Thursday, June 10, 2021

What do Bethsaida and the Etruscans have in common?

UNEXPECTED COLLABORATION: Israeli, Italian Colleges to Collaborate on ‘Bethsaida,’ Etruscan Archaeology. The site where Jesus’ disciplines were born and the birthplace of pre-Roman culture have much to teach archaeologists from the two teams, explains Kinneret College’s Prof. Mordechai Aviam (Haaretz). HT Rogue Classicisim.

“It will enable us to better understand two cultures and how they connect,” Aviam told Haaretz. “The Etruscan roots in Rome run deep, just for instance, in their building methods. The Etruscans built round temples and that eventually reached Israel. Herod’s grave, called the tolus, is round – a style that apparently originated not in Israel but in Etruscan Italy.”

Ultimately, such collaboration helps broaden the archaeologists’ horizon to learn about worlds with which they are unfamiliar, he says: to see their homes, their pottery, their coinage, their things. They can learn about cultural influences going back millennia. When they can travel, that is. Aviam is hopeful they can start implementing the collaboration in July.

This Bethsaida is the site of el-Araj. For the ongoing controversy over which site is the actual ancient city of Bethsaida (the main alternative location is et-Tell), see here and many links. Apparently el-Araj is also called Beit Habek, although this is first I remember hearing that. The site remains flooded, but the excavators aim to work around that and excavate anyway.

The Etruscans have come up occasionally on PaleoJudaica, notably regarding the bilingual Phoencian-Etruscan gold tablets from Pyrgi.

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