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April 12, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

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It’s been way too long since I updated you on what archeology is doing in Israel.  There’s no place in the world where so many people dig for so much stuff than in Israel.  Because of  biblical history and ancient ties, every inch of the land is fair game. And the finds are amazing!

Here’s some of the latest.

A bronze coin discovered in Jerusalem’s old city dates back to the period of the Bar-Kochba revolt after the destruction of the Second Temple. Around 132 – 136, the final rebellion against Rome was the period when this coin was minted. Out of the multitudes of  ancient coins only four date back this far. Probably a bronze coin (in contrast to a silver one) was also a propaganda statement that Israel was an independent nation separate from Rome. (which it wasn’t)

Recently the oldest inscription describing the ancient city as Yerushalayim  was found.

The over 2,000 year inscription on stone read, Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem. The stone column comes from around the time of Herod the Great. While archeologists have no way of knowing who Hananiah or Dodalos were, the  nature of the text suggests they may well have been potters.  The piece comes from what was then the largest pottery making region near Jerusalem where pottery was made for cooking.  This site produced a village maintained by pottery makers.

The latest desert discoveries since the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls recently turned up in a desert area where refugees fled from the  Roman conquerors 2,000 years ago,  Over 80 fragments were found while some are considered dating back maybe as early as 10,000 years ago,  Some of the pieces belonged to a scroll of the book of Zechariah.  Some of these pieces represent discoveries that have never been found before.

Scholars are always concerned that looters will find such fragments and documents before they can be recovered.  However, these new finds remain highly important.  The authorities believe the scrolls were a hundred years old before they were hidden in the caves.

What does all of this mean? Such finds solidify that the Holy Land was occupied just as the Bible indicates. Jews maintain that their ancestors were always there. Of course, this does not sit well with the Palestinians, but the evidence remains a fact. Mover, these findings have consistently validated the authenticity of the scripture.

Equally important, an accurate picture and understanding of the ancient world is being reconstructed at an amazing rate.  In the few years that I have been wandering around Israel, I have seen the past come to life.  The picture is amazing!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under archaeology, Israel, The Middle East

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