Even as Israel celebrates its 70th birthday it still faces critics
who question our legitimate claims to the land.
Recent archeological finds have left no room for doubt that Jews have been connected to the Jewish homeland for millennium.
There is substantial archeological evidence, even despite centuries of looting, and recent archaeological crimes. One such crime has been committed by the Arab Waqf, who ordered the illegal bulldozing of Temple Mount grounds, thereby destroying precious artifacts.
In recent years, archaeology has discovered stunning pieces that are a testament to the Jewish people’s long history with the land.
Here are several impressive examples:
Jewish Revolt Coins Found in Rebel Hideout
Dozens of bronze coins have been discovered south of the Temple Mount, dating to the First Jewish Revolt against Rome, two thousandyears ago. Most of the coins contained images of Jewish symbols, such as a lulav and etrog, and a ceremonial goblet, as well as the inscription “Year Four,” the final year of the rebellion, or “For the Redemption of Jerusalem.”
The coins are believed to have been owned by Jews who hid in a nearby cave, escaping the Roman siege of Jerusalem. Evidence of long term habitation included discoveries of jars and cooking pots.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, April, 2018
Found in Jerusalem
South of the Temple Mount a clay seal impression has been discovered that reads “[belonging] to Yesha’yahu nvy.”
A stamp seal (a carved object, usually made out of stone) was used in ancient times to make an impression in soft clay or wax, which served as the “signature” of the person using it. It could be attached to a bag or a document. What was discovered was alarge piece of a seal impression, or “bulla” made of clay.
Although a fragment is missing from the recently discovered seal impression, the letters nvy are clear. Nvyare the first three of the four letters spelling the Hebrew word navi, prophet. The prophet Yesha’yahu, who lived about 2,700 years ago, appears in Tanachin Melachim II, Diḇrê Hayyāmîm, and, of course, the Book of Yesha’yahu.
Also on the seal impression was a grazing doe, which at the time was a symbol of blessing and protection.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, May 2018
Royal Seal of Hezekiah Found
At the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount, archaeologists found a stamped clay seal belonging to King Hezekiah. The first discovery of its kind reads “Belonging to Hezekiah, (son of) Ahaz, king of Judah.” When Hezekiah, who reigned about 2,700 years ago, saw that the Jews were becoming lax in their practice of Judaism, he ordered the Holy Temple to be repaired and cleansed.
He also ordered his officials to fan across the land to take down pagan shrines and other altars.
Meanwhile, he made efforts to fortify Jerusalem against Assyrian king Sennacherib’s invasion, by expanding city walls and building a secret tunnel so Jews would have access to water, despite the siege.
That the stamped clay seals of Yesha’yahu and Hezkiah were found ten feet apart is not surprising, given that the king often sought the prophet’s counsel.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, April, 2018
Jewish Soldiers Send Letter Asking for Wine
2,600 years ago Jewish soldiers stationed at a fortress in Tel Arad, in the Negev desert, sent a letter to officials asking for more wine.
The message, written in ink on a pottery shard, known as an ostracon, had not been known to researchers until lately, because they had thought that the back of the ostracon was blank, when really the ink had become invisible. Only recently researchers used multispectral imaging technology, a type of advanced digital photography, to read the back.
The front side of the inscription had always been clear: “Your friend Ḥananyahu sends greetings to Elyashiv, and to your household. I bless you by Hashem.”
The newly deciphered notes written on the back of back of the piece of pottery include Ḥananyahu’s request to Elyashiv: “If there is any wine, send… If there is anything else you need, send.” The discovery is said to be dated about 2,600 years ago, during the fall of the Kingdom of Judah to Babylonia’s King Nebuchadnezzar.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, June, 2017
2,000 Year Old settlement
Found in Bet
About 1,950 years ago, the Bar-Kokhba Revolt took place, also referred to as the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome. Jews, hiding from the conquerors, sought out caves and underground enclaves – one of which was recently found 19 miles west
It contained eight mikvahs, ceramic jars, and cooking pots.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, March, 2017
Oldest Copy of
the Ten Commandments
Some 1,700 years ago a copy of the Ten Commandments was etched in a two-foot tall, 115-pound marble stone. It is the oldest discovered copy of the Ten Commandments.
The tablet was discovered near Tel Aviv in 1913, during the construction of the Palestine-Egypt railway. In 2016 it sold for $850,000 in an auction conductedby Living Torah Museum in Brooklyn.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, February, 2017
Carving Reveals Judean Governor’s Name
A stone inscription found near Tel Dor in northern Israel has revealed the name of the Roman governor of Judea 1,880 years ago.
Initially laying deep under water in the Dor Nature Reserve, the three-quarter ton and 2.8 foot high stone was brought to the surface to have its Greek carving deciphered.
It reads: “The City of Dor honors Marcus Paccius, son of Publius, Silvanus Quintus Coredius Gallus Gargilius Antiquus, governor of the province of Judea…”
It confirms that Gargilius Antiquus was governor of Judea. It is only the second reference to date of Judea found on a stone inscription. This is an important piece of the proof that Jews held an independent state two thousand years ago.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, December, 2016
Judaea Capta Coins Discovered
Going back three thousand years, Bethsaida was a small village on the north shore of Galilee. Two years ago a bronze coin, minted about 1,930 years ago, was discovered there.
On the front side, the coin has a representation of Roman Emperor Domitian, and says, “Judaea Capta (Judea captured).” The coin was struck to celebrate the suppression of the Jewish revolt.
The coin was the latest in a two and a half decade series paying tribute to the conquests of Vespasian, his sons, and successors Titus and Domitian.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, September., 2016
Silver coins dating back 2,140 years were found in Modi’in, the town of the Maccabees.
The faceof the coins bear images of Seleucid King Antiochus VII and his brother Demetrius II, both of whom the Maccabees sought to overthrow to return the land back to the Jews.
Archaeologists also discovered undergroundMaccabee hiding spaces, where they also located an ancient mikveh.
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, June, 2016
Coins Celebrating Revolt
Against Romans Unearthed
Excavations along the main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv revealed a ceramic box containing 114 bronze coins dating back two thousand years. The coins have the Hebrew words “To the Redemption of Zion” imprinted on the front. On the back are imprinted palm branches and an etrog with the inscription “Year Four,” denoting the fourth year of the Great Revolt against
Source: Biblical Archaeology Review, August, 2014
Muslim Coins Identify
Jerusalem’s Jewish Roots
Thirteen hundred years ago, the ruling Islamic Umayyad Dynasty had no problem minting coins that acknowledged the Jewish connection to Israel. Recently discovered coins of the era show a menorah on the front center of the coins.
Source: Israel Breaking News, December, 2017
2,700-year-old seal confirms existence of Jerusalem governor
An extremely rare clay seal not only confirms that Jerusalem had a governor 2,700 years ago, but that Jerusalem existed as a city at that time.
Discovered in Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza, the seal bears the words “Belonging to the governor of the city.”
Israel’s fight for legitimacy continues despite overwhelming evidence of our connection to the land and especially to Jerusalem. As the U.S. sets up its embassy in Jerusalem, and more countries follow suit, our enemies step up their efforts to delegitimize us. These archeological discoveries are just one way to fight against their fraudulent propaganda.