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Israel Travel News - May 2013

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL ARCHIVE OF ISRAEL NOW FEATURED ONLINE

The archaeological archive of Israel, which is administered by the Israel Antiquities Authority and amasses data on all of the activity of the archaeological entities in Israel, is currently being computerized for online viewing.

 

MASSIVE QUARRY FROM THE SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD EXPOSED IN JERUSALEM

An enormous 10,700-square-foot quarry dating back to the Second Temple period was recently unearthed by the Israel Antiquities Authority during excavations in Jerusalem. Among the items discovered in the quarry include a 2,000-year-old key, pick axes and wedge tools. 

 

 

BYZANTINE-ERA MOSAIC UNCOVERED IN KIBBUTZ BET QAMA IN THE NEGEV DESERT  

A magnificent 1,500-year-old mosaic was recently uncovered during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority in Kibbutz Bet Qama in Israel's Negev Desert. The mosaic is adorned with geometric patterns, a pair of peacocks, a pair of doves pecking at grapes on a tendril and its corners depicting amphorae, or ancient jars used to transport wine.     

 

ISRAEL MUSEUM IN JERUSALEM ACQUIRES RARE 15TH-CENTURY ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT OF MAIMONIDES' MISHNEH TORAH

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, along with New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, recently announced the joint acquisition of a rare 15th-century illuminated manuscript of Mishneh Torah handwritten by Maimonides, one of the most influential rabbinical figures of the Middle Ages. Crafted in northern Italy in 1457, this beautifully illustrated Hebrew text includes the final eight books of the Mishneh Torah, the first systematic codification of Jewish law, and includes six large painted panels decorated in precious pigments and gold leaf, as well as 41 smaller illustrations with gold lettering adorning the opening words of each chapter. 

 

1,500-YEAR-OLD WINE PRESS UNEARTHED IN JAFFA

The Israel Antiquities Authority recently unearthed a 1,500-year-old wine press in the Old City of Jaffa that is believed to have been part of a larger underground wine-making factory. The installation is divided into surfaces paved with a white industrial mosaic which was commonly found in the liquid-extracting press installations of the Byzantine period.  

 

ANCIENT WINE PRESS DISCOVERED IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL

Remains of a Byzantine-era settlement, including an ancient wine press, were discovered last month during an excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority near Hamei Yoav Spa in southern Israel. The 1,076-square-foot wine press consists of a large treading floor surrounded by six compartments on the north and east, which is believed to have been used in ancient vineyards to produce high-quality wine.

 

REMAINS OF 3,500-YEAR-OLD DONKEY SKELETON DISCOVERED IN ISRAEL

The 3,500-year-old remains of a donkey were recently discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority during an excavation at Tel Haror in southern Israel. Along with the skeletal remains, archaeologists also discovered a copper bridle bit in the donkey's mouth and saddle bags on its back, leading researchers to believe that the pack animal was sacrificed and buried as part of a Bronze Age ritual.  

 

STONE AGE-ERA ARTIFACTS EXCAVATED IN NORTHERN ISRAEL

A 6,000-year-old pit of burned bean seeds and a phallic sculpture were unearthed by the Israel Antiquities Authority during a recent excavation at Ahihud Junction near Haifa. During the excavation, archaeologists also discovered a large number of flint and obsidian arrowheads, polished miniature stone axes, blades and other flint and stone tools made of obsidian, indicative of trade relations that already existed with Turkey, Georgia and other regions during this period. 

 

MYSTERIOUS UNDERWATER STRUCTURE DISCOVERED IN THE SEA OF GALILEE

A massive stone structure was recently discovered by a team of underwater archaeologists at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. The mysterious cone-shaped structure is believed to have been man-made, using uncut basalt cobbles and boulders more than 4,000 years ago.

 

 

 

ISRAEL MINISTRY OF TOURISM HOSTS PRIVATE VIEWING OF 2,600-YEAR-OLD CYRUS CYLINDER AT THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE IN WASHINGTON D.C. 

The Israel Ministry of Tourism, North and South America, recently hosted a private viewing of the 2,600-year-old Cyrus Cylinder, in the U.S. for the first time ever, at the Smithsonian Institute of Asian Art's Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Cyrus Cylinder is known for its declaration of freedom of religion to all nationals under the rule of Persian King Cyrus the Great, therefore triggering the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land and the rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The Israel Ministry of Tourism's private viewing was attended by leading history, travel and faith-focused journalists from the greater Washington, D.C. area.

 

ANCIENT "GABRIEL STONE" NOW ON DISPLAY AT ISRAEL MUSEUM IN JERUSALEM 

The ancient "Gabriel Stone" was recently unveiled in a new exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where it will remain on display through February 2014. The exhibition showcases the mysterious Gabriel Stone, an ancient Hebrew text inscribed on a stone which researchers credit as offering insight into the spiritual world of writers during the Second Temple period. 

  

 

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Testimonials from our Travelers

Hi Sara,

We had a great trip.  Thank you for all the special extras like the particular boat that we had for the Sea of Galilee [that was so great], Ice Cream at Beit Shean, etc.  The bus was great as well since we had plenty of room to be comfortable.  Our driver David did a great job with taking Linda to the clinic to get her ankle x-rayed.  Everyone seemed to have a great experience and most have said that it has changed their lives.  That makes it all worthwhile.

It was great to see your David there at the Farewell Banquet.  It was quite a feast and in a great setting with a room of our own.

You do a wonderful job putting these trips together and we really appreciate how much work you put into making it so special and taking care of so many details.

Thanks and God bless,
Brenda Gabbard
Dublin, OH