israel antiquity authority

An incredible 2,700 year-old Papyrus bearing the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew. This fragile piece of Jewish history was plundered from a cave in the Judean desert and then recovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The full Hebrew text reads : “From the female servant of the King, from Naharata (near Jericho) two wineskins to Jerusalem.” This is from the time of the First Temple.

The UN has just passed two outrageous resolutions claiming that there is no link between the Temple Mount, the most sacred site in Judaism ( which they have now renamed Al Haram Al Sharif ) and the Jewish people


Glint in the grass? Often, it’s not even a nickel.

But last week, Israeli Laurie Rimon spotted a gleam while on a hike in northern Israel with several friends. It turned out to be a gold coin so unusual, Israeli archaeologists say there is only one other one with the same symbols in the world.

“It’s extremely exciting,” said Dr. Donald Ariel, an expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, in comments released by the agency, which says the coin was struck by Roman Emperor Trajan in the year 107. “His gold coins are extremely rare.”

One side of the gold disc shows an image of Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire more than a century earlier. The other has symbols of Roman military legions.

That’s No Bottlecap! Hiker In Israel Finds Rare Gold Coin

Photos: Provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority

Jerusalem reference found on ancient wine ledger

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) seized the 2,700-year-old papyrus from thieves who had taken it from a desert cave near the Dead Sea.

Two lines in Hebrew detail the shipment of wine from the king’s household.

“From the king’s maidservant, from Na'arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem,” it reads.

“The document represents extremely rare evidence of the existence of an organised administration in the Kingdom of Judah,” said Dr Eitan Klein of the IAA.

Archaeologists dated the 11cm by 2.5cm (4.3in by 1in) piece of papyrus to the 7th Century BC and say it is the earliest mention of the city of Jerusalem from a source other than the Bible. Read more.

3,400-year-old naked statue of ancient Egyptian fertility goddess Astarte found in Israel

An ancient statue dating back to the late Bronze Age and depicting a naked standing woman has been discovered at the archaeological site of Tel Rehov, about 124km north of Jerusalem. The statue was found by a seven-year-old boy during his trip to the site, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The 3,400-year-old clay figurine was prepared by pressing soft clay into a mould. Authorities did not disclose the dimensions of the figurine but it looks to be a tiny one, which fits well inside the palm.

Some experts argue that the small figurine represents Astarte, the celebrated goddess of fertility, sexuality and war in the 18th dynasty of ancient Egyptian kingdom. Astarte was also worshipped in Canaan, what is now Israel, during the era. Read more.

Mysterious gold object weighing 8.5kg discovered in Jerusalem cemetery

A mysterious gold object weighing 8.5kg has been discovered in an old building in a Jerusalem cemetery. Experts at the Israel Antiquities Authority are so baffled as to what it is they are seeking help from the public to identify it.

The object – which would be worth around £200,000 in today’s market if it is solid gold, although it may just be gold-plated – was discovered by a maintenance worker at the cemetery. They found a “suspicious object” buried inside an old building within the cemetery grounds and contacted the police.

A controlled explosion revealed the item. Details of the cemetery and building in which it was discovered have not been disclosed. “The object was turned over to Antiquities Authority inspectors for examination; however, the archaeologists announced that they had never before encountered such an item,” the IAA said in a statement. Read more.

Judith Thurman on the history of crowns:

“The salient features of alpha malehood—manes, antlers, gorgeous plumage, and, above all, literally, the sun’s corona—have inspired their design. Napoleon’s imperial crown was a wreath of golden laurel leaves, the classical world’s homage to a victor of games or war. Christ’s crown of thorns mocked his claim of being the king of the Jews.”

Photograph: Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority

Twin archaeological discoveries in Israel depict life before and after Christian era

In what has been described as an “impressive” find, archaeologists have unearthed remains of a 2,700-year-old farm house and a 1,500-year-old monastery in Israel. The twin discoveries were made at a construction site in the Israeli city of Rosh Haayin, about 63km northeast of Jerusalem.

Archaeologists at the Israel Antiquities Authority who conducted the excavation, said although built centuries apart, the presence of both the structures at the same site indicates how Christianity spread in the area.

The farmhouse, measuring 30m by 50m, appears to be an agricultural homestead with 24 rooms constructed around a central courtyard where a large silo that stored grain was also found. Read more.