Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Israeli archaeologists at Palmyra?

PALMYRA WATCH: Israeli archeologists at work in Palmyra under heavy Russian guard: sources (DEBKAfile).
Syrian opposition sources in the city of Homs said Tuesday that a delegation of Israeli archeologists is conducting excavations in the Syrian city of Palmyra under heavy Russian guard. The archeologists are said to be searching for ancient Hebrew inscriptions on the antiquities.

Interesting, if true. I would like to see some verification, though.

For background on Palmyra, its history, the ancient Aramaic dialect spoken there (Palmyrene), and the city's tragic recent fate in the hands of ISIS, followed by its retaking by the Syrian army with the help of the Russians, start here and follow the many links back.

UPDATE: Reader Yoel points me to the long original article by Ethar Abdul Haq in Zaman Al Wasl: Israeli excavations in Palmyra seek Jewish antiquities: sources. It seems to have been poorly translated from Arabic and it is garbled in a number of places. And, again, the main claims are from anonymous and unverified sources. The claim that Israeli archaeologists are looking for Jewish artifacts in Palmyra to prove that it was a Jewish city is absurd. Palmyra was a cosmopolitan city in which people of many ethnic backgrounds, including Jews, lived.