Jonah and the whale? One's own blog archive can be a treasure trove, as I know well.

Christopher Rollston: Joseph of Arimathea and Talpiyot Tomb B? An Absence of Reasonable Evidence for a Connection. Professor Rollston makes it all the way through this post without a single reference to Monty Python, which shows he is a better man than I.

Also, Peter Mucha at the Philadelphia Inquirer announces: ‘Jesus Tomb’ objects coming to Philadelphia. Oh, and the exhibition also has some Dead Sea Scrolls or something, whatever.


The local small press does rather better on this story: Franklin Institute to host ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ this May (Tim Ronaldson, Rittenhoused).

Forgery Trial verdict coming soon

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Date Set for James Ossuary Verdict. The date being March 14th. It is unfortunate that judges have had to be called in, in effect to decide whether artifacts are forgeries (or a partial forgery, nuance, nuance). Whatever happens, it is bound to have an impact on the field.

Background here and endless links.

Bibi, Obama, and Purim

HINT, HINT: Netanyahu Gave Obama Purim Scroll on Ancient Persian Plot.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Jesus Discovery latest

THE JESUS DISCOVERY DISCUSSION CONTINUES, and I can't claim to be paying close attention. But here are a couple of blog posts from over the weekend.

ASOR blog: The Talpiyot Unguentarium (Joan Taylor).

Tom Verenna: Some Considerations About the Iconography on the Ossuary.

In brief, both are arguing that the supposed fish-plus-Jonah representation on Talpiyot Tomb B is actually a representation of a jar used for funerary unguent.

In his post on the ASOR blog, Robert Cargill also questions whether the photograph has been altered at some point, and Tom picks up on this. I have not followed the discussion enough to have a view on this, but you can read the various arguments and decide for yourself.

Background here and links.

UPDATE: Here's James McGrath's update for today: Talpiot Tombs Latest (Including Fish-Reorientation and Unguentaria).

Harold Bloom, The Flight to Lucifer

HAROLD BLOOM wrote a novel based on Gnostic theology? Who knew?
2. The Flight to Lucifer: A Gnostic Fantasy by Harold Bloom (1979)
The only novel that the famous literary critic ever wrote — and he has disowned it utterly. Don't let Harold Bloom see you reading this book! It's a quasi-sequel to the space-faring novel A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay. And like Lindsay's book, this involves a flight to another world, in which Gnostic philosophy is explored — and this time, it's the planet Lucifer, where a guy named Olam guides the travelers to escape from Crystalman. As one Amazon reviewer explains:
set on a distant world where time and space shift back and forth and where the conflicts of first-century religion are still being played out. Harold Bloom's story begins with an Aeon, Olam, descding to earth to bring two men, Valentinus, a reincarnation of a Gnostic prophet, and his young warrior escort Perscors, back to Lucifer on a quest to help Valentinus recover the call that motivated his previous life. For Perscors, the quest is a search for a transcendental principle, but to reach it, he has to do battle with enemies both divine and semi-divine, to finally reach his inner discovery of his own uniqueness.
I usually know about these things.

(Charlie Jane Anders, 10 Weirdest Science Fiction Novels That You’ve Never Read, io9.)

Review of Pagels, Revelations

A NEW BOOK BY ELAINE PAGELS is reviewed by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker: The Big Reveal: Why does the Bible end that way? Key excerpts:
In a new book on those end pages, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation” (Viking), Elaine Pagels sets out gently to bring their portents back to earth. She accepts that Revelation was probably written, toward the end of the first century C.E., by a refugee mystic named John on the little island of Patmos, just off the coast of modern Turkey. (Though this John was not, she insists, the disciple John of Zebedee, whom Jesus loved, or the author of the Gospel that bears the same name.) She neatly synopsizes the spectacular action. ...

