Saturday, March 5, 2011

Some of my Pottery Excavations

My Pottery Finds

Here are a few of the pottery pieces that I excavated in the tomb including the two twin vases I found side by side. That dish in the center was found broken in three equal pieces and was very nicely glued back together.

All the the pottery in the tomb tested to be over 3500 years old. I was the first human to set eyes on them since they were buried with one of the occupants of the tomb. I love digging in the dirt.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Alantis Myth

The story of the Isle of Atlantis first occurs in Plato's two dialogues the "Timaeus" and the "Critias." Plato's story centers on Solon, a great Greek legislator and poet who journeyed to Egypt some 150 years earlier. While in the Egyptian city of Sais Solon received the story of Atlantis from priests. The priests respected Solon's reputation and cordially welcomed him. They also respected the Athenians, whom they regarded as kinsmen, because they believed their deity Neith to be the same deity as the Greeks called Athena. Therefore, she was believed to be the patroness and protector of both Greece and Egypt.

The story that the priests told Solon was unknown to him. According to ancient Egyptian temple records the Athenians fought an aggressive war against the rulers of Atlantis some nine thousand years earlier and won.
These ancient and powerful kings or rulers of Atlantis had formed a confederation by which they controlled Atlantis and other islands as well. They began a war from their homeland in the Atlantic Ocean and sent fighting troops to Europe and Asia. Against this attack the men of Athens formed a coalition from all over Greece to halt it. When this coalition met difficulties their allies deserted them and the Athenians fought on alone to defeat the Atlantian rulers. They stopped an invasion of their own country as well as freeing Egypt and eventually every country under the control of the rulers of Atlantis.
Shortly after their victory, even before the Athenians could return home, Atlantis suffered catastrophic earthquakes and floods until it disappeared beneath the sea. All of the brave men were swallowed up in one day and night of horror according to legend. This is why the Egyptians were ever grateful to the Athenians.
Also in the story Plato gives is a history of Atlantis that shows how the rulers eroded to such a state were they wanted to conquer everyone. This history had been recorded by Solon in notes that were handed down through his family.

The best archaeological site for the fabled Atlantis is the island of Santorini which is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and leading to the creation of the current geological caldera.
Some of the houses in ancient city of Akrotiri are major structures, some amongst them three stories high. Its streets, squares, and walls were preserved in the layers of ejecta, sometimes as tall as eight meters, and indicating this was a major town. In many houses stone staircases are still intact, and they contain huge ceramic storage jars, mills, and pottery. Noted archaeological remains found in Akrotiri are wall paintings which have kept their original color well, as they were preserved under many meters of volcanic ash. The town also had a highly developed drainage system and, judging from the fine artwork, its citizens were clearly sophisticated and relatively wealthy people.

Pipes with running water and toilets found at Akrotiri are the oldest such utilities discovered. The pipes run in twin systems, indicating that the Therans used both hot and cold water supplies; the origin of the hot water probably was geothermic, given the volcano’s proximity. The dual pipe system suggesting hot and cold running water, the advanced architecture, and the apparent layout of the Akrotiri find resemble Plato’s  description of the legendary lost city of Atlantis, further indicating the Minoans as the culture which primarily inspired the Atlantis legend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Jesus Boat

In 1999 We visited Caperenaum by the sea of Galilee and this site where archaeologist were preserving a first century fishing boat that was found during a time when lake levels were low. It is now in a museum built just for this boat.
Did Jesus sail in this boat? 

 The time frame for this boat makes it possible that he could have sailed in it. It is also likely that this boat was one of thousands that were around at the time and he did not sail in it. The model below is what the boat would have looked like new.

My three friends from the Ashkelon dig traveled with me to the Sea of Galilee  in a rental car.

Pictured here from left to right are Howard Scott, Carol Jahn and Eudora Bernsen. 
We all had a great time exploring northern Israel together.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mount Moria

This was my first view of the "Wailing Wall" the western wall of Mount Moria or Temple Mount.

Actually Mt. Moria is mostly hidden under a lot of dirt. The wall you see here was built as a retaining wall by King Herod the Great when he enlarged the Temple Mount to build a bigger temple. This wall was not actually part of the Temple itself. It is however awesome!

Above it is the Dome of the Rock on a site that is sacred to Hebrews, Christians and Islam. Inside that golden dome is three alters: one for Abraham, one for Jesus and one for Mohammad. It was an inspiring day for me in 1999 when I visited there and prayed at the wall and at the alter for Jesus. Three religions that worship the one true God and one wonder why we can not get along. But then I wonder why Christians can get along with each other. People and their differences of personal opinions spoil the message about God's love for all of us.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fauna Bones

Not all of the bones we dig up were human. As a matter of fact most were not human. To deal with those bones we had the "Fauna Crew" down at the other end of our row of bone tables these three experts on animal bones sorted them out. They had the more difficult task of sorting than we did as they had to identify not only which bone in the body but also what kind of animal it was.

You can learn a lot about a culture by the bones of their animals both pets and what they ate. It was interesting for me to discover that not only did the Hebrews not eat pork but neither did the Canaanites and other Semitic cultures. The Greeks and Romans did eat pork and a lot of it.