Archaeology Corner

Archaeology Corner

King Herod’s Tomb Found?

Has the tomb of King Herod been found?

King Herod was the reigning King of Judea, from around 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. (during the time of Jesus’ birth).

Professor Ehud Netzer, an archaeologist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says he located Herod’s tomb at Herodium, just south of Jerusalem. The description of ancient historian Josephus Flavius’ details of Herod’s funeral procession is what led Prof Netzer’s team to the burial site. A smashed limestone sarcophagus was found measuring approximately 8 feet long with ornate rosette decorations on the fragments. The ornate rosette decorations played a major part in identifying the coffin’s significance.

Unfortunately there were no bones in the coffin. Professor Netzer believes that the bones may have been removed by Jewish rebels who fought against Rome between 66 A.D. and 72 A.D.

Israel Museum Puts Medieval Hebrew Manuscript on Display

The Israel Museum, in Jerusalem, has put a medieval manuscript on display. The manuscript was in the hands of a Lebanese born American who turned it over to the Rare Book Manuscripts and Special Collections Library at Duke University. It is now on loan to the Museum Shrine of Books, in Israel, for display and is housed with the Dead Sea Scrolls. The manuscript is a Hebrew manuscript containing the “Song of the Sea” section of the Old Testament book of the Exodus, dated to around the 7th century A.D. This comes from the time in history known as the ‘Silent Era’ that spanned for a 600 year period between the 3rd and 8th century A.D, from which there are almost no surviving Hebrew manuscripts.

The parchment is believed to have been part of a vast depository of Medical Jewish Manuscripts discovered in the late 1800 in Cairo’s ancient Ben Ezra Synagogue.

Egyptian Tomb Inscription May Be Oldest Proto-Canaanite Text Yet

Professor Richard Steiner a Semitic language expert at Yeshiva University, in New York, has solved the mysterious inscriptions found on the tombs of ancient Egyptian Kings. These were religious texts inter-spread throughout the underground chambers of the pyramids south of Cairo. The texts remained a puzzle until 2002, when an Egyptologist emailed the undeciphered parts of the text to Professor Steiner. Steiner deciphered it and identified the texts to be of a Semitic origin and connected to a language used by the Canaanites at some point between 30 B.C. to 25 B.C. According to Steiner, the Semitic language of the texts is said to be a very archaic form of the language that later developed into Phoenician and Hebrew. This is interesting as it makes a connection between the Canaanites, Egyptians, and the Hebrew peoples.

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