Do we Owe Respect to Old Bones?

January 9, 2012

EnglishHuman bone in forestSo there’s this this debate going on in England about a skeleton that was displayed apparantly against the explicit wish of its erstwhile live person (should we call it its “owner”?), Charles Byrne, and people are arguing whether to finally bury it, or whether so much time has passed (some 230 years) that it is no longer relevant. [Hat tip: Rabbi Ze’ev Smason] Read the rest of this entry »

Newsflash: King David had Literate Servants

January 8, 2010

From today’s press []:

Professor Gershon Galil of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa has deciphered an inscription on a pottery shard discovered in the Elah valley dating from the 10th century BCE (the period of King David’s reign), and has shown that this is a Hebrew inscription. The discovery makes this the earliest known Hebrew writing. The significance of this breakthrough relates to the fact that at least some of the biblical scriptures were composed hundreds of years before the dates presented today in research and that the Kingdom of Israel already existed at that time.

The ostracon (pottery shard with writing) has the following text: Read the rest of this entry »

Jerusalem was Important, After All

November 2, 2008

EnglishSome Archaeologists, particularly those who belong to the so called Minimalist school, have denied for years that the kings David and Solomon ever existed or ever reigned over a significant territory. The arguments between them and their opponents depend on highly technical issues, such as how to date layers of earth in which certain objects were found (stratigraphy), as well as how to date events in the Tanakh. However, it generally boils down to the question of whether Israel was had a significant monarchy in the 10th century BCE, which is deduced from the size of the remains of building of that period. Kings need forts, garrisons, industries, stabes, etc. Since, so argue the Minimalists, little evidence was found of any extensive buildings of that period, there were probably none.

Read the rest of this entry »