24 May 2017 - 28 Iyyar 5777 - כ"ח אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ז
Arts & Culture
Open House Tel Aviv-architecture showcased E-mail

Open House Tel Aviv, an urban festival of architecture, will be held from 18 to 20 May, for the eleventh consecutive year, showcasing the architecture of Tel Aviv. The festival is part of the “Open House World Wide Organization”, which invites residents to get to know the most interesting houses and buildings that compose the landscape of their city.

Over 150 tours will be available to the general public and all of them are free. This year, members of the public will have the rare opportunity to explore, among other sites, Beit Ariela, the largest and oldest public library in Israel, and to go behind the shelves and into the archives to explore the treasures of the library.

In addition, the architect Ganit Mayslits Kassif will talk about the renovations that are taking place at the library, which is in the midst of a multiphase refurbishment process, and will also talk about the planned changes in the building and their impact on the entire complex.

Architects Rami and Hila Lotan will lead a tour of Yad LeBanim on Pinchas Street, which now serves as a municipal cultural centre. Designed by their grandfather, the building is scheduled to undergo renovation and expansion works that are expected to start soon.

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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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