Who built this? How long ago was it built? how do we find answers to these questions? In this newsletter we will discuss three sites in Israel, sites that have been around for thousands of years but their secrets are yet to be revealed. Scholars are still struggling to find the answers but for many of us it's the questions that matter. Please join me on this journey to some of Israel's unsolved mysteries.
can visit two monumental stone pillars carved out of the rock. The most beautiful of them is the stone monument called Yad Avshalom (Absaloms pillar). This amazing tomb was carved from the bedrock surrounding it, topped with a stone funnel shaped roof. The popular name is incorrect as Avshalom, the son of King David, lived and died about 1000 years before it was built. The 2nd book of Samuel (18,18) describes how Avshalom erected a memorial for himself during his life time in the "Valley of the Kings" and therefore it was named Yad Avshalom. So if not Avshalom then who?
And if not during King David's time then when? Join my video tour as I struggle with the optional answers to these questions.
Rujm el-Hiri Megalithic stone circles of the Golan Heights
After the 1967 Six Day War the Golan Heights became part of Israel and an archaeological survey was launched to reveal and explore the many sites scattered all over the Golan.
One of the survey teams, led by Shmarya Guttman and Yitzhaki Gal were checking aerial photographs and noticed a large circular pattern in the middle of a vast plateau.
They jumped on the jeep and located the site called Rujm el-Hiri. 4 expeditions have researched the site since it was revealed but because of disagreements, nothing has been proved. Is it a tomb or a temple? An ancient astronomic observatory or a cultic assembly site? Middle Bronze or Chalcolithic?
Alliens or a New Age energetic hotspot ? I don't know, but just love the mystery of this place.
Jerusalem's Ketef Hinnom burial caves from the 7 Century BCE
The 7th Century BCE tombs on the south side of Hinnom valley in Jerusalem have been known for a while and have been researched and published a few times.
But archaeologist Gabriel Barkay had a hunch that maybe there is more to find.
So in 1979 he led a team to excavate and check all the tombs and repositories of Ketef Hinnom, Little did he know they would find a tomb full of important treasures. With the help of some teenagers and a lot of luck, Barkay and his team found two very small silver amulets inscribed with ancient Hebrew letters. Once deciphered they could read an early version of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers chapter 6. Can you imagine the joy and excitement when they realized they could read the oldest biblical text in the world? So who was buried in these tombs ? Who was the owner of the lost amulet ? Was it tied around his/her neck, or on the wrist? Where did they copy the text from? Was there an older copy of the Bible? So many question yet to be solved.