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A Biblical-Era Farmstead Discovered

Jan. 11 2016

An archaeological excavation near the Israeli town of Rosh Ha’Ayin has uncovered a 2,700-year-old farmhouse, along with several more recent ruins. Ruth Shuster writes (with pictures and video):

A huge farmhouse from the First Temple period, an ornate Byzantine church built over 1,000 years later, and a lime kiln dated to the Ottoman era have been found . . . during an archaeological investigation ahead of building a new neighborhood.

The sprawling . . . farmhouse has no fewer than 24 rooms surrounding a central courtyard, which was a common structure in the Middle East. . . . It was so well preserved that some walls were still standing to a height of more than two meters after nearly three millennia.

The archaeologists also found two silver coins from a slightly later time, the 4th century BCE, . . . bearing the likenesses of the goddess Athena and the Athenian owl. Evidently this farmstead, like similar ones in the area, remained in use for centuries until the region was abandoned in the period of the Hellenistic conquests.

Read more at Haaretz

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, First Temple, Hellenism, History & Ideas

 

Toward an Iran Policy That Looks at the Big Picture

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech outlining a new U.S. approach to the Islamic Republic. Ray Takeyh and Mark Dubowitz explain why it constitutes an important and much-needed rejection of past errors:

For too long, a peculiar consensus has suggested that it is possible to isolate the nuclear issue from all other areas of contention and resolve it in a satisfactory manner. The subsidiary [assumption] embedded in this logic is that despite the bluster of Iran’s rulers, it is governed by cautious men, who if offered sufficient incentives and soothing language would respond with pragmatism. No one embraced this notion more ardently than the former secretary of state, John Kerry, who crafted an accord whose deficiencies are apparent to all but the most hardened partisans. . . .

A regime as dangerous as the Iranian one requires no less than a comprehensive strategy to counter it. This means exploiting all of its vulnerabilities, increasing the costs of its foreign adventures, draining its economy, and aiding our allies. Most importantly, the United States must find a way of connecting itself to domestic opposition that continuously haunts the mullahs.

Washington should no longer settle for an arms-control agreement that paves Iran’s path to a bomb but rather a restrictive accord that ends its nuclear aspirations. The United States should not implore its allies to share the Middle East with Iran, as Barack Obama did, but partner with them in defeating the clerical imperialists. And most importantly, the United States should never forget that its most indispensable ally is the Iranian people.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Iran nuclear program, Mike Pompeo, U.S. Foreign policy