Monday, July 06, 2015

New World Heritage Sites

UNESCO has released a list of newly declared World Heritage Sites, some of which are of PaleoJudaic interest:

Ancient Jewish necropolis named World Heritage Site. UNESCO adds Beit She’arim’s Roman-era catacombs, where author of Mishnah is buried, to list of protected locales (Stuart Winer, Times of Israel).
The World Heritage List enshrined Beit She’arim because its catacombs contain a “treasury of artworks and inscriptions in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew” and bear “a unique testimony to ancient Judaism under the leadership of Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, who is credited with Jewish renewal after 135 CE.”
Some past posts on Beit She'arim (Beit Shearim) are here, here, here, here, here, and links.

Susa, of Purim story fame, becomes World Heritage Site. Ancient city known in the Bible as Shushan is said to be where dramatic events in Scroll of Esther played out (Times of Israel/AFP).

A couple of past posts pertaining to Susa are here and here.

Jesus baptism site and France champagne hillsides get Unesco heritage tag (Jayalakshmi K, International Business Times)
The Jordanian site where Jesus was baptised is among many new places added to Unesco's heritage list.

"Bethany Beyond the Jordan" (Al-Maghtas), situated on the eastern bank of the River Jordan and 9kms north of the Dead Sea, encompasses Elijah's Hill and the area that houses remains of churches of Saint John who baptised Jesus of Nazareth.

The site features Roman and Byzantine remains including churches and chapels, a monastery, caves that have been used by hermits and pools in which baptisms were celebrated.

This is a possible site of the baptism of Jesus, but not the only possible one. Background here and links.