Pagels then shows that Revelation, far from being meant as a hallucinatory prophecy, is actually a coded account of events that were happening at the time John was writing. It’s essentially a political cartoon about the crisis in the Jesus movement in the late first century, with Jerusalem fallen and the Temple destroyed and the Saviour, despite his promises, still not back. All the imagery of the rapt and the raptured and the rest that the “Left Behind” books have made a staple for fundamentalist Christians represents contemporary people and events, and was well understood in those terms by the original audience. Revelation is really like one of those old-fashioned editorial drawings where Labor is a pair of overalls and a hammer, and Capital a bag of money in a tuxedo and top hat, and Economic Justice a woman in flowing robes, with a worried look. “When John says that ‘the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth,’ he revises Daniel’s vision to picture Rome as the worst empire of all,” Pagels writes. “When he says that the beast’s seven heads are ‘seven kings,’ John probably means the Roman emperors who ruled from the time of Augustus until his own time.” As for the creepy 666, the “number of the beast,” the original text adds, helpfully, “Let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person.” This almost certainly refers—by way of Gematria, the Jewish numerological system—to the contemporary Emperor Nero. Even John’s vision of a great mountain exploding is a topical reference to the recent eruption of Vesuvius, in C.E. 79. Revelation is a highly colored picture of the present, not a prophecy of the future.
I haven't read the book and I don't know how well the review reflects what she actually says, but I think it's a mistake to regard a "hallucinatory," or at any rate visionary prophecy to be mutually exclusive with a coded allegory of contemporary (with John) events. I don't think Professor Pagels would disagree with me.
After decoding Revelation for us, Pagels turns away from the canonic texts to look at the alternative, long-lost “Gnostic” texts of the period that have turned up over the past sixty years or so, most notably in the buried Coptic library of Nag Hammadi. As in her earlier books (“The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis”; “The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters”; “The Gnostic Gospels”), she shows us that revelations in the period were not limited to John’s militant, vengeful-minded one, and that mystic visions more provocative and many-sided were widespread in the early Jesus movement.

As an alternative revelation to John’s, she focusses on what must be the single most astonishing text of its time, the long feminist poem found at Nag Hammadi in 1945 and called “Thunder, Perfect Mind”—a poem so contemporary in feeling that one would swear it had been written by Ntozake Shange in a feminist collective in the nineteen-seventies, and then adapted as a Helen Reddy song. In a series of riddling antitheses, a divine feminine principle is celebrated as transcending all principles (the divine woman is both whore and sibyl) and opening the way toward a true revelation of the hidden, embracing goddess of perfect being who lies behind all things:
More on the Thunder-Perfect-Mind Prada ad and related matters here, here, and here. The link to the YouTube video of the Prada ad has rotted, but you can find the ad here. And the video of Meredith Brooks's "Bitch" is here.

Putting "Revelations" in the title of a book about the biblical Book of Revelation is unfortunate, or perhaps mischievous. People have enough trouble getting the title of the biblical book right without having the wrong title next to it on the same line. I see that Eric Herschthal at the New York Jewish Week has fallen into the trap: A Revelation: Elaine Pagels and the Jewish Cult Behind the Book of Revelations.

But that's a quibble. This sounds as though it is as interesting a book as we have come to expect from Elaine Pagels.

UPDATE: Liv Ingeborg Lied e-mails to point me to Current 93/Nurse with Wound, Thunder Perfect Mind.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Gravestones at Zoar

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Ancient Gravestone Epitaphs Give Insight into Early Jews and Christians: Understanding Christian and Jewish tombstones from ancient Zoora.

Summarizes and links to a couple of BAR articles which are mostly behind the subscription wall.

Khirbet Midras update

MORE ON KIRBET MIDRAS, the supposed site of the tomb of a prophet Zechariah:
More on Discoveries at Horbat Midras in Israel

A team of archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have published a report on results of excavation works conducted in 2010-2011 on the slopes of the Judaean hills at Horbat Midras, including a groundbreaking discovery of a Byzantine-era church.


About a year ago the archaeologists announced that they unearthed a church which they believe is a memorial designed to mark the tomb of the prophet Zechariah.

Now the team describes their remarkable finds in a report, published in the journal Hadashot Arkheologiyot.

The Hebrew article is here. Both articles have some very nice photos of the mosaics, some of which were valdalized last year. For background, follow that link back. It leads eventually to here, where I register some skepticism about the supposed tomb of Zechariah.