24 June 2017 - 1 Tammuz 5777 - א' תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ז
Arts & Culture
2,000-year-old road exposed near Bet Shemesh E-mail

A wide and impressive 2,000-year-old road dating to the Roman period, in an extraordinary state of preservation, was revealed recently in archaeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority near Bet Shemesh, conducted prior to the laying of a water pipeline to Jerusalem.

Students from a local high school, Ulpanat Amit Noga, volu-nteered to participate in the dig. The ancient road passed close to the Israel National Trail, and it will be conserved in situ.

According to Irina Zilberbod, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The road that we discovered, which 2,000 years ago passed along a route similar to Highway 375 today, was up to six metres wide, continued for a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometres, and was apparently meant to link the Roman settlement that existed in the vicinity of Beit Natif with the main highway known as the ‘Emperor’s Road’. That road was in fact a main artery that connected the large settlements of Eleutheropolis (Bet Guvrin) and Jerusalem. The construction of the Emperor’s Road is thought to have taken place at the time of Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the country, circa 130 CE, or slightly thereafter, during the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 132-135 CE. The presence of a milestone (a stone marking distances) bearing the name of the emperor Hadrian which was discovered in the past close to the road reinforces this hypothesis.”

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Liquor bottles belonging to WW1 British soldiers E-mail

An unexpected discovery was made recently in an archaeological excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the vicinity of Ramla.

Archaeologists were astounded to find a fascinating reminder from the First World War that included, among other things, hundreds of liquor bottles that are 100 years old. They were found near a building where British soldiers were garrisoned during the war.

According to Ron Toueg, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The written historical evidence regarding the soldiers’ activities in the British army in Israel usually consists of ‘dry’ details, such as the number of soldiers, direction of attack, and the results of the battle. The discovery of this site and the finds in it provide us with an opportunity for a glimpse of the unwritten part of history, and reconstruct for the first time the everyday life and leisure of the soldiers. We exposed a building whose upper part was not preserved, which was apparently the foundations of a barracks.”

“This structure was used for agricultural purposes in the Ottoman period, and during WWI the British converted it for military use and soldiers were housed in it. Inside the building we discovered dozens of uniform buttons, belt buckles, parts of riding equipment, and other artifacts that were the property of the British soldiers. The building caught fire and collapsed for a reason which at this point is unclear. The place where the soldiers discarded debris was revealed just a few metres from the building. We were surprised to discover that along with broken crockery and cutlery there was an enormous number of soft drink and liquor bottles,” added Toueg.

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Israel – the land of creation and creativity E-mail

Israel’s Embassy in the Philippines joined hands with Asia Tours in March in an event dedicated to Israel as the “land of creation and creativity” – an open invitation to all Filipinos to enjoy Israel’s diversity.

Four hundred guests packed the main hall of Makati ShangriLa for this unique celebration. Guests included Senator Cynthia Villar, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George Barcelon, Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Itamar Gero, Philippine Airlines president Jaime Bautista, Turkish Airlines country manager Erhan Balaban, Cathay Pacific country manager Robin Bradshaw, hundreds of travel agents, and special friends from the Filipino consular corps and business sector.

Among the special guests who made the evening unique were singer Gary Valenciano, X-Factor Israel 2014 winner Rose Fostanes, Nicole Laurel Asensio, Ryan Tamondong, and a Filipino dance group dancing Israeli folk dances.

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