20 March 2019 - 14 Adar II 5779 - י"ד אדר ב' ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Arts & Culture
Archaeologists find ancient stone inscription with full spelling of “Jerusalem” E-mail

Last winter, during an excavation near the Jerusalem International Convention Center, archaeologists uncovered a unique stone inscription dating to the Second Temple Period (first century CE). The Hebrew inscription mentions Jerusalem, and unusually, the word uses the full spelling as we know it today.

The exciting find was presented for the first time on 9 October during a joint press conference of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Israel Museum. The excavation was directed by the IAA’s Danit Levy, prior to the construction of a new road, undertaken and funded by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Company and the Jerusalem Development Authority.

During the excavations, the foundations of a Roman structure, supported by columns, were exposed. The most important discovery was a stone column drum, reused in the Roman structure, upon which the Aramaic inscription appears, written in Hebrew letters typical of the Second Temple Period, around the time of Herod the Great’s reign. The inscription reads “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem”.

Dudy Mevorach, Chief Curator of Archaeology at the Israel Museum, commented: “The archaeological context of the inscription does not allow us to determine where it was originally displayed, or who Hananiah son of Dodalos was. But it is likely that he was an artistpotter, the son of an artist-potter, who adopted a name from the Greek mythological realm, following Daedalus, the infamous artist. It is interesting that he decided to add his origin from nearby Jerusalem to his family name.”

Excavations have been conducted for many years in the area of the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyanei Ha’Uma), where the unique find was discovered.

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Spots of Light: Women in the Holocaust exhibition shown in Hong Kong E-mail

The acclaimed international exhibition Spots of Light: Women in the Holocaust exhibition was on show at the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) from 2 to 11 October. Its visit to Hong Kong was co-organised by the university and the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC).

The exhibition was curated by and presented in co-operation with Yad Vashem (the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem). In Hong Kong it reached a diverse audience of academics, students and interested community members. An opening event featured presentations from Ahuva Spieler, Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong, HKHTC board member Hayley Goldberg and HKBU academics Martin Chung and Hans Werner Hess.

A watershed event in human history, the Holocaust was an act of murder and violence that the Nazis and their accomplices unleashed against the Jewish people. Attendees at the exhibition learned about this major historic event in Europe, which is not very well known in Asia. The content of the exhibition explored the human story that lurked behind the grim chain of events that led to the deaths of approximately six million Jews.

Within this story, the exhibition aimed to give voice to the perspective and treatment of Jewish women throughout the period and explored how their fates differed from those of other victims, detailing the unique struggles and difficulties faced specifically by women during the Holocaust. The content touched upon female partisans and the experience of being a mother, and featured moving and personal imagery such as old cooking recipes being written down on scraps of Nazi propaganda in order to preserve customs and traditions.

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Cheers! World’s oldest brewery found E-mail

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest site for alcohol production. They theorise that the beer-like beverage may have been served in ceremonies some 13,000 years ago.

The site is located in the Raqefet cave south of Haifa that also served as a burial site for the Natufian people.

“If we’re right, this is the earliest testament in the world to alcohol production of any kind,” said Dani Nadel, an archaeology professor at the University of Haifa and one of the authors of an article published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

“We know what the Natufians did in the cave. They buried some of their dead on a platform of flowers and plants, and apparently also produced a soup-like liquid, an alcoholic drink.” According to Nadel, the liquid was “different than today’s beer” and probably much weaker, “but fermented”.

The archaeologists discovered three small pits, or mortars, each about 40-60 centimetres deep, that had been carved into the surface of the Raqefet cave. Two of them were for storing grains, and the third was for pounding and brewing grains ahead of fermentation, the study found. The location of the mortars in the burial caves implies that the drink was “apparently connected to the ceremonies, or some sort of social event,” Nadel said.

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